Not long after Mary and I established that we were both seeing 11:11, Mary suggested we do an 11-day fast together. Her suggested fast schedule would have us start at the beginning of October. She pointed out that such a schedule might, among other benefits, help prepare me for anything important that came along on October 15. I thought she made a great case. The only problem I saw in the plan was that fasting for eleven days would necessarily involve me not eating for eleven days. I’ve known plenty of people, Mary (and Jesus) included, who have done 40-day fasts; so I didn’t doubt that long fasts were humanly possible and even extremely beneficial. I was just less than excited about not eating for eleven days. In ultimately agreeing to do the fast, the strongest motivation I could come up with was something like, “Might as well give it a shot and see what happens.”
I’m now here to say that “might as well give it a shot” is not sufficient motivation for me to get through, with anything like a peaceful spirit, eleven days of not eating. Or nine, or however it worked out. I spent the first few days with a decent attitude, if only because I was on familiar ground. I had a brutal 12-hour withdrawal headache on Day 2. When that cleared, I assumed I was home free, with regard to physical discomfort. Not so. Even after my headache cleared, my hunger pangs stayed strong and grew stronger; and I became a bitter human. Out in the middle of the fast, I found myself unable to think clearly, other than to be acutely aware that I could end the misery at any moment. Even then, I’d fasted for so long already that I couldn’t safely break fast with anything really appealing. It would have to be three sips of vegetable juice or something like that. Bitter human.
At around Day 7, I noticed my throat hurt when swallowing, especially right after I awoke in the morning. That sensitivity increased over the next couple of days, until my tonsils felt like beach balls. I finally grabbed a flashlight and shone it at a mirror and down my throat. I saw one very infected tonsil and another one playing catch-up. It had otherwise been about thirty years since I’d had tonsillitis. I’d had it regularly when I was a kid, primarily due to allergy drainage. Which raises the issue of a fasting-related healing crisis.
To the extent that I’ve read much about fasting, the healing crisis phenomenon is one thing that has always stood out as particularly interesting. I don’t entirely understand how it works. Something like: over a lifetime of getting sick one way or another, your body can end up storing remnants of the maladies in your cells or wherever. This caching of sickness can happen even when you might have beaten an infection with antibiotics. An apparent cure of an illness or disease might not be proof that every bit of the problem has left your body, even if all symptoms have cleared. After surviving any physical illness and disease at all, then, any given person’s body will possibly have a stash of junk hanging around and up to no good.
Along comes the fasting process, which burns down through theoretical layers of fat and whatever else is stored in the body. Once the fast burns off everything that was above the vestigial illness, it then metabolizes the illness chunks, which causes the symptoms of the dormant illness to reappear. As long as the fasting-and-now-sick person continues fasting until the illness is wholly metabolized, then that element of old sickness will be completely gone from the person’s body. This same process apparently will work to heal some injuries, as well. In the midst of my fast, I either had developed a new instance of tonsillitis, or I was experiencing a healing crisis due to the fasting process exposing old remains of tonsillitis. From decades in the past. Weird. Just when you think you know something about life…
In addition to the tonsil thing, I was smashed under the weight of a fatigue like I’d never experienced before. It was all I could do to breathe. When I managed to get in bed even for a five minute rest, my body would collapse onto the mattress like your average towel. It felt like I could reasonably plan to stay in bed for days without moving at all. I guess my body was working overtime trying to clear out tonsillitis and other trash; it was telling me to slow down and conserve energy. Instead, my schedule demanded that I run at top speed, no matter my physical condition. Going into the fast, I’d expected that after about Day 5, I’d be hitting a great second wind and become wildly energetic and blissed out. With that expectation I wasn’t initially concerned that I’d planned my fast to coincide with an unusually busy and demanding couple of weeks. It is to laugh.
By Day 9 I was faced with an unpleasant choice: I either needed to figure out a way to get rest so that my body could finish whatever it was doing that involved my tonsils; or I needed to get some antibiotics for legitimate new tonsillitis. The only way I’d know which way to go would be to break the fast early and see what happened with my tonsils. I’d been in regular contact with Mary throughout the whole thing, for mutual support and general comparing of notes. She’s had a lot of experience with long fasts and had a better idea in general what the average person could expect out of the process. With her input I decided to break my fast on Day 9.
As it turns out I broke my fast badly, despite my best intentions. I did limit myself to fruit and vegetable juice at first. But I was taking in too much of each, according to various experts I read after the fact. In addition I drank one of those powdered vitamin C packets right away, in hopes that I could boost my freaked out immune capabilities. The immediate and jarring effect of the orange fizz blast on my hibernating digestive system was to turn to my body into a modified jet engine, and not in a good way.
The next day my tonsils were noticeably better, which indicated my tonsillitis was a healing crisis brought on by the fast. The heavy fatigue remained, however. Even on Day 11, two days after I stared breaking my fast, the fatigue seemed worse than previous days. This despite the fact that my tonsils were apparently 100% cleared up. That same morning I got an email from Dave, my friend at work whom I’ve mentioned several times in this blog. Dave reported that he’d had a dream that morning that involved me and food and fasting. In the dream, among other details, he and I had sat down with an unknown family to have a serious feast, courtesy of the mystery family. Dream Me was wearing a clear plastic mask to prevent any food from getting into my mouth. I told the hostess that I had to wait a few more minutes before breaking my fast; then I would be able to eat.
I was too tired to think much about Dave’s dream; but it was obviously interesting that he’d had that dream when he did. I went back to being flattened with fatigue, wondering what bad thing I had done to myself during the previous two weeks. A couple of hours later, I began wondering if I should go back on a fasting protocol. What if my body was stuck in healing crisis mode, trying to repair tonsillitis; and my breaking of the fast when I did was causing problems? I’d read at least one author who said you should not break fast during a healing crisis. When I had read that admonition before the long fast, I wasn’t even convinced that healing crises were a real thing. I prayed and asked God very specifically that He would provide me with guidance in the matter. Instantly I remembered Dave’s dream from that morning. In the dream I had been delaying my break-fast for ‘a few minutes’, after which wait I would eat. Maybe God provided the answer to my dilemma before I even asked it of Him. Dave had already had one dream in August that accurately reflected my eating habits during one week. Why not another?
Lacking anything better to do, and with nothing to lose, I abruptly stopped my food and juice consumption. Four hours later, my fatigue lifted. I didn’t feel immediately great (and it’s taken me every bit of two and a half weeks to get back on a semi-normal diet). But something about fasting again, even for a few hours, did the trick. More importantly, I had fasted again based on the dream from a friend who had already proven to have some prophetic dream capabilities. I’m now definitely not less inclined to pay attention to Dave’s dreams about me and food. Or any other thing.
Since December 31, 2015 I had taken components of several dreams, visions, and prophecies and then decided what I wanted to see happen on October 15, 2016. The date came and went without any fanfare in my personal life. I was still preoccupied at the time with the immediate concerns of figuring out how to eat again, so I wasn’t totally dialed into any disappointment or frustration. But there was plenty of both, as was evidenced by the blinding tension headache I had on October 16-18. It’s an occupational hazard of projecting one’s desires onto the always-questionable canvas of dreams and visions – running the risk of making up something from nothing, or at least making it something that it’s not. Those dreams and visions might legitimately be puzzle pieces, but they don’t necessarily fit where I was trying to force them. Whatever the case, I was acutely aware that there had been no apparent seismic shift in my life circumstances by the time midnight on October 16 rolled around.
This was not the first time I had faked myself out, with regard to pinning some hope on a possible resolution of ephemeral razamataz. There have been at least three other times in the past seven years in which I took a healthy ‘wait and see’ approach that turned into a “CMON CMON CMON BE THE BIG THING OR AT LEAST A BIG THING” nailbiter. I don’t know that it can be any other way realistically, until I’m a lot more content in my own skin in whatever circumstances any given day brings. But in each instance of massive let-down, I did some serious evaluation of my beliefs and expectations. Had I been justified in expecting anything at all to happen, much less allowing myself to get so wrapped around the axle? This is starting to feel like a dairy from a Jane Austen novel. Bottom line: after there was no apparent Big Thing on October 15, I had many questions for myself and for God. After much explaining and complaining to the Creator, I defined my beliefs back to the basics. “I know that You are real. I know that Jesus is real. I know that the Holy Spirit is real.” Anything more than that was asking for a headache, on that day.
On a lighter note, I began wondering aloud to God what would be the next assignment or opportunity to step, in faith and complete early ignorance, into some crazy adventure. WFPLI had been a treasure hunt of sorts. The Hot Spots resolved last year into an opportunity that I’ll probably detail in the future. 1237 had clearly been a month’s-long reveal of future circumstances. What mysterious opportunity would come next, and what would the earliest breadcrumbs look like? WFPLI started with a silent-yet-audible declaration; the Hot Spots had appeared discretely out of nowhere into my leg, during massive personal crisis; and 1237 and its attendant visions had gradually materialized out of a season of radical surrender. Nothing about the earliest quiet rumblings of those three journeys had hinted at where they would eventually lead. Any offbeat circumstance could be the signal of something new. Not worth losing any sleep over it; but it was entertaining to wonder about what might be next.
At the same time, I was still taking a backward glance at 1237. My take on the thing, as I have detailed in other posts, was that God had told me that Donald Trump would become the Republican nominee this year. I type that with an entirely straight face, with not a hint of irony. And for the record I don’t think Satan or his underlings can accurately tell anything about the future. They are created beings and are thus limited in time if not space. They are spirits and can do things that humans cannot; but I don’t believe they can tell the future. So I choose to believe that it was God doing the telling. Still straight face, still no irony.
What I couldn’t figure out was why God would bother telling me or anyone else that someone was going to be the candidate if He wasn’t going to also confirm that the candidate in question would win the election. I apparently have rigorous demands of the Creator when it comes to telling me secrets about the future. I know He doesn’t owe me or anyone else anything, much less what He’d already given me. But I was stuck at, “Come on, Lord…don’t leave me hangin’!” There had been nothing notable regarding 1237 in my life since I figured out the ridiculous timeline about Trump, 1237, and the visions, a few months ago. Lance Wallnau believes God told him Trump is going to win; so I had taken to half-heartedly thinking of 1237 as Step One in the chain of things to believe; and Wallnau’s vision was Step Two. But I wasn’t even entirely comfortable trusting Wallnau’s vision, because I don’t really even understand what he saw. I document my own madness in great detail, specifically so that skeptical people like me will understand where I’m coming from, even if they disagree with my interpretations. I’d seen no like details about the Wallnau vision. So I had trouble believing in it completely.
In addition to the lack of divine confirmation, there was the material reality that seemed to completely contradict any revelation that Trump would win. No matter what Wikileaks, Project Veritas, or the FBI revealed about his opposition, popular polls (assuming they are trustworthy) had generally shown no commensurate move in Trump’s direction. The opinion-shaping entities in mainstream media by and large were refusing to do much more than take every opportunity to minimize Trump’s support and magnify his every burp, real and imagined, even from years past. Much of social media were clearly seeing through the charade; but how many voting-aged humans were getting their information only from sources who had a vested interest in seeing Trump defeated? By the time I got into my car to go vote two weeks early, there were already reports from around the nation of voting machines switching Republican votes for Democrat. How many vote switches had gone and would go unnoticed? It’s no stretch to say that circumstances indicated that a Trump victory was impossible. Which took me back the question of the day: why would be God bother telling me or anyone DJT was going to be the candidate, if he was only going to lose the race?
I started my car and abruptly remembered that God is in the business of ‘impossible’. Gideon’s 300 came to mind. If God could use three hundred guys with torches and clay pots to route many thousands of Midianites, he could get anyone He wanted into the Oval Office, and against any opposition that humans might devise. Time would tell.
I drove over to the church that is most convenient for early voting. The parking lot was jammed. The voting crowd for the primaries earlier this year had been significant; but this crowd for the general election was massive. I found a parking place and went inside. The line of people waiting to vote was out the door of the room where the actual voting happened. It was a little surreal to look at all those people joining the ranks of already-famous record breaking early voter turnout. If I’d ever believed that God was telling people in advance who was going to win the presidential race, that belief felt a smidge insignificant in the face of actual voting humans and their magical electronic voting machines. Collision of two worlds, for sure. I joined the line and waited. I decided for the umpteen-millionth time that life is weird, and I glanced down at my watch.
I did the requisite double- and triple-take and adjusted my watch to make sure there wasn’t a glare off the windows next to me. No confusion. 12:37. Hokay…so. I stayed in line and voted, with a bit more peace about the process than I’d had when I first walked through the door.
While I was finishing up the preceding writing, the political landscape was in the second day of fallout from FBI Director Comey’s letter to congress. The past few weeks have been an undeniable crescendo of revelation, chaos, and gnashing of teeth. There’s nothing right now to indicate things are going to calm down any time soon. If the entire campaign season, starting last year, has been off-the-charts crazy, the crazy kicked into an even higher gear a few weeks ago. Right about October 15. Last New Years Eve I dreamed that I was complaining to my pastor that I was ready to go, to move on from where we were. Dream Him told me: “We have to make sure everyone is as ready as possible. You have until October 15.” In light of what has happened since October 15, I now believe it’s possible that the dream was a prophetic statement regarding preparation of things way beyond my personal experience. Like 1237 turned out to be. And it’s always possible that the dream had no real-world significance at all.