|Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith|
I am a board-certified internal medicine physician and the author of the book Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves (Revell 2011). Ten years ago I completed my residency training and set out to ‘save the world’ by providing excellent healthcare. As a member of National Health Service Corp, I was prepared to encounter various levels of poverty and insufficient health care but what I was not prepared for was the amount of psychological poverty I found. Daily patients presented trapped in mindsets and negative thought processes for which my traditional medicine training had not prepared me to adequately treat.
During this time I was personally at a spiritual crossroad myself, unsure of what God’s plans were for me and struggling with fear, insecurity, and doubt. For months I saw women come to me for answers to the same questions and concern I faced. I was broken in so many ways, yet trying to help other broken women. I was not clinically depressed or anxious, rather just not at a place of peace and joy, which lead me to begin a personal journey to explain what I was experiencing. I began observing the women who were walking in a level of wholeness I did not have, researching scriptures to support their ‘secrets’ to peace, and recording my finding. This led me to discover 7 key areas where I and many of my female patients were in bondage due to lies we believed. These lies were like a germ getting into open wounds in our life and were threatening to infect our whole beings if we did not get treatment immediately. The treatment was not in a prescription bottle, but in a process of learning to trust God and replacing those lies with truth. I put these principles into practice within my own life and experienced such a transformation that even my patients commented on how something about me had changed.
I was elated at having broken free, but still in turmoil about how to approach this with patients. What would they think if their doctor starting talking spiritual things with them? What would other healthcare professionals think of such unconventional treatment? One day God made it clear I had to make a choice: stay in fear and watch these patients stay bound or walk in faith and see the healing I so wanted to bring to them. He lead a young woman to my office who had almost become completely consumed by lies and a negative mindset. She did not know what was wrong with her, but she knew that she was at the end of her rope. She expected a pill but what I offered her was a prescription for living free: 5 steps I had used to work through the lies in my life. This process was scary, because I am not a licensed counselor but I knew that a pill would only be a band-aid on this woman’s life issues. She needed guidance, as her doctor and as a woman who had just walked through the process herself, I knew it was time to step outside of my conventional medical training and stretch her to see how the spiritual was affecting her mind/body.
Years later she and hundreds of other women have gone through this process towards freedom. Medicine for me has become more than just my profession, but the platform for me to help others see how self-deception, lies and negative self-talk are affecting their lives. My findings, the 7 lies, and the 5 stages of freedom were birth out of my own pain but have been redeemed and used by a faithful God. As a Christian physician, many in healthcare have written to tell me how my willingness to combine my faith with healing has opened the door to them using a similar process with their patients. I praise God for all He has done over these past 10 years of my practicing medicine.
You can learn more about me and read the first chapter of Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves on my website at www.setfreetolivefreebook.com and you can sign up for my newsletter at www.drdaltonsmith.com. I blog my thoughts at gracetolivefree.blogspot.com and I can be found posting encouragement on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SetFreetoLiveFree. Set Free to Live Free can be purchased at all major book stores and online at Amazon.com.
Thank you Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith for taking time to share with us on today. We appreciate you sharing your story.