I knew I needed rest and more than just sleep. I needed rest for my soul. Staff was going to be out anyway so it seemed like a good time to try to slip away to tend to the part of me that was often most easily forgotten: the tending and carrying for of my soul.
Questions and uncertainties loomed in every corner of my life, and the weight of the world felt like it was crushing the air out of me. As it does when you are low on oxygen, I found it hard to think clearly, and my emotions could not be trusted.
A friend would ask a genuine, “How are you?” and I was hesitant and would avoid answering for three reasons: first, I didn’t want to give voice to the feelings that clamored for reality and call what wasn’t as if it was. Secondly, I wasn’t sure I could trust my emotions to give an accurate portrayal of my reality. Thirdly, I feared the weight of my current tsunami of circumstances would be too much and scare others away.
A few days of respite and quiet time communing with the Lord was desperately in order. And the place I most easily connect with Him? The beach.
It wasn’t easy going at first. It’s hard for this do-er, this achiever, to still my mind and rest in the moment. As I prayed over the concerns in question, it was as if I sensed the Lord saying, “We’ll get to that.” “But Lord,” I responded, “What about…?” “We’ll get to that too.”
That was hard for me to know what to do with…I like to know how we’re going to get from point A to point B. Tell me what to do, and I’ll do it. But God does not operate within a box or within my timetable.
A friend was praying while I was away and sent a brief but timely message. She urged me not to reply, as she wanted this to be a time of rest and renewal, not responsibility. “Trust is coming up every time I pray. He is developing trust in you, and soon, no matter what, you will declare trust in Him and answers will come…He truly is working all things for your good.”
“For there is no time of testing you will ever experience which others have not likewise faced. But God is forever faithful to you and he will not permit you to be tested beyond your limit. The test is but an opportunity to trust him fully, for in every trial you can discover the way of escape for which he has provided for you, so that you may be empowered to go through it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 TPT).
Her message confirmed what I knew in my heart that God had been saying all along: “Trust me.” In fact, He confirmed it several different ways in my three short days away.
Have you ever wanted to trust God more fully, but didn’t know what was standing in your way blocking you?
Maybe trust is hard for you because you want to maintain control.
Or maybe trust is difficult for you because you’ve been let down by people, or maybe you’ve let yourself down.
Maybe you’ve struggled to trust because trust requires slowing down, feeling, and waiting, rather than rushing ahead and rushing through.
Or perhaps, you’ve been afraid to trust for fear of finding out that maybe God isn’t who He said He is or wouldn’t do what He said He would do?
That’s where I was, wanting to more fully trust but lacking. What wasn’t lacking was my pain. It assaulted me from every angle. How would we get through the indecision and heartache? What was God up to? What would I do?
A quote from Josie Siler came to life for me in those days of desperate seeking: “God is God and His ways are best, even when we don’t understand them. There are things to learn in the midst of suffering. There’s an intimacy with God that is only developed through suffering. If we can learn to trust God, even when we don’t understand Him, great things will happen. God’s word tells us that we will be filled with glorious, inexpressible joy.”
What would I do? I would choose to more intentionally trust God.
“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you” (Psalm 56:3).
(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/.