I am excited to be hosting an interview with Dr. Michelle Bengtson and my good friend, Diana Rockwell, about Dr. Michelle’s new book, Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression, which releases on August 16th. Enter below for a chance to win 1 of 5 copies of this book that will change your life, or the life of someone you know.
Barbie: Diana, how did you meet Dr. Michelle Bengtson?
I met Dr. Michelle Bengtson online through a writing class focusing on how God uses our willingness to share our stories to help others. At that time she was in the process of finishing the writing “Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression.” She asked for people who would be willing to support her by praying for her through the rest of her writing and publishing process. I became the administrator of her prayer team. We met in person in July 2015. God has blessed our friendship.
Barbie: Dr. Michelle, what made you ask for prayer that day?
“Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” really focuses on the spiritual side of depression. Because of the topic of the book, God had told me I needed a strong group of women behind me to pray specifically for me, this book, and the message of hope that it will bring to hurting individuals. I didn’t know who to ask and while I knew that God was right and that I needed to have a prayer covering, I told God I needed Him to bring people to me who would have a heart for intercession. He did that slowly over time, and now we have a strong group of prayer warriors.
Barbie: Dr. Michelle when does “Hope Prevails” release and what is your book about?
“Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” releases August 16, 2016 by Baker/Revell publishers. As a board certified clinical neuropsychologist with over 25 years of experience diagnosing and treating patients with medical and mental health disorders, I have seen the devastation that depression brings. Yet nothing compares to experiencing such conditions first hand. We can never fully understand another person’s suffering until we go through it ourselves. Such is the case with depression. When I went through the valley of depression, I tried all the same treatment recommendations that I offered to my own patients, and they helped but they were suboptimal and I could not figure out what I was doing wrong. It was only when I started understanding that we cannot ignore the spiritual component of disease and expect lasting effects that I started to experience freedom. “Hope Prevails” offers the insights that I learned about the spiritual side of depression, what the enemy does to entrap us in depression, and what by the grace of God, the enemy cannot do. “Hope Prevails” shares God’s help, hope, and healing for managing depression. I wrote this book to offer hope: a hope that sustains, a hope that is real, a hope that prevails.
Barbie: Diana, you are reading the book as a part of the launch team. What impresses you about the book?
Having suffered with depression, from the moment I started reading I did not want to put the book down. The practical applications at the end of the chapters helped me significantly and I wished I had such wisdom when I was in the depth of my depression. At the end of every chapter, Dr. Michelle offers a prescription for the reader in the form of three or four questions to apply the information they learned in the chapter to their own life situation. She also offers a recommended music playlist to encourage their heart, and she writes a prayer for the reader. Her teaching is practical, but not written in an overly clinical fashion. Rather, she writes conversationally like a friend who understands and is sitting right next to you as you go through the valley yourself.
Barbie: Dr. Michelle, what are a couple of your favorite quotes from the book?
“While God sees us in our season of pain, He also knows he has so much more in store for us after we make it through depressions dark tunnel and arrive on the other side.”
“Jesus looks past the masks we put on for the rest of the world to see us as we truly are, even as we try to hide guilt, shame and the utter despair we feel.”
Barbie: Diana, can you tell us what chapter impacted you so significantly?
I found freedom in Chapter 8, which was entitled “Know Your Worth.” In this chapter, Dr. Michelle talks about how God is 100% for us. Yet we have an enemy who is 100% against us and it is one of his primary purposes to bring us down and demean us and distract us from living the victorious life God provides. In this chapter, Dr. Michelle said, “Depression doesn’t define our worth, and God delights in us as his masterpiece.” Through reading this chapter, I realized just how much I have allowed words of others to determine how I feel about myself and when Dr. Michelle said, “Tragically, we allow words, attitudes or actions of others to influence how we feel about ourselves” Barbie, this described me. I was so blessed when I read that “the only one that has the authority to speak about my worth is Jesus.”
Barbie: Dr. Michelle, you have shared your story and your heart. Is there anything you want to share in closing?
The Bible warns us that we WILL go through trials and difficulties in our lives, but we must keep our eyes on God. No trial, not even depression, can determine our worth, dictate our destiny, or separate us from the love of God. In Jeremiah 29:11 it says, “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a future and a hope!” So take heart, my friend. It’s not over until God says it’s over. Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
Enter to win 1 of 5 copies of Dr. Michelle’s book, Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression. To enter, just follow the prompts on the giveaway widget below. *The giveaway runs 12:01am on Tuesday, August 9th through 11:59pm on Sunday, August 14th. Please share this giveaway with your friends!