|To My Friends With OCD:
Welcome to the OCD Insight website. Thank you for taking the time to read this message. I remember the first time I had that feeling. I was a child when I experienced my first OCD attack which involved arranging items. I would run to and from elementary school in a state of panic because I had developed an obsession about dogs and rabies, and I was also terrified of being late...I was fearful of authority figures. I became well versed in the subject of hydrophobia, even to the extent of knowing the incubation periods for the disease. I was a quiet person who felt inferior and defective. My problem was dark and hidden.
Eventually, the stain of OCD infiltrated every aspect of my life. I was struggling to get through each day. The simple daily routines became major hurdles for me. I wasted so much time rechecking my work, switches on machines, and locks on doors. When I drove my car, I would sometimes need to drive around the block to make sure that I had not hit someone. My ability to know and to be certain seemed to be impaired. I was afraid of saying the wrong thing, and I would say "I'm sorry" over and over again. My anxiety levels were very high. I developed contamination concerns, and I would wash my hands with rubbing alcohol. There were more tragic things that happened to me. There are too many losses - too much devastation. How can I grieve a lost life?
The peculiar pain of OCD is beyond description. I could type numerous pages and repeat the words the pain, the pain, the relentless pain, but I am at a loss as to how to describe it. Depression is like a cold day when the sky is gray and hard. It is like being at a party where everyone is having fun, except deep inside, I feel this gaping hole. My voice sounds hollow, and the laughter seems too loud. There is a yearning for depth and meaning. One day my Sunday School teacher mentioned the sensitivity found in the paintings by Rembrandt. I went to the library, and I saw a painting which shows Jesus being taken down from the cross. Jesus is no stranger to pain and suffering. (Isaiah 53:3-5)
As an adult, I first realized there is a God...I was shocked. The accurate message I heard was about Jesus Christ dying on a cross, so that my sins would be forgiven, and I could have eternal life. I was also exposed to the concept of Biblical prophecy, which means that in the Bible, God foretells the future with accuracy and consistency. I needed forgiveness because I was burdened with sin. I began to face the truth about my sins. I struggled with my most embarrassing sins and the consequences of my sins. My lies, my lies, my lies. I deteriorated over the years because my sins were unacknowledged and unconfessed. I told God about my sins because He forgives sins and He is merciful - yet, I passed through valleys of spiritual fears.
What hurt me the most in my life was not having a relationship with God from the beginning; however, God found me in my most desperate state and gave me a chance to start over - yet, I had problems from the onset of my spiritual walk. I heard a statement that was not clear which frightened me. I would focus on the most troubling passages in the Bible. I had moments of relief, but I was still fearful. I suffered through a period of blasphemous thoughts and words that terrorized and tormented me to the point that I sought help at a mental hospital. There are thoughts that freeze the heart with fear. I did not want to think these unpleasant thoughts, and the harder I tried to get rid of them, the stronger they became. At the time, I gave too much weight and significance to these thoughts.
I could not simply walk away from all of this trouble because I knew the Bible is true. I visited many churches and eventually stayed in a Southern Baptist church for approximately ten years. I tried to learn; it was a time of mental striving. I suffered severe mental exhaustion to the extent that I felt strange when I walked – I couldn't sense the ground beneath my feet. At times, I seemed to had lost my emotional feelings, and I experienced isolation. Throughout this ordeal, the worst trauma has been doubting my salvation. I would have preferred any disease over this doubt.
Then a friend at work introduced me to Pastor Rod Rogers' sermons. I was so burned out that I had no expectations. After listening to Pastor Rod's sermons, I experienced a major breakthrough. My mental exhaustion lifted, and I started to think on a deeper level. I kept thinking that the OCD mind has been penetrated. The effect was so marked that I wished that other people with OCD could listen to Pastor Rod. He has an in-depth study approach to the Bible which challenges my thinking, and I stay focused and interested throughout his messages. He explains Bible passages accurately, clearly, and thoroughly...and he gives great examples. Taking notes on the study outlines also helped me to focus because I sometimes have trouble with a wandering mind. Now, I do not walk away in a state of confusion. OCD does not have the same power over me. I have learned that in Christ there is no condemnation, which includes every sin, even sins which I repeat. (Romans 8:1) Jesus Christ went from the grave to the sky - He is alive, and He sensed when I was in trouble. Pastor Rod was like a bright light pointing the way on the dark road of OCD. ..now I have hope. People on the outside won't fully understand what a breakthrough feels like to a person who suffers with OCD.
There was a time when I could not even touch the faucets in the bathroom in my home. One night, with my focus on God, I touched the faucet with my hands. After touching the faucet, I felt a warm sensation...there was no anxiety. Sometimes I fail, but Jesus Christ will never abandon me. I know that Jesus Christ is the source of my security and salvation, and the great thing is that I can never lose my salvation... it is not based on my performance. Because I have illusions of control, as evidenced by my rituals, I focus on the truth that God is sovereign and in control. One time I discovered a hard lump, and a doctor ordered tests immediately. Everything was fine, but what about next time. In one sense, getting results from a doctor is like performing rituals - I can get temporary relief, but it never lasts. The Lord Jesus Christ wants to give us lasting peace of mind. A verse that I find helpful is Philippians 4:6&7- Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. I still have spiritual struggles, but I know that I am on the right path.
I had many difficulties with perfectionism during my school years. If I had an erasure on a page, I would redo the entire page. Instead of reading my textbooks, I would have to memorize the text. I was driven to make the highest A. I would not eat dinner, and I would study obsessively. School became a torture chamber. I was socially withdrawn. The truth is my worth is not based on grades or approval from other people, but my worth is based on my position in Christ. I am His workmanship - He created me for a purpose (Ephesians 2:10), and He loves me. (Romans 5:8)
Now, I am becoming more God-directed. I am caring more about other people. I notice all the different shades of color in creation. I see the intelligent design of the human body. I am walking on this new road, and my OCD is weakening. Though at times, the painful losses and regrets loom in my heart, I find solace in the truth that all of the days of my life are ordained by God. (Psalm 139:16) There is the limited human perspective which is viewed from a superficial vantage point, and then there is the all encompassing perspective of God who is omniscient. Romans 8:28 states, And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. I led a life of despair, yet I became a child of God. My earthly dreams were shattered, yet I have eternal life. Every message in this website has been prepared especially for you. This is the best gift from God that I could think of to share with you. If I could go back in time, I would have wanted to know God sooner.
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