Have you ever longed to be part of the group? To be noticed? Accepted?
I’ve been there. Wanting to be accepted, included, validated.
At a women’s conference, I hoped for the wisdom of a mature woman in the faith for my current heart’s cry. I stood in front of her, waiting in line to have just a few moments of her time.
There were four people ahead of me. I patiently watched as she spoke to the first woman, then gave her a validating hug. She spoke to the second woman, and accepted her in a warm embrace. The same thing happened to the third and the fourth woman. Then it was my turn. She looked at me, said “Hello,” then walked away.
If I could have been an observer, I’m sure I would have seen my jaw drop. I was stunned. I returned to my seat, and though it was a little thing, tears stung the back of my eyes.
I felt rejected and discarded; unworthy of her time. And yet, was I really that different from the four women before me?
“Lord, what just happened here?”
As I processed the brief encounter in prayer, I realized I had a choice to make. I could choose to be hurt and offended, or I could extend grace and recognize that she is a human being just like me, who gets distracted, and in whom the enemy uses to inflict pain even when we don’t realize it.
In that moment, I had to choose not to pick up a spirit of offense, but instead offer forgiveness and grace. For if I didn’t, bitterness and resentment would build within my heart, and cause my normally tender heart to turn to stone.
Yet, I continued to examine what the real issue was. It’s what we all want, really. We are born with an innate desire to be loved, accepted, and found worthy.
In that brief encounter of a mere moment, I heard the enemy say, “You’re not worthy. You’re not as good as the others before you. You won’t ever be a part of the ‘in-group.’”
I had to choose to refute the enemy’s lies with God’s truth which affirms me: “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6).
God accepts me, and you, just as we are. He loves us perfectly, and wouldn’t love us any more or any less no matter what we did.
But maybe, just maybe, God didn’t create me, or you, to be part of the group, but to stand out for Him, and to offer His love and acceptance.
Because of Him, #HopePrevails
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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
- 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/.