ONE difference between the FREE and the CAPTIVE

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 quiet 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 it will initially be, pretty-boring-no-fireworks quiet 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 shown 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:

NEW: INDIVIDUAL COUNSELING online or in Beaverton Oregon
Call Heleen at (503) 914-2749 or Schedule online:

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.
A great resource for small groups or individual use.
Click on the image below to find out more:

10 thoughts on “ONE difference between the FREE and the CAPTIVE”

  1. Wow, Heleen…because of where I am on my freedom journey, I must say this is one of your best articles! It speaks directly to me. Thank you Little Lady! It will be a year in December that I completed your on-line program. Since then I have been “showing up” for your 21 day challenges and FINALLY in mid-August I experienced a breakthrough. I joined Weight Watchers and started exercising and believe…after DECADES of failure…I have finally reached a point that I can keep moving forward. I have let go of my constant need to be in control of my life…HALLELUJAH, PRAISE THE LORD!…makes me want to do cartwheels across the parking lot! 🙂 I’ve made up my mind that God does indeed know what is best for me and I can trust Him to guide me and walk with me each and every step along the way. I am experiencing a peace that I haven’t known for so long. When God led me to this program I was at the lowest point of my walk with Him. I thought I’d never see this day but God is so good and He is faithfu. He promised He would finish the good work He began in us. He gave me a scripture to cling to…for LIFE…several years ago: Jeremiah 30:17 NLT – “I will give you back your health and heal your wounds,” says the Lord. Although it seemed to take an eternity, I can clearly see His hand at work in my life today and I am so incredibly grateful to Him for that. Never, ever, ever give up! God is able and willing to do so much more than ALL we can ask or imagine! There is ABSOLUTE TRUTH in your message Heleen…just keep showing up!

  2. Thank you again Heleen for the fresh breeze of encouragement that you always bring. Inspiring, motivating and a big hand up!

    My blog is from a sparrow’s view – a chubby sparrow. Your words encourage greatly this sparrow who desperately moves forward on the journey to get it right.

    Loving the Giver of all good gifts. Your words are one of them!


  3. Good morning Heleen!

    Thank you so much for your diligence to show up, with the foresight to write it all down for those the Lord showed you would come! This study is about so much more than weight loss and I am so grateful to have found you!

    I had been telling my mother in law how I wished I could find a good Christian Bible study that really understood what it was like to go through this and get to the root of the problem so the merry-go-round of dieting and failing could stop. I had decided to search one more time then found you – praise God!! After having been overweight for most of my 40 year marriage, constantly yo-yoing with different diets, in the past 3 years having lost and gained 60 pounds twice, first with Atkins then with Medifast, almost meeting my goal and then packing on the pounds again, always making excuses about how I looked with the promise to myself that by next year’s family photo I would be skinny – I have hope that I can pull that fat girl out by the roots of her pudgy little toes once and for all and get her disiplined! So YES Heleen, I am determined to show up!!!

    So much more than weight loss. The perpetual cycle of moving on to new exciting things without ever finishing or reaching a goal because nothing is ever good enough, especially dieting, is indeed not just perfectionism, which you cover in these studies as well! But the perpetual cycle of failing and moving on is so tied into the deep root of forgetting where one is and not showing up, which spoils the project so the perfectionist has to move on – such remarkable insight!! God uses us in the gifts He has given even with our weaknesses, and He has used this cracked pot, but what more will be accomplished when the cracks are healed!

    I needed this help, and my faithful Lord showed me just where to go! Thank you Heleen for your faithfulness and transparency which make this such a tremendous tool in preparing us to be overcomers who are useful in the Master’s hand and ready for heaven!!

    I have been taking this slowly by rereading and listening again to your messages that are watering and bringing life to dry places that haven’t been touched in years. I know it will be a constant challenge to break the cycle and show up everyday, but with such a wealth of information I look forward to hearing more and more, and believe that with Jesus I SHALL!! God bless you Heleen! Diane

  4. Heleen the problem I have is I show up to too many things and then get confused on what it is the Lord is asking me to do. Christian places like this forum, Thin Within, Eden Diet, Diet Alternative, Lose it for Life. I prayed today for the Lord to show me HIS plan for my eating and my body, but that I would not second guess Him or question Him. I argue with so much because of fear of legalism that the past 2 years I have gained weight (from my original size) and gotten stuck. Any words for me? love!! email me if the Lord puts it on your heart

    • Hi Kim
      I agree, all the voices going up around us can be very confusing. So what are we supposed to do? The main thing I’ve found is that “God has the answer”. I know it sounds so vague, but it really is not. The answers for our life is all wrapped up in relationship with Him. If we have a close relationship with Him and we trust Him to steer our lives as we wait on Him and obey His Word, life starts to make sense. Some of the programs you’ve mentioned can be great at different seasons in our lives, but they are merely tools that can help. In the end it is only a relationship with God that brings lasting freedom and healing. Please feel free to email me if you want to talk more about it Kim. I removed your email from the comment you left to protect your privacy:)

  5. Heleen, just wanted to say thanks for your words. I am just started to follow your blog and have read most of your e-book. It has started to open my eyes and make me search my heart. Thank you = )

  6. I didn’t know that you removed my e-mail address. I was wondering if there was a group in Rochester, New York that meets on a regular basis. I realize more than ever that I have really been running to to the food. I always have to have something new. The Lord keeps giving me scriptures here and there and they help. Only I keep running from him. Fear is what grips me the most and I think rejection is probably the number one reason. I know what it is like to be intimate with the Lord, only, it’s been a long time.

    I could not get the free book that was offer on my internet, so I don’t know if you had a hard copy to send me. I would like to stay in touch, if that’s possible.

    • Hi Kim
      I did not remove your email unless you’ve asked me to do so, or you unsubscribed from my email list.
      Unfortunately I do not know of any groups in your area at the moment, but keep checking our small group directory, someone might start up a group in the future that is close to you.

      No, unfortunately I only offer the ebook in digital format. You can download it again with a different email address or I can send a download link to your email if you want. Just send me an email at

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