“Well, I know it’s tough right now” she said softer than the unusual silence in my house, “but… Dee, you still have dreams. Right?!” She was afraid of me, and she had every right. I was going crazy. And being my younger sister, she knows just how to speak so gently that I feel like I can run through wide open fields talking with her rather than feel pushed tight into a corner like a few others in my life.

“No, no Bess, I don’t. I don’t dream anymore. All I dreamed has been taken away from me.” I wiped the sweat of a fever from my forehead and wiped it force-ably away on my hip while a small violin began playing in my ear. I was feeling sorry for myself. And going crazy. You’ll notice I mention ‘the crazy’ a lot as it was actually happening a lot to me last week.

It all started off with a Master Cleanse that my younger sister, lovingly referred to as ‘Bess’ and I decided to do. As always, if I cleanse, I make it a fast. Or, perhaps it makes a fast of itself. Regardless, we were ready to make our Monday through Friday our Cleanse and or time of fasting.

Since December, my world was thrown upside down, people and things were abruptly missing, and I think someone threw wet dog poo in my face just to add to the ambiance of it all. I wasn’t ready for what the fast would do for me. What the fast would do to me. I couldn’t sleep all Sunday night, which isn’t unusual for me not to sleep a full night, however this kind is different. This is the kind where within fifteen minutes from lying in bed, my sheets had managed to crawl all the way to my chin I’d wrestled around so uncomfortably. I’ll do well, I considered, to remember this is now my time of fasting. It was decided, I was firm in my faith, and lack of sleep wouldn’t move me.

Since Mid Monday I fought a fever, which I attributed to the cleanse, and thanked God for his daily provision of bread and water that gave life. He was wrecking things which clung to my stomach and soul that were never meant to be there. It hurt, and I was fine with it. I was fine with the purging because I knew joy comes in the mourning. Joy comes in the mourning and in the morning, fresh mercies would fall on me.

By Tuesday morning my stomach had eaten itself, which again I was fine with. I’d almost accustomed my body to not eating due to stress the past four months, so I was unafraid of not eating. However, I was starving spiritually, and my eating habits had removed my knowledge of this. Again, I praised God for showing me how much I idolize things and cheat on my love for Him with… ice cream. Ice cream and work, and working out and friends. I’d apologized to my king.  And then I got an email that brought me back to December and shook my heart. I panicked momentarily and my head watched scenes not for me to see. And I recalled my Jesus in the desert and shook my head. Stupid enemy, I thought. He wouldn’t get me.

Wednesday I walked into my office crying. I couldn’t stop crying in my office actually. Again, bring on the crazy. Though it’d be nice to blame the lack of food, I knew it was the lack of knowing my heart. The lack of understanding. Finally, seeing clearly after losing food. I looked at the wall and ran my hand against the back of my desk until I found my Kleenex. Dad, I whispered. I can’t do this today, I need you. I need out. My head was throbbing with a fever and I was sure I couldn’t find more red on my body. My eyes, my nose, my cheeks. I was ill physically, but positive the mess of things came from something very connected to my soul. My soul and its hurts. I wasn’t getting any better so I left work. I eventually crawled onto my couch. Then into my bed. Then onto my couch again, the bathroom floor, and finally my bed one last time. There, I puked. It was two am by this point, and never being the one to puke, I gave myself the vote of confidence this wouldn’t happen. Well, it happened. And puking just cannot seem worse than after days of drinking lemons and cayenne pepper. It just can’t. Maybe it can, but I’ve never experienced something so yuck in my life.

Since Wednesday, it took time to come back to life. I stopped the cleanse and ran for ginger-ale and soda crackers. It’s been my diet since.

But today I sit at home and after all the ways my devotion to Christ was tested and tried I realized a few things.

First, when you know the enemy and his idiot tricks, you become very assured in your authority over him through Christ. He determined to take this time from me, and I won. Sucker. Second, don’t ever give up when things don’t seem fun or easy. It’ll pass, and your character will prove itself when you really are pushed up in a corner against your soul’s enemy. How do you  fair? Lastly my friends, God is good. God is always good. He spoke to me, and while everything was a mess and my head went speed racing into a craze, he spoke. He spoke and I listened.

I text Bess this morning. I text her to let her know it was a good Sunday which would make three in a row now. And that I wanted to write. That I wanted to read about Heidi Baker, and that I had dreams. I still need to work them out, but I have them. I have heart, and hopes and dreams. From that awful lemons experience, I’d made lemonade. I made lemonade, and came to realize I have a dream. Thanks sis.