About runaway trains and rescue boats

Does your life sometimes feel like a runaway train? The feeling that you desperately need to get off, but it’s impossible because the train is not stopping for anything? Modern high speed train

I was on a runaway train for quite some time, in fact only now, here at the end of 2015, do I feel that I can simply breathe again.

Almost two years ago I started the tedious process of getting licensed as a counselor in my state, and almost immediately as I set foot on campus the drama in my life started. Not so much because of college, even though the work is time consuming and stress producing, but other things that I had no control over were happening all around me.

I wrote here on my blog about my Dad’s sudden passing which shook me so much harder than I could ever imagine. Around the same time some issues surfaced in my family that made me seriously question the depth of my faith and my love for others. When I also experienced a health scare and found myself bursting into tears at the drop of a hat I knew it was time to get help.

I told my counselor about the runaway train that is impossible to stop and he said something that I want to share with you: “Somewhere on that train, there is a cart, a dining room with soft lighting, good food, and classical music. A space  where you could just sit, rest, and dine in peace. You don’t have to get off the train, or wait for it to stop, you just need to find that space…”

I needed some godly counsel and medication, but I especially needed the reminder that Jesus was and always will be my Prince of Peace, my place of quiet in the midst of the storm. I needed a reminder that GOD IS ALWAYS WITH ME, through the water and the fire. When I had nothing to give and all my spiritual disciplines flew out the window, when I had trouble getting through any given day let alone do the things I “should have been doing”… He was with me anyway.

Another amazing thing I found in the midst of the darkness was a lifeboat! I have once heard someone make the analogy of  “the lifeboat of thankfulness” and this thought came back to me in some of my darkest moments. When I felt the waves crashing all around me alone in the doctor’s waiting room, hearing about my Dad in the middle of the night, or laying in bed overwhelmed by thoughts of doubt and fear, I took the jump! I leaped into that lifeboat and started thanking God for the breath in my lungs, the people around me who loved me, the gas in my car, the good talks I had with my Dad, and all the things I took for granted… and almost without fail I would feel the peace of God spill over into my heart and mind.

Maybe you need a quiet dining cart today, or maybe you are in need of a lifeboat right this minute because you find yourself in the eye of the storm. I want to urge you that while this storm is raging  you don’t need to be brave and strong, but instead you can take the hands of others around you and most importantly cling to HIS hand.  God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is right there with you. He is your rock and your hiding place my dear friend.

I believe Mandisa said it best…

 

Don’t Wimp Out – Eyes on Jesus!

I have a love/hate thing going on with this quote from Beth Moore: “Have the courage to live under the strain and pain to be part of a better story. A larger story. Don’t wimp out. Only pain can bring change”

I love it because it’s so true, but I also don’t like it, for the same reason. Why does only pain bring change? Why do we only “get it” down in the pit of despair,  never on the mountaintop? I guess it’s one of those”wait till heaven to find out” kind of questions, but I want to talk some more with you about the “wimping out” part…

What is going on in your life today that makes you just want to WIMP OUT?

Are you in terrible financial trouble? Is your marriage a source of great pain an turmoil? What about those teenage children, are they breaking your heart? How are you doing with your food struggles these days? Are you maybe hiding out, avoiding people, and crying yourself to sleep again every night because of the terrible grip this thing has on your life? How are your relationships with your family, friends, or colleagues at work?

Let me stop for a minute here, take a deep breath with you, and say… I’m so sorry about the strain and pain of your story…

We can many times see the benefit of a trial in retrospect. That wonderful clear headed time when we can look back and reflect that “yes indeed God did use this to change me” or  “I can now see how God works everything for good for those who love Him”. The problem is when we are right there smack in the middle of the arena with the devil, the people who hurt us, the addictions we’re fighting, or sometimes the whole caboodle. In that place where there is only sweat, tears, and blood we just want to WIMP OUT, and honestly, who can blame us?

Remember the disciples out on the boat? They had the Lord of lords right there in the boat with them, but their eyes were on the storm, and they were freaking out! Peter had the same experience while walking on the water, only one thing could help him and save Him in that place of fear and terror, HE HAD TO FIX HIS EYES ON JESUS!

Let me encourage you today to fix your eyes on Jesus again. I know everything in you just wants to quit, run, hide, or give up… but there is another way. It’s in your room, with the door locked, on your face at the feet of the ONLY ONE WHO CAN SAVE YOU!

Pushing through this terrible pain, anger, or loneliness WITH YOUR EYES FIXED ON JESUS, will indeed bring you into a bigger story: HIS STORY for your life. In fact, many times our trials result in the very thing we’ve been asking God for years: A surrendered heart so that we can run free from the chains that bind us. A heart that truly loves Jesus above all else and that WANTS TO seek first the Kingdom of God.

I’m inviting you to fix your eyes again on Jesus as the Bible commands in Hebrews 12:2. Let Him into your moments, especially those weak moments, so that the PRINCE OF PEACE can reign over your life once again. 

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15; 5-10

Your sister in Jesus
Heleen

The Miracle of a Soft Heart

So happy to finally get back to blogging. A long stretch of influenza and some unrelenting coughing caused me to take a two week break from the webinars. However, it seems that a person can actually cough and type without too much effort, so I thought I would write to you ladies instead. 

2013 has been a memorable year for my family and I. Not because of great milestones I’m afraid, but because of deep valleys and a great miracle along the way. So today seemed like a good day to tell you about it…

For a while now I’ve been observing a heart of stone in one of my loved ones. It breaks my heart over and over again, to see someone once so filled with love and zeal for the Lord now so bitter, angry, and stumbling around in the dark. I have talked, cried, prayed, fought, begged, and pleaded with God for months, and then finally I stopped. It might have looked like surrender on the outside, and I even uttered the intention of surrender to a few friends, but only God knew what really happened… my heart became hard as well. 

It’s amazing how gradually this can happen. Over a period of time we start relying on our own efforts again. We start making plans for our food struggle, our lost loved ones, or our circumstances. We start trusting in those plans, and when they inevitably fail, we become discourage, angry, bitter, and numb… 

You may know exactly what I’m talking about. We can not deny the fruit of a hard heart. According to Luke 6:45 “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” My mouth was clearly speaking what my heart was full of. I’m especially referring to that anger, strife, bitterness,  complaining, fault finding, nagging, controlling, manipulating, and gossiping that goes on behind closed doors. Sometimes the crust around our hearts become so hard that  this even spills over into public places, but for the most part our hard heart shows best when our guard is down, in our own homes.

The most DANGEROUS thing about a hard heart is that the cracked and barren landscape provides the ideal place for the enemy to hammer in some hooks of evil desires that fuels idolatry. If you’ve worked through my program before, you will know that I’m referring to desires such as the insatiable desire for food, a skinny body, fame, money, the approval of people, or any other thing  that we absolute MUST HAVE . (See James 1:13-15)

It took months (why does it always take me so long to get a clue!), but I finally got to the end of my running, and I cautiously stepped into His presence. Yes, at first I waited with hands wringing, heart pounding, and no patience at all. But I stuck it out. I put worship music on, started up a Bible study without much enthusiasm, listened to Andrew Murray’s Absolute Surrender on tape, kept quoting this verse in Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know“, and I waited…

After a few days of this the crust around my heart started cracking slowly, and finally, I found myself weeping like a little baby, because I SAW!! How could I not see this before? I saw how I’ve allowed the sin of others to harden my heart. I saw how I’ve grieved the Holy Spirit, and how I started relying again on my own plans.  I wept tears of sorrow, repentance, and forgiveness.  His Word not only washed me clean, but the Holy Spirit started soaking the soil of my heart, like a steady autumn rain. And then, ever so gently, He started removing every hook of idolatry and evil desire, and plowed the soil so the seed of His Word can grow. 

Oh my dearest friend, there is nothing like a heart that has been softened by the Holy Spirit. IT IS A TRUE MIRACLE! No human can do it, or even imagine it. When the Holy Spirit softens your heart it flows out of your mouth and your pores! You can not contain the love and the joy, and you stand amazed at the peace in the midst of terrible circumstances!

A soft heart desires more soaking, cleaning, and plowing in God’s presence. You don’t need to coax it!

A soft heart never hold hooks of idolatry or evil desires for long. The ground is simply too soft for anything but the Word of God to take root. 

The miracle of a soft heart is available for all God’s children. He wants to wash you clean in the water of His Word, and the Holy Spirit is ready to minister to you, helping you to turn your back on the things that grieve Him. 

Come into HIS PRESENCE today. I’m begging you to not wait any longer. Living with a hard heart is the worst kind of agony. I know you may feel NOTHING. You may come hesitantly, like I did. You may need to quote Jeremiah 33:3 for a while as you keep waiting in faith.  God alone knows how much soaking you need dear sister, so allow Him to take His time to do a perfect miracle in you. YOU JUST NEED TO COME TO HIM AND WAIT IN HIS PRESENCE, JUST AS YOU ARE…

I’m praying during this Holiday Season that each person who reads this and needs the miracle of a soft heart will come to Jesus and be changed in His presence! 

2 Corinthians 3:16-18 
 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

In His Amazing Love
Heleen 

 

Resources for you

Click on the image below to learn more about the 12 Week Online Program: Women Struggling with Food

Read my story. Click on the image below to download my ebook: God will I ever be free?

 

Appetite for Freedom WORKBOOK and DVD. Great resource for small groups or for individual use. 
Click on the image below to find out more

2012 – Year of Great Provision and Pain

I wanted to give a big shout-out to all of my faithful readers: Thank you so much for reading my very infrequent posts during 2012!

It was indeed a year to remember, so please forgive me if I spend a moment reminiscing…

My second son, Terrance, graduated from high school and started Bible College. My little girl started first grade and I took up the challenge of homeschooling her and my 13 year old son again this year. My husband started up a new business outside the family home, and we also celebrated 20 years of marriage just recently on 12/12/12.

As many of you might have seen and heard, God also opened huge doors for my ministry this year. I had an opportunity to record small group material, Appetite for Freedom, which changed the whole face and even name of my ministry. What you may not know though is that ALL OF IT was ONE INCREDIBLE MIRACLE RIDE! I can still not even believe that it all happened in one year!

I have had it on my heart for a long time to create material that ladies could use in small group setting. I have even had several churches, universities, and healing ministries ask me about this in years past, but never seemed to have the finances or resources to pull off the publication of a book and a professionally recorded DVD. Then my husband and I started attending a small group at our church in 2011 for businesses. Through a series of events, including a challenge from our church for small groups to reach out to the community, this small group that we’ve just joined offered to help us raise the funds and gather the resources to take my ministry to the next level. It came as such an answer to prayer and from such an unsuspected source, that we just knew it had to be God. I am still so amazed at how God has forged friendships in our lives during this past year and poured out His provision in the most amazing way. Some of my friends (old and new) heard about the door that God has opened and they started adding their resources to the project in ways that I could never imagined or even thought about.  As the project unfolded I had ladies take me to buy outfits for the recordings at stores I’ve only dreamed of shopping at. Other of my friends volunteered to help edit my book, babysit my children, prepare meals for my family, lead tables, attend the recordings, bring flowers, lend me jewelry, pray for me, counsel me, the list goes on. It was simply a miracle ride which I will forever be SO GRATEFUL for!

We went out during the last stretch of 2012 with a bang when the book was published and the videos were released. What a year!

However, you surely know that so far I have only painted one side of the picture. I have not experienced so much stress in a 12 month period in all of my life. Just showing up that first night for the DVD recordings almost gave me a heart attack. I found myself hiding in the bathroom, unwilling to come out. I would probably never have recorded a word if God didn’t somehow got me out of there and planted me behind that podium. It was easily one of the most difficult things I had to do, and it stretched and grew me in every way possible. Every single thing that I have ever taught was being tested in my life. I didn’t just preach about things, I lived it! There is nothing like stress to bring all of your worst characteristics to the surface and shake out everything that is not real in your life. I can assure you that in 2012 I’ve experienced financial difficulty, marriage problems, problems with my kids like I’ve never had before, and an overwhelming desire to just take the easy way out and EAT!

I’m so grateful to God that He pulled me through! I have learned for sure that nothing in life that is truly worth having comes without a fight. I am so incredible grateful for every prayer that went up for me and my family, and for those who are still praying for us. We are being held up by the everlasting arms of God! I know that none of the pain or anguish was for nothing, because this fight is for FREEDOM IN JESUS. I’m so excited to see what God is going to do in the lives of ladies who need to experience the love and freedom that comes by living in close relationship with Jesus.

Thank you so much for each and everyone of you ladies who prayed for me, loved me, and supported me this past year. Thank you Jesus for never leaving me and for continuing to use this humble broken vessel. I am, and will be, forever grateful…

A most blessed 2013 to you beautiful women of God and your families!

In His Everlasting Love
Heleen

 

 

Click on the image below to learn more about the 12 Week Online Program: Women Struggling with Food

Read my story. Click on the image below to download my ebook: God will I ever be free?

 

Appetite for Freedom WORKBOOK and DVD. Great resource for small groups or for individual use.
Click on the image below to find out more

Are you running from God?

I’m asking this questions ONLY because I’ve found myself in those running shoes (the kind that runs from the only One who can save me) quite a few times in my life.

Why in the world do we do that? We know better! Most of us have gone around this mountain before, and we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when all is said and done, there’s ONLY GOD, nothing else compares, and no one else can save us from ourselves.

Nonetheless, when we’re back in the clutches of pride and denial we tend to keep running, even though we know we’re going the wrong way. Through the years I came to recognize that when I’m running, SIN is present, and like my very distant ancestors, Adam and Eve, I’m trying to hide it from an all-knowing-all-seeing God. Also, I may be running because I’m reluctant to give it up. Frankly, I may still love that sin and I’m afraid that God will pluck it from my hand if I came too close to Him.

How about you? Do you find yourself binging mindlessly while trying to hide it from others and God (by avoiding Him)? Are you keeping yourself busy every moment of every day while ignoring the voice of the Holy Spirit? Have you put all your trust, time, and money into a food program and now the old familiar conflict between eating and being skinny is back? Are you shopping, working, and going out with friends to distract yourself from the emptiness inside?  Are you purging, restricting food, and going to the gym for hours? Are you avoiding people, spending long hours in front of the TV, or mindlessly surfing the internet? Are you running…?

Listen, there is no condemnation from this girl, I really do understand. It’s an age old master plan of our enemy. We get lured in with a single prideful thought of “surely I can handle it” and before we know it we are occupying a deep pit and we can not hoist ourselves out with all the will-power in the world. You may be somewhere in between where you have not picked up your Bible in weeks; maybe you have not prayed for a few months; maybe you have a very short fuse these days and you start to feel resentment and anger towards those “hypocrites” at church; maybe you wish you had your own personal island, away from all mankind. These are all warning signs that you are running on empty, and you are running in the wrong direction.

Maybe you didn’t run far, and all you need to do is turn around to that warm cup of coffee and Bible study that you’ve neglected to pick up for a few days. On the other hand, you may have run so far that you have no clue how to get back. You may not have the slightest desire to pick up the Bible, and prayer might be the last thing on your mind. You may be looking for something “substantial” and “real” to fix your situation, and the spiritual things I talk about may seem nice, but not really helpful to you.

I want to assure you today, through humbling trial and error, that freedom from food struggles is ONLY found in a real relationship with Jesus. Actually freedom from any bondage, healing for any brokenness, and basically everything we need for living on this earth is wrapped up in relationship with Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to say that Jesus is to be “used” as a magic wand to fix all of our problems and turn our lives into a fairytale. If this was true then only the people with problems needed Jesus, right? No, Jesus is not a crutch, He is everything!  I’m talking about a RELATIONSHIP that can see you through the deepest waters and the biggest fires of your life (Isaiah 43:2), yet this relationship is so much more…even if you have everything this world could offer, you will not be okay without it.

Never mind how far you’ve wandered off: If you stop running and come before God in true repentance, you can step back into relationship with Jesus RIGHT NOW.

Unfortunately many Christians still downplay the sin that surrounds a struggle with food. We pretend it’s not that big a deal to put food, starvation, or purging in the place of God. We put a band-aid on it with a quick diet or we call it a fast, when we’re really sinning and running from our only Savior.

I pray today, as you read this, that you will be stopped in your tracks. I pray that the Holy Spirit will shine His spotlight on the sin of pride and idolatry, and that you will no longer try to hide it, but start to hate that sin in your life. Only true sorrow for the SIN not the SYMPTOMS bring lasting change to our hearts and  lives. I’m praying that God will show you the difference today, and that you will fall to your knees before Him, next to me, and return to the One who gave His life for you and I.

I wrote an ebook “God will I ever be free?’ a few years ago on the subject of surrender and based it on the verse in James 4:7 “Submit to God, resist the enemy, and he will flee from you”. In Beth Moore’s latest Bible study, James, Mercy Triumphs, she has the following to say about this verse:

  • God knows everything about you and every matter concerning you. Nothing is hidden from His sight. So submit to God.
  • He is always looking out for your ultimate good and takes your hurts personally. So submit to God.
  • He is holy and worthy and incapable of abusing His divine authority over you. So submit to god.
  • He knows when your motive was right but your mouth messed up. So submit to God.
  • He knows exactly how to work terrible into good. So submit to God.
  • He loves you completely and unconditionally and will never let you go. So submit to God.
  • He knows the well-deliberated plan for your life and how all things must fall into place for you to fulfill your destiny. So submit to God.
  • He will never put to shame those who trust in Him. So submit to God.

She ends this segment with the following words: “The Devil is trying to steal from you and destroy you and make it look like it was all your idea. So girlfriend, submit to God.”

All I can do is shout a big AMEN! to all the above.

 

In your struggle with food something needs to change: Your heart, your mind, and your attitude, yes! But maybe there are also physiological problems such as depression or hormonal imbalances; it may be that you need to find healing from past hurts by working with a counselor, or maybe you need to forgive and learn to make changes to your current relationships to move out of the pit of food struggles. WHATEVER THE CASE MIGHT BE, JESUS HAS THE ANSWERS! If you step into relationship with Him, He will lead you every step of the way. Take the first step today, submit to God.

Please read my free eBook if you are ready to submit: “God will I ever be free?”

Love you ladies
Heleen

 

Resources for You:

Please “like” my Facebook Page if you want to stay on top of updates and posts
Please follow me on Twitter
Please link with me if you have a professional profile on Linkedin


Do you need a miracle?

 

According to Oxford dictionaries a miracle is …”an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency”

There are some areas in our lives where we just KNOW, without a shadow of a doubt, that we have NOTHING and we are in need of an “extraordinary and welcome event” that is beyond our human strength or even understanding. I know we don’t always get the miracles that we pray for, and we most certainly don’t always receive them in our time frame.  However, let me boost your faith a little today to keep asking and reaching for your miracle. God still has the final say in our lives, but even by surrendering our struggles to His divine intervention and time table, we receive peace and hope to carry on.

Please read this post I’ve written a while back, to inspire you to keep reaching for your miracle.

 

What’s going on in your life?

  • Do you need a miracle of healing in your body?
  • Do you need God to perform a miracle in your marriage or your finances?
  • How about a miracle of deliverance from food, alcohol, pornography, drugs, shopping, TV, internet, or gossip?
  • Maybe you are unable to bring any change to a very difficult relationships in your life, and you need a miracle to just keep on forgiving and loving that person…

 

Let me say this: IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT IT IS, OUR GOD IS BIGGER!!!

God is calling you, just as you are. You might be dealing with incredible pain, shame, or anxiety at this very moment. You might have just eaten so much food that you are in physical pain. Maybe you just purged and you feel shame hanging like a cloak around your shoulders. You may be angry and at your wits end with a relationship, or in a pit of pain because of ongoing stress and anxiety in your life. Maybe you are past all these feelings and you just feel a great numbness inside of you…

Seriously, God is waiting for you! He saw everything you did and everything you’re going through, and He is waiting and calling…

The voices of condemnation, guilt, hopelessness, and shame that you hear are not of God but from the enemy who wants to destroy you (John10:10)

I would like to remind you today of our Father’s heart. The parable in Luke 15 about the prodigal son gives us a peek into the heart of our heavenly father. He is looking for you, waiting for you to return to Him. He doesn’t insist that you first clean up your act or that you get rid of your filth before you come to Him. On the contrary, when He sees you taking the first few steps, He will run to you with open arms, welcoming you and showering you with love.

Please don’t try to first get “better” before you come to God. It’s the enemy’s age old trick to keep us in bondage. It is only in God’s presence that we are cleaned and changed. You can not change yourself, but He has all the power to heal your broken heart and help you change the habits and addictions you’ve picked up to numb the pain. Better yet… He wants to heal the pain you are trying to numb…

Listen to what the Amplified Bible says about the father of the prodigal son:

“So he got up and came to his [own] father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity and tenderness [for him]; and he ran and embraced him and kissed him [fervently]” (Luke 15:20)(emphasis mine)

Do you see that the father was moved with pity and tenderness! Our heavenly Father has that same pity and tenderness towards us every time we come to Him, even in our filthy state. This might not be the first time you come to Him, but PLEASE don’t stop coming.

I found freedom from bulimia when I started crying out to God EVERY TIME I was binging or purging. I would cry and tell Him how bad I felt about myself, how ashamed I was, and how I needed Him to help me. He heard, He took pity on me, and drew me close to his heart with tenderness. You are his child too, He has no favorites, He wants to do the same for you!

I pray that you will experience a  miracle right from the hand of our Father. He wants to give you the miracle of life in that place of your heart where you now experience only death. The best part, you don’t have to do anything to earn this miracle… simply turn to God…

In His Love,
Heleen

 

 

Resources for You:

Please “like” my Facebook Page if you want to stay on top of updates and posts
Please follow me on Twitter
Please link with me if you have a professional profile on Linkedin


I CAN NOT do it!

 

How’s your New Years resolutions coming along? Have you already failed at it? Maybe you didn’t even bother making any because it’s the same story of disappointment year after year…

 

I’m reading Andrew Murray’s little book “Absolute Surrender” again this January.  An age old message jumped out at me and hit me square between the eyes again: I CAN NOT DO IT! and the simple truth: GOD CAN DO IT!

Read it for yourself: “And yet we are some of us wanting God to give us a little help while we do our best, instead of coming to understand what God wants, and to say: “I can do nothing. God must and will do all.” Have you said: “In worship, in work, in sanctification, in obedience to God, I can do nothing of myself, and so my place is to worship the omnipotent God, and to believe that He will work in me every moment”? Oh, may God teach us this! Oh, that God would by His grace show you what a God you have, and to what a God you have entrusted yourself — an omnipotent God, willing with His whole omnipotence to place Himself at the disposal of every child of His! Shall we not take the lesson of the Lord Jesus and say: “Amen; the things which are impossible with men are possible with God?”

 

Every time we make a decision that WE will accomplish something by ourselves, we dive right into a forever downward cycle. Let me illustrate this CYCLE OF EMPTINESS through a food struggle (it can really apply to any addiction or bondage)

  • We have an emptiness inside that CAN ONLY BE FILLED BY GOD, and yet we try to fill it daily with food. We use food for various reasons (that are better explained in my 12 Week Online Program) but the bottom line is the same: We are empty and we need to be filled. The problem is that this method of finding satisfactions only helps for a few minutes, and it usually backfires into severe physical problems and other consequences, so the emptiness deepens.
  • To get away from this we try to find a food plan with which we can occupy ourselves and which we hope will get us to another place that might satisfy: to be thin and beautiful. Problem is that most of these plans fail us too, because we were supposed to use them (the balanced ones) ONLY to get our physical bodies into shape, not to satisfy our soul hunger.
  • Even if a program works to rid us of the consequences of food addiction or compulsive overeating, and we lose all of our weight, it can not take care of the emptiness. We  may now find ourselves trying to find satisfaction in clothes, having the perfect appearance, looking for skin lotions and procedures to make us prettier, and other ways to impress people. This too will fail us because there is always someone prettier or skinnier out there to compete with. We might turn to prestige, riches, fame, or studying to get more honor and respect at our workplace. All this added stress we put on our lives to strive for satisfaction might actually push us right back to where we’ve started; mindless overeating or binging to try and fill a deep emptiness inside.
  • In this very low place we might even turn to drugs, alcohol, pornography, or any other idol because we’re so ashamed that we couldn’t “get it together” or “do better”.

 

THE TRUTH:
We will never be able to “do better” or “get our lives together”, even if our New Years resolutions or plans are all wonderful Godly ones.

 

WHY?

Our own self-will is corrupted by the desires of this world, and fickle at best. Even though we may have more self-discipline at times and find ourselves pumped and motivated, it can change at the drop of a hat. You know it! All it takes is our haywire hormones, for our circumstances to get complicated, or a sudden crisis to strike. During these times we either feel so ashamed of our own weakness and believe the enemy’s lies that we are total losers, or our eyes are opened to Jesus’s words in Luke 18:27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

 

 

Now let’s get practical, how does this play out in daily life?

 

Two things needs to happen DAILY  in order to give God full control:

1. YOU NEED TO BELIEVE
It seems so simply but it’s not so easy for our faith to raise up, simply because our society is so focused on “doing it ourselves” that many of us have lost faith in a mighty God that can SET PEOPLE FREE FROM ANY STRUGGLE, ADDICTION, OR FORM OF BONDAGE! We need to repent from our unbelief and ASK GOD FOR FAITH to surrender TOTALLY, instead of doing our best and just asking God to help us a little (as Murray says). This should be a MOMENT by MOMENT thing. It’s so easy to fall back into the trap of unbelief. Set alarms on your phone to remind you, make note cards, make pop-ups on your computers that says: What is impossible with man is possible with God
Hebrews 11:6 (NIV) And without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
Romans 10:17 (NKJV) So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

2. The only plan you should have: WORSHIP GOD!
Take your hands off the wheel, give God control. Stop all the plans that you have in your head to “fix things” and rather use that valuable time to pick up the Bible, pray, sit in God’s presence, worship Him through music, go to church, etc. Most of us already know which food plan works for us, which exercise we should do, which steps we should take to accomplish God purpose and calling for our lives, BUT WE SIMPLY CAN NOT DO IT CONSISTENTLY! HOWEVER, ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE GOD CAN DO THAT WHICH IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH US. The problem: If we still think we can do it, or we “should” do better by picking ourselves up by the bootstraps, or reading the next best self help book, we will keep going around in circles. We have to admit once and for all that WE CAN NOT DO IT! Then, finally we are ready to let God do it for us.

 

OUR JOB: SEARCH GOD

Matthew 6:33 (NIV) But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.
Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NIV) Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Please get yourself out of the horrible cycle of  “TRYING TO DO BETTER” and “FAILING”! Please have a look at my resource below that might help you with this.

In His Love
Heleen

 

RESOURCES FOR YOU
NEW!!
Please be on the look-out for a WEEKLY CLASS on Food Struggles that I will be teaching, starting Feb 21st, 2012 at CITY BIBLE CHURCH in Portland OREGON. I will have the event up on Women Struggling with Food’s Face Book page soon. 
If you can not attend these classes (small group style setting) then please check back here on my blog and forum for DVD’s and workbooks that will be coming out this Summer (July 2012)


 

 

 

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What will Motivate you to Stop Overeating or Binging?


Please read this quote from Phillip Yancey’s book What’s so Amazing about Grace? carefully.
It contains valuable information as far as answering the question: What will motivate you to stop overeating and binging?

The best reason to be good is to want to be good. Internal change requires relationship. It requires love. “Who can be good, if not made so by loving?” asked Augustine. When Augustine made the famous statement, “If you but love God you may do as you incline” he was perfectly serious.  A person who truly loves God will be inclined to please God, which is why Jesus and Paul both summed up the entire law in the simple command, “Love God.”

If you are still going around the same mountain even though you’ve gone through counseling and found a solid food program, if you still find yourself bound in the chains of food addiction and eating disorders even though you’ve gone through my 12 Week Online Program and you’ve made great strides in dealing with past hurts, then it might be time to look at the MOTIVATION behind it all.

 

ONLY TRUE LOVE MOTIVATES OBEDIENCE

Please read this excerpt from a previous post I wrote to find out how you can FALL IN LOVE AND BE CHANGED FOREVER!

 

In her well-known Bible study “Breaking Free” Beth Moore asks us to answer the following few questions to determine if we’re really in love with God:

IDENTIFYING TRUE LOVE:

  • Does God regularly circulate into my thoughts? (Ps 63:6)
  • Am I often drawn to spend time with Him?  (Ps 27:4)
  • Does my life demonstrate a love for God? (Rom 5:8)
  • Do I often enjoy God? (Ps 16:11)
  • Do I ultimately find relief or satisfaction in obedience? (John 14:12)

How did you score on the TRUE LOVE TEST? Sometimes we really fool ourselves by thinking that we love God, when we simply don’t.


I have loved Jesus since I was a little girl. I see my sweet little girl praying to Jesus and hear her talk about Him and I can imagine myself at that age, growing up in a Christian home, praying to God in that same manner. So if you asked me in the past if I loved Jesus I would have quickly responded “YES, I’ve loved Him all my life”

However, through the years some questions formulated in my mind (much of these triggered by pastors an Bible teachers) about my LOVE for Christ: Do I love Him enough? Why do I still lack self-control? Why am I still rude and proud at times? Why do I not have patience in times of testing? Where is my joy and peace in trying circumstances? Why is it still so hard for me to obey…?

WE NEED MORE OF JESUS. When the night is dark and the valley deep WE NEED MORE! When our circumstances change and we can hardly breathe WE NEED MORE! When the waters are calm and we find ourselves almost bored with riches and prosperity WE NEED MORE OF JESUS!

Unfortunately our lives have become so busy and full of things that we hardly have time for anything, and sadly Jesus gets pushed down on our list of priorities.
However, if we want to break free and stay free from any kind of bondage WE NEED TO OBEY. Lasting obedience will always be linked to True Love. We might be able to obey once or twice out of obligation and legalism, but it never lasts and we always seem to slip back into our bondage.

NOW FOR THE BIG QUESTION:

IF I DON’T REALLY LOVE GOD WITH ALL MY HEART – HOW CAN I FALL IN LOVE WITH HIM?

  • Ask God to give you a love for Him. God is the source of  love, and the only one who can give you true agape love for Him and other people (1John 4: 7-8,19)
    Ask Him DAILY to increase your love for Him!!  Set an alarm on your cellphone to go off and remind you to pray. Even short prayers at first where you ask Him to give you a true love and desire for Him and His Word
  • Be accountable about your time with Him – Join women’s Bible studies on a regular basis to keep your accountable. Meet with other people to pray. Find a friend that will hold you accountable, and surround yourself with people who obviously love JESUS. THE MORE WE LEARN ABOUT GOD AND OPEN OUR HEARTS TO HIM – THE MORE WE LOVE HIM – AND THE MORE WE LOVE HIM THE MORE WE WANT TO SPEND TIME WITH HIM. Get yourself into that blessed upward cycle!

I need more of Jesus – the love that I had for Him last year can not sustain  me now. Fortunately there is so much more to my God than the little I have come to know up until this point in my life.

God is enough. His love for us is perfect and everlasting, however we have to keep asking and reaching to love Him more.

In His Amazing Love,

Heleen

 

 

 

Resources to help you surrender to God and fall deeply in love with Him
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Insecurities: Every Woman’s Battle

We’ve just finished up Week 6 on the forum – this week deals with exposing the lies of the enemy and the world around us, which tend to shape the way we view ourselves. It also helps you to pick up the truth of God’s Word and start viewing yourself as the Princess of God who you truly are. 

Here is a previous post I wrote that goes well with this week’s lesson:

 

The BIG issue of INSECURITY!


I must admit, I’m blessed beyond what I’ve imagined by Beth Moore’s latest book “So Long Insecurity:You’ve been a bad friend to us”

She said so many profound things, but one simple sentence hit me hard: “Worship in it simplest form is FOCUS”

I keep reminding all of you wonderful ladies that our focus needs to change from WEIGHT LOSS to HEALTH if we ever want to get out of this nightmare of eating disorders.

However, reading this book and looking at my own life, made me realize that there is more. There is a “deeper level” if you will.

Our focus will probably never shift from WEIGHT LOSS to HEALTH if we don’t first move our focus from OURSELVES to GOD.

Beth speaks about a deep insecurity that plagues the lives of so many. I’ve known this to be true in my own life and almost every lady I’ve encountered that has a struggle with food. Deep down at the bottom of our beings lies an insecurity that drives us to please others, to strive for perfection, to stay in control of our surroundings and the people we love, and to maintain or reach a certain weight AT ALL COST! Way too much stress and pressure for one person! No wonder that same person will reach for the cookie jar at the end of the day to quiet the voice that tells her “You will never be good enough!”

The vicious cycle of eating disorders literally gets fueled by insecurity day after day.

I think the main reason I like Beth so much is her honesty. I marvel at how she just comes out with the truth about her life, and it always inspires me to put the “mask” aside and tell the truth as well.

I would so have loved to have pictures everywhere on my blog of me in a number 4 jeans and a tiny T-shirt that says “I beat eating disorders”. I would also love to tell you that I have not had any negative thoughts or overate in 20 years. But this is my insecurities talking…because the truth is that I’ve been able to write on here and keep this website and forum running because my not-so-perfect body, and not-so-perfect life is a daily reminder that I need God. When I eat healthy, exercise daily, and keep God my #1 focus, then nothing in my life looks quite like the media and our society portrays “perfection”. God’s idea of HOLY is light years away from the world’s idea of PERFECT. It might not include that small dress you wore in high school, and it might not include the perfect family you see on TV, but it WILL include a life of abundance that the Bible promises..a life that really matters… a life that is truly secure in God and as a result glorifies Him.

I have been truthful with you ladies about where I’m at: I have been free from bulimia for almost 10 years now, as well as from binge eating, but I do have times where I turn to food for comfort because of the stress caused by an old familiar pang of insecurity.

I am so grateful for this book, because as she rightly says, people don’t talk about it. So many men and women suffer from a deep sense of insecurity and we try to find security anywhere and everywhere, but it is NO WHERE EXCEPT IN CHRIST.

I don’t know why we always have to search for it in so many places and why we almost always have to find ourselves in a deep pit before we finally put our security in Christ, but it’s definitely true for most of us.

Looking for security in a mate, in appearance, in status, in marital bliss, in education, in family, in children, in financial stability, in position at church, in fame, in the perfect job, in beauty, or in a thin body…IS FUTILE!!

In chasing any of the above our FOCUS STAY ON OURSELVES and NOT ON GOD! This FOCUS ON SELF can come in the form of SELF CONFIDENCE or SELF LOATHING.

Think about it like this:

If we remain focused on ourselves...will we ever be able to not worry about our weight, even at a size 2?
If we remain focused on ourselves…will we ever be satisfied with our house, kids and husbands the way they are without trying to control them?
If we remain focused on ourselves…will we ever be able to just love people (especially women) and not see them as rivals?
If we remain focused on ourselves…will we ever be able to give of ourselves to others and in ministry, regardless of how we look on the outside?

WORSHIP IN IT SIMPLEST FORM IS FOCUS…

What or who do you focus on?
What or who do you in fact WORSHIP?

It shook me to the core these past day. I still focus way too much on ME, and as a result I focus on the things that I think will bring me security.

GOOD NEWS LADIES! This journey that we are on have already steered us in the right direction. It all points to GOD as the only source of healing, comfort and yes…security. I’ve written a lot about it in Week 6 of my program. However, I have learned much from this book. It nudged me a little further along on this healing journey.

That said, DON’T EVER THINK THAT ONE THING YOU READ, LEARNED, OR HEARD FROM GOD ALONG THIS JOURNEY WAS FOR NOTHING. The day you’ve given your food struggle to Him and prayed your first prayer was the day He started bringing various forms of healing, truth, and breakthrough into your life. Your chains are falling off one by one as you daily draw closer to your only Source of security girl!

I’m excited for you ladies to also read this book once you’re done with the program or when you get to Week 6. It’s a very practical book and she gives steps to start dealing with the insecurity in our lives immediately. It would be fun to talk more about it on the forum as well.

Love you ladies!

Heleen

 

Click here to also read the follow-up on this post: Hanging with the Girls

 

My 12 Week Online Program for Women struggling with Food might be an option for you if you need help to break free from Food Addiction. Please go have a look, your life matters to God. He is waiting to heal you and help you clear up the “brain fog” so you can enjoy life again.

PS: We are a group of about 30 ladies who are walking out this journey on the forum. It’s not too late to join in or just read along. Here is a link to the Members Forum.
If you are not a member you might be interested to click here for my FREE EBOOK: “God will I ever be free?”
Click here if you want more information on becoming a member:  12 Week Online Program for women who struggle with eating disorders and food addiction

Surrender to God and Resist the Enemy

As many of you might know, I’m currently going through the 12 Week Online Program on the forum with a group of women. As a result I don’t have much time to write here on the blog, but I thought it might be a good idea to re-post some popular posts that apply to the specific week we’re dealing with on the forum.

I’m re-posting this article (in step with Week 2 of the 12 Week Program) on resisting the lie of the enemy that we have to be “perfect” before we can come to God. This single lie can keep you in bondage for many years.

Maybe it’s time to get angry. I felt my blood pressure rise and a “holy anger” came over me while reading a few emails of ladies these past weeks. These were emails of pain, bondage, and hopelessness and while my heart was bleeding for each one of these precious women, I was also getting so mad at the enemy.

I’m angry because of a vicious lie Satan has been using for ages to keep us in bondage. It’s the lie of “you can’t possibly come to God in this disgusting state that you are in”

Do you realize how many women are kept in bondage daily because they believe:
“I can only go back to church once I’ve lost some weight”
“I will join that women’s Bible study once I’ve stopped gambling”
“I will talk to a pastor after I’ve ended this relationship”
“I can not pray while I still have these evil thoughts”
“I can not read my Bible while I still yell at my kids”

Ladies, IT’S TIME TO GET MAD AT THE ENEMY!

We don’t have the power to save or change ourselves.  So if the enemy can just get us to believe the lie that we have to fix ourselves before coming to God we are trapped!

I am adding this part about the prodigal son that I’ve posted before because it is so important to hear again.

God is calling you, just as you are. You might be dealing with incredible pain, shame, or anxiety at this very moment. You might have just eaten so much food that you are in physical pain. Maybe you just purged and you feel shame hanging like a cloak around your shoulders. Maybe you are past all these feelings and you just feel a great numbness inside of you…

Seriously, God is waiting for you! He saw everything you did and He is still waiting and calling…

The voices of condemnation, guilt and shame that you hear are not of God but of the enemy who wants to destroy you (John 10:10)

I would like to remind you today of our Father’s heart. The parable in Luke 15 about the prodigal son gives us a peek into the heart of our heavenly father. He is looking for you, waiting for you to return to Him. He doesn’t insist that you first clean up your act or that you get rid of your filth before you come to Him. On the contrary, when He sees you taking the first few steps, He will run to you with open arms, welcoming you and showering you with love.

Please don’t try to first get “better” before you come to God. It’s the enemy’s age old trick to keep us in bondage.

It is only in God’s presence that we are cleaned and changed. You can not change yourself, but He has all the power to heal your broken heart and help you change the habits and addictions you’ve picked up to numb the pain. Better yet… He wants to heal the pain you are trying to numb…

Listen to what the Amplified Bible says about the father of the prodigal son:
“So he got up and came to his [own] father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity and tenderness [for him]; and he ran and embraced him and kissed him [fervently]” (Luke 15:20)(emphasis mine)

Do you see that the father was moved with pity and tenderness! Our heavenly Father has that same pity and tenderness towards us every time we come to Him, even in our filthy state. This might not be the first time you come to Him, but PLEASE don’t stop coming.

I found freedom from bulimia when I started crying out to God EVERY TIME I was binging or purging. I would cry and tell Him how bad I felt about myself, how ashamed I was, and how I needed Him to help me. He heard, He took pity on me, and drew me close to his heart with tenderness. You are his child too, He has no favorites, He wants to do the same for you!

Just run to Him my dear friend, repent, and accept His forgiveness. Jesus came so you can be free (Isaiah 61)

Your sister in Christ
Heleen

 

PS: We are almost 30 ladies who are walking out this journey on the forum. It’s not too late to join us or just read along. Here is a link to the Members Forum.
If you are not a member you might be interested to click here for my FREE EBOOK: “God will I ever be free?”
Click here if you want more information on my 12 Week Online Program for women who struggle with eating disorders and food addiction