Nonfiction author, speaker, and board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, Dr. Michelle Bengtson, always knew she would become a writer. She began writing as a young teen in Kalamazoo, Michigan, entered several Christian writers’ contests, and consistently did well in her category. After professors in graduate school convinced her she couldn’t and shouldn’t write, she gave up on her dream. But God… Don’t you love it when God breaks in?
“Finally, God spoke to my heart and encouraged me that either I could continue to believe the lies that I couldn’t write, or I could believe the One who gave me the dream and gave me the talent. I resumed writing and haven’t stopped since.”
Her first book, Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression, took a year to write and was published by Revell in August 2016. In response to her reader requests, she then wrote the companion, Hope Prevails Bible Study, published by Redemption Press in October 2017. At the 2018 Christian Literary Awards both books won the Reader’s Choice Award in their category. I guess God and her readers knew best. Imagine that.
Michelle’s third book, Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises will be published by Revell in September, 2019. Within the next couple of months, she will also launch her own radio show where listeners will get more of her hope-filled perspectives to encourage their faith.
“I frequently tell people that trials in life will either pull you away from God or push you to lean in to Him, and that it is so very important to know what you believe before the trial hits. During my youth, I was very active in Youth for Christ ministries, which gave me a solid group of friends to do life with who would speak truth and encourage me to keep growing in my faith. Having that solid foundation has given me strength during life’s most difficult trials.”
Throughout the years, Michelle has done many Bible reading plans. After purchasing a chronological Bible last year to help give her a clearer understanding of the order of Biblical events, she recently joined a friend in a challenge to read the entire Bible in 66 days. “Never before have I read so much of the word at one time, but it has given me a greater depth of understanding as well as a greater ability to put myself in the shoes of those whose stories are recorded there. If you’ve never read the Bible through in that short amount of time, I highly recommend it.”
When asked what advice she would give a new writer, she said, “Read a lot, study the craft, attend writer’s conferences, pray about what God would have you write, then set a regular time to write. One can’t call themselves a writer if they don’t write. The only way to get better is to do it.”
“Our emotions are just the outward manifestation of the thoughts we believe.” —Dr. Michelle Bengtson