My Story Starts in 2012
I was an average 9 year old girl i had my best friend Talee, I had a little brother and sister, I liked to play with barbies, my family had moved over 1,000 miles from Illinois. OK, so maybe not completely average but you know decently so, but inside I carried something which tore me apart, I had many of the symptoms Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which contrary to my own belief for many years doesn't just mean being organized (which I'm not) but often it does come with it. But I didn't know anyone else felt like I did, you see, at least for me I dealt with meaningless repetition and disturbing thoughts. For example I could be enjoying a day with my family when I had the compulsion I had to shut the front door 7 times exactly or something bad would happen or the image of my parents suddenly dying came to my mind. It was on and off sometimes I was OK and it suddenly pop up. It be maybe getting on and off a staircase 8 times or shaking someones hand 5 times, it was awkward, time-consuming and binding and as I older it only got worse. I often I was way behind the group because even though it seemed like I was just playing around I was really wrapped up in a mental torture cell. I can't count all the nights when everyone else was asleep I cried into my pillow "why am I like this, why won't it go away?" . I felt so alone like no one else understood me. As I got older and it got worse I cried to God, you see I had been raised in church, two days after I was born I went to my first service, but God wasn't really 'real' to me I knew he was there and he loved me but it was as if he was a celebrity, a cool person who I had heard about and even met a few times but I didn't really know Him. So as I grew up I began to think "I can't be normal like this, I can't get a job when I grow up or have a family". So not only was my present full of fear; my future felt hopeless. The invisible chains of my fears slowly tightened squeezing the life out of me. I continued to cry out to god, feeling temporary relief but soon after right back where I was. I felt infected because I saw everyone else around me in church seemingly so close to God, so alive and so "normal" but here I was fine on the outside but on the inside I was dying. So by now you're probably thinking "well this is depressing and sightly disturbing" but this is the part where it all changes; the clouds part, the triumphant music plays and the hero arrives, except in my case the hero had been there all along. Crying with me those lonely nights. When I was around twelve, when it had gotten the worst, I don't quite remember why but I begin to read a verse in my bible every night which prompted me often to pray about what I had read and suddenly in church I began to feel something and I was able to leave a book a little tilted to the right or walk out a door only shutting it once, which may not sound like much but to me it was freedom and eventually Jesus freed me from those chains and the feelings that I wasn't good enough. Not to say that I somehow magically had no problems and never had to deal with it again. However I could do the things I wanted to do, I could stay at home by myself without being plagued with fears my family would be hurt while we were apart. That was about 2 years ago and it's amazing to see what god's done in my life since then. The things that the experience taught me though, I wouldn't give it up for the world. First of all it taught me never to judge people, because you never know what they might be going through and secondly the experience brought me so close to God and it still does even as I write this i'm thanking God for where he's brought me. So what's the takeaway here? I guess it would be like Joseph said "What you meant for evil; God meant for good."