I was once told that God doesn’t call the qualified but instead qualifies the called according to His purpose.
The fact that I am even sitting here or writing this is a testament to God’s miraculous ability. I am a timid and anxious individual. However, I was once told that God doesn’t call the qualified but instead qualifies the called according to His purpose. So you see, I live with anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, known as OCD.
OCD is commonly stigmatized and misunderstood. I work in mental health as a therapist and managed to misunderstand the disorder for many years. Bear with me through a bit of education and backstory. OCD is not a personality trait concerning cleanliness or organization but rather a debilitating condition. The disorder causes intrusive thoughts, panic, and compulsive behaviors that are performed in an attempt to make the thoughts stop. I struggled in silence for 15 years before my diagnosis in 2020 because I thought I was the only person experiencing such internal anguish. Fast forward to two months ago, and I was doing well and experienced some medication changes due to my progress.
Our Season to Strengthen
Since the loss of my husband’s brother and father in January, God has used this season to strengthen our relationship with Him, which has been amazing. My husband Lee had me buy a new study Bible, I purchased some Biblical material that excited me, and we started attending church. It was and has been such a wonderful and joyful time of renewal. However, the enemy is rather sneaky and articulate in his ways. The devil knows how to use my mental health to twist my reality and create a mental image of my worst fears. This is where the OCD comes in and typically attacks what is most important to the individual.I found myself and my family under attack emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It was all I could do to get up each day and function: I didn’t get out of bed some days. The suicidal thoughts started moving in, and I felt all hope was gone. There I was, trying to control and fix everything while managing as secretly as possible. I started crying out and begging God to heal me, but there was no relief. Instead, God showed me His love and healing in various forms.
Love and Healing in Various Forms
God used my husband, friends, people I had never met, and everything in between to remind me of His love. When I relinquished control, I found God with my husband, providing comfort through another panic attack. With a provider and dear friend discussing medication changes during the night, a best friend offering to finish errands so I wasn’t alone, and my co-worker and church family praying humbly and boldly over Lee and me.My Father was with me all along, and He defined me when I could not recognize myself. He was and is there in the dark places where I felt empty and alone in my anguish. I am learning not to rely on my feelings and to separate myself from these disorders because that does not define me. I am working to stand on His Word, promises, and character. He sees me, His tired child, and He knows my heart. As I left my anxious heart behind, I asked God, “What do I do now?” and the words came, “Now you rest.” I am on a new journey as I rest in His love, mercy, grace, and sacrifice. Please know that you are not alone, and there is no shame in getting help. God can use a doctor, medication, and therapy to help even when we see no way out. I am not where I want to be, but I’m not where I have been, and I am certainly not alone.