Time is fleeting. The days are ticking down. Dr. Michelle Bengtson’s book, Hope Prevails will release on August 16, fourteen days from now. Dr. Michelle and I met a year ago in July. I read her book the first time in October of 2015 from a manuscript. I have spent much time in prayer for this book and Dr. Michelle Bengtson since we met because I believe in the message of this book.
Recently, while reading the book as part of the launch team, my heart beat just a bit faster, as my own walk through depression is still part of my memory. There were days when I would not talk to anyone, would withdraw from others, didn’t make telephone calls or accept phone calls. I would go out only if I had to go out. I happened to turn to food. Food was my friend. So the yo-yo dieting began and this cycle did not break until July of 2012. Laughing on the outside, crying on the inside, I mastered wearing a mask, such a clown when working. I blamed myself. feeling ashamed and full of pain. Physically my body hurt and I suffered from migraine headaches. I suffered a job loss but in the end, after treatment, I returned to school and became a nurse.
The problem with the treatment I received was that it never addressed the spiritual aspect of depression. So I struggled with where my faith fit in with treatment. Dr. Michelle Bengtson’s book, Hope Prevails, teaches us about hope by sharing her own journey through depression and how to overcome it with various avenues shared as prescriptions at the end of each chapter.
Dr. Michelle Bengtson’s states,
“Only when I started to understand what depression does to us spiritually as well as what it cannot do, and then started to cooperating with God did I finally begin to experience the chains of depression falling off.’
‘There is hope that comes from realizing how depression affects us spiritually and what it cannot do to us on a spiritual level. Without hope, what reason do we have to get up in the morning? With hope, we want to move forward, press on, get to the other side, and then share with others what we have learned to offer hope during their time of trial.”
There is so much I can share about this book, but Chapter 8 helped me the most because I struggle with self-worth from poor choices I made. Finally I’ve accepted forgiveness for the poor choices and lingering self-loathing.
Beloved, do you struggle loving yourself or accepting yourself? As I read these words in this chapter, the chains began to fall off me:
“Depression doesn’t define our worth.”
“God delights in us as his masterpiece.”
“Tragically, we allow words, attitudes or actions of others to influence how we feel about ourselves.”
“If we do not have a firm grasp of our God-given worth, life incidents can perpetuate the belief that we have to behave or think a certain way to earn our value or gain acceptance.”
“The only one who has the authority to speak about our worth is Jesus.”
“Christ exchanged our sin and shame for his perfection, our death for his life, and our bondage for his freedom.”
“You are so valuable to him, you are tattooed on his hands.”
“Comparison steals our joy.”
“In the darkness of the depression, we are more susceptible to comparing ourselves to others.”
“The physical effects of depression can deplete both our energy and our motivation.”
Beloved, do you believe God delights in you as His masterpiece? Do you know your name is tattooed in the palm of His hands? Beloved, the enemy of your soul thrives on keeping you in darkness and unable to live in the fullness of God and who he created you to be. What will you do to prevent this from happening?
Father God, Thank you that Jesus exchange our sin and shame for his perfection, our death for his life, and our bondage for his freedom. Lord for the woman who the physical effects of depression is depleting her energy and her motivation, would you renew her strength. Lord, Jesus is the only one with the authority to speak our worth. Lord, for the woman who needs to know that Jesus is the only one to declare our self-worth please let her get this book and be able to read Chapter 8. Protect us from the tactics of the Satan. In Jesus’ name Amen.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:10)