If you have ever gone through a difficult trial that you hadn’t anticipated, or given an unexpected diagnosis, then today is the perfect show for you. Today, my husband, Scott Bengtson, a 3-time cancer survivor, and I are talking about how to maintain our hope when unexpected news like a devastating medical diagnosis turns your life upside down. We’ll specifically discuss hope for the fight against cancer.
In this episode, Scott shares about some of the very difficult life circumstances that turned our lives upside down, from a long-distance commuter marriage for several years to his fight against cancer with a very poor prognosis.
He reflected on how his upbringing resurfaced during those times to provide him a foundation on which he could rest his hope despite what doctors warned would be his fate. We also discussed tips for how we chose to navigate those treacherous waters while minimizing the negativity in our lives and focusing on what we knew to be true.
Scott and I discussed the importance of knowing what you believe before a crisis hits because that is no time to try to determine what you think is true. You must cement your beliefs before you fight against cancer. We also talked about the importance of guarding our hearts and minds, and what exactly that means. We also shared things that people said or did that were of help and encouragement, as well as things that were said or done which were not helpful.
Scott ended the broadcast sharing his perspective about how to maintain hope in the difficult times and reminded us that doctors are just human, and they give their best estimates but that God cannot be put in a box or limited to humanly derived statistics.
In this blog post, Scott shares How To Get Through a Devastating Diagnosis.
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Quotables from the Episode:
Tears are liquid prayers.
Life may be difficult, but successes still happen.
Sometimes we hold on to hope by doing what you know to do.
There were many days of discouragement and fear, filled with many anguished prayers. A lot of those days were valley days. But what got us through those dark days was knowing who he was, who his Father was, and how we could go to Him in honest prayers, and we had the privilege to worship Him.
The trials we experienced didn’t change the truth that we knew.
It is often not living day by day, but depending on God moment by moment.
You have to know what you believe before a crisis hits because that is what you will fall back on when a crisis hits.
It would have been easier to get through those trials if we had understood the power of our words, and the importance of guarding our minds. We made the decision to no longer watch the evening news or take the daily newspaper because we wanted to limit the negativity that entered our home.
We are now less likely to allow people to speak negative things to or over us. And now we are more careful about what we say to others.
When someone is going through a trial or devastating diagnosis, your presence is more important than your words. Limit your questions because it can be very wearing to have to answer the same questions repeatedly.
In the book of Job, he experienced so many devastating hardships. Job’s friends came and sat with him for 7 days in his time of grief. Yet they got in trouble when they opened their mouths.
Don’t say to a person in a crisis situation, “If you need anything, let me know.” If you think of something that might be helpful, just do it. They will appreciate it. Be consistent in your presence and your support.
Philippians 4:1, “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!”
Philippians 4:8, “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Recommended Resources: (If there are affiliate links in this post, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you)).
Practical Grace – How to Not Be a Friend to Someone With Cancer (Part 1)
Practical Grace: What Not To Say to Someone with Cancer (Part 2)
Practical Grace: How To Be a Friend to Someone with Cancer (Part 3)
How To Support Someone with Cancer
10 Lessons Learned After Being Diagnosed with Cancer
The Day I Was Diagnosed With Cancer: 18 Promises to Hold Onto When Crisis Hits
What Cancer Taught Me About the Church
How Testimonies in the Bible Bolster Your Faith in Hard Times
Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, winner of the Christian Literary Award Reader’s Choice Award.
Hope Prevails Bible Study by Dr. Michelle Bengtson, winner of the Christian Literary Award Reader’s Choice Award.
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For more hope, stay connected with Dr. Bengtson at:
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Guest: Scott Bengtson
Scott earned his electrical engineering degree from Georgia Tech University. He spent the better part of his career in telecommunications.
He has been married to his wife, Michelle for 31 years, and together they have two children: one who is a junior in college, and the other a junior in high school.
He is a 3-time cancer survivor and gives God all the glory. In his spare time, Scott leads a men’s Bible study and serves in his local church.
Hosted By: Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Audio Technical Support: Bryce Bengtson
What a wonderful and much-needed resource, Michelle! I’m sharing this with multiple people today!
Thanks for sharing your very personal story.
Michelle and Scott, thank you for this. So timely. My neighbor just shared with me yesterday that she’s received a cancer diagnosis. Knowing what you believe before a crisis is certainly key! I’m glad to say—she knows!
Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!
Thank you very much for sharing! I have a friend who was recently diagnosed with endometrial (sp?) cancer. Her head is still spinning. Sending her your link next.