Purpose in Our Pain, by Dr. Michelle Bengston
I’m excited to welcome my friend and author, Michelle, as a guest writer today. Giveaway details about her new book will be announced at the end of this post.
Tears of Pain
The auditorium was alive with the worship of thousands of women who had come to receive a fresh encounter with God that weekend. Each hungry and in need of more of Him, but corporately their voices meshed into a beautiful chorus of symphonic praise that must have delighted His heart.
It was dark high up in the balcony where I was seated, save for the lights reflecting from the stage many levels below. I was ready to receive whatever He had for me that weekend at our church’s annual women’s conference. Snuggled in the midst of 5000 of my closest female friends, we were all ready for a fresh encounter with Him.
After the praise and worship concluded, the lights dimmed and a prayer over the weekend festivities was offered. It was then that my toes were stepped on, and I heard the “Pardon me, excuse me,” of her not-so-whispered pleas as she stepped over me and my friends, and the rest of us at the end of our row to the only seat left available in our row: right next to me. Sweat ran down her temples, hair clung to the nape of her neck. She was scantily clothed, looking more like she would be headed to a nightclub than to a women’s retreat.
Alone in Pain
The evening was inspirational and uplifting, but it wasn’t the part of the conference that left an indelible impact on my heart. As the evening drew to a close, the worship team reconvened. As we sang in worship, the young woman next to me began to wipe tears with the cuff of her sleeve.
I sensed the Lord prompting me to put my arm around her. I put my hand on her shoulder, but I argued with Him that I didn’t want to make her feel uncomfortable. Yet His response was unmistakable, “Don’t you remember feeling alone in a crowd?”
I couldn’t deny it…I had been there and I never wanted anyone to feel the pain I had felt. So I put my arm around her far shoulder and drew her close as her tears turned to heaving sobs.
Prayer in Pain
The service ended and as thousands of women filed out of the sanctuary for the “after party” of dessert and festivities, I turned to this young woman, and asked her if she’d like me to pray for her. Through her tears, she said yes. We took a seat, I took her hand, and I started to pray. Afterward, she shared part of her story: cloaked in depression and anxiety, ashamed of her past, and feeling as if she had made too many mistakes unforgivable by God. Feeling all alone in her pain, she feared that she had gone too far astray for God to either love her or forgive her.
What a mighty God we serve. I had just finished writing “Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression,” and the God who created her, loved her enough to save a seat for her next to someone who could relate to her pain, and share with her from the other side of depression’s valley. What the enemy intended for harm in my own life, God would use for good by allowing me to share my testimony of God’s love and faithfulness with a woman who needed desperately to hear of the hope that prevails in Him. God hates to see His children suffer, but He promises to use all things together for our good, and looking back, there is purpose in our pain. Sometimes it’s to draw us closer to Him. Other times it’s to teach us to stand on truth. Sometimes it’s to teach us just how strong we are. But He promises to work ALL things together for our good and for His glory.
© 2016. Dr. Michelle Bengston. All Rights Reserved.
Author, speaker and board certified clinical neuropsychologist, Dr. Michelle Bengtson is also a wife, mother and friend. She knows pain and despair firsthand and combines her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith to address issues surrounding medical and mental disorders, both for those who suffer and for those who care for them. She offers sound practical tools, affirms worth, and encourages faith. Dr. Michelle Bengtson offers hope as a key to unlock joy and relief—even in the middle of the storm. She blogs regularly on her own site: http://www.DrMichelleBengtson.com Dr. Bengtson’s book “Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” (Revell publishers, August 16, 2016) is available for purchase now: http://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/
For more hope, stay connected with her at:
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/DrMBengtson (@DrMBengtson)
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson 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.
Dr. Bengston is providing a copy of her powerful book as a giveaway for this blog community. Serving on the book launch team, I’ve read Hope Prevails and I can’t say enough about the breakthroughs you’ll discover.
Ways to enter the contest:
- Subscribe to this award-winning blog community, Hope Is Among Us, to enter. You’ll receive an inspirational article by email every Thursday by Girl Friday.
- If you’re already a subscriber, share this post on social media and tag me or mention me in the comments to be sure and have your name entered in the drawing.
Winner will be announced in next week’s blog, Thursday, 9/1/16.
August 25, 2016 at 9:00 am | Uncategorized