I recently read a book called Hope Prevails, by Dr. Michelle Bengtson and asked to write a review of the book. I struggled this time putting words to the page. I think part of me knew if I wrote something, I would have to admit, out loud, that I have battled depression. Not always, but there have been times. I don’t think I’m the typical person, I’ve been able to pull myself out of it. I know this isn’t the norm, but I know the suicidal thoughts I battled and the belief that things would get better if I just ran away, are all too typical.
I think this made me blind to the struggle others have who battle depression; if I could ‘just get over it,’ why couldn’t they? It is also one of those things we don’t talk about in the church, because someone may think you are less spiritual and disconnected from God if you are going through it. This idea couldn’t be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, I was surprised to learn that Dr. Bengtson, a neuropsychologist, battled depression herself. I mean, if someone who treats depressed patients becomes depressed, what hope is there for the rest of us.
“I’m here to tell you the secret is out: even Christians get depressed.” – Dr. Michelle Bengtson
That is where Hope Prevails comes in. This book is Michelle’s (she was Michelle to me before she was Dr. Bengtson) journey through depression and what God did in her life to bring her healing and how she wants to bring healing to others.
So what do I like about this book? Short chapters! I think that alone is good medicine. I would guess that a person hungry for help wouldn’t want to spend a ton of time reading a chapter to feel discouraged at the end. That is not the case here. At the end of each chapter, she includes a prescription; a few questions to help you in your healing process. Let’s be real here; they are probing questions, however, if you truly want to receive healing than you need to be true to yourself. These questions will do it for you, and the answers are only between you and God.
That’s great because, after that, there is a prayer for you to pray, then something I have never seen in a book before and I believe it to be genius: a playlist. Each chapter has one, with the songs correlating with the topic of the chapter.
“Listening to praise and worship music helped me to hold on when it seemed my grip was failing.”
As if the playlist isn’t cool enough, someone has already set it up on Spotify. Just search “Hope Prevails.”
I would say, if you are reading this and you battle depression, get your hands on this book. If you have a loved one that is battling depression, get your hands on this book. If you feel you are at the bottom of the well with no chance of getting out, get your hands on this book. It will not just give you encouragement to make it to the next step, but it honestly will give you hope for your future.