Have you ever had one of those days where frustration has threatened to over take you? That’s where I sat, on the verge of tears.
Situations occurred that were out of my control, things I was depending on and was now powerless to do anything about. People proved unreliable and undependable. Tasks that should have been simple were proving to be difficult at every turn.
I was emotionally spent. Physically weary. Every ounce of me wanted to give up. I wanted to complain. I wanted wrongs to be made right.
The enemy had me exactly where he wanted me: discouraged and negative. I definitely wasn’t in a position to effect positive change in my situation with that kind of mind-set.
Not sure I could take any more, I followed Jesus’s example and went away for a few quiet moments by myself. There, God got hold of my heart.
“I know this is not what you want, but despite what is going on, what can you thank me for?” was His challenge.
If I’m being completely transparent here, my first thought wasn’t exactly a positive one. I wasn’t in a mood to be thankful. I was frustrated and angry. Yet in my spirit, I knew He was right.
I stepped outside and felt the warmth of the sun on my face, and was immediately cheered by the bright blue sky. “I love sunny blue-sky days, Lord. Thank you for such a beautiful day after so many rainy days recently.”
Then my thoughts drifted to my home. “I love my home and the memories we’ve made there. And I love my family. Thank you for my home and family, Lord. They bring joy and comfort to my life!”
Every day I go work at my office, which patients often comment is so peaceful and beautiful. I would have to agree. “I love my office, Lord. Thank you that I work in such a beautiful office that not only feels peaceful to me but offers your mercy, grace, and peace to others.”
Names and faces of friends and fond memories with them crowded my mind, and I thanked God for surrounding us with such good friends who make my life richer because of them.
It almost seemed silly, but as a bird chirped and caught my attention, I glanced in the direction of my car and thanked God for a reliable car that I have fun driving on sunny days.
I just kept listing things I was thankful for over the next several minutes. And in that short span of time, something wonderful happened: while nothing about my circumstances changed, my attitude had.
Gratitude cured my negative attitude, and I felt happier and more at peace. The enemy no longer had a hold on me. True to God’s word, greater is He who is in me than the one who was in the world trying to negatively influence my day. But practicing gratitude changed my attitude and refocused my attention on God and on what really mattered.
I’d love to hear about a time when you found gratitude to be helpful in changing your attitude or that of someone you love in the comments below! We could all use the encouragement from time to time.
#GoodDay #GratitudeForTheWin #TakeThatEnemy
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
(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/.