Dear Dr. B,
I need your help. I can’t seem to move on with life. I struggle with my past so much that it keeps me from enjoying what is great right in front of me. I’m having a hard time forgiving myself. I previously did something very bad—I hate what I did and how I acted. I don’t deserve to have the wonderful life I have now. A life that is so different from my past. Help – I am so ashamed and it’s been almost twenty years ago. Sincerely, Unforgivable
You are you know. I know you are having a hard time forgiving yourself, but God has already forgiven you.
I can hear the guilt and angst in your words, but more than that I can feel the pain from the shame that is buried deep within your heart from the past mistakes you’ve made that continue to plague you today. If we were sitting together over a cup of coffee, I would take your hand in mine, look into your eyes, and I would tell you that those thoughts that you are having are not your thoughts. Those are thoughts that are being whispered to you by the enemy, the father of lies, to convince you that you aren’t worthy.
The Bible says that, “the thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that they might have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). The enemy seeks to steal your peace, kill your joy, and rob you of your identity—that’s the bad news. But the good news is that Christ came to give you a full and abundant life, despite anything and everything that you have done. He has already paid the penalty for all the mistakes you have ever made or will ever make. That is why scripture says, “There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
It’s the enemy of your soul reminding you of your mistakes. You’ve got to fight back with truth. Every time he reminds you of the mistakes of your past, remind him that you’ve been forgiven and redeemed because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross! Say it out loud. Faith comes by hearing, so speak such truths out loud. And when he tries to remind you of your past mistakes, stand on God’s truth which says, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19 NLT).
So often we have a harder time forgiving ourselves than forgiving what others do to us. But keep in mind, God has already forgiven you of whatever you have done. He has already paid the penalty to wipe your debt clean. If you are unwilling to forgive yourself, you are in effect telling God that His sacrifice wasn’t enough. His death wasn’t enough. There is no greater price that could be paid. If you can’t look at it this way, look at it as the most expensive gift you’ve ever been given. Receive it with the most extravagant love it’s been offered.
(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: https://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.