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

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