I can’t seem to move on with life. I struggle with my past so much that it blinds me from seeing what is great right in front of me. I’m having a hard time forgiving myself. I hate what I did and how I acted. I don’t deserve to have the wonderful life I have now. A life that is so different from my past. Help – I am so ashamed and it’s been almost twenty years ago. Anonymous
Oh Dear One,
I can hear the guilt and angst in your words, but more than that I can feel the pain from the shame that is buried deep within your heart from the past mistakes you’ve made that continue to plague you today. If we were sitting together over a cup of coffee, I would take your hand in mine, look into your eyes, and I would tell you that those thoughts that you are having are not your thoughts. Those are thoughts that are being whispered to you by the enemy, the father of lies, to convince you that you aren’t worthy.
The Bible says that “the thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that they might have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). The enemy seeks to steal your peace, kill your joy, and rob you of your identity—that’s the bad news. But the good news is that Christ came to give you a full and abundant life, despite anything and everything that you have done. He has already paid the penalty for all the mistakes you have ever made or will ever make. That is why scripture says, “There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
It’s the enemy of your soul reminding you of your mistakes. You’ve got to fight back with truth. Every time he reminds you of the mistakes of your past, remind him that you’ve been forgiven and redeemed because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross! Say it out loud. Faith comes by hearing, so speak such truths out loud. And when he tries to remind you of your past mistakes, stand on God’s truth which says, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19 NLT).
So often we have a harder time forgiving ourselves that forgiving what others do to us. But keep in mind, God has already forgiven you of whatever you have done. He has already paid the penalty to wipe your debt clean. If you are unwilling to forgive yourself, you are in effect telling God that His sacrifice wasn’t enough. His death wasn’t enough. There is no greater price that could be paid. If you can’t look at it this way, look at it as the most expensive gift you’ve ever been given. Receive it with the most extravagant love it’s been offered.
Dr. Bengtson – 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/
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.
This is what others are saying about her book – Hope Prevails
“There are many fine, worthy, and insightful books written about depression, but in my view, Dr. Bengtson’s trumps them all.”—from the foreword by Marilyn Meberg, Women of Faith speaker and author of Constantly Craving
As a board-certified neuropsychologist, Dr. Michelle Bengtson believed she was prescribing the most effective treatments for her clients who struggled with depression. But when she experienced debilitating depression herself, she found that the treatments she had recommended weren’t helping her the way she expected. She was determined to find out what was missing.
With the deep compassion of someone who has been there, Dr. Bengtson blends her training and that vital missing piece she discovered to offer you a hope grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps you understand what depression is, how it affects you spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, depression cannot do. The result is an approach that offers not just the management of symptoms but the hope of true release.
“Everyone who suffers or knows someone who suffers needs to read this book. If I had read it 23 years ago, I never would have attempted suicide!”—Anonymous Reader
“I have never read a book that deals with the spiritual aspect of healing as thoroughly as does Hope Prevails. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has tasted the pain of depression or knows a friend who is depressed.”—Gary Chapman, PhD, author of The 5 Love Languages
“It’s hard to find a person who will be so honest about his or her own struggle in order to help you with yours. It’s a double blessing when that person also possesses the expertise, experience, and grace to meet your needs.”—Jan Greenwood, pastor of Pink (Gateway Women) at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas, and author of Women at War
“Nowhere else have I found an author speak to the difficulty of depression with this level of specific explanation, insight, and hope. On those days when you’re tired and weary and feel like you just can’t keep going, this book is like having a friend right there with you.”—Jo Ann Fore, author of the award-winning When a Woman Finds Her Voice
For more hope, stay connected with her at:
To order Hope Prevails: http://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/DrMBengtson (@DrMBengtson)