First …. My prayers are going out to you!
Second … I think God is working in a way right now that is leading me to write this post to you. Timing is everything. Let me explain.
I developed OCD about 6 years ago. It was right after my son was born … it was more than just a post-partum thing. Each day my obsessions got worse and worse. I won’t bore you with the details, but they ranged from needing to hear him breath 7 times when I went in to check on him while he was sleeping; dragging my foot across the threshold of his door and over a spot on the rug every time I exited his room; checking my alarm clock 7 times and would need to start the “checking process” over if while the song that was playing (to check the volume) cut off in the middle of a word; etc. There were HUNDREDS of more “obsessions.” I honestly felt that if I didn’t do these things, something bad would happen to my son, my family, me, etc.
It also got worse, because as I would do these things, I would know that this was the devil working inside of me, because God wouldn’t want this for any of His children. … but I continued anyway. (Side note: Where I was a cradle, practicing Catholic at the time, I was nowhere in my journey of faith where I am now … so even my thought of the devil and God was not as obvious to me then as it is to me now).
While at Church, about 3 years ago, the Gospel at Mass was either the exact one that was proclaimed yesterday (March 2nd), or one very similar. I don’t remember the exact Gospel, but what I do remember is the Homily by a visiting Franciscan priest in whom I owe a great deal to now (because of this Homily). It was about worry. He said, “if worrying cleared the snow out of your driveway, then worry; if worrying put money into your bank account, then worry.” … he gave a few other examples, and then said, “but worry does none of these things. God has every hair on your head counted; God does not want you to worry.” There must have been more that he said (but these are what stuck out in my head). It was a month or so later, and I could not get his Homily out of my head … but I continued my obsessive behavior worrying that if I didn’t do these things something bad would happen. Then one day I saw my son “mimic” the foot going across the threshold of the door (something I never even thought he had seen me do), and I realized how my behavior could impact him. At that moment, Fr. Mark David’s Homily whooshed in my head again, and I knew I had to stop.
It was a struggle every minute of every day … but I every time I wanted to revert back to my old ways, I knew I couldn’t. That was 3 years ago. I think this is one of the things that brought me closer to God and having a relationship with Christ that I never had before. I knew this was not something I could do on my own … I learned how to pray, I learned what prayer was. Sometimes it was a simple utterance of “God give me strength,” or “Jesus, I trust in you” when I felt the OCD coming back on.
It’s not easy … every day I see something that could allow me to easily revert back, but knowing that “God is in control, not me,” surely helps! Yesterday, when I was previewing the readings for Mass and I read that that was the Gospel reading, I literally was ecstatic! Our parish priest gave the Homily and did not disappoint. “Do not worry. God will provide. Trust in the Lord.” Knowing how true this is, I learned that I did not have to obsess about anything … God knows what tomorrow is going to bring, and He will take care of everything. All obsessing will do is make me NOT live every moment as God intended for me. I knew I needed to let go of fear and anxiety, and replace it with peace, hope, joy, and love.
I apologize for the lengthiness of this post. … and perhaps I needed to write all this out more than you needed to read it, but I sincerely hope that something I said in here can help you.
I know what it is like to feel the way you are feeling … and my heart and prayers are going out to you.
God bless you … and always place your trust in Him.