Do you ever choose a word at the start of the year to be your theme for the year?

A few years ago the Lord gave me the word “Rest” as my word for the year. First I laughed, then I argued with God. I was not even sure what the word meant, really. I knew it had to mean something more than sleep (although that surely would have been a good first step in that season of my life).

At the beginning of each year, our church typically does either a 21-day or 40-day fast. My husband and I decided we wanted the entire family to participate in the discipline.

We explained to our children that fasting doesn’t necessarily mean fasting food…it could be social media, spending money, electronics, or whatever would be a sacrifice in order to spend that time focused on God and His work in our lives. I secretly hoped my children would choose to sacrifice their video games or electronics, but we wanted them to make the decision for themselves.

As we talked, my youngest son, still in elementary school at the time, piped up and said, “So Mom, you could fast your bedtime and you know, go to bed before it turns into the next day!” OUCH! You can’t tell me that children don’t watch our behavior!

In my driven, type-A personality it would have been easier for me to fast eating for a month than to that drastically alter my sleep habits. I smiled to him, and then once again turned to my conversation on the matter with God.

“Really God? You had to use my child to get to me? You know I can’t turn him down when he had a perfectly valid suggestion!”

From that day forward I began to dig in deeper to this idea of “rest.” What did it mean? Why was God impressing it upon my heart in undeniable fashion? How was I to execute it?

The answers to those questions took some extended time and intentional pursuit to unpack. But one thing became readily apparent in quick fashion: Rest requires trust!

Do I trust that God’s word is true and rest is a gift? His word says He gives rest to refresh (Proverbs 3:24) and sustain us (Psalm 3:5).

Do I trust that in rest He will give peace and safety? (Psalm 4:8)

Do I trust that if I heed God’s command to rest that He will help me accomplish what needs to get done?

Do I trust that God is in control, and I don’t have to be?

One thing is for sure, as long as we have to be in control, we will neither rest nor trust others or God.

What do you need to surrender control of in order to rest and truly trust God today?


(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.

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

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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.

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