The Hem of His Garment

Reaching Out to God When Pain Overwhelms

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Hope for When the Pain Won't Quit

Everyone experiences pain at times. It can manifest physically, emotionally, relationally, or spiritually. It can follow tragic accidents, great loss, sudden betrayal, or unexpected and unwanted change. Often it is temporary. But what do you do when it isn't? When the pain just won't go away, when healing does not come, when the grief and hurt settle in?

Drawing on her own experience of chronic pain and her years as a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, Dr. Michelle Bengtson provides a countercultural perspective on pain. Offering hope without any false promises or empty platitudes, Dr. Bengtson unwraps the complex emotional aspects of dealing with pain. She gives you permission to question God, helps you identify the lies you've believed about your pain, and reorients your perception based on the truth of God's Word. Each chapter ends with a recommended playlist, reflection questions, and a prayer.

Your pain may not change, but your experience of it can.


Endorsements

"Pain is inevitable, but enduring it alone is optional. Dr. Michelle Bengtson is a voice of hope who will speak into your struggles, a helping hand who will point you to Jesus, and a wise guide who will lead you through whatever you're facing so you can embrace more of what our good God has for you."

Holley Gerth, bestselling author of What Your Mind Needs for Anxious Moments

"Thousands of people suffer from daily pain. For some it is physical, and for others it may be spiritual or emotional. How do you maintain hope in the midst of chronic, unrelenting pain? The Hem of His Garment is an honest and transparent look at pain. Dr. Michelle Bengtson gives the reader permission to ask hard questions and practical guidance on how to seek God during times when you feel the most wounded. A beautiful gift for every person living with pain."

Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, physician, bestselling author, and host of I Choose My Best Life podcast

"The Hem of His Garment sings hope in the minor key. It is an honest, profound, and deeply moving labor of love that will invite you to weep, worship, and pray. This book is a treasure for those who live in constant pain--and for those who long for a resource to give to friends and family who are hurting."

Carol Kent, founder of Speak Up Ministries, speaker, and author of When I Lay My Isaac Down

"Most people run away from pain, but Dr. Michelle Bengtson walks to it so she can walk us through it! While I was reading this power-packed and practical book, I was in extreme pain physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and Dr. Bengtson inspired me to pray, 'If I can reach the hem of his garment, Christ will touch the place of my pain with his presence, power, provision, and peace.' I will keep a stack of copies of The Hem of His Garment on hand as gifts for those who are feeling overwhelmed by the pain of life's storms."

Pam Farrel, author of Discovering Hope in the Psalms and bestselling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti

"In The Hem of His Garment, Dr. Michelle Bengtson provides holistic, practical, and biblical strategies to help us move through our pain. Her approach to the seven different primary forms of pain, including the less commonly discussed emotional pain, relational pain, and secondary dynamics of pain inflicted by others, is a much-needed resource for faith-based medical and mental health professionals."

Michelle Nietert, MA, LPC-S, clinical director of Hope Helps, and author of Loved and Cherished

"The Hem of His Garment is a masterpiece of help and hope in deep pain. Michelle is the guide we all need when we've endured long past the timeline we gave God or when God seems silent despite our prayers. Sharing her journey of pain with raw vulnerability, Michelle shows us how to renew authentic hope and navigate suffering that seems too hard to handle."

Lisa Appelo, author of Life Can Be Good Again

"In The Hem of His Garment, Dr. Michelle well articulates walking through the journey of physical, emotional, relational, or spiritual pain. She guides us through solid biblical examples from Hannah to Job and how God walked with them through their painful journeys. Whether you are hurting from the past or in the midst of current pain, The Hem of His Garment will guide you to victory for his honor and glory."

Donna Fagerstrom, author, speaker, worship leader, and pastor's wife

"As a chronic pain sufferer and licensed therapist with comprehensive education on the subject, I have treated countless fellow pain suffers. I wish this book had been in my hands years ago because it would have been required reading for each patient and their loving family members. The Hem of His Garment by Dr. Michelle Bengtson is a true gift. It completely explores the annihilating effects of pain on our lives and on those of our loved ones. With biblical references and a myriad of suggestions, it also offers hope for the spiritual damage that aches to be healed. Bengtson nails it. For yourself or as a gift, and especially for someone newly diagnosed, this book is hope in your hands."

Deborah McCormick Maxey, PhD, licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed professional counselor, certified traumatologist

"Through is one of the most important words in my Life Coach Dictionary. Daily, I walk my clients to what I call 'the Threshold of Through,' where they must make the difficult decision to move from one side of their problem or issue to the other. In The Hem of His Garment, I now have a comprehensive and compassionate resource to place in the hands of my clients. Because Dr. Michelle Bengtson has stood at her very own Threshold of Through as a doctor, a wife, and a weary sojourner, she understands in a way that perhaps no one else could. Every page is tear-stained, truth-filled, and, most importantly, time-tested. I believe The Hem of His Garment will be a classic for generations to come."

Janell Rardon, MA, author, and trauma-informed board-certified life coach (AACC)

"Dr. Michelle Bengtson links her arms with yours and guides you through your journey with pain, whether it be physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, or something else. She reveals the deeper lessons of beauty she herself gleaned in the midst of her own painful experiences. With her help, you'll discover a deeper level of God's presence as you learn to overcome."

Linda Evans Shepherd, bestselling author of Praying through Every Emotion and Make Time for Joy

"The Hem of His Garment is an unapologetic call to action amid suffering combined with a deep dose of grace for those who are encumbered by trials. Dr. Michelle Bengtson is not a white-coat diagnostician but a chemo-chair sufferer who has endured each kind of pain she addresses. This book is honest, relatable, and practical--a weapon in the arsenal of anyone enduring pain!"

Tera Bradham DeNeui, Founder of the Heal Ministry and author of Swimming for Freedom

"Pain. There's no getting around it; we're all going to experience it. Dr. Bengtson gets that. She's been there too. With its sweet transparency and beautiful, relatable vulnerability, her biblical take on pain is refreshing. Physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, financial--all the pains. The Hem of His Garment offers the wisdom we need, the truth to help, and a gracious hand to hold. Exactly what we need to get through any kind of pain, as well as to offer support to those we love who are enduring pain."

Rhonda Rhea, TV personality, award-winning author of more than twenty books

"Ongoing physical, financial, and emotional challenges can be difficult to reconcile with the goodness of God. But The Hem of His Garment manages to hold space for these hard feelings while also steadying your journey. Dr. Bengtson extends an offer of liberation from the doubt and uncertainty that can come from prolonged suffering. Her brave choice to share vulnerable and uplifting stories made me feel understood on a deep level. With a desire to genuinely help, Dr. Bengtson leads us through a mindset recalibration. We learn to trade our guilt, impatience, and discouragement for God's love, grace, and power."

Jo Ann Fore, personal growth mentor and author of When a Woman Finds Her Voice

"Dr. Michelle Bengtson eloquently takes us on a journey grounded in biblical principles through the different types of pain and the consequences of it in our lives. She pulls back the curtain on our common misperceptions of pain's purpose and points us to hope in Jesus, the 'man of sorrows.' Dr. Bengtson's up-close relationship with pain gives weight to her words of encouragement to remain steadfast and focused on the Lord. Her chapter on lament is especially powerful, as she gives us a way to reframe complaints into life-giving lamentations. Journey with her 'through a valley of suffering, onto a ridge of faith, down a road of hopeful petition, and up to a peak of praise.'"

Jessica Van Roekel, author of Reframing Rejection

"Dr. Michelle's courage, compassion, and faith fill every page of The Hem of His Garment. As a fellow pain sufferer, I've cried out, 'God, can't you give me a how-to guide?' God has answered this prayer for those who are walking through the valley of pain. Drawing from the experience of her own suffering combined with biblical truths, Dr. B provides a step-by-step guide on how to walk through the darkness of pain yet radiate the glory of God. This book addresses the tough questions many silent sufferers want to ask but rarely discuss with others. Readers will find encouragement, support, and the inspiration to carry on amid their pain."

Shonda Whitworth, author of Appeal to the Courtroom of Heaven and cofounder of Fortress of Hope Ministries, Inc. (fortressofhopeministries.com)

"Today's world offers instant yet temporary, destructive, and addictive coping mechanisms for pain, making God's healing balm seem out of reach. Dr. Michelle Bengtson shines a vital light on God's timeless truths, giving us real hope in our valleys of despair to walk with God instead of away from his care. Readers find inspiration as they discover that The Hem of His Garment is not yesterday's miracle but today's truth to carry us through any storm."

Aliene Thompson, president of Treasured Ministries International

"I truly believe The Hem of His Garment is a book for everyone. Even if we haven't yet experienced debilitating physical pain, we've surely encountered emotional, mental, relational, financial, or spiritual pain, and we are surrounded by those fighting these difficult battles. Dr. Michelle Bengtson has packed this volume with comfort, encouragement, ministry opportunities, and even the path to spiritual healing. It's delivered with transparency and truth, built on a foundation of Scripture that encourages the reader to hold on when they want to give up. She gives us a precious gift--a hand to hold, permission to acknowledge the struggle, and the wisdom for coming alongside one another."

Edie Melson, award-winning author and director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference

"Fresh. Unpretentious. Honest to the core. In The Hem of His Garment, Dr. Bengtson addresses the hard and often ignored questions that engulf pain-filled seasons. Emotionally captivating and thought-provoking, this book is healing wrapped in print form. It will be an anchor to your soul and wings to your hopes. Join thousands of other readers who are discovering the silver lining when life does not seem fair or isn't making sense."

Tracey Mitchell, international speaker and award-winning author

"As a fellow chronic-pain warrior, I very much related to the experiences Dr. Bengtson shared in The Hem of His Garment. Her book helped me feel less alone while offering practical strategies to persevere through circumstances beyond my control. The 'Hem of His Garment' passages at the end of each chapter particularly resonated with me by providing promises to cling to while I wait for healing. I highly recommend this book. By the time you finish it, you will have greater hope, peace, and a newfound perspective on pain that will usher you into a deeper relationship with God and others. I can't wait to give this book to the pain sojourners in my life!"

Jen Roland, writer, speaker, board-certified mental health coach, and women's ministry leader


The Author

  1. Dr. Michelle Bengtson
    Christie Ray Bielss

    Dr. Michelle Bengtson

    Dr. Michelle Bengtson is an international speaker, a national and international media resource on mental health, and the bestselling, award-winning author of Hope Prevails, the Hope Prevails Bible Study, Today Is Going to Be a Good Day,...

    Continue reading about Dr. Michelle Bengtson