Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

You Mean I Don't HAVE To Go On A Mission Trip?!

Map from: http://www.freeworld
maps.net/printable/africa/
For several years, my church has been sending short term mission teams to Africa and Central America. For a long time, I wanted to go on one of these trips, but was unable due to my OCD contamination fears. Sadly, the people that get served by our church's missionaries live in appalling circumstances, and it is not unusual for their living arrangements to be near open rivers of raw sewage. Given the severity of my OCD symptoms, spending time in this environment (without a complete meltdown) is not a very likely scenario.

I became convinced that being able to go on one of these trips would be proof of my recovery, and so I felt an obligation to go. I also felt the guilt about not being able to go. Ugh. It was just another thing that I wasn't able (or maybe willing?) to do. What kind of Christian was I? Not a very good one in my estimation.

The last thing I would ever want to do on a mission trip is be a complete distraction with my anxiety. People work hard on these trips and they are there to serve, not to babysit one of their team members. That would make the trip about me, and not the people the trip is supposed to be about. Also, I realized that I wanted to go on one of these trips just to prove my mental health. Not exactly a noble reason.

One day recently, it hit me totally out of the blue. Who said that I had to go on a mission to prove that I was better from OCD? There was only one person: me. I now understand that mission trips are not for everyone, and that maybe God wasn't even calling me to the mission field at all. I could certainly be there for others through financial support, prayers, and encouragement, but there was absolutely nothing dictating that I had to physically participate in a mission myself. So I've taken myself off the hook from having to serve in this way. You know what? It's been sweet relief. There are so many other ways I can serve Jesus and my fellow man (or woman!).

17 comments:

  1. What a great a-ha moment for you dear one! Relax now in your decision. Hugs.

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  2. I'm glad you had that realization, Sunny. You were putting a lot of pressure on yourself without realizing it. I believe each of us has different ways to serve others, and not everyone is suited for everything. That's why we're made in different ways. But OCD does a number on us, doesn't it? If we don't want to do something, we so quickly think that it has to do with OCD. I've done that so many times, and it's hard to figure out what I'm supposed to do. And guilt seeps in. I'm glad you're feeling relief over this. And I KNOW that you are doing many, many things to serve God and people. :-)

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    1. Oh it's true, Tina. I didn't even realize the self-imposed pressure. It was just like a light bulb went off in my head one day and then it all made sense. Hey, if some day I'm meant to go on a trip, I think it will just become appealing to me and not be such a source of angst. I will never say never. But, in the meantime, I've taken it totally off of my radar and I'm comfortable with that.

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  3. Everyone has a different spiritual gift or gifts. None less important than the other. I am glad your eyes have been opened to that. Blessings.

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    1. Absolutely, Madison, I think you are 100% correct. No gift is more important than another. Some gifts just seem more "glamorous" and desirable, but I think it is because I'm not looking at it with the proper perspective.

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  4. Sunny, I'm so glad you came to that realization......you already do so much good "at home," there's no point in torturing yourself over going on a mission...

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    1. And that's exactly what this kind of thinking does - it just tortures you for nothing!

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  5. Amen, Sunny! I'm so glad you've taken yourself off the hook about this one!

    I have often felt this way about serving the homeless in my town and other ways I could "get into the trenches" of serving and often feel guilty I "can't" do those things but I give money a few times a month to World Vision and donate here locally. You are so right, there are so many ways to give and serve without being in the trenches. Your post actually makes me feel better about the things I wish I could do but can't but feel I should do ;-)

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    1. I'm glad this post comforted you, Elizabeth! It's funny, but I have also struggled about serving at shelters too. I have not done it, but it's something I may work up to at some point. BUT, I will not agonize about it if I don't.

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  6. So true, and being of service in your church and community is just as essential and important. It's like not everyone can sing in the choir but everyone has a gift to share. I think God made us on purpose that way, to support and share in fellowship with one another. If we were all completely self sufficient we would not need one another. Krystallynn

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  7. If we were all good at everything, we would not need each other and share the fellowship that we do. I love that God created us with individual gifts to share. Every person is vital to the ministry and you are such a blessing to many here on your blog so I know you must bless many in your church nd community.

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    1. Aw, you are so sweet Krystal Lynn, thanks!

      Yes, I too believe God purposely made each of us different so that we could all bring something unique to the table, and yes, so we would not be totally self-sufficient. Really good point.

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