Happy 1st Birthday!

I bet you are wondering which child of mine is turning one that you didn’t even know existed. Well, sorry to disappoint you but this Birthday girl is not so much the flesh and blood kind as she is a pretty mess of code and color.

I am talking about our website “Women struggling with Food“. I don’t think I ever told you the story of her “creation” or the three difficult months of “labor” I endured, so here goes:

I was seriously just minding my own business, taking care of my then one year old baby girl, doing some counseling here and there and filling my days with juggling the activities of the four men in my life. I really missed the support groups I facilitated for about seven years though. I would be a hypocrite if I tell you that those groups were always fun and games. No actually the groups were exhausting and at times excruciating for both me and the ladies involved. We were all dealing with life changing stuff and digging up pain that we would much rather have left exactly where it was. There was a lot of crying, definitely some laughing, but also truck loads of emotions flying around. Yet, in the midst of it all, amazing friendships were forged. I missed it all, the whole nine yards!

I suspect my husband was getting fed-up with my miserable state. This is when he suggested that I put together all of the information and research I gathered to create an online program. He figured I could just make one week and see what happens. I had of course no idea what I was getting into and casually agreed to give it a shot. One thing lead to another, I started writing, then recording, more weeks sprung up and I just couldn’t stop. Looking back, I know for certain that it was a God thing, because it was three of the most difficult months of my life! Everything that could go wrong indeed went wrong. Amazingly though, I didn’t stop. Regardless of sickness, financial pressure, extended family crisis and strain on our marriage, I simply didn’t quit. Now if you know me at all, you will not believe this. I am not exactly the “never-quit” type, especially if the thing I’m doing has a negative influence on my family. So I know for sure that God pushed me through while the enemy tried every trick in the book to stop me.

I am so grateful to God! You have no idea how very aware I am of the fact that He uses any vessel He wants, and that if He could use me to bring this message, He can use you too. I want to encourage you with this post that God wants to use you, even in the midst of your struggles and in spite of your weaknesses.

So by the time I finished recording, writing and editing (still a work in progress actually) I only had a program. It was the same course I have been using to help other women through the years, but now what do I do with it? There was nobody to give it to, just the world-wide-web, pretty scary…

So I needed another push, and again the job was assigned to my poor husband. By now he was actually getting pretty good at pushing me beyond what I think I could do. I simply hated technology and especially resisted anything computer or internet related with every fiber of my being. Can you even imagine the mess? Lots of tears, tons of conflict and hours of praying “God please let me off the hook!” The end result: Victory, knowledge where there was only a big back hole in my brain, and a website where ladies all over the world can sign up and trust God for a miracle of freedom in their lives! I have no words when I talk about this, just tears. It was really impossible. It is really such a miracle!

For me personally the miracle extended beyond the course. It impacted my marriage in a way I could never imagined. My husband is such an internet dude. He is always on the computer and it left a huge void in our marriage. I never knew how to fix it. I demanded, I begged, I tried to change (tried to love the little tin brain lady called a laptop) but it was a lost case. Then God came and answered my prayers, in a rather sneaky way I might add:) These days we are the “computer twins”! I know, unbelievable!

Did my fun stop last February when we launched? I’m sure you know the answer to that. No such luck! My husband initially agreed to devote so much time to my “project” partly in order for me to contribute to our finances. We have a big family and he has been the sole bread winner for a long time. So we argued about the price. In the end we prayed and waited and let God decide, seeing that He was the executive director anyway. After this challenge came months of technical difficulties. Goodness knows, I never knew so many things can go wrong!

Finally, a few months ago things started settling down. I started selling more memberships to ladies all around the world. I still cry every time! Some of the wonderful ladies wrote the most gracious words of encouragement, and I cried some more and thanked God that it was all worth it.
Don’t think for one minute that the enemy would just back off and let me enjoy this though. No, there were a few nasty comments too, and days when the evil one came and whispered in my ear that I had no idea what I was doing and that I should just shut down the website.

Fortunately, as you know, I can hide under the wing of my Everlasting Father. It’s there where he restores my soul, gives me perspective and reminds me to just be me. Yes, I have nothing to boast about, but I also have nothing to be ashamed of either. I am just his daughter, washed and cleaned by the blood of the Lamb. So I’m sure there will be more days when I think “Wow, girl, you did a pretty darn good thing here” or days when I think “What in the world were you thinking”. However, let me assure you that God will straighten me out, there on my not-so-new living room carpet, every morning before I turn on my computer.

I wrote this post mainly to encourage you dear sister: Yes God wants to set you free from food struggles, but there is so much more to you. He has amazing things in store for you, things that will blow your mind!

Please go read some of the blessed words of encouragement and testimonies that you send me during this past year. I put it on the website, but I used fake names to protect your identity. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much ladies. I honestly don’t deserve the praise but I do love you all dearly!

6 thoughts on “Happy 1st Birthday!”

  1. Heleen, it was so good to hear your story. I was wondering how you did all of this. I am also into computers (also didn’t like it at first) but I’m just blogging. I would love to do more stuff and maybe even get a website. Right now I’m just focusing on letting God change my life around. I have 56 pounds to loose, but I am very hopeful. I love your program, thanks a lot.
    I am hoping to one day also be used by God in this area. I have many friends that struggle with their weight and I want to help them, but I need to be a witness first.
    God bless you in all that you do for others.

  2. Congratulations Heleen! I am so glad you didn’t give up and put this website up for us. I thank God daily for the peace He’s bringing into my life through this program. I just had a baby boy and I can not imagine doing this with a little one at home. Would you let me know about the ebook that you talked about in your program. I would like to buy it.
    Love, Sharlee

  3. Thank for your kind words guys, your comments makes blogging fun!
    A few of you have actually asked about the ebook, and to my shame I have to admit that the “procrastination” bug has got a hold of me in this area. I am fighting it off though, and the book is busy being edited, so all hope is not lost. I had it ready a long time ago, but procrastinated with the editing. So pray for me, seeing that you all know this is part of our struggle. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, right?

  4. Congratulations on your first year, Heleen! I have found so much hope through your program. I’m on week 6 and getting so much out of it. The past few days, I’ve gone back to those old tendencies, but I’m not despairing. I just need to remember your counsel and pray. I want to live “free” from Satan’s bondage with food. Thanks to your program and God’s grace, I now know there is a way. Thank you. God bless you.

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