Milestone member Scott Stewart had two radically different experiences the last two years during Prepare. He’s shared his story as an encouragement for us to go “all in” for Prepare 2017.
“Prepare 2017 starts tonight and the 3-day fast looms large in my thoughts.
I’m reminded of the difference in my experience between Prepare 2015, which was amazing, and last year’s Prepare, when I was half-hearted in my participation. God is always faithful, but the contrast in those two years clearly show me the difference in being a good steward of opportunities to hear from God. In 2016, I can’t help but wonder what could have been, had I just leaned into His presence like I had in 2015.
During Prepare 2015, my wife and I were incredibly focused. We were praying in earnest to have a child. We had been trying to get pregnant for over a year and gone to multiple doctors. Nothing was happening.
With tears in our eyes, we pinned a prayer request to the prayer wall on Monday evening of Prepare. We fasted. We prayed. We came back on Tuesday, and Pastor Jeff happened to pull our card from the wall to pray over in service. We cried and cried through that prayer, but our faith grew. My faith grew daily as I spent time in His word and prayed through my hunger. Prepare ended and we just knew that our prayer would be answered.
A week passed, life happened, yet we knew God was faithful. Soon the weeks started piling up, and we started to slip back into that familiar feeling of helplessness, until one early morning. That morning I heard from God in a way I’ve only experienced a few times in my life. He asked me, “Do you want to keep on trying to do this on your own, or do you want me to take care of it?!” Immediately tears filled my eyes, and all I could say was, “God, it’s yours. It’s yours.”
The rest of that day was an ordinary day. That is, until I got home that evening. There was a very special announcement waiting for me… WE WERE PREGNANT!
Contrast that to Prepare 2016. I was half-hearted in my involvement and didn’t hear from God in the same way. I could easily blame that on the fact that I had a 3-month old baby who didn’t sleep well, but that’s not what caused it.
I looked at my life and I looked at relationship with God and said, “You’re good, Scott…no need to go nuts with this…” and I’ve regretted that decision for the past 11 months. Emory, my 14-month-old tenacious, smart, beautiful little girl is a direct product of the power that I found in Prepare 2015. I’m not going to have another half-hearted Prepare. This year I’m all in.
This isn’t about starving myself for 3 days. God isn’t impressed by that. Fasting is about denying myself what I desire to instead take on His desire.
I’m praying for all of us this week as we fast and look towards what God has in store!”
We believe God has great things in store for us as individuals and as a church this year. If you haven’t decided whether to participate in Prepare 2017–we encourage you to take a step of faith. It’s not too late to join us on the journey! When we intentionally set aside time to seek God, something powerful always happens.