About runaway trains and rescue boats

Does your life sometimes feel like a runaway train? The feeling that you desperately need to get off, but it’s impossible because the train is not stopping for anything? Modern high speed train

I was on a runaway train for quite some time, in fact only now, here at the end of 2015, do I feel that I can simply breathe again.

Almost two years ago I started the tedious process of getting licensed as a counselor in my state, and almost immediately as I set foot on campus the drama in my life started. Not so much because of college, even though the work is time consuming and stress producing, but other things that I had no control over were happening all around me.

I wrote here on my blog about my Dad’s sudden passing which shook me so much harder than I could ever imagine. Around the same time some issues surfaced in my family that made me seriously question the depth of my faith and my love for others. When I also experienced a health scare and found myself bursting into tears at the drop of a hat I knew it was time to get help.

I told my counselor about the runaway train that is impossible to stop and he said something that I want to share with you: “Somewhere on that train, there is a cart, a dining room with soft lighting, good food, and classical music. A space  where you could just sit, rest, and dine in peace. You don’t have to get off the train, or wait for it to stop, you just need to find that space…”

I needed some godly counsel and medication, but I especially needed the reminder that Jesus was and always will be my Prince of Peace, my place of quiet in the midst of the storm. I needed a reminder that GOD IS ALWAYS WITH ME, through the water and the fire. When I had nothing to give and all my spiritual disciplines flew out the window, when I had trouble getting through any given day let alone do the things I “should have been doing”… He was with me anyway.

Another amazing thing I found in the midst of the darkness was a lifeboat! I have once heard someone make the analogy of  “the lifeboat of thankfulness” and this thought came back to me in some of my darkest moments. When I felt the waves crashing all around me alone in the doctor’s waiting room, hearing about my Dad in the middle of the night, or laying in bed overwhelmed by thoughts of doubt and fear, I took the jump! I leaped into that lifeboat and started thanking God for the breath in my lungs, the people around me who loved me, the gas in my car, the good talks I had with my Dad, and all the things I took for granted… and almost without fail I would feel the peace of God spill over into my heart and mind.

Maybe you need a quiet dining cart today, or maybe you are in need of a lifeboat right this minute because you find yourself in the eye of the storm. I want to urge you that while this storm is raging  you don’t need to be brave and strong, but instead you can take the hands of others around you and most importantly cling to HIS hand.  God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is right there with you. He is your rock and your hiding place my dear friend.

I believe Mandisa said it best…

 

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

Click here for professional counseling services in Oregon

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 here for professional counseling services in Oregon

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

Warning: You will have trouble!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

So there we have it! We were warned about TROUBLE right there in John 16:33! And yet, I continue to be shocked and surprised at the amount of trouble that can roll into my life on any given day. I love trouble free days, but seriously, with a job, kids, a husband, and other forms of frequent human interaction, those days are very rare.

Now for the most part, I can just shake off trouble,  forgive the people involved, and keep focusing on the big picture. However, from time to time I get those days where my own weakness (in body or mind) collides head-to-head with some “trouble”, and I’m just fed-up with all the drama. Then, if I let these troubles fester for more than two seconds without taking it to God, I can find myself nose-diving into a full fledged pity-party. To these parties I usually invite only three guests: Self-pity, Discontentment, and Unforgiveness.

During these times I am so grateful for a handful of trusted girl friends! They will allow me to vent, without judging me or judging the other people involved. And afterwards they will gently point me in the right direction… the path of forgiveness that leads me back to intimacy with Christ. When I’m finally ready to lay down my long list of rights and whisper “Okay I will forgive…” PEACE comes rushing back into my life and I remember again… TROUBLE IS PART OF MY PROCESS…

Sarah Young explains this so well in her book Jesus Calling:

“MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE PROBLEMS IN YOUR LIFE. Though many things feel random and wrong, remember that I am sovereign over everything. I can fit everything into a pattern for good, but only to the extend that you trust Me. Every problem can teach you something, transforming you little by little into the masterpiece I created you to be. The very same problem can become a stumbling block over which you fall , if you react with distrust and defiance. The choice is up to you, and you will have to choose many times each day whether to trust Me or defy Me.

The best way to befriend your problems is to thank Me for them. This simple act opens your mind to the possibility of benefits flowing from your difficulties. You can even give persistent problems nicknames, helping you to approach them with familiarity rather than with dread. The next step is to introduce them to Me, enabling Me to embrace them in my loving Presence.  I will not necessarily remove your problems, but My wisdom is sufficient to bring good out of every one of them.”

So Sarah gives us TWO clues here, straight from the Bible:

– TRUST GOD THAT HE CAN USE TROUBLE FOR GOOD IN YOUR LIFE

– START THANKING HIM FOR YOUR TROUBLE!

I honestly found THANKFULNESS to be one of the GREATEST WEAPONS against attacks of the enemy in my life. I recently found myself so drained by enemy attacks (Ephesians 6) and trials (James 1:2-3) when a friend suggested I make a THANK YOU list of all the things God has done the past year in this ministry and in my life. What a difference it made! It didn’t change any of my troubles or stopped the attacks per se, BUT IT CHANGED MY OUTLOOK AND ATTITUDE!

So, my fellow sister in this world where we are having much trouble, I want to gently encourage you to make your own THANK YOU LIST when things get tough. Also ask God to give you a few good friends you can trust during those times when you are weak and need some support and direction. God uses people to keep our arms up and show His love to us in a very real way!

Please don’t isolate yourself any longer. If you don’t have any friends, start reaching out. Join a women’s Bible study or get involved in a small group for women at your church. It will take some time to establish deep friendships, but start today by taking small steps forward, it will enrich your life in ways you never imagined!

Please allow me to give a shout-out here today to my friends who love me warts and all! You know who you are and I thank God for you, every day of my life!

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

 

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

ONE difference between the FREE and the CAPTIVE

I regret that I have not been able to get to my blog much because of a way too busy life. I apologize to all you ladies who are faithfully reading my blogs.

I’m praying for the season to change, but for now the answers I receive are more along the lines of God changing my heart and not so much the season (sounds familiar?) I’m afraid yours truly are always in need so of some more open heart surgery under the skillful hands of the Master Surgeon.

I’m really not complaining, on the contrary, it’s a good season even though it’s difficult. I’ve been stretched and grown in directions I didn’t even realize existed. My husband is still working from home and we have our hands full with balancing work, home school, and just life in general.

I’ve been wanting for a while now to answer a question on here that many of you have asked and that I have pondered on and researched for many years:

Why do some women break free and others don’t? Why can a group of women go through my program, or through 21 days of detox on the forum and some are victorious while others just can’t seem to make it.

Now, there is of course no easy answer to this. Some ladies have deep layers of abuse and pain from their past that first need to be revealed and healed by Jesus Himself. Others have a root of bitterness and unforgiveness that prevents them from growing in God or moving forward in any area of their lives. This can only be fixed by a healthy dose of repentance and falling in love with the One who knows how to break the hardest heart and heal the deepest pain.

The question remains though: What if you’ve dealt with your past and you’ve let God into all those hurtful places, but you’re still not free from this devastating bondage of food addiction? What if you are reducing the anxiety surrounding your relationships by refusing to please people and letting go of control and yet… no freedom?

It might be that there is ONE last chain on your foot, the same one that remained on mine for many years: I DIDN’T SHOW UP!

  • I wanted to do great and amazing things for God… but the enemy kept me from showing up for daily quite time…
  • I wanted to be a runner, an athlete, an instructor… but the enemy kept me from even taking a few daily steps…
  • I wanted to be a great speaker and writer…but the enemy kept me from writing one short post for years…
  • I wanted to be thin (or just decent looking)…yet the enemy kept me from showing up for support and guidance in this area for the longest time…

The enemy might know better than you that if you CAN ONLY be diligent in a few little things, you will reap a great harvest.

So I’m here to tell you that there are no “special” children of God. In the end, there are those who show up, and those who don’t. That very confident women you see at Bible Study, probably started showing up (with fear and trembling at first) a long time ago. The good looking ladies you see at Curves probably pushed through humiliation at first and started showing up when they weighed much more than they do today. Many free ladies had to push through the fear of applying for that job, going for that interview or writing that first post (that no one commented on I might add) in order to reach for their dreams.

It is not easy to CHANGE so we keep saying “I can’t change”. It’s true, you may not be able to change on your own, BUT YOU CAN SHOW UP, and that’s where the Holy Spirit’s power kicks in and change happens.

  • If you don’t SHOW UP for, what my initially be, a pretty-boring-no-fireworks quite time with God – YOU MAY MISS THE GOING DEEPER AND FALLING HEAD OVER HILLS IN LOVE WITH THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN HEAL YOU AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOREVER!  Just show up, and ask “Lord, here I am, I’ve showed up, the rest is up to you. Please help me!”
  • If you don’t SHOW UP for that snail pace walk, you MAY NEVER RUN THAT MARATHON OR PLAY THAT GAME OF TENNIS THAT YOU’VE ALWAYS DREAMED OF! Just show up and while you’re walking cry out to God “Lord, here I am, this is a sacrifice for me, but I’m showing up. Please take me further!”
  • If you don’t SHOW UP for that Bible study, that meeting, or that support group YOU MAY NEVER MAKE THOSE FRIENDS OR GET THAT SUPPORT THAT CAN HELP YOU STAND WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE GIVING UP!!

Please, I want to beg you, do this one thing when all else fails, when life is unbearable and when you are sure that you will never get a grip on your eating: JUST SHOW UP IN GOD’S PRESENCE… JUST SHOW UP AT WEIGHT WATCHERS…JUST SHOW UP AT CHURCH…JUST SHOW UP AT YOUR COUNSELOR…JUST SHOW UP AT THAT BIBLE STUDY YOU DIDN’T FEEL LIKE GOING TO

Be careful not to put God in a box by presenting Him with a “freedom-plan” for your life. Your healing and freedom that God has in mind, might happen in unexpected places or through encouragement and words of wisdom from the most unlikely people.

If this post speaks to you, then please come show up on our Forum, show up for my 12 Week Program, or find a Christian Support group close to where you live and show up…God wants to do a miracle for you, but you have to move with the Holy Spirit and go where he leads you…

I’m showing up with all of you wonderful ladies…when you’re sitting there with your Bible open,  wondering what you’re doing, or walking out in the rain…remember that you’re not alone… I’m somewhere out there, bringing God my sacrifice of consistently showing up, just like you…and waiting, just like you, for His Glory to be revealed in and through my life

Galatians 6:9 (Amplified Bible)

9And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.

Love,  Heleen


If you want to read more about this topic, please see these earlier posts/articles of mine:

Just Show Up

Take 2 Crucial Steps to Stop Overeating and Bulimia

 

Here are some resources for you:

 

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What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Okay, guilty as charged, I’ve been looking over Rick Warren’s shoulder again. I mentioned on our Members Forum that I’m doing the 40 Days of  “The Purpose Driven Life”  – AGAIN!

Now don’t despair for me just yet, it’s not that I keep forgetting or that I”m still searching for the purpose of my life.
I simply get so swept up in the rat race of life that I tend to wander off course. I forget what”s really important and I get caught up in the mundane grind of life, moving forward without any purpose or joy.

So I’m sorry that I have to drag you along on my journey of re-focusing, but this is where I’m at right now, and I thought a few of you wonderful ladies might need a little reminding as well.

These few key points of Rick in DAY 3 got my attention again:

Common things that drive our lives:

1. Many people are driven by guilt
2. Many people are driven by resentment and anger
3. Many people are driven by fear
4. Many people are driven by materialism
5. Many people are driven by the need for approval

He goes on to say: “There are other forces that can drive your life but all lead to the same dead end: Unused potential, unnecessary stress, and an unfulfilled life”

There is nothing like “unused potential, unnecessary stress and an unfulfilled life” to make people reach for something to bring “meaning” or “joy” to their lives (food, tv, porn, alcohol, drugs etc)

Don’t fall for the enemy’s lie that you just have to stay away from sin and you’ll be okay. Our lives are not about fighting off the enemy day after day. Yes, we are at war and we have to fight for our dreams and hearts, but there is a great deal of joy in finding our purpose and going for it with all we got.

In my life I found that I’m so much more able to resist the enemy’s attacks and the harshness of life when I”m fully alive with the purpose and calling that God has over my life. However, that purpose has changed over the years and through the seasons of my life, so I have to stay in the Word and close to God to know what it is. IT IS THE ONLY THING THAT HAS EVER BROUGHT LASTING JOY AND FULFILLMENT TO MY LIFE – LIVING TRULY WITH AND FOR GOD.

This book ” The Purpose Driven Life” is jam-packed with Scripture, and that’s one of the reasons I like it so much.

If you’re having a hard time figuring out what your purpose is in life, then I would strongly recommend you read it. You can also read this post of mine: Stop the Nonsense: Chase your Dream

I can not help myself, I simply have to end with this poem that Rick Warren quoted. It is one of my all-time favorites:)

YOU ARE WHO YOU ARE FOR A REASON

By Russell Kelfer

You are who you are for a reason.

You’re part of an intricate plan.

You’re a precious and perfect unique design,

Called God’s special woman or man


You look like you look for a reason.

Our God made no mistake.

He knit you together within the womb,

You’re just what he wanted to make.

The parents you had were the ones he chose,

And no matter how you may feel,

They were custom-designed with God’s plan in mind,

And they bear the Master’s seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.

And God wept that it hurt you so;

But it was allowed to shape your heart

So that into his likeness you’d grow.

You are who you are for a reason

You’ve been formed by the Master’s rod.

You are who you are beloved

Because there is a God!

Amen to that!
Love you ladies lots
Heleen

In the Eye of the Storm

I want to apologize to all my loyal readers. I have not been able to write on my blog much recently simply because I find myself in the midst of  one of life’s unforeseen storms.

My husband lost his job a few weeks ago and like so many others in this situation waves of uncertainty, anxiety, and financial stress rocked our boat pretty bad and left me feeling sick to my stomach.

I guess you can say I’ve been given a good old fashion faith test. Do I practice what I preach? Will I actually lean on God when it matters most?

Of course my type A personality will never allow me to simply sit back and wait patiently. I always first have to try my best to save a person or a situation. But in the end, after much kicking, screaming, and striving this girl always comes face to face with her own limitations. This is the place where I finally throw in the towel and hand the reigns to God.  I’m happy to report that God is still enough, He is still our provider and the only ONE who sustains us in times of trouble.

Andrew Murray describes this fight with self before we surrender very well in his book “Absolute Surrender’. Peter followed Jesus for years but his total surrender to the will of God only came after He denied Jesus three times. We see in Scripture how he wept bitterly when he came face to face with his own flesh and the realization that he can not do anything on his own after all. This is a good place to be, at the end of ourselves, where we surrender and God takes over. Paul came to that same place, as did many other people throughout the Bible.

So the challenge is before me once again:

  • Will I keep trying and failing on my own or will I surrender to God?
  • Will I keep working into the wee morning hours to make more money in our businesses or will I trust that God gives to his beloved in her sleep?
  • Will I try my best, and promise myself daily, not to turn to food when the stress levels rise in our home, or will I realize again that only God can help me with this?
  • Will I control and manipulate people to fix our situation, or will I pray more and ask God to take full control of the situation?

Our lives are truly marked by our surrender. If we surrender to God DAILY, LIFE  flows into our lives. But if we try to rule and run our own lives, we actually surrender to the enemy and let DEATH (sin, anxiety and fear) creep back into our lives.

I still find myself smack in the eye of that storm, but I’m clinging to two passage in particular. The one is Psalms 3 and the other Jeremiah 17:5-8

This is what the LORD says:
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.

He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.

He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

I refuse to turn into a dried-up bush in the desert! I keep reminding myself that the biggest mistake I can make for this day is to put my faith and trust in man (myself, my husband, or my friends). They can make me feel better, but if all is said and done it’s only God who can make the impossible possible.

I know I’m not alone in my storm today.
So I want to pray for each one of you ladies who find yourself in the eye of a storm this very minute. May God hold you very close while He works out the details and heals the wounds. If this storm or situation brought you to the end of yourself, the end of your strength, and the end of your plans, may you learn to surrender all  to Him and trust like a little child trusts her mom or dad.

Nothing, nothing, nothing is impossible with our God!

Lots of love

Heleen