Tuesday, October 31, 2017

OCD Part Two: Source of Hope

This follow-up to my first post on OCD is well overdue. Honestly, it isn’t any easier to write about it now than it was to write about it then. It is an ugly disorder. And yet, God makes all things beautiful!

If you remember, when I last blogged, I had results pending concerning some enlarged lymph nodes in my neck. Well, those results came back as “they look normal, just enlarged.” Those results then launched a 2 ½  month decision process of whether or not we should dig deeper or let it be. Well, for the person with OCD, both were undesirable options. However, I finally decided to ask my doctor for a recommendation to see an ENT. Because my ultrasound results didn’t show anything ‘serious’, it meant that I wasn't a priority case and would need to wait over a month to be seen by the doctor. The other option was a CT scan with contrast. So, I scheduled that. (Can I just tell you that my husband is so kind and patient and trusts God with what is needed to pay for these crazy medical expenses!)

The whole thing was a big OCD nightmare! For months, I had been obsessed with these glands. There were times where it was impossible to think about anything else. The fear and the unknown were paralyzing. The compulsion to touch the lymph nodes and ‘evaluate’ their size was impossible to fight against. In fact, I probably made them bigger by poking at them all day long! Again, I need you to hear me...OCD isn't about the silverware being 'just so' around the place setting. It isn't about the spices being lined up perfectly in the cabinet. YES, it can manifest in this way...but it is SO MUCH deeper than that! OCD is about being trapped by your thoughts. It is about being held hostage by your own mind.

Ok, rant over. Back to the story.

The night before, I was a nervous wreck! As I am lying in bed at bedtime, praying and questioning God about the whole situation...I hear this in my mind… “Bethany, you’re fine--you don’t have cancer. I needed to blind you like I did Paul, so you could learn.” {see Acts 9}


There have been a handful of times in my Christian life when I have sensed clearly that God was speaking to me. THIS was one of those times.

So, what did God need me to learn?

The biggest lesson that I learned was this:

My hope was NOT in God. My hope was in myself and my plans. My hope was in my idol of health.  When any of those things were threatened, I lost hope. God showed me that HE is the source of hope. Like Romans 15:13 says, “I pray that God, THE SOURCE OF HOPE, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. THEN, you will overflow with confident HOPE through the power of the Holy Spirit.”  And if that wasn’t enough, 1 Corinthians 15:19 reads, “And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.” OUCH! That was me!

When my source of hope was in anything but God, fear stepped in a took over. Fear is OCD’s best friend and loves to hangout in the darkness. HOPE in Christ is what turns on the light in that dark room of fear.

God is so merciful. It is in His mercy that He allowed me to be ‘blinded’ so that He could show me how far I had wandered from Him. Is it easy to keep Him as my source of hope? No. It needs to be a daily choice. I daily choose to place my hope in Christ alone. We are prone to wander and His Word brings us back.

P.S. {By the way...the CT scan results came back ‘clear’. The only things observed were that I did have two lymph nodes that were slightly enlarged and I have an upper tonsil that is slightly enlarged. I call it my wonky tonsil. I consulted with the ENT via email and we decided that it was just 'one of those things' and unless I had other crazy symptoms, I should just get on with life.}