God has been so gracious to provide opportunities in my writing life to meet other writers in real life. Dr. Michelle Bengtson is one of those people I met when we both attended the same writing conference. Her warmth and encouraging spirit is always present and her hope to spread the good news of God even in the middle of pain is her mission. Join me in welcoming Michelle to this space and share some love as you read her story.
Here is Michelle’s story:
Have you ever experienced those times in your life that just didn’t make sense, or wasn’t like you expected it to be? Life doesn’t always go as we expect or as we’d like. Trials come and, depending on our response, they can either break us or make us stronger. If we truly trust God and His word, trials are the perfect setup for us to watch God use them for our good.
A potentially deadly childhood illness left me with physical disfigurement and petite in stature. The subject of great childhood bullying left me reliant on God to be my defender. He taught me that when I am weak in my own strength, His strength is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9-11).
Losing my father when I was a young adolescent, initially brought hurt and anger. But it propelled me to become a doctor, which I later realized was part of God’s plan to provide for me and my family when my husband received a cancer diagnosis and was unable to work (Philippians 4:19).
After my father died, and my mother remarried, I was heartbroken when my family moved away from the life, school, church, and friends I’d always known. Little did I know then, but that trial was part of God’s plan for me to meet the man I would marry and make a family with (Genesis 2:18).
After marrying and starting a family, my husband was given a diagnosis of a very rare form of cancer. Doctors told us to get our affairs in order because he had less than two years to live. He endured scan after scan, surgeries, and prolonged chemotherapy. At the same time, my mother was given a diagnosis of lung cancer and began her own treatment before ultimately dying from the disease. Those few years were the hardest of my life. People advised me to “take one day at a time,” but the reality was that I often had to pray for God to help me make it five minutes at a time, for it was all I could handle. Walking with my mother and my husband through their sacred cancer journeys forced me to lean into God and cling to Him and His promises like never before (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Years later, I succumbed to a life threatening illness. Put on five months of bedrest, kept alive on IV-hydration and nutrition, and unable to be the doctor because I had become the patient, led to a severe bout of depression. I witnessed depression in my mother, my aunt, and my grandmother. Having been a neuropsychologist for over twenty years, I tried everything I had always suggested that my depressed patients do, only to find out that while those suggestions helped, they were insufficient for eradicating the depression. I had to seek wisdom from God to understand what I was missing (James 1:5) as well as how to better treat my patients in the future.
Recently, after submitting the manuscript to my publisher for my most recent book, I was on the way with my husband to see his oncologist, when my own doctor called and delivered the news no one ever wants to hear: “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you have cancer.” I had been the caregiver to my husband after three different bouts of cancer, and to my mother during her cancer journey, but now I was having to learn to be the patient. Such a hard, painful experience. Yet as I clung to God’s truth and his promises to us, he comforted me. Then he brought others alongside who were diagnosed with cancer just not quite as far along in their journey so that I could walk with them and offer them they same comfort God had given me (2 Corinthians 1:4).
Yet what I have discovered is that God never wastes our pain. Truly what the enemy intends to harm us, God will use for good and for his glory (Genesis 50:20).
As I’ve aged, and experienced more of life’s trials, I’m grateful that I can look back and see God’s goodness and faithfulness through each one. It served me well, especially when the doctor delivered a cancer diagnosis, and most recently when my husband shared about another health concern prompting a visit to his doctor. I was able to think back on God’s faithfulness throughout my life and determine that since God had always been faithful and trustworthy, I have no reason to doubt Him now (Deuteronomy 7:9). It allows me to maintain faith in the goodness of God, even when life doesn’t go as I would desire (Hebrews 11:1)."Yet what I discovered is that God never wastes our pain" Join us at #TellHisStory for our featured writer @DrMBengtson #newpost #hopeprevails Click To Tweet
Will you trust Him to be faithful in your trials?
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Second Photo by Ron Smith on Unsplash
About Dr. Bengtson
Dr. Bengtson studied neuroscience and is board certified in clinical neuropsychology. She established her own clinical practice in the Dallas area. From her professional and personal life, she recognized a deep lack of understanding of the call to “renew our minds” and the transformational effects a robust understanding of this has on our physical and mental health and outlook. Dr. Bengtson lives to foster transformation and renew life in her listeners. She recognizes brokenness in her life and others’ and offers steps we can take as we walk with Christ through the thin places.
Dr. Bengtson authored the award winning “Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression”and its award winning companion “Hope Prevails Bible Study.” Her third book, “Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises”will be available in September 2019 (Revell). She blogs at DrMichelleB.com and maintains a Monday morning radio show and podcast at GraceandTruthRadio.world. She is a frequent guest on Fox News Radio and speaks at conferences and churches internationally. For more, find her at www.DrMichelleBengtson.com
Here are Michelle’s books. Click on the links below each book cover to buy or preorder. (Affiliate links included)
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“God never wastes our pain.” What an encouragement to hear this from someone who has experienced so much hardship and yet is still able to see God’s hand throughout. Thanks for sharing, Michelle and Mary!
It’s a beautiful truth that I have been saying over and over again this past week. Thank you for stopping by to leave some love.
You’ve definitely had more than your fair share of hard things, Michelle. 🙁 God never wastes pain. That’s a beautiful lesson to share with the rest of us.
I am carrying Michelle’s words about God never wasting our pain with me too. Thank you for being here, Lisa!
Such a strong encouragement you are, Michelle. Thank you. laurensparks.net
Thank you for joining in the conversation, Lauren!
Thank you for sharing, Michelle. Testimonies that point us to God’s continued faithfulness and the strength found in Him no matter our circumstances, while sometimes difficult to share, are always encouraging….and a blessing!!
Michelle’s words are encouraging for all those who face their own challenges. Thank you for being here today, Jennifer!
Mary – Thank you for sharing Michelle with us on your website. She is in my prayers. She is one strong, faith-filled woman. I had a quick minute to meet her and give and receive a quick hug this past weekend at the Speak Up Conference.
Blessings to you both,
I’m glad to know you got to meet Michelle! She is a joy and her testimony is a beautiful one of hope and the glory of God.
Amen! God is so faithful in the difficult times as well as the better times in our lives.
Thank you for sharing your testimony of God’s enabling in the most challenging of times in your life.
I am joining you in gratitude for God’s faithfulness in our lives. Thank you for your encouragement.
What a powerful story of how the Lord has provided in the midst of so many stormy seasons where hope was stretched beyond human limits and He had to carry you. Thank you for inviting us into your journey with the Lord and the testimony that has come from that.
Thank you for being here, Pam! It is so comforting to be reminded that God carries us and brings us hope. It’s a blessing to have you as a member of this community.
Thank you Mary and Michelle for sharing Michelle’s story here. I pray daily for you and your family, Michelle, and I cling to those same promises myself. Through every trial I have seen Him so faithful. Even on those days when the pain is screaming, He does lead us into a deeper mercy with Him. And in the questions, He still holds us. Thank you so much for the encouragement that both of you offer!
Bettie – I am blessed that Michelle shared her story here. You have a beautiful testimony too of God’s faithfulness. I am standing in gratitude for how God works through our pain and brings goodness on the other side. Love and hugs!
Such a beautiful testimony! I was just thinking the other day about suffering. It is a Biblical principle many in the Bible suffered and suffering brings strength, endurance and growth. Thanks so much for sharing your story. 8)
Thank you for being here and sharing your own encouragement. I pray you have a wonderful end to your week!
Thanks for sharing your story! I’m sorry you have gone through so many trials but I love your testimony of God’s goodness and faithfulness as you have walked through them.
You are so sweet to share your encouragement. I love that you are part of this community, Lesley!
Michelle, your encouragement and hopeful attitude in the face of serious illnesses (both yours and your loved ones’) are inspiring. I always love reading your posts and this one is no different. Many blessings to you, my friend.
I love how you encourage others, Laurie! Thank you for being a treasured member of this community.
Oh Michelle, in reading your story my heart was so touched that with all the trials of life, health and family you have walked through, your testimony is one of Faith, Trust and total Dependence on the Lord. That blesses and encourages me so much! I can not even imagine all the pain you have endured yet your message of HOPE and LOVE is one of TRUSTING your God and resting in His Faithfulness! Thank you for sharing!! I am one who has been blessed!
Thank you for being here, Karen! Your encouragement is a gift to everyone here.
“Yet what I have discovered is that God never wastes our pain. Truly what the enemy intends to harm us, God will use for good and for his glory.” Amen!
Isn’t that a beautiful truth? I love knowing that God never wastes our pain. Thank you for being here!
What hard things to go through. Yet so good to hear of God’s grace through every part of the journey.
Thank you for being such a sweet source of encouragement for this community. Many blessings on the rest of your week!
Encouraging to read this line today > “Sacred cancer journeys forced me to lean into God and cling to Him and His promises like never before.” Grateful for every journey which though not easy, has caused me to learn He is faithful to every Word. Praying for you and your family this morning, Michelle. Blessings to both of you today!
I am grateful for my journeys too. May we join together in gratitude for God’s faithfulness. Thank you for sharing your encouragement.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’ve been through many trials in my life and I agree that God never wastes a trial…He will use each and every on to form our character, draw us into Himself, and give us courage and hope. He can bring beauty from even the darkest ashes. Sometimes I question why so many trials, but I know I would not have the close relationship with God, that I do, had it not been for those trials. I know my/our God is faithful!
God is so faithful. I love knowing how He has been there for you too, Bev during your challenges. Thank you for your encouragement for all of us.
Wow, Michelle, what a powerful story you have. I am sorry you and your family have endured so much. But thank you for sharing your pain and the things God has taught you through it. As I age, I better understand the truth that God is always trustworthy. As you shared, when we endure a trial, we can look back and remember His past faithfulness . . . which gives us what we need to walk through the current trial. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and your words here. They are truly encouraging!
Thank you for your support here, Jeanne! You are a treasured member of this community and your encouragement is a gift.
Yes! Michelle’s message is full of hope, and she speaks from experience as well as training. I was thankful to have read her book and to recommend it to others!
Michelle’s book, Hope Prevails, is a powerful story of her testimony and training. Thank you for sharing Michele.