Nobody wants to be the poster child for depression. But now that I have gone through that and am on the other side, I’m thankful for my experience. Truly thankful.
As a doctor, as a neuropsychologist, I was always filled with a lot of compassion and empathy for my patients. Now that I have journeyed through the dark night of my soul myself, I have even more compassion for others. Even more empathy. I can step into that place and say, “Me too.”
I really do get it. I really do understand. Now I have a much better appreciation for so many in the Bible who suffered. Not that my suffering was as great or as prolonged as theirs, but to read the stories of Jonah, and Elijah, and Job, and David. I have a better appreciation for what they went through.
Even in hard times, you can rejoice because you are not alone! God is with you!
I have found that even when you’re in the valley, whether it be the valley of depression, or cancer, or relationship difficulties, you can still rejoice. If you had told me that when I was in depression’s pit, I might not have believed it myself. But even now, after having received a diagnosis of cancer, I am rejoicing.
“I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and you knew the anguish of my soul” (Psalm 31:7).
Isn’t it a comfort to know that even as he was suffering, David was able to rejoice because God saw him, He knew him, He knew what David was going through.
I want to encourage you today. Maybe you’re not going through depression, but you’re going through some other difficult circumstance. I’ve been there. Cancer. Job loss. Relationship heartache. Caring for parents or an ill spouse. Raising children. So many I know are experiencing many difficult, hard circumstances. But we can rejoice despite the circumstances because God is there and He knows the anguish we are going through.
People have commented many times, “Michelle, I don’t know how you’re getting through all you’ve been going through. I don’t know if I could do that.”
My answer is always the same: “I don’t know how I would get through this without God. I don’t know how people make it through such difficult life situations if they don’t know God, if they don’t have Jesus as their personal Savior.” He is my strength when I am weak. He is the rock on which I stand. He is the strong tower I run to.”
So I can rejoice, because I have Him. My hope is in Him.
Rejoice! You are never alone! God is with you!
Can I tell you a little secret? When we rejoice despite our suffering, it makes the enemy mad. I love making the enemy mad. There’s nothing better.
So rejoice. Even if you are in the pit of depression, or cancer, or financial woes. Rejoice because you have a God who knows you and sees you, and He is with you. You are not alone in this.
Rejoice. That pleases God, and it shifts your focus back to Him and off your difficult circumstances.
Even in your heartache, you can still rejoice. Rejoicing may not change your circumstance but it will change your attitude about it.
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Depression doesn’t have to become a permanent part of life.
There is hope.
Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression and the companion Hope Prevails Bible Study help the reader understand how depression comes to be, recover their joy, reclaim their peace, and re-establish their true identity, while knowing their worth, remembering their secure destiny, and being confident that nothing separates them from God’s love.
“As a counselor, I have read many books on depression, but I have never read a book that deals with the spiritual aspect of healing as thoroughly as does Hope Prevails. Dr. Bengtson draws from her own personal journey as well as her professional experience. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has tasted the pain of depression or knows a friend who is depressed.”
Gary Chapman, Ph.D.
Author of The 5 Love Languages
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