Almost a year ago, I answered the call of God to be a co-youth leader for the teens of my church. I knew this was what God wanted of me. It was something I felt stirring in my spirit for a few years, but I wasn’t sure if that was what God wanted exactly. He had already called me to be an author, to spread His message of hope and love through the written word and my platform; did He truly want me to do more?
With God, there is always more, I found. He doesn’t call us to sit back, and we all have different callings, some many, some few. God can see the bigger picture; we only see pieces of it. So if God called me to teach, then by all means, I’ll teach. I said yes obviously, and I have enjoyed every minute of being the teacher to these beautiful teens.
If you know me, as a YA author, helping teens is something I’ve always wanted to do. God gave me a chance in a different way than expected, but it’s been amazing. What hasn’t been amazing is the fact that I have been consumed with fear since I said yes to God’s calling.
I’ve struggled with OCD most of my life. It isn’t something that is well-known about me, but it’s been a struggle. And here lately, it’s gotten worse. Well, since last year I’ve struggled with various degrees of OCD from germophobia to all out consuming fear of certain situations and things happening. I won’t go into detail because it’s difficult for me to talk about. My family knows what I’ve been struggling with and some other close friends and church members, those I can trust and confide in, those I know who will pray for me.
I reached my breaking point from July to now. I couldn’t handle it anymore. I had fallen into a trap, and this fear consumed me.
I taught the teens how to overcome their worries and anxieties, but I couldn’t do it myself. Guilt immediately overtook me, then. I know the Word of God. I know what it says, and I know the promises in that Word. I watch BVOVN daily, and I hear those ministers teaching about those promises. But my problem is that I don’t spend nearly enough time reading the Word.
I know what I should be doing. I know that I shouldn’t let fear rule my life. That being said, if anyone has struggled with OCD you know that it’s hard not to obsess. In fact, the disorder is called obsessive compulsive for a reason. It means you obsess over things, like germs and what germs could be lurking around every corner. One of my things is that I can’t use public bathrooms without breaking down in tears about what germs are lurking there. Unfortunately, not everyone washes their hands after using the bathroom, and that really bothers me. Don’t go spreading your germs that way. Please. Fecal matter really gets me. And blood—I don’t even want to talk about that.
It’s not like I chose to live this way. I don’t want to live this way, and I have done everything in my power to stop it. My mantra lately has been 2 Timothy 1:7.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
One of the things that God has given us is a sound mind, so I take these consuming, obsessive thoughts and remind myself that I don’t have to live this way. Because I don’t. It’s God will that we’re healed, and though I know that, dealing with it is still difficult.
I had a thought the other day, and a revelation hit me.
It went something like this: I can’t do this anymore. I don’t know how to fix it.
And it hit me. It was then I realized that I had been holding on to my fear instead of truly giving it to God. My next thought was “You can’t fix anything, you idiot. Only God can.” I can’t fix my chemical imbalance, but I know a God who can.
I recently confided in a friend of mine, and she has given me some great advice and help. I’m doing my best to change my routine, to face my fears, and it’s difficult. I won’t lie, but this morning, after finally getting some sleep. (My fears and worries have even consumed my dreams, causing me not to rest properly.) Something my mind wanted to worry about popped up, and I just had enough. I am tired of worrying about things I can’t control, about things that aren’t really even valid fears.
I’m tired. I’m worn. I’m weak.
But in God, I’m rested. I’m vibrant. I’m strong.
In God, I have peace.
I’m a work in progress, but I know which way to go now. And that’s where I’m headed.
One thing I’ve learned about this is that I truly am not alone. And you aren’t either. Whatever you’re struggling with be it OCD or something else, something that you feel like you can’t fix on your own, you aren’t alone. I’m here for you. God’s here for you.
If you need prayer, please send me a private message via my website, and I’ll be in prayer for you.