No one would have ever known if I didn’t share my real heart’s desire…at first, I didn’t even know what was my deepest heart’s desire.
A friend had invited me to her “Bucket List” party, where she encourages the participants to have a no-limits chance to dream about our deepest heart’s desires. Encouraged to write down 10 things that would make this the best year ever if they came true, some jotted down travels, still others allowed their hopes for creative pursuits to flourish, and others desired a return to a more simplified life.
My list initially included items like enjoying the company of my children without the nag of work in my ear, and the opportunity for more speaking engagements to share help and hope from my personal and professional experience.
The hostess then selectively called on those gathered one by one, to share their most heart-felt item from their list. I wasn’t asked to share, and I was content with that—being surrounded by beautifully put-together women whom I’d just met, I wasn’t too sure how my list might be received.
As one gal shared of her desire to remodel her condominium, to create a beautiful space around her, I felt a prompting. “What you want is beautiful too – Go ahead and write it” was what I sensed welling up in me. Yet before I could even process it, my thoughts retorted, “They will all think you are so shallow.”
“There’s nothing wrong with the desire of your heart except that you’ve given up on it” was what I “heard” as I stared at my paper.
I had given up on it…so much so that it didn’t even register in my mind as a consideration for my list. It was as if I had begun to believe if God wanted my desires fulfilled, surely He would have provided already. But was that the truth or another sneaky lie of the enemy? It sounded vaguely familiar: “Surely God did not tell you to not eat of the fruit…”
A tear threatened to wreak havoc on my makeup as it escaped and ran down my cheek. Quick to wipe it away so no one would notice, I stared at my list with my heart beginning to beat faster. There would be no forgetting it now, as the pain of unfulfilled desires lodged a knot in my throat.
Writing it down allowed me to give that longing the respect and acknowledgement it deserved, even if no one else ever knew.
“Michelle, what’s #2 on your list?” My friend looked at me with expectant eyes, as the single tear turned into a quiet cascade running down my cheeks.
Barely above a whisper, I made my heart’s desire known to this group of onlookers: “Beautiful Shoes.”
None of them understood, so it begged for explanation:
Stricken with an undiagnosable illness when I was three left me with deformities of my leg and foot. While one leg and foot are completely normal and a woman’s size 6 shoe, the other foot looks like the feet of Asian women whose feet have been bound to stay small, and fits a small girl’s size 12-13. Left without any movement of my ankle or toes, I cannot wear beautiful high heels or fun flip-flops.
I’ve never found it fun to shoe-shop, and because of incredible difficulty finding shoes to fit both feet, we refer to it as shoe hunting. Over the years I luckily found several mismatched pairs to wear, but surgery in recent years changed the structure of that foot, and left me without.
Having now just exposed not only my most heart-felt desire, but also my greatest flaw and biggest insecurity, I glanced through my tears at this group of women listening to me. They didn’t laugh or stare or gawk. They prayed and confirmed they wanted it for me too.
My heart quickened as one shared with me a verse the Lord laid on her heart for me:
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”
Isaiah 52:7 NIV
The Lord had given me that same verse through the encouraging words of another friend right after my surgery when my heart felt broken and despairing. One day I will wear beautiful shoes!
As I listened to the others share from their innermost desires, a couple things are clear:
- We all have insecurities and the enemy uses those insecurities to keep us focused on ourselves and to keep us from fully embracing God’s call on our lives.
- At our deepest core, we all long to be loved and accepted.
- When we stop dreaming, we stop hoping.
- God wants to know our deepest longings, and as long as we have Him, we still have hope.
What dreams do you need to resurrect and bring to Him today?
Because of Him,
(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/.