{Story1} What God said to me about my eating disorder

Through the month of March, we’re going to do a series called “This is my story, this is my song.” There’s personal journeys of hope, victory, courage, and redemption that you need to hear! I know, I know, it’s still a few days before March, but I can’t wait to get started!

I (Heather) want to introduce you to someone that’s incredibly precious to me. I met her when she was 15 years old (11 years ago!) I had been invited to her church for the weekend, to be among various teachers with the purpose of pouring into a group of teen girls for 3 days. I instantly was drawn to this young lady. We stayed in contact and as the years grew, so did our friendship. It began as mentor/mentee and now I call her friend. Jess loves Jesus. There’s no doubt about that. I’ve always loved seeing Him through her eyes, but for so long these glimpses of beauty would flicker in and out as I could see a sadness roll in. She was trapped. She wanted to be strong enough to kick her battle with an eating disorder. But she wasn’t.

I’m excited for her to share some of her journey with you today. I’ve been on the sideline, as I’ve witnessed this war raging to ruin her. I’ve watched as she’s blossomed into a strong, independent, expressive, and brave young woman. AND… she’s a rapper! {After you read her story, watch her blow up the mic, yo!}

There’s so much I want to say, but I’m going to let HER tell you. So, without further ado… I introduce you to Jess Guemmer. This is Jess’ story of victory.


by Jess Guemmer

On February 25, 2014, I celebrated one full year of freedom from an eating disorder. I can honestly say I never thought those words would come out of my mouth.

I am a Christian. Christians aren’t supposed to struggle with eating disorders are they? Isn’t that saying that He isn’t enough? That He isn’t all satisfying?

But the truth is, bondage is all I’ve known. For ten years, an eating disorder was my best friend. It was my fix, keeping my inner pain at a minimum. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but I didn’t feel joy at all… I couldn’t—but I also didn’t hurt. The trade-off felt worth it. I was convinced that to walk a joy-less life was far better than dealing with the pain that was at the core of my soul.

After my husband and I moved to St. Louis in May 2012, we quickly got involved with a local church. We made friends: knowing others and being known. Those we were doing life with, began inquiring about us… about me, and it was soon brought to my attention that the way I had been living and wrestling, wasn’t normal, and I needed to seek help. After much resistance and the swallowing of my pride, I finally began therapy, initially treating my eating disorder.

I spent the next nine months doing some intense counseling, much of it geared towards my issues with food and addiction to exercise. However, as my time in counseling progressed, God revealed to me that this eating disorder wasn’t really the root issue. Like an onion, He began peeling back the layers of my heart, working towards the core of my self-protection and self-harm. It was a painful, but a healing journey as I walked through the darkest times of my life, to date.

I remember sitting in the middle of worship on February 20 of last year still wrestling with the Lord. Lots of healing had begun, but my ambivalence with God was still present. I had struggled for nine years to see the victory and freedom that God’s Word promised. I had spent countless days, weeks, and months trying to fix my issues, only to come out angrier on the other side. And in that moment, the word “surrender” flooded my mind.


It seemed so cliché to me. I was a Christ-following-Bible-study-leading gal, who had shared the Gospel with others, who knew Scripture more than the average person! I knew all of the right answers, dang it! And… the fact was, I wanted to surrender. I just didn’t know how.

I told Him, “God, I want to surrender this, but what if I say that I surrender and nothing changes? Then what? I don’t trust You will come through.”

And God,

in His great love for me,

so gently welcomed my doubts and my lack of faith.

His voice, so powerfully responded, “Jess, You’re not scared to say you surrender because you don’t think I’ll come through; you’re scared to say you surrender because you know I WILL come through and then you will have to give up what you’ve been holding on to for so long.”

I felt like the breath was taken out of me in that moment. I felt frozen—found out. But His words ushered in such clarity. My hang-up wasn’t my mistrust in Jesus, it was my fear to un-clamp my hands and let go of my “friend,” my comfort, the pain-minimizer, the control… my sin.


Three days later, I was sitting on the shore of a beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The vastness of the Atlantic Ocean and the noise of the water crashing into the shore caused my heart to race, as this euphoric feeling washed over me. The same dialogue began with the Lord about surrender. I echoed my same objections and doubts, and God, in His patience and persistence, responded yet again to His child.

I had a visual come to mind that day. I believe, surrender is a picture of one’s hands held out, offering everything to Jesus. But I had been living with one hand held out to Jesus, wanting to follow Him, and one hand held behind my back, still wanting to do life my way.

That day, on February 25, 2013, I sat on the shore of the Atlantic, held both of my hands out to Jesus and said, “Here I am.” I let the waves wash over me and asked God to make me new. I remember saying that I had no idea what my life would look like from that moment on, but I wasn’t going to hang on to my false sense of control anymore. I wanted God to take the reigns… and He did.


One year later, I celebrated with my closest friends and my husband. God has done as He promised.

He reached into the pit and pulled me out.

He has loosened the grip that I had with an eating disorder.

He is redefining my perception of myself.

He is giving me balance and victory with food and exercise.

And… He has given me life.

I stand today as a conqueror. I still fight the battle, but my trust in Jesus has grown. I am no longer a slave to sin!

I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:1-3