“This is security. The alarm is sounding at your address. We have indication of point of entry. Police are en-route. Today is ______. Our call back number is _______.”
The call came in after a long and tiring week. We had already faced one stressful incident after another.
As I listened to the dispatcher relay the facts in his expressionless, monotone voice, I thought certainly I was in a dream. False alarms had occurred numerous times in the past surely this was just another.
Still, I shared the warning with my husband. “Oh yeah, it’s probably nothing,” he declared with confidence.
A few short minutes later, my phone rang again. “This is security again. The police are on the scene. They have had forced entry to the location. They need for someone to respond. Please get in touch with them immediately. Thank you.”
Police on the scene?
None of this made sense. This is too much. Had I heard correctly?
Our stress was already at an all-time high. My husband and I had spent the last six months juggling the demands of cancer that had been thrust upon us. Run down and physically weary, the stress took its toll on my body and left me unable to withstand pneumonia and the flu when it passed by our household. All the while, the office was in a state of turmoil with two key staff members moving out of state, and left us frantically searching for God’s provision to replace them and keep patient care seamless.
This could not be happening. I felt certain it must be a dream. Yet when I searched for my husband to share of the updated report, he was nowhere to be found. Apparently, when I didn’t respond quickly enough to security’s call, the police then called him and he headed out to investigate the situation.
A boulder sat at the bottom of my stomach, as sweat descended down my temples. I cannot begin to express the fear, the anger, the overwhelm that comes when your personal space has been violated. When evil walks right up and takes a sledge hammer to the safety of your life. When you realize things like this really do occur to normal people…people like you. In fact, to you.
As I put out a request for prayers, my senses were heightened. My heart raced and reminded me of nearing the crest on a large roller coaster, not sure what was going to happen next, what I would see, or how I could escape its momentum. Whatever was going to be would be. The bigger questions were: was I ready for it? And how would I respond?
Questions raced through my mind, taking advantage of my racing heart, to distract me from truth:
“God, were you there? Why didn’t you stop this from happening?”
“God, why us? Haven’t we suffered enough?”
“God, you promise, and I always stand on, your promise that says ‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper.’ How can that be true now?”
Police reports were taken, documenting the time, the location, the method of entry, the items missing, as the search continued for traces of who might be responsible for such an act. As the property was secured, the adrenaline sagged and tears flowed a river.
If I’m being honest, I prefer safety, and I desire comfort. I’ve grown somewhat weary of the enemy’s attacks on me and my family. And yet, they are so effective from distracting me from my calling and the work that God has for me to do.
“How will you respond? It’s your choice.” I heard Him whisper to my heart.
Fear and anger taunted to reign my heart in the black of night, yet there was no ignoring the truth firmly planted there.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)
My heart turned softly to thoughts of Jesus and all the times he endured mistreatment from others. Mocked, betrayed, beaten, and ultimately killed. Yet he continued to be about His Father’s business. He continued to love. He continued to carry on with the call upon His life to be a light to a very dark world.
I am quite certain that in the spiritual realm, the enemy would like for me to raise the white flag and surrender under the weight of his seemingly constant attacks. Some days, it’s been tempting. But then I remember how much Christ endured for my sake and yours. When he fasted and prayed in the wilderness for 40 days, the enemy took advantage of His weary and vulnerable state. His space was invaded, His dignity mocked. Yet Christ never wavered. He fought the enemy’s schemes with truth. The very truth that He promises will set us free.
It is because of Christ and His example that I will continue to boldly proclaim, despite our circumstances, #HopePrevails.
My personal space may have been invaded by a thief, but my heart has been invaded by a Savior. That very Savior came so that I could still have peace despite life’s invasions by the enemy.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
When you go through difficult times or are mistreated, when your security is threatened, how will you respond? Will you give up your peace to an enemy, or will you cling to the peace afforded by a Savior?
Because of Him, #PeacePrevails!
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: http://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.