The time I tried the Daniel Fast.


I’m beginning to write this seven days into the Daniel Fast, and I’m already doing a pretty great job at messing it up. I’ve cheated more than once, and I haven’t read a chapter of John every day.

It’s basically turning into a period of giving up sweet tea and donuts (not anymore on the donuts… Update: Or the sweet tea…) and overwhelming guilt.

The Backstory: My pastor asked our church to participate in the Daniel Fast as we begin the new year. If you don’t know what that is, it’s where you limit your diet by taking out meat, dairy, sweets and leavened bread for 21 days. You essentially eat like Daniel did in Daniel 1. In addition to this, we were supposed to read a chapter of John every day. So since everyone else was doing it, I figured I’d give it a shot. Why not right?

I could make up excuses to why I’m sucking at it like food is my ultimate weakness and even though John is one of my favorite books of the Bible, I’ve read it so many times in the past year that I just don’t want to read it right now. Plus I’m doing a pretty solid job of keeping up with She Reads Truth at the moment and adding a chapter of John each day will probably mean sacrificing one of them, and that’s just the truth of my current state of Bible reading.

But honestly, those excuses don’t matter because my heart wasn’t in it. It still isn’t.

But despite all of that, the Lord is still faithful and He has taught me significantly  more in these days of attempting and failing miserably at the Daniel Fast than I think He would have if I would have executed it perfectly.

I realized that I love food. Maybe too much. I don’t really know. I just know that I don’t have much self-control when it comes to food. Maybe I’m gluttonous. I only overeat occasionally though, and I can mostly control my portions. But I just can’t turn down free food, and sometimes I drool in grocery stores. I love food especially the food that you can’t eat on the Daniel Fast. It’s delicious, and I thank God for it. Life would be boring without good food.

Can food be an idol? Probably. In fact, our whole day is planned around meals (and class and work and everything else that’s important to us), but maybe it should be planned around time with God instead. Whoa. That’s intensely convicting isn’t it?

But food isn’t bad. Besides the fact that we need food to survive, I think back at all of the sweet, meaningful times spent with friends and family over meals or coffee.

I’ve also realized how damaging legalism can be to me. I’m not saying in any way that this fast was legalistic. But I am saying that I made it that way. I held myself to a standard that I couldn’t reach. I looked at the list of foods I wasn’t “supposed” to eat for 21 days and made it into a set of strict rules to follow. I do this often with so many different things. I even make my relationship with Christ that is full of love, kindness and forgiveness into a set of rules I have to follow. If I don’t follow them, He won’t love me. I won’t be good enough. But that’s the furthest thing from the truth. The truth is He loves me regardless of whether or not I follow the ten commandments at all times. Regardless of whether I succeed at the Daniel Fast. Granted I should repent when I sin but the point is He loves me, and because of that He forgives me when I fail Him. When I break His heart by turning down the path well traveled instead of the narrow one, when I turn my back on Him and walk the other direction, when I run right past His open arms into the arms of something else, when I sin.  He loves us at our weakest and most disgusting moments, and that’s what makes the gospel so beautiful.

My promises will never be good enough. I won’t keep all of my promises. I can’t because I’m not perfect. I am human. Flawed. But God always keeps His promises because He is holy. His promise to love and care for me. His promise to forgive me when I mess up. Never failing and never ending. His promises are forever. I am so thankful for that.

I have to remind myself that God doesn’t call us to a new law. He calls us to a relationship with Him. Christianity isn’t supposed to be a set of rules and regulations. And I know that. It’s been drilled into me since I was born. But I make it that way so often. Do I really act like this is a relationship? Or am I just trying to be as good as I can because that’s what I am supposed to do? So I can impress God or other people?

It’s not a set of rules. It’s a relationship. And relationships are messy. They are far from perfect. They’re up and down. In and out. Sideways. You argue. You cry. You smile. You fight and make up. You forgive and forget. You move on. You laugh. You serve. You give. You sacrifice. You hug. You hit. You walk away. You communicate. You reminisce. You encourage. You comfort. You get mad. You hate. You love. It’s a roller coaster.

And that’s exactly what we have with God. Thankfully one side of the relationship is perfect, but my side… definitely not.

Every relationship is different. My relationship with my sister is different than your relationship with yours. So my relationship with God is going to look different than yours. What works to grow your faith is different than mine. Your spiritual gifts are different than mine. Our struggles, where we find our joy, how we tell others about Jesus, where and when we pray, everything is different. And that’s okay. We don’t have to all look the same. We don’t all have to interact with God the same. We don’t have to act out our faith the same way. And so often I look at other people who seem to have it all together and seem to be such good Christians, and they are, but I compare myself to them. Then I think that maybe I should be acting more like that girl over there or sharing my faith like that guy on the other side of the room, but what if that just doesn’t work for me? What if I’m not good at what they do? Because God has gifted me and called me to something different. Something unique to me.

This may be why there’s so much disagreement among Christians. Because we’re all unique and we think we’re the only one who’s right when in reality God is the only one who’s right. But isn’t our uniqueness what makes it so beautiful? That God can reach such a wide variety of individuals. That He doesn’t just love one specific set of people who are all similar. That despite our dissimilarities we are all the same in that we are all sons and daughters of Christ. Heirs to His throne. We (should) love each other despite our differences because we’re all the same. We’re all loved by the one who created us.

Finally I realized that for the first time doing something remotely close to the Daniel Fast, it wasn’t wise for me to start with a 21 day fast from my favorite foods. So, I think next time I am going to fast on my own when God tells me it’s a good time, how He tells me it should be done and for how long I should do it. It’ll actually be something attainable where my heart is in it. Where I’m not guilty because I’m failing man, but convicted because I’m failing God. Where I can grow as a Christian and grow closer to the Lord. Then eventually maybe I’ll try the Daniel Fast again because I don’t hate the idea. It just wasn’t for me this time around.


God is cool.

As most of you probably know, I am very indecisive. Like you probably shouldn’t ask me what I want to eat for dinner because I honestly won’t know. I (surprisingly) declared a major that I love SO much, but I’m still not entirely sure what I want to do with that major or what I want to do after I graduate next May. Lately, I’ve been struggling a lot with that decision (because I’m a worry wart), but I’ve learned many things the past few days that have made me less worried about it so I’m going to share some of it with you (mostly for my own benefit but hopefully yours too)!

  1. God’s timing is always perfect. Maybe it’s not when I want it, but it’s when He wants it. Honestly, I would have rather come into college with my whole life planned out knowing exactly what I wanted to do, but that’s not what He wanted, and I have to accept that. Lazarus is a perfect example! Mary and Martha sent to Jesus and told Him that their brother was sick, and when Jesus heard, He stayed two days longer where He was before He went to them. Obviously, that’s not what Mary and Martha had in mind. They wanted Him to come heal Lazarus ASAP. When Jesus finally arrived four days after Lazarus died, Martha and Mary told him that He was too late and His response was “If you believe, you will see the glory of God.” Then He raised Lazarus from the dead. All I have to do is believe that God will somehow work out my life the way it’s supposed to, and it will happen. Maybe not the way I expect or when I expect it, but it will all go exactly as He planned it. There’s no surprises for Him!
  2. Psalm 139- it’s just what I needed, and it’s cool how God shows me things exactly when I need them. Basically, the Lord knows EVERYTHING about me. While that’s terrifying at times because that means He knows every sin I’ve ever committed, it’s also relieving. Like I said, nothing surprises Him. Everything I do, He knows I’m going to do it before I do it. It also means that He’s always with me. I’m never alone in anything I endure ever. I always have a friend! Then verse 14 reminded me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. How amazing is it that God created me wonderfully. There is no fault in me that He didn’t create wonderfully. I’m imperfect, but He still loves me so much that if it was just me on this Earth, Jesus would have still died for my sins. Wow. That just blows my mind because I truly don’t deserve His love. His grace and mercy is so wonderful!
  3. Going along with that He created me for a purpose, and not only that, but He has always known that purpose. Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” And Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” I may not know that purpose exactly yet, but He does, and I just have to trust that whenever I need to know it, He’ll show it to me. His plans for me are unknown to everyone except for Him, but I do know that they’re plans for good, and that’s honestly all I need to know. Of course, I would love to know what exactly those plans are, but that’s where the trust and patience come in.
  4. Pray, pray and pray some more and then be still and listen. Praying isn’t something I necessarily struggle with but listening definitely is. I have this problem where I worry so much that I just pray continuously over and over for the same thing which I feel like doesn’t accomplish anything. It just proves that I have a trust problem, but I do it because you know Philippians 4: 6 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” But my prayers are nothing if I don’t stop and listen to what God is saying. Yes, I’m supposed to pray without ceasing, but I’m also supposed to trust God by being still. Sometimes I’m so loud (not out-loud as you all know) that God can’t get a word in. When I’m listening, He’ll show me the answers that I long for.

Ultimately, I need to trust God. I don’t need to worry about my future and decisions because everything will work out! The answers will come eventually. Patience, Mikayla! I need to pray and know that He is good all the time. No matter what happens, He is still good and is worthy to be trusted and praised. Thanks for being cool and putting up with me, God. You’re the only man who seems to be able to (besides my dad).

A Controversial Blog by Mikayla

Here it is. Arguably the most controversial topic in the United States currently and potentially the most controversial blog I’ve written. People on both sides are probably going to disagree with something I say in this blog. And honestly, there’s conflict within myself about this topic. That’s why I’m writing this blog. I want to not only form some kind of logical thoughts within my own brain, but I want to hear from you. No, I don’t want to start arguments or anything like that. But I would like to hear your opinions. So tell them to me! I won’t promise I’ll agree, but friendly discussions of opinions where each other are open to hearing the other person’s. Those are good. So, let’s do this.


To begin, I’ll state the fact that most of you probably know I’m going to say. Homosexuality is a sin.

“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” -Leviticus 18:22

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

It clearly states it in the Bible (in the Old and the New Testaments). BUT, it’s not any worse than lying. Or cheating. Or murder. Or anything stated in the 1 Corinthians passage.

Let’s take me as an example. I worry A LOT. Like way too much for an average human. That’s a sin. My worrying is saying I don’t trust God. It’s 100% a sin, and 100% equal to the severity of homosexuality. We, as humans, spend so much time placing sins into categories of what is worse than the others. But God places them all under one category… sin. It all looks the same to Him. A girl was passing out a survey the other day. Part of it was to rank “evil” things from 1-10 or place Not Evil beside it. I ranked like a human. I put what I thought was the most evil as 10 and put something like lying as the least evil. That’s not how God would have ranked it. I am certain of it.

Taking that into consideration, we, as Christians, aren’t supposed to hate homosexuals. In fact, we aren’t supposed to hate anyone. “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” – 1 John 4:20-21 We are to love EVERYONE. Everyone sins. Homosexuals aren’t exempt from the love everyone rule. I hate to burst your bubble. We can’t pick and choose who we love based on the “severity” of their sin.

Some of you might be saying… “But Mikayla, you don’t know what it’s like to know someone who’s gay. It’s hard to love them.” Wrong. I DO know. My best friend from middle school is gay. I didn’t know it at the time, and we aren’t close anymore. But the reason we aren’t close isn’t because she’s gay. We just grew apart. I love her still, though. My favorite professor I’ve had in college. She’s gay. I would take her for every class if I could. Not to mention the multiple Christians who I call good friends who have struggled with homosexuality in the past. (This goes back to 1 Corinthians 6:9-11… You can be washed clean of all sin including homosexuality. It irks me when people judge people on their past especially if they’ve been redeemed. They are a new person in Christ! The past doesn’t matter.) I love all of those people. And I’m not saying that to make myself sound better than anyone else. I’m saying it because I recognize that it’s a sin, but I still love them. It’s hard to love everyone, I know. But we’re supposed to hate the sin, not the sinner. That’s how Jesus lived so that’s how we should live.

Now, I’ve gotten through the easy part. It’s easy to prove that homosexuality is a sin, but you should still love the homosexual. What’s left is hard. This is the part that I don’t know about. It’s the part that I’m conflicted about.

Can people who live in the constant sin of homosexuality go to Heaven?

I don’t know. Part of me wants to point out that as Christians we are to strive to be as much like Christ as we possibly can. So, we shouldn’t knowingly live in sin. If we are true Christians then, we wouldn’t marry someone of the same sex. So, if you are living like that and claim to be a Christian, maybe you aren’t actually a Christian. But part of me also says that I don’t know anyone’s heart except my own. Who am I to say that a woman who is married to a woman isn’t going to Heaven?

That brings me to gay marriage.

If you know me at all, you know that I am super duper into equality. I have a very passionate hate towards inequality. So, this is where my dilemma lies. Is it equal that everyone has the same opportunity to marry someone of the opposite sex? I convinced myself that that was the case for years. But, maybe it should be that everyone should have the same opportunity to marry someone they love…

There’s also the argument that marriage is a Godly act so because it is a sin to practice homosexuality, they shouldn’t be able to get married. But a lot of people who aren’t Christians get married on a daily basis. If we were to make this argument, then SO many people shouldn’t be married right now. Anyone who isn’t a Christian shouldn’t be married.

Then there’s the separation of church and state thing. I don’t even know how to get into that.

As you can see, I’m a little fuzzy. I’ll admit to that. I don’t know. But I do know that I feel strongly about loving people who are gay. The “God hates fags” mindset of so many Christians today isn’t a proper depiction of the Gospel. It’s no where close. I’m going through the book of John right now… there’s so many times where Jesus loves the unlovable. The Samaritan woman, the disabled man at the pool, the adulterous woman, the blind man, He loved them all when no one else did. That should be us! That’s my prayer for me and you. That we will love everyone like Christ did. But not loving them in a way where we hide the truth. Loving them in a way where we share the Gospel. The whole Gospel. Even the sin and death and hell part. That doesn’t mean that the first thing we tell them is “you’re going to Hell” though. Because we don’t know that at all. Only God does.