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

Do You Fear Rejection?

I was desperately afraid of rejection for the biggest part of my life. I was rejected early on for not being pretty enough, not quiet enough, and definitely not skinny enough. I was rejected by peers, boyfriends, and family members in both big and small ways. However, the most important rejection was one I was not even consciously aware of: I REJECTED MYSELF COMPLETELY.

The fear of rejection became the driving force behind my vow to avoid rejection at all cost. I remade my appearance to the best of my ability,  and surrounded myself with “safe” people who would or could not easily reject me; mainly people with wounds, obsessions, and weaknesses of their own. I also made sure that I became irreplaceable in the lives of these friends, so they would never want to leave me. Through manipulation and lies I kept this all alive. I pleased, begged, fought, over committed myself, did things I hated, smiled when I wanted to cry, stayed awake when I wanted to sleep, had long talks when I had nothing more to say, bribed, gave advice, bent over backwards, and last but certainly not least,  rescued everyone around me.

God saw all of this of course, and placed ever so strategically four little beings in my life who would challenge my authenticity from the start. They grew up way too fast, and as young adults refused  to any longer be coerced into Mom’s perfection and people pleasing. They wanted to spread their  wings and fly, and they especially wanted to love me on their own terms. So I felt again the stabbing pain of rejection that I carefully tried to dodged for so long. I cried before God, tried to think and rethink the situation, made a new plan, did everything I knew to keep the relationship intact, and yet, there was nothing for me to do, except feel the searing pain of rejection…

Finally after allowing God to untangle my heart from the huge mess of being tangled up with other people, I asked the question that needed asking a long time ago: Why am I so terribly afraid of rejection?

His voice was clear and the message so simple: You have to stop rejecting yourself. You have to start loving the girl I made, and give her some room to grow and live. You have to let Her breathe and start pleasing her God instead of people. Other people are fickle. The ones who love you today might reject you tomorrow, but through the years, and all of your life, you have YOU an ME.

This was the verse that spoke to my heart and reminded me that God has never rejected me, not even once…

I took you from the ends of the earth,
 from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.

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

Isaiah 41:9-10

What about you dear friend?
Are you terribly afraid of rejection?
Has it maybe been the driving force behind so many decisions and actions in your life? 
Is fear of rejection maybe at the root of your desire to be thin at all cost? 
Is your obsession to please others maybe driving you to the numbing effect of food?
Have you rejected yourself and as a result need to soothe the pain with food?

If we reject ourselves, then other people’s rejection is just too much for us to bear. If we criticize and hate ourselves, then other people’s criticism drive us over the edge, and many times make us reach for a substance to soothe the pain. It is when we are secure in our God and truly accept ourselves that we can handle what others throw at us; the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I implore you to open your heart before the King of kings if you also fear rejection. Fear is from the enemy. Repent and allow God to flush out that fear and fill your heart with His incredible love and acceptance.

Your sister in Christ
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

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

EMERGENCY: I have to lose weight fast!

8How do you feel when you get an invitation to a friend’s wedding, or to go on vacation with family, or to come out East (or West) for Thanksgiving? Does your stomach turn and your blood pressure rise at the very thought of it? Special occasions can be absolute torture for someone with a food struggle. The worst part;  it happens all the time!

I receive emails of sheer desperation from ladies about this topic more than anything else: “How can I lose weight fast without jeopardizing everything “

The truth: This kind of anxiety is very dangerous. It will most likely make you look for a quick fix and a quick fix is just an accident waiting to happen.

The good news: You can use this “occasion” to start your journey, right now, seriously, by grabbing on to God and asking for help (counseling or prayer) to lay down the food (junk food and addictive foods) that always drag you down.

The bad news: You have to be honest with yourself, because it will be ONLY THAT, the start of a journey! Serious weight loss, without any regard for the consequences to your health and body, can not be your main focus. There are safe meal replacement programs on the market that I have used and that helped me lose weight pretty fast. However, if you only do this for a short time, without a coach or a support group, you are very likely to put the weight that you’ve lost right back on (and some).

I’ m sorry that I have to be so blunt, but I can’t lie to women who have already suffered so much. If you didn’t deal with some of the pain from your past or present relationships, you will most likely reach for the quick fix again. This dangerous method might cause you to lose  a few pounds (possibly) but it will not be worth the denial, pain and turmoil you’ll feel inside. It is this emotional turmoil, caused by fad diets or dangerous methods (purging, diet pills, etc), that makes people pick up lies, denial, unbelief and pride again. So in the end all it does is postpone your healing for a few more years!

So if you are still surfing the web, flipping through magazines and TV channels to find a quick solution to this long term problem, then you probably still carry a lot of “unfinished business”.

I know, because I have so been there. We once went back to South Africa for a vacation and because of some issues I still refused to deal with,  I was right back there, on the internet, looking to lose 60 pounds in one month! This was after I have been totally set free from bulimia! I am happy to report that it was 7 years ago, and it didn’t last long, but ONLY because I came back and dealt with my issues and for the first time 100% meant it when I told God “I now truly believe that ONLY YOU can heal me and that NOTHING and NOBODY else can. I am ready to lay down ALL the lies and start trusting you, one day at a time”

Let me try and help you if you find yourself in this very difficult place of needing to lose weight FAST for some occasion:

FIRST: LET’S LOOK AT THE FACTS

  • You will probably not be able to lose much weight before the special occasion, even if you try your best. All the stress doesn’t help. However, if you’re still a few months away from the occasion you do have time to shed a decent amount of weight on either a meal replacement program WITH A COACH in place or a safe program such as Weight Watchers IF YOU ALSO ATTEND A GROUP for support and accountability. Support will help you move forward after the occasion and make it a long term solution instead of a fad diet.
  • Also, when you get closer to the date,  find something you can wear that is slimming and “good enough’ (lower your expectations of perfection). This will take away some of the stress.
  • If you eat the right portions that are high in nutritional value and you exercise, you will get your metabolism to work for you (against the stress hormones) much more than any fad diet, diet pill, or extreme measure would.
  • A great plus point in starting to follow a program high in nutrition: You will have good hair and skin on top of losing a few pounds, and best of all, PEACE when you need to face the music (or the people)
  • However, if you follow a drastic measure  you will have exactly the opposite outcome: No significant weight loss and breakouts that usually goes along with irregular eating and stress. Also, depriving yourself like that can lead to binging, which can cause you to gain weight!


There are not short cuts, it takes a journey. However, this occasion can be the beginning of a journey to freedom for you…

Here’s a  prescription for you before the special event:

SIMPLICITY: If you feel like you have too many things to pull off every day it will just add to your anxiety. So make a commitment to yourself and God to just do 3 THINGS:

1. TIME IN THE WORD EVERY DAY, NO MATTER WHAT! Change that time every morning when you usually make plans for the day, and promise yourself that you will not eat sugar and carbs into a time when you are just honest with yourself and God. Tell Him that you can not do it at all, and ask Him to take over. I recommend you get a Bible study that can keep your attention, because you will probably find it extremely hard to focus on anything right now, due to the underlying stress. See my list of Recommended Books and Bible Studies

2. EXERCISE 3-5 DAYS A WEEK, NO MATTER WHAT! Please read last week’s post about Just Showing Up This is so important  because it will help you stay on track with your eating and emotional well being. Also read my other posts on exercise and have a look at the books I recommend to get you motivated. Even very moderate exercise such as slow walking will make the world of a difference in your emotional well being and your ability to resist temptation. Commit to doing this in order for you to stay sane; come rain or sunshine, whether you’ve binged the night before or not, whether you feel good or bad, whether you are depressed and have a lot to do. If you can do it first thing every morning, it will be great (also for burning more calories and having a better day food wise), but even if you have to go to the gym 9pm at night, just stick to your commitment.

3. As far as food: Sign up for a program that has GREAT SUPPORT AND ACCOUNTABILITY. All the programs that I’ve followed in the past (never mind how healthy and balanced) did not work for long when I was doing it all by myself. The ones that really stuck were the ones high in nutrients and variety, and where I had either the support of a GROUP or a COACH. Please have a look at Week 4 of my program if you need more information on this.

 

Now, after saying all of this, I have to remind you: There is no condemnation for you in Christ Jesus! God is so thrilled that you set your feet on this journey back to Him where your healing lays. If you fall, He will run to your aid, and if you can not overcome this specific situation due to all the stress and pain you still feel, He will be waiting for you… until you’re ready.

And seriously, there is no condemnation coming from this girl either. I know about the pain and how we each have our own time frame of when we’re ready to surrender. I also know that if everybody else gives up on us, GOD DOES NOT!

If you feel that you can not do anything I’ve said, then please have a look at my program or go for counseling. Talking to a counselor or a pastor who has some knowledge about food struggles can help you find the reason why you so desperately need to lose weight, while you still desperately need the food to “cope”. You might find yourself between a rock and a hard place my friend, and then you really need help.

I pray even now that this upcoming event will be the last straw for every lady who reads this post. I pray that it will be the thing that opens your eyes to the truth, makes you hit rock-bottom, and help you to surrender your food struggle to God, forever…

You are so loved dear sister… the Bible says His eyes are on you!

In His Love
Heleen

More Resources for you – Please Click on the Links to learn more:
  • 12 Week Online Program and Private Forum for Women Struggling with Food – Get the FIRST WEEK FREE to try it out
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