How I ditched the Jumper (Sort of)

In my first post, I explained how I came to start the whole “denim jumper” lifestyle. This lifestyle entails so much more than just wearing a denim jumper cause you like them. It is the philosophy that causes one to take the wearing of the jumper (or being dresses/skirts only) with grave seriousness in thinking that they are pleasing God. And many other ideals of characterer…. besides wearing only dresses.

In my first post I wrote about how I was first bewitched to begin this lifestyle.

Galatians 3:1

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

In this post, I will attempt to write a short synopsis of the events that led me to ditch the jumper….with my faith in Jesus Christ intact. In fact, it is my faith in Christ which has  made me dump the jumper.

perhaps some of my acquaintances and friends from the “old days” will simply not understand this concept. That it was faith in Jesus that caused me to ditch this “godly spiritual” lifestyle. In fact, I have heard quoted to me in debate “those who cry against legalism the most, like to dabble with lasciviousness

What I am about to embark on here is very sensitive for me. I had this post typed up for a while. I am sort of scared to publish it. This is going out on the world-wide web and  chances are, people who actually know me might read this. Not many that know me, know this part about me. I tried to keep it secret for so long when I was going through it. I am not ashamed that this is what took place. What happened, happened. And God used it for good.

But I fear that there will be those that I know, who read this and make unfair assumptions, and judgments. What I am about to write is the darkest of darkest points in my life. And I think my fear is a legitimate fear. The reason being, is that when I have attempted to share a little bit of my story with people who know me, many have said a typical trite “bible” remark in response. No one seems to listen, cause they already have the answer. And there is the risk of writing this out and being totally misunderstood.

But the podcast tonight on ThatMom, with Hillary, gave me the bravery to post this. So with much fear and trembling, I share my darkest day.

My morning began like all mornings. Dreading to have to wake up yet again. Dreading to be a mother. Dreading to be a wife. I was completely (for lack of a better term) crappy at it.  I was a crappy wife. I was a crappy mother. I was a crappy daughter, I was a crappy friend. Heck, I didn’t even have friend’s I was so crappy.

I got up, because I had to. I fixed my kids breakfast and then put them in front of PBS to go and “seek the Lord”. I was begging Him to make the pain stop. If I was a real Christian I wouldn’t be so depressed. I would be joyful, and happy, and not such a crappy person.

Since I was in the bathroom, “studying” my Bible, I glanced at myself in the mirror. Not only was I a crappy person on the inside, I was an ugly person on the outside. Dark circles under my eyes, bad breath, thin hair that looked like a rat-tail sat on top of my scalp.

What did I have to offer to my family? What did I have to offer to my husband? If I went away their lives would be so much better. If they didn’t have me to deal with, they would be free to enjoy their lives. I was a burden to my husband, to my children.  My husband deserved a better wife. My children deserved a better mother.

I began to fantasize, as I looked into the mirror. I fantasized a better woman for my family. I knew a beautiful young widow with little children that needed a husband. And she was an excellent mother. Unlike me.

If I left… if I ran away… the shame would be on me. Not my husband nor my children. And if I ran away, my husband would have a chance at true happiness with a woman who would take better care of him and his children.

You, see I couldn’t kill myself, even though I despised life. I couldn’t, because I wasn’t sure if I was truly saved. I would risk the chance of going to Hell. So I couldn’t do that.

But…. if If I did run away, I could live life trying to figure out this God thing, and find the way to be truly saved. And hopefully, before the end of my life, God would make it all clear to me.

So running away made sense to me. I couldn’t go on treating my family the way I was treating them. I was selfish, and I had been told that in so little words by someone who I went to for counsel. I honestly did try hard to stop being selfish, but the pain, the depression, the panic attacks would not go away. No matter what I did. Diet, exercise, mineral supplements, vitamines, reading my bible more, praying more, serving God more. Forcing myself to be what I ought to be…left me feeling more empty. More hopeless.

The only thing that made sense to me was to run away. It seemed, at the time, the most unselfish thing I could do.

Of course I didn’t really want to run away. It pained my heart deeply the more I thought about it. It made me sob tears of bitter agony. Did it have to come to this? Leaving those that I loved? I loved my kids and my husband, I truly did.

But that love was so twisted by lies that it made me think I wasn’t good enough for them. And because I thought I wasn’t good enough for them, that love in me for them, to stop the pain I was causing them, drove me to think the unthinkable. Runaway.

Not because I didn’t want my children. Not because I didn’t want to be their mother. Not because I didn’t want to take care of them and raise them. Not because I hated my husband.

In fact, it was my dream of dreams to be a wife and a mommy since my earliest memory. My husband endured a lot from me while I was depressed. To this day, my heart aches when I think of the pain he experienced while I was in the darkest of moments. Living with a depressed person is not a pleasant experience for anyone!

I was tempted to run, because I thought I was so undone, filthy, and nasty, that they, my family, deserved someone better than me.

I figured out a place I could go. I could go live with a friend whose life was more messed up than mine. We could be messed up together.

And the shame would be on me. Not my husband. People would take pity on him, and help him. He was young enough to make a new life. He was a good man. And my children were very young, they would be barely old enough to remember me.

This fantasy was real, and a very huge temptation. Thankfully, it only lasted a few minutes. Something shook me “awake”. Something told me, even though if felt like my husband might seem relieved of the burden of “me”, it would only make his burden worse. My oldest child would remember. And what if I did get my life figured out? Would she want anything to do with me, when she was older? Would any of my kids?

What about my mother? My mother had been through so much heartache herself. This would probably do her in. I couldn’t do that to her. Because my mother has always believed in me. She nurtured me to be more than this.

So, I dug through the junk drawer to find the number that my friend gave me. (Remember, I didn’t have any friends? 😉  ) It was the number to the “ungodly” psychiatrist.  I figured if I sinned by going to a “shrink”, then that sin would be less than if I deserted my family and ran away.

I picked up the phone and haltingly dialed the number. The receptionist came on, and I said I would like to schedule a first time appointment. She put me on hold. A very nice lady came on, and introduced herself and said she would be the one seeing me at my appointment. She wanted to ask me some questions.

As she asked the questions I began to bawl and cry. She was so sweet and sympathetic towards me. She said, “Hang in there Heather. We will help you. You will enjoy those children that God gave you. There is hope.”

I hung up the phone feeling like I had failed. I was going to see a shrink! I was relying on the World instead of God and my faith.

But something had to give. And I wasn’t going to desert my family.

My mother came along with me to that first appointment…along with another friend (Gee, for someone who didn’t have any friends, I had  more true friends more than I thought). My Friend sat and watched the kids in the doctor’s office, while my mom went into the appointment with me.

I cried through that entire appointment. I told the Lady that my issues had to do with my spirituality. That, I didn’t feel comfortable sharing with her what those exact issues were, because I don’t think she would “get it”.

She didn’t even ask what those issues were. In the end I was prescribed two drugs. One for panic attacks and one for depression.

Mom made me go fill them right away. I started the protocol the next day.

As the weeks passed, and I began to feel my mind clear, it seemed like I could finally began to think again. No more confused swirling thoughts that made my head ache. As this began to happen, I began to be able understand things. Things that were simple concepts to healthy-minded people, but that I, could not, for the life of me, grasp when I was depressed.

This is when I began to try to  study the Word of God for myself. To evaluate and re-evaluate a lot of things, that I once believed were “gospel truth”. Those things I found out were based in legalistic barf.

To make an already long story short, the above is what led to me ditching the jumpers. I did a study with the Bible about clothing. Instead of listening to some preacher, teacher, and “godly” woman tell me how to dress. I went to the Bible. I found in my Bible, that jeans were not a sin. (GASP!) 😉 In fact, I found out a lot of things in the denim jumper lifestyle, that I thought were deadly sins, really were not at all.

So I went to Kohl’s and bought my first pair of blue jeans. And it sure felt like freedom! And yet in a strange sort of way it felt like rebellion. And I suppose it was. Rebellion against a man-made, works based religion.

Of course there is waaay more to this story than what I gave. I will be writing the “in between” parts in the future posts. And also some “after” this story posts.

But I ask you this. How did that sweet, naive, full of life,innocent, little, 12 year old girl, who desperately wanted to do right, get to the point of wanting to run away from her husband and children?

If that interests you in the slightest, stick around. 😀

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53 Responses to How I ditched the Jumper (Sort of)

  1. frogla says:

    i love your blog! my husband comes from a patriarch cultic background. He has never exited his family so he’s been cult hopping. we’ve been married 12 yrs and have known each other for almost 20. i feel that i have exited from some hold that his family had over me so in some regards i can relate as a participator as well as a bystander. his recent cult he joined was in 07 to an online david koresh like cult. it hasn’t been easy and i love this man so there’s no easy solution. i’m so glad that you are speaking out the truth and freedom that we have in the Lord Jesus!

    • Oh, Frogla! I am sorry your husband is going through such a tough time with this, and you are in the middle. That is how it was with my husband. He knew the truth. He *TRIED* so hard to share it with me, and I just couldn’t see it. 😦

      I will be sharing so much more as time goes on. I wish I had the time to build this blog to be a helpful resource that I hope it grows to be. This has been a burden of mine for a couple of years now.

  2. Lewis says:

    Love what you’re writing so far. I appreciate how genuine it is. Please do keep it coming. Be blessed.

    • Thank you Lewis, I look forward to reading your whole story on your blog as well. I have been reading your most recent posts, but I haven’t had the time to read from the beginning, which I really desire to do.

      I appreciate the man’s perspective on all of this. So you keep writing as well!

  3. Laurie M. says:

    I’m gonna stick around.

  4. Melissa says:

    From someone who was on the side of depression who decided the sin of suicide might be forgiveable and survived, thank you for sharing your story. I recognized myself so much in this I thought I might have written it.

    You are awesome for sharing your story.

    • Oh Melissa ((((hugs))))

      Suicide would of been in my thoughts if I knew for sure where I was going when I died. So for that, I am thankful that I didn’t know, as the pain was so sharp and so dark….it would of been very tempting to end my life.

  5. Erin says:

    This is a wonderful story! Your strength is amazing and it is so great that you took that step to see the psychiatrist! Your children and your husband can now enjoy their mother and wife! Although not part of the “denim jumper” lifestyle, I too had a difficult time taking that first step. And like you, as the fog cleared I began to see what life was really all about! I will be sticking around!

    • Oh, my strength is small indeed Erin….but I have a strong God looking out for me. He was the one that “woke” me up to the truth of what would happen if I had run away…which is what led me to call the psychiatrist.

  6. Esther says:

    Made me cry also. Thank you for being so brave and sharing with everyone. You are so loved.

    • And I love you too Esther! Thanks for reading. You are one of my *true* friends that stuck by me without any judgment. I thank God for you Esther. Real friends are not easy to find. I am finding that out more and more each day. But you are real. ♥

  7. Rachel says:

    *hugs* I am so glad you found freedom and I will definitely be sticking around to hear more!! 🙂

  8. TulipGirl says:

    I was near tears, too. . . I think you’ll find you are speaking for a lot more mothers than you realize. . .

  9. MJB says:

    You bet I’m going to stick around!! God continue to bless you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8-D

  10. Katie Troyer says:

    I am going to stick around. I would love to share this on my Facebook, so all my jumper/skirt friends who are still in the system can read this. But I am out of the system even though I still wear jumper skirts because I don’t like the feel of pants.

    • You want to know what’s funny? I still have to wear loose fitting clothing around my waist due, to a problem from having my babies so close together. (which came from the quiverful mindset) Although I don’t wear dresses much anymore, I do wear, soft leggings and long shirts that could be a dress. And gauchos with no elastic.

      I do wear my jeans though, but I think I am going to have to maternity jeans so they are softer around my tummy.

  11. Grace says:

    Thank you soooo much for your blog!!!! I’m still “stuck” in the denim jumper look. I’m so confused right now in how to figure out what was true in what I was told and what was just taking Scripture out of context.
    Please do continue to post! You may get people who don’t understand but stick with it. You ARE helping a LOT of people!

    • Grace hang in there! Searching for the truth can be such a confusing and trying time! When I started to learn the truth about these things I took *very slow* steps in “coming out”. I think it was a year between the medication and finally buying myself a pair of jeans.

      I still am coming out of legalism… not very many know this story. And I am fearful of my friends that I love dearly that are still “legalistic” will be hurt.

      God knows your confusion, and he isn’t scared by it. He is patient. Let Him teach you. I know how hard it is to read the Bible when you have been in something like this, because you hear so many other voices about certain scriptures.

  12. Tamara Hoyt says:

    Keep writing!

  13. Didi says:

    Thank you. This post was me as well except that I don’t have kids yet, but I had all of those thoughts and fears and reactions as well…

  14. Jennie says:

    I am loving reading your blog! I also used to be a legalistic, jumper wearing Calvinist homeschooler. I kept the homeschooling, but got rid of the rest about 8 years ago. It was (and in some ways still is) a long journey to come out of legalism. There are times I still hear a few of the old messages in my head. But freedom is absolutely wonderful!

    We got out right before our kids became teenagers, and I feel so thankful for that. We know a lot of kids whose parents raised them very legalistically. Most of them turned out rebellious or robotic (meaning they can’t think for themselves). I love my independent-minded, free-thinking, strong-willed children who are now young adults.

    I’m looking forward to hearing more of your story!

  15. Kathleen says:

    I can relate to this account on SO many levels. The denim jumper; the wanting to run away; the thoughts of suicide; the ratty hair, etc. I felt I was rebelling when I got my hair cut spunky short and then I highlighted it (after I left the church). There was quite a process coming away from legalism for me, and I’m still journeying. No lasciviousnous here for me, though. I just love my Jesus Who saved me and showed me His love.
    Forgiving those who’ve taught with authoritarian persuasiveness is the long battle I’m in now. Choosing to love and pray for them, while maintaining my freedom and distance, has been very healing for me. I can’t wait to hear the rest of your account.

  16. Cally Tyrol says:

    Um, did I write this blog post? Because I can relate completely to everything you said. I’ve not been caught up in the “denim jumper” lifestyle for a long time- my worst moments have come after I got out of it- but I understand exactly how you feel. Praise God for giving you the courage to dial that number!

  17. Val says:

    Reading this, I was reminded of my mother, who also suffered from (and still suffers from) depression, among other serious personality disorders. And, I’ll tell you from the perspective of a child living with a mentally ill parent: it *would* have been a favor to your children if you’d left. Trying to grow into a functional adult when your parent has serious mental issues is almost impossible. I can’t even count the number of times as I grew up that I fervently wished that Mother would go away and never come back.

    But, you did them one better than leaving, and you got help. It may have seemed like a weak and selfish act in the moment, but in reality – a reality that I’m sure you see now – it was the most selfless and strong example to set. To say, “I can’t do this. I’m not well. I need help,” is incredibly difficult, and I’m glad you were that strong. That way, your kids got to have their mom *and* have her be a healthy parent. I wish that my own mother had had the guts to admit she needed help, the way that you did. My life would be so much different now if I’d been raised by a healthy person

    • Val, I saw your comment on my blog post on Denim Jumpers. I am not sure how to respond to comments so that those who authored the comment will see it.

      I am sorry you were raised by a depressed mother and suffered horribly for it.

      I don’t know your full story so I won’t be making sweeping remarks about my first inital thoughts were about your comment on my blog.

      We *all* have gone through hurtful things in our lives. Nothing is ever peachy, keen perfect in anyone’s life. That I am sure.

      I was raised by a mother that was not depressed, and a stable father who loved me, and never in my life can I remembered being yelled at.

      I had every ample opportunity to thrive and stay alive. I had a wonderful childhood, and still…yet… I did not grow up to be a functional adult.

      Unlike a lot of people, I can’t blame my parents for the mess ups in my life. It am solely responsible for my choices and actions.

      I realize that some children don’t have the opportunity to make their own choices. That they were placed in disgustingly disfucntional homes without any say so in the matter.

      However, there is another side to “happy families”…some kids still end up getting swept away by disfuctional lifestyles…despite all the good their parents did.

      I know without a doubt in my mind, that if I left, I would of damaged my children more than if I had stayed and been depressed.

      Ask any child who found their parent dead from suicide. They blame themselves mostly for it.

      If I had left, would my kids think *they* were the cause of me leaving them?

      Maybe not as teenagers,they would of felt at fault. But yeah definantly as little children.

      I will be honest in admitting that your comment came across as harsh, and brazen, by telling me that it would of been better if I left.

      I felt very vunerable in sharing what I did, and most likely my post was a trigger point for your bad memories, and for that I am sorry for your pain.

      I am human, and I don’t have everything figured out. I daresay, your own mother is a human too.
      And you are human as well. Being human, that means you don’t have your life figured out perfectly as well.

      • Val says:

        I am really really sorry that you felt I was attacking you – quite the opposite. I meant my comment as nothing but a compliment. You did the right thing. Would your kids have been better off if you’d left? Perhaps. No one can thrive when their caretaker is miserable and trapped. Are they better off having a mother who identified her issues and went out in search of the appropriate help and support? Without a doubt.

        My point was that if your ONLY available choice had been “Should I stay here and be unhealthy, or leave and give them a chance at a normal life?” then leaving would have been the better answer. Thankfully, we live in a world where there are options and help for people who suffer from any kind of mental health issue, as long as they are willing to get that help. YOU loved your children enough to know that in order to be a good mother, you had to be a healthy mother, and that meant you needed to go outside of your comfort zone and seek help. You did the right thing, the thing that I wish my mother had done.

        Do I wish she had just left and not bothered with us? Yes, because she never cared enough about us to get any help. Our mental, physical, and emotional health was never important enough to her to look beyond herself and see how her lack of action effected us. Mother cares about Mother. She only cares outwardly when there’s a chance that it will make her look better to someone she wants to impress, and then she only cares until the opportunity passes. She’s a weak, horrible, selfish, pathetic person, who was raised by wonderful parents, in a comfortable and happy home. But YOU are not like her. YOU are the opposite. You were selfless. You were willing to come out of your comfort zone in an attempt to be the best mother you could be. You are an admirable human being.

        I’m really sorry that I made you feel attacked at all. That was just poor wording on my part. I’m sorry that I came across as harsh or judgmental, because that wasn’t my intention at all. What I wanted you to know from my comment, was that I admire your selflessness, your dedication to your children, your ability to set aside what made you comfortable and do what was best for your kids, which was to begin the process of becoming mentally healthy. And I envy those children who have mothers who cared enough to do the right thing, even when it’s so hard that you don’t know if you can make it through, because mine has never been able to look beyond her own nose.

      • Thank you for clarifying yourself Val. Thing is, we can all be selfish at times. We are human.
        But I do agree with you, that it is wrong to not seek help when there is help. As this story on my blog goes along, you will see why it took me so Loooong to go and get help.
        I was *told* during all this crap, that I was doing this to get attention for the sake of attention So that hurt. Yes, I wanted attention, but not the kind everyone was preaching at me about. And whenever I mentioned medical care, I would get strange looks, and the mention of some miracle vitamin, which I would sincerely try. However, I do still believe that natural health has a MAJOR role in mental health, which I will also write about.
        But what I needed was the kind of attention that helped me, not harmed me even further. Everywhere were I turned to help…all the places I had been taught that would help me, didn’t. And then I kept being told I was selfish because I wasn’t trying hard enough.
        So, calling the doctor, was a last resort…and I felt that I had failed. And sometimes, when I am around people who make jokes about people that have “issues” it still hurts.
        But the thing is, it was from a false belief system that caused this depression. And physically, my mind was not capable of processing the truth. I was brain washed. It took me a long time to even identify that I was. In fact it was just a few months ago that I actually came to terms with that, and it was because of Cindy at that I learned what actually, really truly happened to my mind.

        So, yes, depression is in a way selfish…but in a way, people perpetuate it even worse by the advice, comments, and actions that they do to “help” the person.

        I know of a person, that had a parent chronically depressed. They were very bitter towards their parent about it. Until…they started to have the same problems…later on in their life. It is a scary thing, and it is a scary topic. This world is just messed up…cursed. Thank you for reading, and thank you for your apology. I understand online forums are tough to make points clear.

  18. Beka says:

    Wow, I love it.
    Just recently we’ve been “breaking away” from the only/all skirts thing….
    And really? It does feel good. A bit more like I can be myself and not pressed into the mold of the perfect skirt-wearing girl….which I can never acheive.
    But who I am in His eyes, that is what matters.
    Thank you for writing this!
    (I came over from a link Hillary/Quivering Daughters posted on facebook)

  19. frogla says:

    maybe someday i will feel free to share like you! *sigh*

  20. dulcimeramy says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I do want to hear more of your story. I also left legalism after the anger and depression nearly swallowed me forever. I’m sure my attitude was a bad witness as I left those churches and people, but I’m much more free to joyfully share the real Jesus “out here.”

    Advice for those who need a reset button on their biblical teaching (I’ve BTDT myself):

    Put away your beloved Bible with the highlighted verses and the lacy quilted cover. Get your hands on an entirely unfamiliar translation with no footnotes, study helps, or comments, and just read it. His Word has power but you have to clear away the voices of men surrounding it sometimes.

    God is love, and perfect love casts out fear.

  21. M. says:

    I cannot believe how much this sounds like me. Though I’m definitely past the denim jumper lifestyle (i.e. clothing, etc.), I’m still so burdened with the mentality of it. Often I deal with depressing thoughts, like you did; I’ll be so sure I’m a failure and there is no return, and I just want to runaway from my husband and kids so I don’t ruin their lives by burdening them with my problems. And when I’m at that point I can’t even think clearly to understand how to get out of the mess I’m in. Thankfully I’m not constantly in that state, but I so, so much understand what you wrote about. I can’t wait to hear more of how your life changed for the better!

  22. Abigail says:

    I relate to this post in SO many ways…even though I was not raised…nor am married into…the denim jumper group. I have sought to serve the L-rd…whom I love as much as I can in my own humanness. It has led me to many places. There are many times that I have struggled with feeling very much of a hindrance to my husband and family. I have battled depression. I have felt SO many of the things you describe. Thank you for being so open and sharing this.

  23. Cara says:

    Hi there,

    I understand completely. Thank you for sharing, and I am sorry you have been through what you have. It is the most blessed miracle to understand how closely Jesus stays in those darkest moments, and I hope you were able to understand that. Psalm 23 is so true.

    I almost left in 2008, and some of my reasons were of the same nature as yours. The influences behind my trial were freemasonry and attack of religious doctrine, but not from the Patriarch Movement.

    May the Lord bless and keep you,

  24. Melissa says:

    I think Val’s comment came off as harsh because her first paragraph was about leaving. Which you still probably have some guilt about even have thought about.

    But her second paragraph was about staying and repairing yourself. You felt brave enough to make a call and taking a little pill, which would be the lesser of the sins in your eyes, compared to leaving. Val has the pain in her heart about her mom staying, but not getting help. You have the pain about in your heart about even thinking about leaving for a second.

    Am I right about this? Because I don’t think anyone meant to be harsh.

    • I think so Melissa, and I don’t disregard her pain with growing up with an unhealthy parent. Believe me I don’t think it was right for that to happen with her. But I am not sure what her mother was exactly like, and she doesn’t know what *I* was exactly like. I tried so hard to not be “selfish” in regards to my raising my children. I honestly tried. There were good days between my bad days. I begged my children forgiveness all the time.
      Reading some of Val’s blog, she seems to still be quite bitter at her mother. Which is understandable….but I don’t think her mother and I are quite the same person. 😉 So it was a sweeping statement, I feel, that she made, that it would of been better if all depressed mothers would leave their children if they don’t get help.
      But a lot of these mothers do not know where to go to get help. A lot of mothers do not even believe it is right to go and get help in the form of medication. It still comes across quite taboo, even among more graceful ministries.
      So while I understand her circumstances were aweful, and her mother should take responsibility and get some help, I think it was quite an unfair assumption to make that most depressed mothers need to leave their children if they feel helpless to get help.

      Of course as my story continues, I will be sharing exactly want went on, and why it took me so long to find the help I needed. Isolation being a big one. And being in an institution that made one feel like a sinner for going to the doc.

  25. Taunya says:

    Keep writing you are helping so many!! I am so encouraged to see so many that have been caught up in legalism break free and tell their stories!!!

  26. Kelly M says:

    It is funny how we all think we are alone and feel embarrassed and shameful. I was also in a “jumper cult”. When I was on the commune, it didn’t matter because it was normal. Off the farm and in town I was always embarrassed and ashamed. It has been many years since I’ve left and many years before I could actually wear a skirt at all. I see other women in bondage to rules of men and I want to run up to them and tell them of the freedom we have IN Christ. Please continue to speak freely. I have found everyone has something that fear is standing in the way of forgiveness and freedom. If we just take that devil by the horns we will be free!
    PS. Sorry about your belly! It is a point of vanity for me! I have twins and now my stomach looks like crap! Through a lot of working out it is mostly flattened but the skin…. sigh. If I knew then what I know now, I certainly wouldn’t have hidden it under JUMPERS!!!! =D

  27. Katie says:

    I am single and 28 and went to counseling for the first time this morning. Ever. For these same type of issues. I knew I had needed to go for years, but never did. People I looked up to, like my dad, didn’t “believe in” going to a counselor or didn’t believe it was necessary, that the Bible was all you needed. But I knew I had to do something, I was running out of options trying to fix things myself or at other times, ignore things, hoping they would just resolve themself. I heard a lot about Freedom in Christ this morning, and I am praying God will show me what it truly means specifically for ME to follow HIM in the freedom He’s given me in Christ. Thank you so much for sharing your story, it really encouraged me.

  28. HEvencense says:

    Terrific post! You go, girl!

  29. Laurie M. says:

    A thought for you, Heather. I had the urge to send you a quick e-mail the other day, but could not find any means of contact for you beyond the comment threads. It might be a good idea, if you are open to such a thing of course, to provide an e-mail address for the sake of readers who may wish to discuss matters with you that they don’t feel safe posting publicly, or which are off the topic of your threads. I know I’ve received many such e-mails over the last few months.

  30. Ginger says:

    Girl, I think you wrote from my heart! Anyways, while I still agree with a lot of teachings from the “jumper cult” I am so glad that my faith resides in Him and not a piece of cloth!

  31. Good for you! It is for freedom that Christ has set you free, and who the Son makes free is free indeed!

  32. Pingback: The Saturday Evening Post | Jumpers to Jeans

  33. LLMom says:

    Wow, what a story. I have gone through many of the same things. I have ditched the dresses for jeans too. It’s great.

  34. Julie says:

    LOVED IT!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing…I know how that feels! The funny thing is in my cult jumpers were considered “worldly”…there really is just no end to the legalistic crap is there…

  35. Mary says:

    Oh, this was really good.

  36. ShackelMom says:

    I have just stumbled onto you blog and some others written by women who have come out of the ‘denim jumper’ cult and similar groups. Thank you for writing, I hope many other women read this and other blogs speaking to the issues of the real grace and freedom we have in Christ!

  37. Bethany says:

    I hope you’re still checking comments on this post, because I want to say thank you… both for sharing your story and for finding the courage to dial the therapist’s number instead of running away. While reading this, I wondered how much of your story must have been my mom’s as well. I know she was overwhelmed and depressed and never felt beautiful — denim jumpers ARE made to look unflattering on purpose, after all. This helped me to think of my past through what may have been her perspective, one full of as much pain as mine. I’m looking forward to reading more.

  38. RachelG says:

    I came across your blog recently – this post in particular was very meaningful! I have been right there with you! THANK YOU for being so real and honest!

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