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

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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2 Things will Break the Yoke of Food Struggles

I have just walked through my 12 Week Program with a group of amazing women of God. We’ve walked out this journey on our Members Forum. I hope to do it again soon, but even if you have just joined my program you can write on this forum topic and receive encouragement, prayer, and support.

Week 12 of my 12 Week Online Program for Women Struggling with Food deals with 2 Crucial elements that will help us GO THE DISTANCE. We all know that this journey of overcoming food related issues is a journey of falling and getting up. There is victory for sure, but for most people it is a process. So in my last week I want to equip you with tools to help you keep going, and to make sure you know exactly what to do when you fall. 2 THINGS ARE SUPER IMPORTANT: CONSISTENCY AND SURRENDER

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

In my years of struggling with overeating and bulimia I found two things that played a major role in my healing and gave me a huge shove toward victory and freedom on this difficult journey: CONSISTENCY and SURRENDER.

I so wished and prayed that CONSISTENCY would come natural for me. It seems to me as if some people are just rigged for consistency from birth. I can’t help to envy my husband’s consistent nature. He does not leave a project unfinished and he will keep at something long after I have given up. It has greatly benefit him and especially our family through the years. So I know it’s a good thing to have, it’s just that I HAVE TO WORK AT IT!

I discovered, after refusing to join the “consistent club” for the longest time, that if you can do 3 things consistently for one year, you WILL have a whole different life:

1. Make time for God 7 days a week NO MATTER WHAT!

2. Exercise 4-5 times a week NO MATTER WHAT!

3. Start doing one thing every day towards the purpose and longings God placed in my heart (such as studying, writing, teaching, painting etc)

But let’s be honest about this: It’s not easy to consistently do the “positive things” in life. As soon as we try to create habits that will bring us closer to God, glorify God, or aid us in holiness, we get resistance. The “negative things” seem to get a hold of us so easily, but try and do something positive and you have a fight on your hands with both the devil and your own flesh. We usually don’t “feel” like doing anything slightly positive, in fact it can feel down right unnatural at first. Changing our lives around is not a little thing. The enemy loves that we’re stuck in a rut of negative patterns and the moment we decide to move out of it, the attacks begin: Negative thoughts, problems to discourage us, and difficulties in our relationships. We have to literally get in there and fight for our freedom.

If you are finding yourself in the death grip of and eating disorder such as bulimia, binge eating disorder or compulsive overeating you might feel totally unable to consistently exercise or eat healthy. Certain issues might be blocking your ability to move forward and if you try to put certain habits in place might feel impossible. In fact, trying to “pull yourself together” or relying on will-power can easily push you deeper into a pit of despair. I recommend that you get some help from both a physician and counselor to help you deal with the root issues that are usually physical, emotional and spiritual. Once you receive healing from past pain and learn how to deal with your present relationships and circumstances you will find that you can also become consistent in the areas where you now only experience failure.

However, even if you are unable to put any consistent habits in place this very minute, you can do one thing consistently: SURRENDER to God. This surrender that I speak of is really simple: Let go of control and start asking God daily to help you get healthy.

Here’s what I found every time I’ve tried to “take control” of my own life:

– In spite of my best efforts, it takes only my haywire hormones, my hubby’s latest hobby, or an insecurity to realize I cannot control the eb and flow of my marriage.

– It takes only an illness or a remark from an insensitive peer to make me realize I can not always control my children’s physical, emotional and spiritual well-being

– As someone who moved across continents I can tell you that yes, after all the work I’ve put into friendships, career, and church involvement, it only takes a new job in a different state (or country) to make your whole world spin out of control.

– I had to give up the belief that I can control my financial security by working more, sleeping less and investing in the right stuff. As we all experienced in recent months, it only takes a bad economy…

– The notion that I can control my weight with a fad diet is usually crushed within the first 3 days by a strong craving for the list of forbidden food, or the inability to stomach one more rice cake!

Of course I’m not telling you to just throw in the towel, neglect the kids, yell at your husband, abandon your friends, cancel your gym membership and head straight for KFC. God has made us stewards over many things, including our own bodies and we are accountable for doing our part. I am a huge advocate for consistently doing good things, as the Bible says, and the rewards will come. (Galatians 6:9)

I am simply telling you that if placing your hope in your own ability to control people and things are just an accident waiting to happen. In the end: God is in control, not us. After you’ve done your part the best thing you can do for your own sanity is to lay your kids, marriage, friendships, finances, health and weight ever so gently in His everlasting lap…

According to Jeremiah 17: 5-8, I will turn into a dry bush if I depend on another man or woman. However, I never realized how much I was depending on this woman (me). I was relying greatly on my own effort and performance. I was sure that everybody in my care (and not in my care) was my sole responsibility.

Please hear me on this one: If you want to stop overeating or binge eating, you will have to get off the “control train”. You may know by now that all your plans of taking control through will-power, diets, purging and starvation left you like a dried-up shrub in the desert. There is living water, it only comes from God and it can change you into a green tree that bears fruit and have shade for others to rest under.

In the end we need CONSISTENCY if we want to stop overeating, stop binge eating, and get rid of bulimia for good. But even more so we need to consistently SURRENDER our lives to God in order to see any lasting changes!

 

 

It all starts with ONE DAY – TODAY REALLY MATTERS!

Please go read these two posts if you’re having a hard time getting started on the path of consistency:
One sober day can change things around
One day I’ll be a beautiful butterfly

Love, Heleen

 

PS: If you are not a member of my program for Women Struggling with Food you might be interested to click here for my FREE EBOOK: “God will I ever be free?”
Click here if you’re struggling with overeating, binge eating, food addiction, or bulimia and want more information on becoming a member:  12 Week Online Program for women who struggle with eating disorders and food addiction – Week 1 is free – so you can try it out before buying anything:)

 

Temptation

Week 11 of my 12 Week Online Program for Women Struggling with Food deals with the issue of Temptation. We are discussing this on the Members Forum this week. Come learn how you can find victory in those moment when you are tempted. 

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

 

How do you find victory in your WEAK MOMENTS?

I wanted to share this excerpt out of the new Breaking Free Bible Study by Beth Moore with you:

God has reserved momentous victories and great rewards for us. But we’ll never make it to our milestones if we cant’ make through our moments

Isn’t that so true?
We set these milestones and we even have faith for it – but then we get to that ‘MOMENT”, that excruciating moment of temptation or weakness, and we cave… and then we lose hope…

SO HOW DO WE GET THROUGH OUR WEAK MOMENTS?

Beth goes on to say that 2 reasons exist that we don’t take the “exit” God offers in our weak moments (1 Cor 10:13)

1. We don’t want to

2. We don’t feel like we deserve to

We have to ask God in that MOMENT:

“God I don’t want to stop eating, but please change my WANT TO”
or
“God I don’t think I deserve healthy food/taking care of my body, but please help me see that I am a princess of the only true King and I do deserve it”

If you have been following along on our MEMBERS FORUM, you will know that I am struggling at this time in my life with “keeping my mouth under control”. Our family life has become very challenging because (as I mentioned before) my husband and I have a few businesses that we now run from home, and I’m still homeschooling two of my kids. So I tend to lose my temper and reach for some unhealthy snacks in those very stressful or weak moments during the day.

Sometimes it’s totally a “I just don’t want to” thing like Beth mentioned, and I’ve been crying out to God to change my heart’s desires in those times.

However, sometimes I even “want to”, and plan to do the right thing, but when I get to that MOMENT… I just DON’T!

Paul speaks about this struggle in his own life, and he concludes that it is indeed ONLY GOD who can saves us and help us overcome in those times.

So what can we do if we even want to do the right thing, but we DON’T?

I will tell you about the only thing that has worked for me even in the hardest of times:
I have to recognize that my thoughts of “it doesn’t matter” or “what difference does it make” in those weak moments is LIES OF THE ENEMY. He knows my weakness and he will present those lies to me every time I feel stressed or weak – FOR AS LONG AS I BELIEVE IT TO BE JUST MY OWN LITTLE THOUGHTS.

So we have to first of all SPOT THE LIES – those are not your thoughts, and most certainly NOT YOUR WANTS – and then RUN INTO GOD’S PRESENCE. Listen girl, you will only find victory in those weak moments if you get out of that situation and find a place to pray. Rebuke the enemy and read those note cards with God’s truth out loud so your ears can hear the truth. The Bible says that in God’s presence the veil is stripped away, and as we look into the truth of His Word, we are changed (Go read this in 2 Corinthians 3: 16-18)

But what if you have 20 weak moments a day?
Don’t worry, even though daily time in God’s presence is the only way to remain free, you will not have to run and pray 20 times a day for the rest of your life. BUT FOR NOW – LET’S FACE IT – THAT MIGHT BE WHAT YOU NEED TO DO.

If you feel yourself going around in that cycle of making promises to yourself to do better, even wanting to do better, and then failing every day at that same weak moment… THEN IT’S TIME TO SURRENDER YOURSELF TO GOD, RESIST THE ENEMY, AND HE WILL FLEE FROM YOU (James 4:7)

Please go read again WEEK 2 and WEEK 11 of my 12 Week Online Program for women with eating disorders if you have forgotten (or didn’t realize) that you’re not just fighting your own FLESH but also a very real enemy. I talk about these issues in greater detail there, and also give you some tools to find victory in those weak moments.

The following passage of Scripture underlines it all:

1 Peter 5:6-10 (New International Version, ©2011)

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

In His Love
Heleen

PS: I highly recommend Beth Moore’s Bible Study “Breaking Free” – it is life changing! Find a group near you or start a small group yourself, it is so much more effective if you do it with the accountability of other women.

Controlling People and Situations can Feed you Food Addiction

We’ve just completed Week 9  on the forum that deals with PEOPLE PLEASING and CONTROL. If you find yourself reaching for food because of stress and turmoil in your relationships then this week might clear up a lot of issues for you. Please have a look at my 12 Week Online Program to find out more.

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

 

This past weekend I was reminded that self-control and controlling other people can not co-exist in my life. I was getting anxious about situations in our family and fell back into my old pattern of controlling people and circumstances.

Of course I’m pretty good at “whipping” everything and everybody into shape, but things started unraveling fast inside of me. I was restless. I wanted to eat all sorts of things and I was avoiding God.

Fortunately I’ve learned, through much tears and many heartaches, to recognize these patterns in myself.

So I was back at the drawing board with God:

The Bible clearly says that self-control is part of the Fruit of the Spirit and “should” thus be part of every spirit filled Christian’s life. According to John 15 we will bear much fruit (including self-control) if we are plugged into the vine (Jesus). So having self-control means staying close to God, OBEYING GOD, and daily asking the Holy Spirit to fill us and give us control of ourselves.

However, no where in the Bible will you find any kind of command or even an indication that we are suppose to control other people and circumstances.

Now if you are immediately thinking  “I’m not a control-freak” you might want to first read the following to make sure:

Controlling can be blatant or subtle. Trying to please people and keep everybody happy doesn’t seem like control, but by always pleasing others we actually try to control the way they see us, or even what they think of us.

Controlling others has a nasty side affect: It robs us of our self-control. If we learn to give the people and things that we can not really control over to God, we have enough peace to build and work on our relationship with God and as a result we see the fruit of the Spirit show up in our lives..

You girls know me by now: I want to know how it works in real life!
I’m seeing how every time I choose to give control over to God, I have more peace, more time (by not obsessing about others) and more self control.

Try it…next time you feel like controlling or pleasing someone else, ask God what you’re suppose to do. Something like this “Am I suppose to control/please this person Lord? Which part of this is my job and which is Your job?”

Okay, so I know it’s not that easy: What do you do with the anxiety, the pain and the stress surrounding the relationships you are currently trying to control?
Women have so much more stress that’s related to relationships than men. We want to fix everyone’s problems and keep everybody happy. But at what price? We loose control of our own lives!

capture16One of the things I found that works wonders for this kind of stress: Girl friend time!
Get into a group or ask God to help you find friends with whom you can be real. I found that it’s easier to join a woman’s Bible study or a support group. The kind of”realness” that we all desperately need usually starts in these kind of groups, and lots of times it flows over into lifetime friendships.

God gave us each other, and nobody understands the needs, stress and worries of a woman like another woman. Please find a place where you can talk about the stress in your relationships.

Most women I know constantly put their own needs and wants on the back burner. So I guess it’s almost “normal”, but it doesn’t mean that we can keep doing it without damage to our lives. Our anxiety sometimes reach such high levels that we start looking around for a crutch such as food, alcohol, pornography or drugs.

Do you feel that you have little or no self-control left?
Please have a look at your relationships and circumstances. You might have the best of intentions in controlling people and circumstances, but it still robs you from the ability to control your own self.

Find a quiet place today where you can think and talk to God about control. If you give the control back to God you will feel peace come back to your life. In the light of that peace, you will be able to talk to Him more openly, and He will tell you why He created you in the first place

Don’t think for one minute that this is selfish. The most wonderful gift you can give your family and friends is to start taking care of your own wants and needs (spiritual, emotional and physical). If you do that, you will regain your self-control and will be able to sow love into their lives without controlling them.

I don’t say this lightly. I have to remind myself daily that by controlling others I am robbing myself of self-control. I need all nine parts of the fruit of the Spirit desperately in my life, so I keep giving the control that belongs to God back to Him…

From a ex control-freak

Heleen

 

Here are some resources for you:

 

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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

Choosing the right Food Plan for you

We’re on Week 4 on the forum and we’re looking into finding the right food plan for every lady.  This is a very personal issues, seeing that we all find ourselves in different seasons in our lives. God has the right plan for you and your unique situation. Do some research on different programs out there – the accountability and discipline is very important. REMEMBER: God can use any solid program to help  you break free from this disordered way of eating. However, if you don’t grow in relationship with Him and surrender this part of your life to Him, it will just be another diet failure. Please have a look again at my book on surrender if this is still a huge issue for you: “God will I ever be free?”

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

 

ABSTINENCE OR MODERATION?

 

In the world of Food Struggles the search for the “perfect treatment” continues, and in Christian circles the question whether one should be abstinent from certain food or learn to eat all food in moderation is an ongoing debate.

What is a woman to do?

Say goodbye to sweets forever, or eat every thing, but only one bite at a time?

My Humble Opinion: Stop wondering about it and DO what you’ve gotta do girl!

Actually, both of these “solutions” have merit:

Gluttony, a sin that most ladies with food struggles deal with, is in itself a clear indication that we are dealing with eating too much and the solution should therefore be to repent and eat less, through the help of the Holy Spirit of course.

However, a struggle with food also points to the sin of idolatry. Certain food can become an idol when we turn to it to make us happy, calm our nerves, and bring meaning to our lives. In the case of idolatry we need to repent from idolatry and then remove the “idol” from the throne of our hearts and give our hearts back to God.

All of this can only be done through surrendering our food struggle to God. However, we have a part to play. Numerous verses in the Bible makes it clear that we are stewards over our bodies. Godly wisdom and common sense seem to apply here. An alcoholic would be wise not to work at a bar, and a person with a porn or gambling addiction would be wise to stay away from the computer especially at times when there is no accountability (late at night). In fact, I know people who got so tangled up in chat rooms and online communities that they had to get rid of their computers at home altogether in order to stay free. Shouldn’t we in the same manner be wise to remove the food that became a constant stumbling block from our lives? Are we being wise if we go to places where we could be tempted with food that always gets us in trouble?

Some scientists believe that the alteration of the brain, found in drug addicts and alcoholics, might also occur in people who have struggled with food addiction for a long time. If this is true then there should be a period of abstinence from the “addictive food” for our brains to repair before we can safely reach for those foods again (if ever)

Okay, so this is still a very controversial subject and not enough research has been done to say for sure. So lets not call it a “brain alteration”, let’s just call it a deeply ingrained habit. Do you honestly think that you will overcome this “habit” if you are daily surrounded by the food that are directly linked to past bouts of overeating or binge eating, or will you be pulled into the familiar path of your long standing habit?

Here is what I’ve learned in my own life through trial and error:

  • If I keep my “addictive food” laying around the house, I’m not being wise.
  • I’m playing with fire if I start to bargain, telling myself, “I’ve not eaten _______ for so long, surely I can eat some”.
  • If I start to feel sorry for myself when I see others eat the foods I can’t, then I’m usually close to the verge of denial and in need of some truth to set me straight.
  • I can eat sugar and dessert, but I know exactly which ones are “safe” for me to eat, and it’s no coincidence that those are also good for my body.

THE TRUTH: The food that is on my list of “addictive foods”, and that I need to avoid in order to stay free, are food that my athletic friends will not even dream of touching. In other words: It’s bad for my body anyway, and the sadness I feel for not being able to have it is an emotional attachment, NOT A LOGICAL ONE.

Now I don’t deny that some ladies just have a problem with eating too much. They don’t have an emotional attachment to certain food, they only desire a lot of food. In this case it will make total sense to repent from the sin of gluttony and find a healthy food plan such as Weight Watchers or First Place to teach you how to be a good steward and eat smaller portions of food.

However, for the most part, if we struggle with eating disorders and food addiction we have both the sin of gluttony and idolatry present in our lives: We love food and we want lots of it.

This brings me to “A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!”

YOU MIGHT NEED TO TAKE A LOOK AT BOTH: You might need to learn how to eat the right portions as well as get rid of your addictive foods. I’m not saying this lightly at all, it is SUPER difficult, so please don’t try and do it alone. Join a 12 Step Program where others are doing the same thing (preferably a Christian program such as Celebrate Recovery or an OA group that is Christian based and meet at a church) ALSO GET ADDITIONAL CHRISTIAN COUNSELING IF POSSIBLE.

You can also join us on the Forum as we take 21 days every month to lay down at least one of those foods and habits TOGETHER. (See Week 3 of my program to learn more)

WARNING: Of course the enemy will tell you that this is just nonsense, it sounds like a diet! Let me assure you, getting rid of addictive foods is NOT A DIET. You are not restricting any food group in order to lose weight. You are getting rid of food that usually don’t even belong to any food group, and that you will not dream of giving to a young child. Why? It’s usually sugar and fat coated poison!

I’m not trying to convince you that you have a food addiction if you don’t have one. So please don’t get mad at me if you believe strictly in moderation and a healthy non-restrictive food plan (plus surrender to God of course) has helped you find freedom in the past.

I’m just asking you to be honest with yourself on these few matters:
Has your life become totally unmanageable again in spite of following a healthy food plan?
Do you have a constant sadness and depression that lingers under the surface of your life again?
Have you been free of this oppression before ONLY when you got rid of your addictive foods and given your heart back to God?

In the end, you know yourself, and if you let the Holy Spirit search your heart, YOU WILL KNOW WHAT TO DO!

Hope this helped you ladies make sense of the big debate over Abstinence and Moderation.

Love,

Heleen

 



Here are some resources for you:

 

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Is Food Addiction for Real?

I promised to re-posting some popular posts related to the 12 Weeks of my Online Program as we go through it on the forum. We are currently doing Week 3  and the topic is Food Addiction. So here is this post again in case you want to read it one more time, or you have missed it the first time.

 

Living with the “Brain Fog” of Food Addiction

People who struggle with Food Addiction use food in similar ways as others do drugs, cigarettes or alcohol. It is used to numb unwanted emotions and it actually does! If you have an overload of sugar, fat and salt in your system, you actually experience a “high”. It’s a state of mind where you just live for the moment, food is all that matters and for a few moments at least, it can make you forget about your sorrows.

Of course you always regret it afterward. However, it’s not necessarily a deep regret that brings you to repentance, but rather something similar to the alcoholic who cries when he is in a drunken state. It’s usually feelings of self pity and self loathing, but unfortunately mostly not the deep sorrow that makes you want to turn away from the addictive foods for good.

If you struggle with food addiction, you might recognize this pattern where you overeat at night, feel sick to your stomach, cry tears of despair, and promise yourself to never do this again, just to repeat the same cycle again the next day. It breaks my heart to see friends and family go through this cycle many times before they hit “rock-bottom”. I know the horrible feeling of utter failure.

There is another side to addiction that causes people to stay in the same rut, year after year: The “Brain Fog”. Food Addiction, as other addictions, covers your brain with a numbness, causing you to make wrong decisions, lack sound judgment, and not hear the voice of God. In my life, the feeling of numbness toward God and my loved ones became one of the big warning signs that I am slipping back into food addiction. Huge amounts of sugar, fat and salt can literally sap all your energy, make you depressed and pull a thick cloud of fog over your brain and your emotions. It is a horrible, empty life to lead: You pretend that all is well on the outside, but your heart has been stripped of all life.

Many books have been written about food addiction, but people still tend to make light of it. So even if you are skeptical about whether people can truly be addicted to food, I want to urge you to take a hard look at your own life. The enemy uses food to keep people in a lifetime of bondage. However, it is important to know that not everyone with an eating disorder suffers from food addiction, but those with food addiction usually have some form of distorted eating such as bulimia, binge eating disorder or compulsive overeating.

Also, hereditary factors tend to play a major role in food addiction. If there is a pattern of addiction in your family or you have been addicted to other substances at different times in your life, you have a bigger chance to also get addicted to food.

How then can this be treated?
From my own experience and the testimonies of other ladies, I believe that some people sunk so deep into food addiction that their spirit (deep inner being that connects with God) can not respond to God before they don’t first clear the “brain fog”. Now before you get upset with me, I do believe, and have seen God heal people from addiction in a moment. However, to forge a deeper, lasting relationship with God these people too had to become “clean” from high amounts of sugar, fat and salt and stay that way. It is sometimes necessary to first become abstinent from certain food before our past wounds can be healed, simply because the food that we are addicted to keeps us in a state of numbness.

That said, you should never just stop eating. You are setting yourself up to sink deeper into food addiction if you starve your body. You need your body to “help” you with the physical healing from this addiction. So you first have to get it strong. In my Program I help women go through the necessary steps to first get their bodies to work for them, not against them. I always recommend going through a period of “restoring” your body first. I’m simply talking about getting enough sleep, drinking lots of water, exercising, and eating enough protein, whole grains, as well as fresh fruit and vegetables for a few weeks before abstaining from anything. However, there is good news, it only takes 21 days to rid your body of certain cravings, and after the first 7 days it actually gets a little easier. I am always so amazed at how the cravings TOTALLY disappear after 21 days!

But far bigger than the lack of cravings for everything deep fried and smothered in chocolate is the joy of being able to FEEL again. Your senses come alive, and you can cry and laugh and feel the gentle touch of God as He heals your broken heart.

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

The Good and the Bad of being Busy!

woman writing 8_194x188I must admit, I have a need to stay busy all the time! It’s more than a need actually, for years I have equated busyness with power, prestige and value. Fortunately, God has brought about a lot of change in my value system and way of thinking, and these days I’m ready for a slower pace.

However, moving at a snail’s pace without purpose or direction can cause other problems. Let’s have a look:

The Good:

I’ve written in previous posts about the absolute necessity for someone who struggles with food to find again her buried dreams and desires. Those dreams are given to us by God and it makes each one of us unique and our lives worth living. If we don’t follow our purpose and dreams, we will follow something else, even something destructive. So to get busy with your dreams is a GOOD THING!

If you often find yourself bored, not interested in anything, tired, depressed and without purpose, you might have lost vision and purpose for your life. This is not God’s plan for you.

Living in this hopeless state can cause a person to turn to food again and again. In fact, you might pick up many other idols along the way if you don’t find meaning and purpose in your life. Even good Christians who read their Bibles and pray daily can fall prey to idolatry if they don’t find joy in fulfilling the purpose God has for them on this earth.

The Bad:

Unfortunately anything we devout all of our time, energy, and money to can become an idol instead of bringing fulfillment to our lives.
Take for instance this ministry I have for women who struggle with food. I’ve had this yearning to help other ladies for many years, but I wasn’t sure how it should all play out. I’ve asked God to show me what He wants me to do, and when He opened the doors for me to start a website and an online program I was so excited. I had a new zeal for life. I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning. I was like a kid with a new toy!

This part was great, but the I started overdoing it. I spent way too much time with my new found purpose. I started putting the needs of others in front of time with God and taking care of my own needs. Last year this time I found myself almost at the point of being burnt out. The “bad” side of busyness was knocking at my door.

I was slipping even with my eating, this shook me out of my denial and I cried out to God to show me how to balance these things. What I learned is that to keep busy from morning to night shuts out the voice of God. We fall back into quick prayers, even quick Bible studies, but nothing seems to get to our hearts.

I felt my heart grew cold and numb, a dangerous place for someone who struggles with food. If there is one thing a food addict knows it is this: If you get too busy, you get out of touch with your body, your needs, and your emotions, and then you start binging mindlessly.

Don’t get so busy that you lose touch with your own self .

These days I don’t go online every weekend, on purpose. I stop working at a certain time in the evening to take a bubble bath, on purpose. I go on hikes to the park with my kids, without a cellphone or a book, on purpose.

All these moments in time creates opportunity to meditate on the Word, think about God, figure out what is going on inside of me and hear Him speak to me in ways I could never imagine!

So where are you with all this?

Do you need to get moving, find your purpose, and live the life God planned for you?

or

Do you need to slow down, smell the roses, experience the people around you and feel the gentle touch of God restoring your soul?

If you need help in finding your purpose and dreams please read this post where I’ve provided some tips and resources:
Stop the nonsense, chase your dream!

If you are in need of some rest, do it now, don’t wait for a vacation!
Get out in the sun or the rain, talk to God. Or just sit in your favorite chair and do nothing. Just wait and listen…
You will unfortunately never grow an intimate relationship with God while running a thousand miles per hour. The Holy Spirit will keep calling and drawing you to that quiet, secret place where you can hear the voice of God. He’s been waiting for you, all you have to do is STOP and LISTEN.

Come on, I challenge you today: Do what you have to do.
Life is too short to waste it on an eating disorder or any other addiction. One of the major steps you can take toward healing is to find out if you need to MOVE or STOP. I’m not going to lie to you, IT’S VERY SCARY either way. However, it could be the thing that turns your life around…you can do it girl!

In His Love
Heleen

 

If you are looking for Christian based eating disorder treatment, you will find a bunch of free material and a very affordable 12 Week Program on my website. Here are some resources for you:

 

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