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

How to Get UP when you Fall…

Seriously, let me get this off my chest and let you off the hook at the same time: It’s not IF we fall, but rather WHEN we fall. All of the people around you that seem to have it so together and make huge successes of their lives have learned only ONE thing that you didn’t: HOW TO GET UP!

We live in such a broken world, and yes it’s not fair that we have to carry our cross on our hips (literally) while others hide theirs under their tiny sweaters, but we all struggle with something. Everybody has bad days and EVERYBODY FALLS!

If you have an eating disorder or struggle with food addiction you need to realize that RECOVERY IS A JOURNEY, and yes, the journey can be long and exhausting.
In spite of great victories and years without sugar you might find yourself in front of the freezer, eating ice cream straight from the tub when life throws you a curve ball.

Now don’t think for a minute that I don’t believe in miraculous healing. I believe that God can and will heal you from food addiction in an instant if He so chooses. However, if His will for you is to walk out your journey to freedom, then I would advise you to not live in denial, but rather arm yourself for the journey. To say “I will never, ever, ever fall for that again” is just setting yourself up for failure, self condemnation, guilt and shame.

So now that we’ve established that you and I are not the only ones with wobbly legs, the question remains: How do you get up?

What is the first thing that comes to mind after you have fallen and your eating is spiraling out of control? I’m not talking about the pre-fall-stage where you’re still toying with a bite of this here and a morsel of that there, because at that point you might still feel that you have things under control. No, I’m talking about the flat-on-you-face-stage where you know you’ve once again lost all control, you binged for one week straight, all you can think of is your next meal and you’ve easily gaining five to ten pounds. When you hit that place, you know you’re on your knees, you don’t wonder anymore.

Usually I experience the following emotions and thoughts after a fall: First guilt, then shame, followed by it’s evil twin; self condemnation. Then I usually I start looking around for someone to blame. In the end despair and hopelessness will sweep over me, and the enemy will whisper in my ear “You will never overcome this, you might as well give up.”

I know all to well how intense these emotions of hopelessness can be and therefor I want to reach out my hand to you in your place of despair and tell you: VICTORY IS NOT FAR AWAY, BUT YOU HAVE TO ACT QUICKLY!

The enemy can gain so much ground in our lives if we stay down. The longer you stay in that place the deeper you will sink. That place where you have fallen can change into a pit of captivity that can be your home for the next few months or even years.

WHAT NOT TO DO:

1. Don’t look for a diet. Resist the urge to go on the internet and read up for hours on the latest diets out there. You will end up eating stacks of food while trying to find a “quick-fix” that DOES NOT EXIST.
2. Don’t go over every little detail trying to figure out how it happened. It probably happened gradually and you can not change the past. Rather spend you energy on getting up and moving forward.
3. Don’t blame your husband, your kids, your friends, my program! or God for your fall. Okay if you have to blame someone, start with the devil and then take responsibility. The blame game will just ruin your relationships and keep you laying down longer…

WHAT TO DO:

1. ALWAYS GET BACK TO BASICS! Diets don’t work, pills don’t work, excessive exercise don’t work, and starvation just end in binging and purging. So throw out those Chinese food and chocolates and go stock up on vegetables, fruit, lean meats, granola bars for those weak moments and oatmeal for those carb cravings. Make a few salads, cut up some fruit and cook a chicken to be prepared for the first three tough days. YOU ONLY NEED THAT FIRST DAY OF VICTORY TO TURN THIS THING AROUND! You might have a week of working it up to that FIRST DAY, and that’s okay, but keep trying until you get there…

2. TAKE IT TO GOD: Number One will not work if you don’t give it over to God! LIVING HEALTHY IS JUST ANOTHER DIET IF YOU DON’T SURRENDER IT TO GOD! Believe me, after a fall you need a good cry before God. You might not know it, but at this point you might be avoiding God because you are so ashamed and you might be disappointed in Him for letting you down, AGAIN.
Tell God how you feel, it’s not He who fails us, but He does understand that we feel that way sometimes, because He so understands our human nature. Not only did He create you dear sister, He became flesh and although He never sinned, He understands. ESTABLISHING A DAILY TIME WITH GOD WILL BE THE ONLY THING THAT WILL HELP YOU UP EVERY TIME YOU FALL, PLEASE TRUST ME ON THIS ONE!

3. GET MOVING! You know it, there’s no easy way to say it, YOU HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO GET ACTIVE! Read my article on “Hate to Exercise?”. Exercise is a huge motivator to eat healthy. It also helps you fight depression and lack of energy that usually accompanies this struggle. Don’t make anymore excuses! Never mind how great your obstacle, someone else has a bigger one, and God has an answer. So ask Him to help you find a way to get active DAILY!

5. TELL SOMEONE! After talking to God about it, tell a friend, a spouse or a counselor that you’ve fallen. If you don’t have anybody, please email me about it. I will be happy to pray for you and encourage you in any way I can. It is so important to tell someone else because there is freedom in getting the truth out there. It also gives us a clean slate to start fresh, and it always helps to be accountable to someone else. Don’t let the enemy have a field day because you are to proud to admit that you have fallen. We all fall! I write about all my failures and nose dives on this blog for exactly this reason: To not give any room to the enemy by living a lie, and to encourage you to NOT FOCUS ON THE FALL, BUT IMMEDIATELY GET BUSY WITH GETTING UP!

Don’t keep laying down sister, it only opens a door for bitterness and unbelief. You don’t need those in your life: YOUR GOD IS JEHOVAH RAPHA (THE LORD YOUR HEALER) AND HE’S STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO YOU WITH HIS HAND EXTENDED, JUST WAITING FOR YOU TO TAKE IT, GET UP, REPENT, FORGIVE YOURSELF AND KEEP GOING!

Proverbs 24:16 (NIV)
“for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity”.

You can do it girl, get up again!

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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