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

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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10 Years Free from Bulimia!

Here comes one of my candid heart-to-heart posts. Forgive me for being too open at times, but I do think that you ladies deserve nothing less, seeing that I’m always encouraging you to be real. It’s difficult to spill the beans about my own life, but I do realize that God can only bless me, especially in this kind of ministry, if I’m honest with you all.

Last month (July 2011) has been exactly 10 years since God set me free from diet pills and the binging and purging cycle of Bulimia!

I am so grateful to God! It took a journey and a lot of healing, but there was a definite time when I knew something happened and that I would never be the same again. There’s a song that Darlene Zschech of Hillsong sings  “I will never be the same again…” I heard this song years ago when God brought freedom to this area of my life, and I have been singing it every since. I especially held on to the verse “There are higher hights, there are deeper seas, whatever you need to do, Lord do in me, The Glory of God fills my life and I will never be the same again

I am not very patient and the hardest thing that I had to do was to wait for God’s timing for my healing. I wanted it yesterday and I wanted it all done at once. It didn’t work that way. I had to learn to trust God with His particular “plan of healing” for me.

I know He was trying to teach me patience, but He was really also testing my heart and testing my motives. I told you ladies before that my relationship with God consisted for a long time of me asking Him to make me skinny. It wasn’t a sincere relationship, but rather me bargaining with God. The biggest mistake I made was to think that He didn’t know. As if He’s not God Almighty who can see in the heart of every human. I am ashamed when I think of that, but I have asked God to forgive me and help me love Him in a way that is worthy of Him. A pure and genuine way that has all to do with Him and nothing to do with what I can get out of Him for my own gain.

But in spite of all of this I still get impatient, because I don’t feel that I can say “I will never fall again” and I so want to say that. In these instances I argue with God that surely I have suffered enough and have enough patience by now. Can He not just speak a word now and let it be done. But then there are times when I just come before Him, so in awe of His beauty, so in love with Him that I just blurt it out: “Oh Lord I don’t care if I will never be totally free from this, I don’t care if you never give me anything again, just let me love you like this for the rest of my life”

And indeed it is this “making peace” with the fact that I probably will have to deal with fall and getting up (obviously in a lesser fashion) for the rest of my life, that I’ve experienced the most peace. By not reaching for the perfect track record anymore, I have actually given things over to God’s time table. I am doing what I can to not fall of course, but if I slip, I don’t beat myself up anymore. I don’t go into a three year relapse anymore and I don’t think: I will never be free from this. Because, really I am free. Every day that I give this struggle over to the Holy Spirit I am free. Come to think of it: If God is using this to keep me close to him, isn’t it then a blessing in disguise?

Hard times with food during the last 10 years…

I know you probably hoped that I don’t fall anymore, and that I could tell you that for the past 10 years I have never binged or looked at a fad diet. What I can tell you is: Seldom. These times of falling seems to happen when there is some area in my life that God wants to work on and I refuse to let Him. During times like these I inevitably turn back to my old lover: food. So if I can just get a clue, that will be helpful right?

Let me tell you about two specific incidents these past 10 years when I picked up my crutch of overeating again. I’m so grateful that I never opened the back door of binging and purging again, but I have turned to overeating and “grazing” to help me cope with stress and life.

After my baby girl was born – 2006:
By God’s grace my eating disorders didn’t flare up during my pregnancy with my sweet little gift from God 5 years ago. However, after Christie was born panic struck me because of the weight I had to lose. I wrote all about this in my 40 day journal  in the members area of my 12 Week Online Program. The bottom line: I was looking for a quick fix because I hated the extra weight and I was scared that I would always look that way. After some kicking and screaming (again!), I finally got a clue and  followed the same steps I’ve written down for you throughout this program. Basic Biblical principals of repenting from all unbelief, pride, and denial and letting the Holy Spirit search my heart and heal the things that still needed healing. After trying a few fad diets I finally turned to a decent program – Weight Watchers, and slowly shook off the weight and regained my peace with God’s help and the support of friends and WW groups.

The past year (2010 – 2011):
My close circle of friends and also those of you who have been faithfully following my blog will know that this past year has been a tough one on our family. My husband lost his job, couldn’t find another, and as a result we started up a bunch of internet businesses. We have been doing webdesign just for fun before and had a few e-commerce businesses that didn’t bring in a lot of money in the past, but now this became our main source of income. You can just imagine having your business smack in the middle of your home while trying to home school your kids, and still support others… It was a nightmare at best. Our financial situation kept looking bleaker and the stress accumulated as the year went by. We are still pretty much in the thick of things, but I have at least found other schooling options for my children for the coming year and finally started surrendering this situation to God.

With all this busyness I started spending less time with God, and less time in the Word. I’ve warned you ladies many times that if we don’t get washed by the water of the Word and lay our cares at Jesus’ feet in prayer that we start to “stink” because of the filth and worries of this world. This is exactly what happened to me this last year, and I turned to an old familiar outlet – food. I’m so grateful to God that I never turned back to serious binging and purging, however I started eating all day long to get rid of the stress – only it didn’t help of course.

My husband and I each picked up about 40 pounds, and the shame and guilt I felt became my daily companion. FINALLY I turned again to my own program (after reading an amazing testimony of a member and bawling my eyes out!) I repented once more of the pride (that I could fix our situation by working super hard), the denial (that I’m still in control of my eating when I have not been for a year) and the unbelief (that God couldn’t not possibly save me AGAIN)

I also started crying out to God for a program to help both me and my husband lose the weight we have gained. Weight Watchers wasn’t working this time around – I tried doing it online but couldn’t attend a group meeting and because of no accountability I just dropped the ball every Friday afternoon. Our new schedule also left me with absolutely no time for regular shopping and menu planning, so after 12 hours behind the computer and going hours without food I kept just “giving up” and kept grabbing the closest junk food. My husband was actually the one who found us something that could help in the midst of our crazy busy lives. He told me that friends of ours at a neighboring church was doing a program and were losing tons of weight. I didn’t want to hear of it – meal replacements! It sounded like a fad diet to me if ever I’ve heard of one. I kept arguing with him about the price of the food and how I can just make similar healthy meals for us (as if I’ve not tried doing that many times before). Long story short, I reluctantly submit to my husband – the guy who in my mind “knew absolutely nothing about food stuff”. God ended up using this program to save us both. It was actually the same plan that a friend of mine have used to lose ALL of her weight and maintained for two years. I’ve watched her but was too proud to ask before. I then started hearing of other people I know who have had the same amazing experience with lasting results because of the coaching that goes along with it.  You can go read all about my “skeptical journey” on the members forum if you are a member of my program: Heleen’s Journal on Take Shape for Life

The results were MORE THAN I EVER EXPECTED. I was wowed by the variety of food, the “hands-and-mind-off-food” place that I’ve entered by not having to slave over the stove preparing meals, the difference it made to have a coach work with you every step of the way, the fast weight loss, and the surge of energy which came as a result of eating 6 meals packed with vitamins, calcium, and protein every day.  I’m so grateful to God for yet another tool that I can pass on to you ladies.

It has been months now that I’m walking free from the compulsive overeating that has been plaguing me the last year, and as far as the future is concerned… I know that as long as I do certain things consistently, stay far away from perfection and stay as close as humanly possible to God, I am doing great.
And days that I don’t do so great? Well I might finally be getting a clue that God is working in me,  and I pray that I will be working with Him more, because more than anything I desire to know Him more and love Him more…

 

Micah 7: 7-8

But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light

Isaiah 61; 1-4

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor. 
They will rebuild the ancient ruins

and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.

 

Thank you Jesus that you came to bring freedom and healing to my life and the life of every person who might be reading this post today!

Amazed by Grace
Heleen

 

 

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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Please follow me on Twitter
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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.

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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Surrender to God and Resist the Enemy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your sister in Christ
Heleen

 

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

Link Between the Church and Weight Problems

Did you hear about the new statistic that links attending church with obesity?
I was both sad and angry when I heard the anchor person say on the news last night that “church might be good for the soul, but it might not be so good for the waist line” She went on to describe how research has shown a greater weight gain in people who attend church at least once a week than those who don’t.

I can’t say that I was surprised about this announcement, but I sure was angry at the devil for humiliating the church like that, and I was sad for the thousands of Christians who struggle with their weight.

I have written a lot on this subject so I’m adding one of my earlier articles below. It’s a bit long, but something I think every Christian should be aware of.


Please Read:

I recently stumbled upon an article “Lard have Mercy: The Christian obesity epidemic”.

It was very interesting and although the author sadly showed an obvious prejudice towards Christians, I couldn’t help but agree with some of the points being made. The author based the article on Ferraro’s most recent study, published in the June 2006 issue of the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, a follow-up to a study he published in 1998, where he found there were more obese people in states with larger populations of folks claiming a religious affiliation than elsewhere, particularly in states with the most Baptists.

I grew up in a Christian home, and I love the church, but even I can not shut my eyes to the fact the we have grown, to put it mildly, “bigger” over the years. Now of course this problem is widespread. Everybody knows by now that obesity has become an epidemic in America with more than half of the populations suffering from this. So the church has not been isolated in it’s denial of the eminent dangers associated with obesity.

The truth is that we as Christians did, for a long time, tolerate the sin of gluttony in our midst. I grew up seeing a lot of overweight people in church, including the pastors, and I never even gave it a second thought. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way condemning overweight people, that would make me a hypocrite seeing that I have struggled with food for many years, and still have to fight off the enemy in this area.

I’m afraid the church’s denial of this problem didn’t help though. We don’t allow alcohol at our meetings, and preach against the dangers of drunkenness. Some congregations have even switched to grape juice for communion to not give alcoholics the opportunity to stumble. All kinds of addiction programs sprung up over the years, and we have reached out a hand to help people overcome these. Pastors do their part by preaching against the lusts of the flesh that the Bible warns of. However, for a very long time, we ignored the fact that food can also become an idol; something to numb pain and help you deal with life; a drug of choice.

Until a few years back I found it so hard to keep my food addiction at bay while being actively involved in church. It is true that we can not pin it all on the church, then we will be no different than the people blaming MacDonalds for their obesity. But we also have to wake up to the truth that to beat obesity in our generation will take a team effort. Yes, individuals need to change, and families need to take a hard look at their lifestyles, but big institutions and government agencies have a role to play in winning this war against obesity. So the church can’t just passively sit by, refusing to change with the times.

It is true that the church, like the rest of the world, gather around food for all occasions. Granted at a secular party there would be alcohol too, but there will always be room for rich food and decadent desserts on the menu. Likewise, every meeting and gathering at the church have been a place for the ladies to bring their best dishes to the table, and best would hardly ever equal healthy in years past. In fact, if I brought a plate of vegetables to a church function a few years back, nobody would probably eat it, and I would have opened myself up for some serious criticism.

Have things changed? I think so. We’re getting there, slowly but surely, just like everybody else. There are more fruit, vegetables and healthy dishes at the meetings these days. It’s still fun to gather around food, and lots of times our meetings are right at lunch or dinner time anyway. However, our church gets it meals delivered from Subway these days.

There is also an awakening in many churches to the fact that God made us to move. Many churches have added gyms to their complexes, and some small groups are dedicated to help people get fit and loose some weight.
In recent years many books have been written to help Christians get their weight under control and programs such as First Place have been gaining popularity with their excellent material and support groups.

So I do think the church are realizing that our casual take on overeating is not good for us and it’s hurting our children. However, we still have a long way to go. Not everybody is convinced, and one can’t help but wonder why not, if all the evidence are on the table. Can it be that the love for food has become too big to let go of the rich decadent dishes? Also, habits don’t change over night and certain food became part of our traditions, making it all the more difficult to let it go. But I, for one, will encourage people to grieve these “food traditions” and start new traditions in order to save their lives and the lives of their children.

I am joining many Christians in the war against obesity in the church. If you are a Christian struggling with food, my heart goes out to you. It is not an easy struggle, in fact it can be very lonely in a church where people don’t talk about it and still pile the tables high with rich, fatty foods.

You can find help on my website that I created especially for women and moms dealing with eating disorders and food addiction. Make no mistake, it’s not just people with anorexia and bulimia who have an eating disorder. Anybody who doesn’t eat in a normal, healthy way needs help in this area. Come see for yourself, it’s online so you can do this program in the safety of your own home and at your own pace.

I must admit that after I heard that “proclamation” on TV last night, I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me again to bring my own “crutches” that I’ve picked up recently and lay them down. The world is watching us, and the fact is, we do have the answer; His name is JESUS and he came to set the captives free!

In His Love,
Heleen

 

 

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Are you Desperate for Change?

Do you constantly feel defeated, guilt ridden, tired, depressed, worried, stressed and overwhelmed? Are you truly desperate for change in your life and your situation?

Lets tackle the question then shall we: How does change happen?

I’ve looked for change everywhere I could. I still sometimes fall for the lie that if I can just be “better”, work harder, and pull myself together, then change will come… but it never does. The only times I’ve experienced TRUE CHANGE (the kind that lasts and lasts) was when I stopped making plans and finally turned to the Author of my life.

Please note that change doesn’t happen through programs, books, Bible studies, support groups or counseling. All of these things/people are marvelous tools in God’s hands that He uses to draw us closer to Him. But in the end, after we’ve done the program, went through counseling, got some support, and studied the Bible it should all lead us to one place: A DEEP LOVE RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS!

WHY? Because we ONLY changed IN HIS PRESENCE!

So if you are HONESTLY READY FOR CHANGE then I have a prescription for you:

I prescribe ONE BIG DOSE OF PRAYER DAILY!

Wait! Please don’t tune me out or stop reading yet. I know I’ve lost some of you when I mentioned the word prayer. You might think “Man, I’ve tried that before” or “Not the prayer thing again”

So lets talk about it candidly for a second: Why would you even consider prayer?

Here’s what I found in the Bible and my life…

Prayer not only helps you “empty out” all the junk of the day, the world, and all the worries an thoughts racing through your mind, but more importantly it “fills you up” with the love, mercy, and greatness of God.

I need to be reminded of this often because if there is one thing the enemy wants to steal from me (every child of God really)  it’s my PRAYER TIME. I will still make time for Bible Study and somehow drag my sorry bones to the gym, but when it comes to spending time just “talking” to God, the enemy blocks me at every corner.

When I finally get a clue and jump back on the prayer wagon, I can’t help but think that if we knew how important prayer was for our everyday living and survival, let alone victory, WE WOULD FIGHT FOR IT WITH ALL WE HAVE. We would give prayer first priority every day, we would make time during the day, and for sure before we go to bed at night. In fact, if you’re battling to overcome an addiction or eating disorder prayer is CRUCIAL. I’ve heard many people, who struggle  to break free from addictions, say that prayer three times daily was the only way they could get victorious through any given day.

Here’s a little word picture for you. Next time you forget to pray, or something hinders you from just sitting down for 5 minutes to talk to God, imagine it as being the same as not showering. I know…gross… Now imagine not showering for a few days, the layers of filth gathering, the smell, the uncomfortable feeling. If this persists for a long time you might become “used to” the smell, thinking that it’s “normal” … but that won’t stop you from getting skin diseases and other illnesses that accompanies a lack of hygiene. Also, people will start avoiding you because of the obvious stench.

Honestly, the same thing happens in our spirit. If we don’t pray for a day or two we’re still pretty okay, maybe a little irritated, maybe we don’t feel so great because of the stress, anxiety and junk that starts piling up in our spirit, but we can still handle it. However, if this persists for a while we can start to “stink” to the people around us. We might not “stink” so much to ourselves anymore because we got used to our anxiety and yucky feelings. In fact we might even blame our attitude on the world we live in, the people in our lives, and the bad genes we have. We might turn on God and blame Him for not caring about us and not loving us, all this without ever really talking to God. If we would take the time we would see clearly the deteriorated state of our spirit (heart) and emotions and it will all start to make sense to us.

In the midst of business, loneliness, sadness, pain, joy, or fear there is ONE THING WE TRULY need: To be washed by the water of the Word – A good old fashion spiritual bath in God’s presence and His Word to wash away all the worries, the stress, the pain, and the anger. We need to come into God’s presence so that He can change us and remind us that He is almighty and He is in control of our lives.  If we wait on Him (talk to Him and listen to His voice) our strength will be renewed, we will rise up with wings like eagles, we will run and not grow weary.

Don’t wait any longer, GO NOW, RUN INTO HIS PRESENCE, GO SIT AT HIS FEET, BE RENEWED AND RESTORED!

I’m preaching to myself here ladies – I’m off to sit at His feet or as a good friend of mine like to say “feel His sweet kisses on my cheeks”

Love you ladies
Heleen

Please have a look at my 12 Week Online Program for women who want to stop binge eating, overeating or bulimia by growing into close relationship with Jesus Christ. My program is not a quick fix, but will gentle lead you to the ONLY ONE WHO CAN BRING HEALING AND CHANGE TO YOUR LIFE -JESUS.