I have always struggled with anxiety, specifically OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Not in the cute way that is portrayed within society these days but in the I washed my hands so many times a day that they were bleeding way. My struggle with this disorder has put a damper on my relationship with God because I have often found myself feeling that I needed to “fix” this “issue” before God and I could really connect. Fortunately, throughout the last 6-7 years, I have realized how absolutely absurd that way of thinking is. And I’ve been able to fix that incredibly broken way of thinking. Unfortunately, I do some backsliding on this and find myself having the same epiphany each and every time. The funny thing about mental health is that just when you think you’re “cured”, something happens and you feel like you’re back at square one.
Over the past week or so I’ve experienced on of those setbacks. I blame it on hormones and entering the third trimester, plus what woman isn’t at least a little bit anxious knowing she’s about to be responsible for another life? This is uncharted territory, I think I’d be an anomaly if I was completely calm. But, I digress.
So, I’ve been anxious. Extremely anxious. About anything and everything. I haven’t been as engaged with God as I typically would be. I pulled away, thinking that once I stopped being so anxious, I’d go back to spending time with God. And then I woke up this morning and realized, yet again, that waiting to be “better” for God is the complete opposite of what I should be doing. In these times of trials, that’s when we need Him the most, and there’s no thought, word, action, or feeling that could possibly upset Him. Why do I still think, after all of these years, that I can hide the ugly parts of me from Him? It seems silly, but I know it’s ultimately what I’m trying to do when I back away. So, I decided that instead of pulling away, I’d get closer. I know this is a lesson I’ve learned countless times and I’m sure I’ll learn it at least a few more in my life.
I wanted to share this because mental health is something that is so important, but still only whispered about. Our thoughts and emotions, if not focused on what is good and true, can completely destroy us. In these dark times, even though it may seem unnatural and not what we want to do, we need to fill our hearts and brains with His words.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” (Romans 8:29)