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!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Their Feelings Aren't Facts Either

My therapist said something to me yesterday that literally blew my mind. Seriously. It's so simple, and yet, it was something I never, ever thought about before. Let me back up first . . .

One of the things that OCD sufferers do all the time, is confuse feelings with facts. We think that if we feel something, then it must be true. If I feel like a loser, I must be a loser. If I feel like I'm contaminated, then I must be contaminated. When I sought ERP therapy years ago, my psychologist spent a lot of time trying to get me to understand that just because I felt something, it didn't mean that it was a factual truth.

I struggle a lot with what other people think of me. Much of my OCD is actually fueled by what I fear are others' perceptions about me. At the core of it, I fear that they will find me unloveable. Yesterday, my therapist told me, "Just because someone else feels or thinks something about you, it doesn't make it a factual truth." Wait, what??? So even if someone else thinks I'm a loser, that doesn't actually make me a loser? Even if someone else thinks I'm a "bad" Christian, that doesn't mean it is truth? If my feelings are often not based on facts, why do I assume that other people's feelings are any more reliable than my own? This might seem so obvious to you, but to me, it is profound. I'm not so foolish as to think that I still won't ever worry about what others think, but I can tell you this, I'm going to start looking at it differently. There's only one Person whose thoughts about me are always based on factual truth. And hey, I have a sneaking suspicion He loves me. And you. ; )

Thursday, May 5, 2016

God's Comfort In Suffering

It would not be a complete tapestry without
all of the different colors and patterns.
Though my OCD symptoms are much less agonizing than they were before I underwent Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy (ERP), there are still some days filled with pain and suffering. And there are times when I question what God is doing in my life, and why He allowed me to live with a chronic mental illness.

I've recently started therapy with a lovely young Christian counselor and she has been a blessing to me. We are working through the remnants of OCD, depression, and the recent discovery I've made about being an extra emotionally sensitive person. In session yesterday, we were talking about a lot of these things and I also mentioned to her about my struggle with daily Bible reading. God has been reminding me that I really need to incorporate this into my lifestyle. My therapist suggested purchasing a new devotional, so as soon as my session ended, I marched myself down to the local Christian bookstore and purchased two new devotionals.

One of the devotionals I picked up is entitled "The God of all Comfort: Devotions of hope for those who chronically suffer," by Judy Gann. I was touched by the first entry that I read this morning, and I wanted to share a passage of it with you, in hopes that you may be comforted too:

"In my limited understanding, I view my pain as a knotty hindrance. However, God sees a different picture, a complete picture. He sees my weaknesses as essential threads in the unique tapestry he is creating of my life.
Not until my life, your life, is finished and silent, will we understand the darker threads of our human tapestries and their contribution to the beauty of our unique design.
We may disagree with God's choice of colors. But we are works in progress-still stretched on God's loom." Pg. 4
Yesterday, my therapist reminded me that we already know what the final chapter of life eternal will look like. And what a glorious chapter it will be! God bless my friends.