You Can’t Get Fat If You Don’t Get Fed

So right about now you are reading this more than likely because the title has caught your attention… and that is ok 🙂 We are to study, pray, seek God and do for others whether that is giving, praying, supporting, etc. You can only go as far as the knowledge you have though…

Imagine being at a new job in a manufacturing company. You can only do as much work as the knowledge your boss has trained you in. Working for the Lord is no different. Your prayers will sound the same unless you learn His knowledge and read. Your spiritual gifts will remain dormant or flatlined if you don’t invest time into understanding them 100%. Your giving will struggle if you don’t have the fullest meaning of God’s abundant love.

You can’t hear the Lord if you don’t know what He sounds like!

You have to make it a point to set aside time to get fat on his word, otherwise you will look like an anorexic christian! lol (I can poke fun because I have been both at one point and time so be nice 🙂

So how do you start doing this? Get an app on your phone, or set your home page for the internet to a daily bible verse. Everyday read the verse and ask yourself how you can apply it to your life or someone else’s life. It’s a great way to begin this journey. Also, set aside 15 minutes in the morning to pray/worship. This is the best way to begin your day anyways. At first it is going to seem like a task, that you are doing it out of requirement; but, if you hold on long enough and keep pushing, it will become part of “what you do” and you will begin to enjoy time with God each morning. You will feel naked without it.

Your goal? Get to a point where you feel like you have left something when your Bible is not with you everywhere you go. Get to a point where you crave for your time with God – to hear Him. Start getting fat and when you receive a conformation at a service at church you can then share your food with someone else! It’s pretty awesome if I say so myself 🙂

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.

My Child, The Deliverer

From the title of this blog… you can guess what I’m referring to. Yep! I’m pregnant. While the acknowledgment of me being graced with a child is fabulous, it’s the story of how this all happen that is miraculous. Everyone is taught in church “to have faith”. We go about our daily lives, repeating in our prayer time the same prayer over and over and believe that convincing ourselves is faith. Boy, do we have things backwards. Faith is not repeating a prayer everyday and then sitting back waiting on God to make it happen. It does take initiative on our part. But it takes much more than you would realize. A true step of faith is when you ask for something and then start making everything in your life lining up with what you have prayed.

So our story begins…

My husband and I have been trying for a child since September of last year. Not one pregnancy test was ever positive.  I had secretly prayed to the Lord asking Him to verify our pregnancy whenever it happen – not a pregnancy test. I wanted to be able to tell me child – “listen to how we found out you were going to be born!” After this prayer, 4 different people told me they had had a dream I was pregnant. Someone also told me I would have to have faith with my pregnancy and for some reason (they didn’t know why) but to read the story of Moses… so I read the story of Moses, lol.

This past weekend we visited The Ramp in Hamilton, AL.  On Friday night, Damon Thompson was talking about deliverers in scripture – and how the enemy goes after them before they are even born… before they have a chance to grow into Men of God…  and then he spoke of Moses. It hit me like a ton of bricks. My child was going to be a deliverer! And the faith I had to have was to endure the trials just like Moses… My child would be like Moses.  How exciting and yet nerve-racking at the same time. I was four days late so we were positive we were pregnant. On the fourth day, we took a test. Negative. I just laid in bed asking God – “why?” (this was Sunday).

The next day, I had left a voice-mail for my doctor telling them my sinuses didn’t feel any better and I had already finished my antibiotics… what else could we do? They called me back before we headed to the gym and told me because I had told them we were trying for a baby, they wanted to do a blood test to make sure I wasn’t pregnant – because if I was I would not be able to receive a second round of antibiotics. I thought it was odd that they were calling me in for a blood test – but I had never done this baby thing before so for all I knew it was standard practice. I had also started bleeding (thinking it was a menstrual cycle) so I thought the blood test was completely pointless. So I hung up the phone and off to the gym we went (this was Monday).

While I was at the gym, I was listening to a podcast by Casey Doss (from The Ramp)- he was speaking on faith. He gave the very definition I spoke of up above. He then gave an example. He said, “there was this couple who was trying to have a baby…” Oh my gosh, I wanted to just lose it right there (I was on a treadmill at the gym! lol) The woman was in prayer and asking God why she was not able to conceive. The Lord asked her, “you haven’t built your nursery. Why haven’t you built your nursery?” The woman replied, “but Lord, I’m not pregnant yet.” God in turn replied, “if you ask for a child and believe it then build a nursery.” Long story short, the woman built her nursery and found out she was pregnant. The minute my husband and I got in the car from the gym, I told him we had to build a nursery.

The next morning (a Tuesday) I went in for my  blood test and went to work.

On Wednesday morning, I received a phone call from my doctor who said, “Mrs. Getchell, there is a good reason for your tummy growing. You are pregnant!” I didn’t know how to react! I was overjoyed because we had been trying for so long, scared  because I knew I was bleeding (and had been for 2 straight days like a full menstrual cycle) and so thankful God has acknowledged our step of faith with preparing a nursery. My doctor referred me to an OBGYN who referred me to the ER. After 5 hours at the ER, two sonograms, and 6 viles of blood the doctor in the ER told me I must be experiencing a miscarriage because there was nothing in the sonogram and my blood level for pregnancy was only 19 – that that was extremely, extremely low. The ER referred me for another blood test in two days to recheck my levels because I told the doctor I didn’t believe him. If the level were to go down he said – it was proof I was miscarrying. If the levels increased, because they were so low, I could possibly have an ectopic pregnancy which they would have to terminate. I came into the room where my husband was waiting for me and I told him the news. We both just sat there with a blank look on our faces. How could this be? Looking back – we never shed a tear even at this point. We just told each other we didn’t believe them.

The longer we thought about it the more we knew the ER had to be wrong. God had spoken to us too many times through others visions, dreams, in prayer, even to ourselves… While praying late Wednesday night – God gave me a vision from Lord of the Rings when they are lighting the torches on the tops of mountains. When one torch was lit – it signaled to light the next one, so on and so on… When it reached the end the others would come for help. I immediately knew this meant prayer partners. Each torch lit, was another person or couple praying with us. It was powerful! At 11:30 at night we began making phone calls and sending text messages. Thursday morning my bleeding had halted – but began again that afternoon. My sister prayed with me and had a vision of God standing up for me while handing her His rod. He spoke, “the woman with the issue of blood”. She looked it up and immediately knew the bleeding was not an issue of the baby, but an issue with my own body. In this same story – God stood up for this woman! How amazing is that! The bleeding halted permanently that afternoon. All of Wednesday night and Thursday we prayed, asked others to pray with us because we were believing these doctors were wrong. Science was wrong.

Friday morning approached and my husband said, “I think you should take another pregnancy test.” I did as he requested and it actually showed up positive! That was proof that MY GOD had shined through and brought my levels up! God had confirmed our pregnancy… not science! We went to the doctor, had the second level of blood drawn and will receive the results tomorrow. But I don’t need them 🙂 And the faith I was told I had to have had brought me through the enemy coming against my child. Just imagine, had we taken the doctors word over the Lords – I could have done something detrimental to my child inflicting a lifetime of pain, agony, and illness lasting a lifetime.

UPDATE: The doctor said a ‘healthy pregnancy’ will double every two days in levels. Example, on Wednesday I was at 19. A healthy pregnancy means I needed to be at least at a 38. My results came back… I was at a 60 on Friday! Thank you Jesus!

“For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world,  and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen, were not made of things which are visible” – Hebrews 11:1-2

My Horrible Morning

I woke up this morning excited to go to work because my sister was visiting with my new niece Ms. Isabella Mae Freeman. (I’ll add a picture further down so you can see how adorable she is!) I had my bags in hand, walked out the front door, clicked the “unlock” button on my key fob… nothing. I thought “oh well, battery must be dead.” I went inside and grabbed my spare key fob, hit “unlock”… nothing. I knew I had a problem What are the odds of BOTH batteries going dead at the same time?! Not to mention, one had just been changed 4 months ago.

The way my jeep operates is when you hit lock on the key fob or manually within the jeep, my alarm arms. Unlocking it manually doesn’t disarm the alarm. Only the key fob does. I knew what I was facing (this happen in December when my fob really did have a dead battery and we found out the hard way in The Depot parking lot in downtown Rockmart! lol) I unlocked the jeep manually – off the alarm goes. LOUD LOUD LOUD! No one would ever dare steal my jeep! I pop the hood, take the socket/wrench (that my husband so nicely walked me through because I’m clueless on cars!) and began disassembling the negative battery terminal. No big deal… I’ll leave them off for a minute – put them back on and BAM! It will be fixed.

Not quite.

I called my brother-in-law (at 7am! sorry!) and asked him exactly what did he do when it happen the first time. (He was at The Depot with me that night and tended to my jeep among 4 other men who stood around watching, haha, quite funny looking back!) He told me to take the positive off and let it sit a minute. Ok, did that… Put the terminals back on and BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! off the alarm goes. At this point I can see my neighbors peeking through doors and blinds because it’s 7am and I’m waking them all up!!!

I called a Dodge Dealer and did everything they told me to do. Nothing. I looked in my manual for some sort of supernatural clue on what to do. Nothing. I finally called into work (it’s 7:40 by this point) and tell them what happen and I wouldn’t be in today. I go inside and just start sobbing. Thoughts of, “what’s wrong with it?” “how much is this going to cost?” start swelling in my head. After some research – many people had reported their key fobs needing to be replaced. Awesome! It’s just a key issue then! Not the $600 (price of part only) modulator in my alarm system! I called to check on a price of the keys. ONE KEY = $150 + $50 charge to program it to my jeep. On top of that… the jeep has to be at the dealership for this to happen. (Not happening, lol). After the shock wore off, I began to sob again. What was I going to do? How would we afford it?

You have to understand that mentally, it’s been a hard week for me because our dog – Cassanova – hasn’t been doing well. His prednisone dose had to be increased this week and you can tell he is uncomfortable at times. Not to mention his difficulty in breathing is extremely apparent in his snoring and wheezing. Emotionally, I had had enough.

I had turned the radio on for Cassanova because I had found a ride to work and I leave the radio on for him. I began putting some make up on using the mirror in our dining room. I looked myself in the mirror and thought to myself – “You have a choice in how you deal with this. God has always provided EVERYTHING ever needed both physically and financially. He will provide a solution or he will provide the money to fix it.” I decided to take some time and spend it with Cassanova since he was being needy. As I laid on the floor petting Cassanova over and over again Chris Tomlin‘s new song came on. The lyrics were talking about God as our healer. How ironic right? I’m petting my dog who has cancer and lyrics are speaking of our Healer! Petting Cassanova with me left arm I just raised my right arm up as much as I could, shut my eyes and meditated on God. I thanked Him for everything I could think of. The song that came on after it was a song by Mandisa. She was singing about how everything we go through only makes us stronger and it’s all for a purpose. Again! I start sobbing. The song finished and I had this overwhelming feeling to go try the jeep again. (Those feelings are God speaking to you!) So I did. And it worked! Both key fobs were working, I was able to reset the alarm and drive my car again.

Absolutely bizarre.

Or is it?

I think God has a sense of humor and does things where no one can question who “took care of the problem”. In this case – it’s LITERALLY a God thing.

Galatians 3:5 (Msg)
Answer this question: Does the God who lavishly provides you with his own presence, his Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, does he do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or because you trust him to do them in you? Don’t these things happen among you just as they happened with Abraham? He believed God, and that act of belief was turned into a life that was right with God.

My adorable niece!