I’m Afraid, I Put My Trust In You

Today, I am surprised at how quickly this has overtaken me. Throughout the day, my fear level has increased exponentially. In the past few weeks, I have not eaten well by any means. Not eating cake and ice cream every day but enjoying that cake or ice cream every other day (in some shape, form, or fashion). What it has done to me – I have to say – even I am shocked to see because I have always been able to maintain my weight relatively easy. My midsection is not as thinned out as it could be or has been. When I can grip hand fulls of my stomach area I know I have a problem. My brain has been tossing the thoughts I have been having over and over again in my own head. This feeling of not being able to get this weight off makes me want to shut down and cry. Looking at myself in the mirror makes me ashamed that I allowed myself to get here. It makes me depressed. The thought of dealing with food scares me because (1) I’m such a picky eater so my options are limited and (2) it overwhelms me to count calories and place it under a microscope. I have no idea what I weigh because I refuse to step on a scale. That number is bondage for me in the worst way.

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3

I do know the best way to overcome things is to put it out in the open and not allowing it be kept a secret {Those Deep Dark Secrets and Freedom From My Secret}. By doing that, the secret sin I once struggled with cannot come back quite as easily. My mind swarms with thoughts of trying to figure out how I can work some run time in – or how can I eat less and not stress my self out. How do I eat more vegetables when I don’t like vegetables? For those of you who don’t struggle with things like this – I know it sounds stupid and insane. For those of you who have or do – you get it.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Here’s to me being candid with my blogging world and telling you I am struggling. Right now, I would love nothing more than to go to the gym and at least allow myself to feel good in those moments about myself and my body.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

No one is immune to this sort of thing. It doesn’t discriminate by gender, race, or age. It comes with open arms to everyone who will welcome it. Instead of going to the gym, I need to go to my prayer closet. Only there can I get this under control and take the healthy and necessary steps to become happy with myself again and remove all of these negative thoughts. Even as I type this, I can hear a whisper in my ear saying, “if you share this, it’s going to come back to bite you.” I declare that voice to leave me alone in the name of Jesus! I have not eaten well, okay, get it under control. My consequence for eating so freely is weight I now need to lose – but I can’t allow it to condemn me and slide me back into my old ways. I can’t starve myself, I can’t punish myself. I just can’t.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

I can do this. I can regain control by giving my control to God.

Jade Getchell Signature

A True Confession

I realized I have not had a really intimate confession in a while. This week seems to be a perfect time to have one. I’m struggling. Bad. I am 113, maybe 115 on some days, and mentally I feel like I weigh 175. The anguish and frustration, the tears of disappointment in myself, the talking to myself and shaming myself is sometimes too much to handle. Constantly grabbing my stomach, my thighs, the back of my arms, uh. It’s awful. I haven’t experienced this in a long time. I’m wise enough to know when the Lord is handing out blessings – the devil is there to try to take the spotlight. But this time, it’s much harder. In the past week, I have noticed myself “punishing” myself with exercise. My body feels full of water weight which makes things worse. I limit what I eat to counter balance how I feel and how I look. And then, I have to take a deep breath and say, “Brittany, it’s just a game. Stop playing it.”

But it’s hard. How do you stop playing a game you don’t even realize you are playing most of the time?

Some may think this image is too graphic – but people are really suffering like this. It’s real, by pretending to not see it, it doesn’t go away.

I called someone who is a prayer partner with me and immediately asked for prayer but this time it was different. Normally, in a moment like this, after I ask for additional prayer it lightens. It hasn’t. The thoughts of just starving myself, that it would be so much easier, that it “feels” better to have an empty stomach just torment me. What I do realize, is as these blessings increase and as things I have moving in my life progress to higher places – these trials are only going to get stronger. And I have to be ready. I’m not perfect by any means but I have to try to eliminate these thoughts the minute they enter in my head. Some battles are easier than others, which is why we should never judge someone’s individual struggles. What is easy for us, may not be easy for someone else. What is easy for someone else, may not be easy for us. This one isn’t easy for me. I’m in this over emotional place and as usual feel alone in it. No one around me knows what this feels like (at least no one has told me this) so I would imagine no one knows how to react to this. And why I don’t talk about it.

When I look in the mirror right now I see a body that is not small enough, with too much flab. But I have to remember this is not the case. What I am seeing is false. It’s the devil perverting my view. I have to remember I am beautiful and created in the image of GOD! Who am I to tell God He is ugly? Because that is exactly what I am doing when my body isn’t good enough for me. This too shall pass. Pain my endure through my night (or my days) but joy will come in the morning. I WILL overcome and wake up tomorrow morning with a fresh view-point. Wow, Blogging is sometimes so therapeutic! lol… 🙂 Maybe that’s why they say ‘talk to  someone’. You work things out in your mind as it comes out of your mouth.

Psalm 30:5 “…Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.”

My Personal Testimony

If you want it in the short version:

Married secretly at 18. Divorced at 19. Developed a self-image problem at 20. Gained an eating disorder at 21. Found God again at 25. Married my best friend at 26. Healed at 27. A new woman at 28.

If you want the long version:

I was a pretty good kid growing up. Always had fantastic grades, was always in extra curricular activities and I had friends. I was always a leader not a follower except when it came to boys. I fell for my high school sweetheart as many teenage girls do. In the beginning things were “lovey dovey” and then we grew apart – breaking up and getting back together every 2 weeks. Jealousy. Ridiculous fights. Typical high school stuff. When I turned 18 years old I told my mom at 8:00am on a Monday morning (and my dad at 5:30pm that night) I was moving to Fort Bragg, NC with him. I was out the door by 6pm and headed to NC. After living there about a month got married. A beautiful, gorgeous… courthouse wedding standing in front of a piece of glass repeating vows.  No one knew. Not my parents, my sisters, friends, not a single soul except our two witnesses. It was downhill because it never started up hill. After 4 months the marriage was over and on to divorce. I began to pray for God to allow him to officially ask for the divorce if I had made a huge error – and if we were supposed to be married let us work it out. I felt like I had screwed up and didn’t want to again. Eventually, he did ask for the divorce. I had gained my first step of faith in trusting God. After 6 months of prayer he had answered it. Married in July and divorced by the following August was a long time to deal with something this emotional in complete silence. I broke my silence and told my parents a few months before that August. At 18/19 years old I had run away, gotten married, retained a divorce lawyer and was fighting for myself to hold things together… I kept asking myself why didn’t it work? I had failed at marriage and God was never going to forgive me.

Looking back, I was looking for love in all the wrong places. I equated sex as love. I thought a tangible touch of skin to skin, a kiss, an “I love you” was going to fill every void I had. But it didn’t. The sexual attraction ran out. So did the “love”. The side effects of this time in my life were long-suffering. Poor decisions make for horrible consequences. A sign of true love is not constantly checking up on each other – but instead trusting one another. True love is so much more than Hollywood rates it to be.

With the divorce final, I decided to take a year and not date anyone. I decided I was going to make myself  over both physically and mentally. I started exercising – normally 3 or 4 sessions of 30-45 minutes on a treadmill. Nothing over the top. What I didn’t realize… I was not eating – I had lost my appetite. After 4 months I was eating a piece of toast a day and drinking coffee. That’s it. I was wearing size 1 jeans, C-Cup bras, and small shirts. “I must be doing something right!” I thought to myself. I loved the way I felt… so I kept doing it. Others were telling me how good I looked too! It probably took 8 or 9 months but eventually I went past the “looking good” point. I had sunken cheek bones, collar bones sticking out, pale skin and loss of hair. I would shower and while shampooing, clumps of hair would be falling out. I remember sitting in the shower floor crying because I was losing my hair.  Anyone who knows me well enough knows I take pride in how I look as far as wearing makeup, taking time to do my hair, etc. I had bald spots on my scalp where no hair was. It was so thin… It was horrible. I hate even writing this right now because of the memories it brings up. I had no muscle, skin that just hung – felt like my skin had no elasticity.

Looking back, I was trying to fill myself up with looking to a certain standard to fit in. To be popular. To look like certain girls. I became obsessed with how I looked to fulfill a void of some kind. I kept trying and trying but even when I got super skinny – it didn’t gain me friends, popularity or a sense of fulfillment. It only gained me pity.

I finally admitted to having an eating disorder and starving myself. I was very blessed because I had family who were pushing me to open my eyes to having this problem so I was never so bad to get hospitalized or anything like that. I began eating again and WOAH! did I suffer consequences from this. Reversing the eating disorder, I began to eat. Weight slowly came back on – but as it came back on I tried to maintain it by exercising. What began as 3-5 sessions of 30-45 minutes each turned into 5 days a week, at least 1 – 1.5 hours at the gym. I fit the gym in above everything else, even getting up at 5am every morning because I just had to fit it in. I pushed off friends, family, my boyfriend, didn’t matter… all that mattered was my workout. I began to punish myself for eating.If I ate fast food, I had to workout. If I ate cake, I had to do an extra 20 minutes. If I ate cookies, I needed to do some extra abs. The process was devastating to my mind and took its toll.

Looking back, all I did was replace one issue with another. I didn’t fill myself up with what I should have. I didn’t love myself at all.

In 2003, I started dating a guy named Shane. He was fabulously sexy, sweet, went to church, talented, had the cool car, was popular… everything you could ask for. In 2009, he proposed to me and in September of the same year we were married. God had sent me someone who was divinely set aside for me. God wasn’t mad at me for my former mistakes but instead forgave me for them and still blessed me with a lifelong husband. Not only did he bless me with a husband but someone who would become my best friend. There is no better feeling than knowing you are with the one person God set aside for you – and you only find this person when you are living right. Otherwise you fall into what your flesh likes – not necessarily what God has in store for you.

While I had a great life – fabulous husband, a house, an SUV, and all the trimmings, in my eyes I still looked horrible.  Something was still missing. I would look in the mirror and see abs that were coming in, but a butt that looked massive. Or biceps that were defining but legs that were three times the size they should be. My eyes saw things that were not there. I struggled internally with this for quite some time. No one knew except my family and among them, only those who picked up on it. I was a professional at plastering the “everything is great” face.

In 2010, while at church getting ready for drama practice, my sister pulled me into “the loft” (the youth room). When I walked in, these kids were praying, dancing, shouting and surrendering their all to God. I was in a horrible mood as it was and I didn’t want to be there. Slowly, I could feel the Holy Spirit taking hold of me. My stomach was burning and I had this level of anxiety in me that was indescribable. I felt like I just wanted to scream. Before I knew it, I was on the floor crying. One young lady  named Kandace reached down and touched my stomach and began praying for me. She was saying things no one else knew about! Praying for me  to be delivered of this wretched issue and move on. I was stunned. How did she know? How did this 18-year-old girl know what I was doing in the dark? I’ll tell you how… the Lord. I fell to the floor and began shouting the words, “I don’t want this anymore! I don’t want this anymore!” Before I knew it I shouted, “I don’t want this eating disorder anymore!” It was over. The building pressure in my stomach was gone. My anxiety was gone. I went home and ate a doughnut for the first time without remorse. God had delivered me from my issue!

Today, I see that being so focused on my weight, or my image means I’m not focused enough on my God. If I have time to dwell and worry about something then I am not spending enough time focusing on Him – because if I were I would know there is no reason to fear the unknown. My God delivered my body and mind from what I now know was body dysmorphia (also known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder). For me, it’s like an alcoholic. Everyday is a choice to make the right decisions. To choose to eat and not over exercise. I am one choice away from being back where I was. Everyday is another day I get to thank the Lord for hand picking me for Himself, carrying me in my moments of destruction and never giving up on me – and still choosing to bless me! After 7 years of destruction to my body – He was my new body. Today, I also have a growing relationship with my husband and together we are growing our relationship with God. Reading together, taking steps of faith together and praying with each other. I have a man who understands me, helps me, supports me and my dreams, and is the hardest worker I know. What more could I ask for? On August 17, 2011 I found out I was pregnant. A gift from God I never would have been able to receive had I continued a destructive path on destroying my body. How’s that for miracles?!

God is the author of all that I do. Nothing is better than to hear God tell you, “I love you.” I have heard Him first hand. It’s amazing.

Go ahead… tell God He is ugly.

Normally, I blog because I feel like I have something heavy on my heart to say. Not today. Today is more or less just a day to vent. I’m struggling. Bad. A few months ago I was delivered from a tightly woven game in my head with my weight and my self-image. For a while I have done fantastic. Not really thinking about it – just living life, exercising for the right reasons and focusing all my efforts on things that are positive. The last few days has been such a battle with myself. I look in the mirror and I’m seeing something I hate. Something that is disgusting and ugly. I realized this morning that I have punished myself the last two days in the gym. Yesterday – 422 calories burned. The amount is not the bad part — because there are things out there that genuinely burn that many calories. I made myself stay for over an hour to do it against my will. Today? I made myself do 20 minutes of cardio before classes even started. Had a break from teaching and I found myself back on the cardio machine for another 20 minutes. I had thought about not blogging this at all – but that would be even more dangerous for myself. When I initially went through this fight I didn’t want to tell anyone because in my head it was a way of “keeping my weight down – a way of checking myself”. I opened up the browser to begin typing and actually had the thought of “if I tell someone they will get on to me for exercising”. But that is just what satan wants from us. He wants to get inside our heads and stir up trouble… He wants to pervert how we feel about ourselves or others… What people say or how you think… He wants to turn friendships against each other, families at war with each other and put churches into territory wars. Is it REALLY necessary? Absolutely not! I stood in front of the mirror and commanded “IN THE  NAME OF JESUS I COMMAND YOU SATAN TO LEAVE! YOU HAVE NO PLACE IN MY LIFE, MY THOUGHTS, MY MIND OR MY HEART.” To some of you – you are thinking this is a drastic measure but for me it is not. It’s what I have to do. If you don’t agree with me then you have never walked in my shoes. This will not be the last time I have to battle something like this. Joyce Meyer says DAILY you will take captive the thoughts in your mind and speak positive words in place of them. My body is not perfect. My husband seems to be happy and that is all that matters. He is the only person I worry about whether or not I please. So for you girls out there reading this right now… STOP trying to physically please someone else because to them you are ONLY EYE CANDY. Boys if you happen to be reading this stop expecting a girl to look like the celebrities and famous stars you think are “so hot”. Encourage them to be modest and okay with themselves. Anyone can look that good with a personal trainer, nutritionist, Botox and cosmetic surgery. God created us in HIS image… so you feel like telling God that He is ugly? Not thin enough? Go ahead… because when you say that about yourself you are saying it about God. Talk about a slap in the face. I know most of you reading this know me – but for those who do and those who don’t – you can always reach out if you need someone to talk to. EVERYONE whether it’s the president, your parents, friends, a pastor, a homeless person or a child —  needs someone to talk to. My email is jade@jadegetchell.com if you ever need that.

I have people who support me in this battle I thought was behind me. I should have prepared myself more – so here it goes – more preparation needed. I will never be strong enough on my own, but with my LORD I will ALWAYS defeat satan and his demons.

Psalm 94:18
When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O LORD, supported me.


P.S. (Thanks to those who have helped me in this and who will continue to help me. You know who you are. Your love and support is always needed and appreciated. xoxo)