I’m going to be honest…I did it again. A couple days of slogging through my life as a writer left me in the familiar comparison mode.
As I spent the last couple days putting words on paper, I found myself crying out to God, “Is this making a difference? Is it worth it? Is there any eternal kingdom value in what I’m doing? Or are you done using me?”
That might have been okay, but I did what I know better than to do…compare. “God, so and so is doing such and such. Look at the impact they are having for the kingdom. Why aren’t you using me like that?” and on and on I went. It was a slippery slope down to feelings of inferiority, doubt, and frustration.
I started talking to myself like I would counsel one of my patients. ” Stay in your own lane…stop looking at others’. God knows the plans He has for you, Michelle, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans for a future and a hope. But His plans for you are different than His plans for anyone else. Don’t look to the left or the right. There is enough kingdom work for everyone. Stay focused on what He has called you to do. Don’t compare your cutting room floor to everyone else’s highlight reels.”
I committed my work to Him and asked Him to bless it. I again asked Him to help me share only His words of hope and encouragement-not mine.
And yet, if I’m being honest, I still longed to know that what I was doing wasn’t for naught. That it would make an impact. That someone would be encouraged and set free because of it. And yet, just like I so often remind others, I am responsible to be obedient to the call, but then I must trust Him for the outcome.
Then today I received the email that brought me to tears. Twelve paragraphs long. It brought me to tears both for her sake, and because it was like a letter from God straight to my heart:
“In the past 2 years I have tried to commit suicide four times…I have been depressed for at least 22 years and probably longer…I asked my pastor if he knew anyone who understood what I had gone through who made it out–He didn’t have anyone who he knew of…I picked up your book, “Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression”…I don’t have to tell you what it is like to finally be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and it not be an oncoming train. That is what your book has been for me…you have given me the knowledge I needed to start the healing process. You have given me the tools I need to get where I want to be. You have revealed to me the hope I need to get through this…I am eternally thankful to you…You have saved my life, literally and emotionally.”
Glory to God. That makes it all worthwhile. That is the motivation I needed to keep being vulnerable, sharing my story, putting my fingers on the keyboard and pouring out my heart–never knowing if anyone will ever read it. We submit and obey the call, then trust God to handle the outcome.
We don’t always get to see the impact our words or our behavior will have on another, but never underestimate it. He is always ready to use a submitted heart for others’ good and His glory.
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/.