“Are you limping?” I heard as I paused to cross the street and greet my new acquaintance.
My body betrayed me and my physical condition. My uneven gait is always more pronounced when I’m either tired or in pain, although I always hid it as best I could. This time, clearly there was no hiding it.
My mind spun through its rolodex of possible responses: “Oh it’s nothing, just overdid it at the gym;” “These darn boots are just so uncomfortable;” “No, why do you ask?” I finally landed on the vulnerable facts, “Yes, I always do.”
Her expression begged for more.
I typically avoid conversation that keeps the focus on me, always preferring to be an encourager in others’ journey instead. Yet the Lord had been increasingly prompting me to share my story with others who showed interest, for in my story, He receives great glory.
So I explained that a life-threatening illness and a medical mishap three days after my third birthday resulted in not only disfigurement of my leg and foot, but a leg length difference of almost two inches. Almost as if embarrassed for asking, she whispered, “Oh, I’m sorry.”
“Please don’t be. Some days my uneven stagger is more pronounced than others, but it always serves as a reminder to me of the miraculous power of God.”
“How can that be?” her eyes questioned before she replied, “but your leg…your foot…your limp…”
I chuckled softly and then explained. “The illness was expected to kill me, and then the medical mishap was certainly expected to end my life if the illness didn’t. When neither did, we were told I’d never walk again. But God stepped in and intervened.”
Pausing a moment to let that sink in, I continued, “I still live with the disfigurement – some have dared to call it a handicap. But I never have. My limp reminds me that God loves me. He spared my life, and He still has plans for me to accomplish on this earth.”
Tears trailed down her face before she asked the most important question, “Do you think He loves me too?”
“Oh Dear One, YES! He loves you so much, He sent His son to die for you so that you could have an intimate relationship with the Heavenly Father forever. Nothing you have done, or are going through now, are beyond His loving arms.”
We continued our conversation a few minutes more as I shared with her Scripture that confirmed what I was telling her.
After we parted, I sensed the Lord reveal to me that I often allow self-consciousness about my flaws and imperfection to muzzle me, yet He desires to use that very thing to draw others to Him. Truly He does use ALL things together for our good! (Romans 8:28)
What part of your story will you allow God to use to bring Him glory 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.
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 depressions
- 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/.
Dear Michelle, such a good reminder that God uses everything to his glory. I was born blind in my left eye. The miracle is that my right eye sees beyond my disability. Oh I have depth perception problems and yes I was teased as a child but like you I know God loved me in my mother’s womb and planned for me to not be blind so I could read amazing testimonies and yes even write my story with you as you know we are destined to tell the story God wants us to tell. Your sister in Christ. Blessings Diana
How I have been blessed to make your acquaintance Diana! I have been even more blessed to come to the realization that we are not our disabilities or weaknesses! What God made is good, and what He sees is beauty!
Just checking in here, in July 2022, but right on time! Don’t know if you’ll see this. But I did just when I needed a very strong reminder that “we are not our disabilities or weaknesses.” Bless you for your ministry!
So beautifully said! You have a great story that others need to hear, and to be too self-conscious to share it would be a tragedy. Thank you for that reminder. I don’t have a limp, but we all have weaknesses that God has turned to strengths, and I need to be more willing to share mine. Nice to meet you on Mom 2 Mom Monday!
Thank you for your sweet encouragement Meredith! He receives all glory for the beauty He has created out of my ashes. I hope you’ll stop by again!
Thank you for this reminder to share what God has done for me so that others can see his love!
Be bold and courageous Alyssa! Live it out loud so He will receive glory! Blessings!
Thanks for this. I live in similar circumstances and take great joy from your post.
I’m blessed to know today’s post brought you joy Suzi! All and only for Him…
Beautiful story… thank you for sharing! And thank you for the reminder that sharing our stories is so important!
Thank you for that encouragement Lily! We all have a story to share.
Such a beautiful sentiment. Thank you for sharing this.
My pleasure LanaLou. Thanks for stopping by!
If people ask us what brought us to California I tell them of the journey we have had and it was hard. Months were we were totally dependent on God to pay our rent or the credit card bill. I trust He can do things for us because I have too lived through them.
Shelby, He most certainly works together ALL things for our good — whether physical deformity or financial or emotional crisis. Even if the good is increased ability to trust Him, it is good! I praise God that you can see His faithfulness. It is by our testimony that others will come to trust Him too. Blessings!
Amen… time to allow the flaws and imperfections be our way to voice His faithfulness.
Beautiful words, today, Michelle! Wonderful!
Thank you Christine. I appreciate your encouragement. We fight the fight and win “by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony!” Blessings!
What a powerful story! Thank you.
To Him be the glory, Janet. Thank you for stopping by! Hope Prevails!!
I love this post. His story of our lives. I does bring Him glory!! It isn’t to death, but that the Son of God be glorified!!
Thank you Aimee! Each of us has an important story to share, to bring Him glory. Share On!
Beautiful, Michelle! I have part of my story I need to find the courage to tell. I love that you are opening more and more of this up to all of us. It is being used in the Kingdom and for the Kingdom for sure! Blessings for being so faithful with what you have been entrusted with!
I appreciate the encouragement Bonnie Lyn! We all have stories that need to be told. Remember, He works ALL things together for our good, and for His glory.
This is so beautiful! I’m the opposite, a total blabbermouth, and I have to reel it in most of the time. Lately I’ve been trying to do that giving the glory back to God for whatever it is. Thank you for this reminder about humility.
Gina, God designed each of us perfectly, and each of us differently. Yet we are all in the refiner’s fire, aren’t we? He always deserves the glory for the beauty He brings out of our ashes. He loves you!
Thank you for sharing your beautiful story at Inspire Me Mondays!
Thanks for stopping by Brandi! I hope you’ll come by again soon. Blessings.
Always inspiring, Dr. Michelle! Thanks for linking up with us at MeetUp Monday! Hope to see you again this week!
I appreciate your encouragement Amanda! Thanks for coming by. I hope we’ll see you again soon. Hope Prevails…
I’m so glad you feel used by God, Michelle! Everything that happens happens for HIS purpose. Hard to understand, but easy to comprehend when you feel and see it happening in your own life :).
It truly is a joy to see God’s purposes working out in your life Anita! And even greater joy to testify to His goodness.
I loved this. What a special moment of reflection to remind us that God has a plan for us. I love how you said his loving arms because often I feel just that, the loving arms of our Father. It’s exciting to read this and hear how God has each of us bringing others to him in our own unique ways!
Tasia, I appreciate your sweet words of encouragement. He longs to wrap each of us up in His loving arms. He wants to use each of us and our stories to bring others to Him and bring Him glory! Shine On!
Thank you for sharing and being willing to let God use you!
Robbi, thank you for your encouragement and for being such a sweet recipient of my words. I’ve found no greater joy than being used by Him. Sometimes we just have to get out of our own way 😉 Blessings to you.
Hi, Michelle 🙂 I’m happy to be visiting your blog again this week from Grace and Truth. I applaud you for breaking down those walls that we all tend to erect around our insecurities. And look how the Lord is using your faithfulness! Thanks for sharing with us last week!
Thanks for visiting Jen! I appreciate your encouragement. Sometimes it takes great faith to be obedient to His call, but always worth it. He is NOT the author of our insecurities, so standing on His truth is crucial. Thanks for welcoming our sharing at Grace & Truth! Blessings.
Dr Michelle, you get me every time!
You are tied for my featured post this week on Grace&Truth.
Thanks for being vulnerable and allowing God to use your story to show His love to others! <3 You're a blessing!
What a blessing your encouragement is to me! Thank you for allowing the words God has given me to be shared with your readers. Hope Prevails!
This is such a great example of a situation where letting the spotlight land in a sensitive area allowed you to be a blessing to someone else. Thanks for sharing it, and congratulations on being featured at Grace and Truth.
Thank you for your sweet encouragement Michele. I pray my words will give others courage, and bring Him glory!
A great story of faith! Thanks for joining the Home Matters Linky Party! We hope you’ll join us again next week!
I appreciate your kind words Sharlee! Hope to see you again sometime soon!
I love the way you use it all for Gods glory. Blessings. I love reading your blog!
Thanks you for your sweet words of encouragement Devonne! I hope to see you again sometime soon. Hope Prevails!
I am coming to you a little late my sweet friend. Thank you for sharing your journey:For in my story, He receives great glory.
Sometimes the limp is in the heart: unseen, unknown and out of sight except for the Soul Keeper. He holds that hurting heart in His hand until the beating slows down and trust in restored. It is then, and not until then, we yield to His love and our hearts beat to the rhythm of the Master.
This heart is out of bounds from the soul taker, he has no business there anymore.
Our story – for His glory – magnificent. My story – heart story can be found here:
May the Lord bless and keep you… ~ Chris ~
Your kind and astute words bless me Chris! Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. In doing so you will surely bless my other readers as well. To Him be the glory! Hope Prevails!
I love that you’re so open with people you trust! Thank you for sharing.
And Possibly Dinosaurs
Thank you Caitlin. Sharing my story is out of obedience. I pray it blesses and offers hope and encouragement.
Such a powerful share Michelle! Your encouragement is truly life giving.