I have always struggled with fasting. It is very hard for me to connect going without food to getting divine assistance. (Not to mention that I plain just love food!) I went for a long time without fasting due to pregnancies, nursing and health issues. But over the last few months, I have known that my excuses have run out and I need to get in gear. It has gone about the same as usual. I fast, always with a purpose (for who can do it without a purpose?), and I never quite feel that I have had any influence.
Well this month was a little different. Our Relief Society Presidency asked us to fast for a sister in the ward who has been experiencing chronic and yet undiagnosed health problems. She is younger than I, with two school-aged children. I have talked to her and know a little about her problems, and I really sympathize with her, because one of her issues is severe insomnia, something that I am all too familiar with.
As I began my fast, I decided to just lay it all on the table with the Heavenly Father. I told him of my struggles with fasting and that I nevertheless really wanted to help this sister. We were asked to pray for healing and appropriate medical treatment, but I decided to add to that a request for just one night of uninterrupted sleep.
When I saw this dear sister on Sunday morning, I asked how she was feeling. She broke down in tears at the apparent hopelessness of her situation. I assured her that we were praying and fasting for her, and I told her that I added in a prayer for a single night's sleep. She smiled and told me that she slept really well the night before—that would be the night of my fast.
I don't know to what extent that was an answer to her prayers, but I have no doubt that Heavenly Father used this small request to strengthen my testimony of fasting. I am continually amazed at all of the tools that Heavenly Father has given us to get through our journey on this earth. I am so grateful for the fulness of the gospel.