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
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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