“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/.