Did God give me OCD?

Q: But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” — Romans 9:20 (ESV)

A: Thanks for asking.  I’m Jackie Sommers.  I guess you could call me a sass-pot. 

Why do we get OCD?  Is it a punishment from God?  Is it a result of the fall of mankind?  Is it completely arbitrary?  Bad karma?  Simply genetic?  Strep throat gone awry?

I believe that my OCD is indeed from God, given to me for three reasons:
1) To drive me to Him.  The times that I have known most intensely my desperate need for Christ have been some of my most OCD-riddled seasons of life.  When I am given something impossible to handle, then I have to turn to Someone bigger who can take it from my weak hands.
2) So that I would use it to glorify Him.  I wrote a novel about an obsessive-compulsive, a book written for the Lord, to use my talents to honor Him.  I think it’s a beautiful picture of redemption to see the way God allowed me to turn my history of OCD into a creative and beautiful result.
2) To help others who are suffering.  Simply put, I would not be able to sympathize with other sufferers in the same way had I not crawled out of those same trenches.  God was with me every step of the way, and I know that it was He who guided me to cognitive-behavioral therapy, of which I am now a strong advocate.

So, what do you think?  Is OCD from God– or is it something else?  Would love to hear your thoughts!

12 thoughts on “Did God give me OCD?

  1. Wow. I could have written your post as my own. It took me a while to process my thoughts to come to this conclusion. I had an incident just yesterday that brought this exact subject to mind. Your post confirms to me that I should write about it. Sometimes it’s really hard to praise God when I’m in agony. But the more I live with this, the more I think I understand the purposes for my circumstances. Thanks for putting into words what I have been unable to.

  2. I don’t know if God gave it to me, or if God gives me strength to make something good come out of the burden of OCD. Either way, it’s the same result: I am to use what I have, who I am, to serve God by serving others. Having OCD has definitely given me an experience that I can use to help other sufferers. And the OCD and depression, I think, have made me more empathic and compassionate towards others, because I know that suffering can be going on underneath the calm/happy exterior. I wrote about OCD and empathy in a post last week. It’s important to me to consider these questions, so thank you for posting about it!

  3. Pingback: Christianity and OCD | lightsallaround

  4. Let me challenge this: Is God good or bad? Does God do bad things? I do not believe that God gives people sickness, disorders, etc. It is contrary to God’s character to do those things. I DO believe that God will use bad circumstances/disease/etc in order to bring Him glory and all the things you said. BUT the whole reason that Jesus died for us is to enter into relationship with the Father. There had to be a sacrifice to tear the veil and stand in the gap between the God of the Old Testament and the New Covenant. When we look at the OT, we have to look at it through the lens of the Cross…would the Cross change how a situation would look? Judgement in the New Testament is always correctional because final judgement doesn’t happen on this earth anymore (it did in the OT). When we look at sickness, we see that Jesus performed miracles to show God’s love. He never caused anyone sickness. I do not believe that God gave you OCD, but I 100% agree that God is good and uses your OCD to drive you to Him, so that you could glorify Him with it, and to help others who are suffering.

    • Agree to disagree, I guess!

      Here’s my challenge: wouldn’t Christ have never gone to the cross if God didn’t do “bad things”? (To be clear, I don’t think the cross was a bad thing– it’s a great, AMAZING thing– but it sure didn’t look like it at the time … and I feel the same way about my OCD.)

  5. Pingback: God’s Sovereignty, OCD, the Cross, and His Purposes | lightsallaround

  6. Ocd has definitely brought me closer to God. I believe it’s are cross to bear.God is amazing and calls us to him in so many ways. Not saying that this struggle is not difficult or painful but God is with us.

    God bless
    Jocelyn

  7. Pingback: Question & Dancer: Compulsions, Doubt, & HOCD | JACKIE LEA SOMMERS

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