Let me preface this by saying that this first part will likely seem just as the title implies; however, if you can stick it through, I promise there is meaning!
I have struggled with OCD my entire life. Not necessarily compulsions, though there has been a bit of that. But the obsessions have always absolutely been there. Only in these last couple years of getting mental health care have I come to realize that I struggled with that for the majority of my life. One of the big ways it always has manifested for me has surrounded numbers. And not in a constructive way either…. Like if it made me a math whiz, or an accounting genius, then okay! At least it serves a purpose. Lol. But no, not like that. Typically, it has to do with series of numbers, such as dates, or phone numbers, and then making those numbers all equate to each other, or to “mean” something through adding, subtracting, dividing, etc. Yes, yes, I know. Nonsensical. And yet, it still consumes a part of each day without realization. For example, my birthdate is 4/2/84. That is an easy one. 42 (by combining the date and day) x2(from the day) equals the year 84. My husband’s birthday is 11/6/85 which takes a little more finagling. 11+6 is 17. 17 divided into 85 is 5, which is also what 11-6 equals, so 5=5. I know, none of this serves any purpose, and the “methods” and “desired results” all vary depending on what my mind is doing. Welcome to OCD!
Anyway, there are some important dates that just passed that I could not stop obsessing over the numbers. But I want to share a little story here that I will tie back in at the end. A very dear friend of mine delivered a beautiful, perfectly healthy baby boy on January 21st of this year. (Side note: January 21st was the second anniversary of my suicide near-miss.) If you know this friend of mine, her family has been through such tragedy in regards to losing children. Only one had remained earthside prior to this sweet boy’s arrival. This was a really special birth to me because God spoke to me about this child. I never could understand why. This friend and I are not overly close although she is somebody I love and respect dearly. So when God showed me an image of her standing there with this beautiful, blinding light emanating from her womb, I just knew that He was indicating a child was present. Another side note: have you ever looked up the videos of what happens when a sperm meets an egg? There are sparks! Literal flashes of light – its stunning. So if you haven’t seen it – go check it out! Back to my friend. I knew she continued to experience loss after loss. I knew they had been yearning for even an adoptive child, and that had not worked out yet. And to be honest, I was terrified to tell her what I had seen. What if I had imagined this? But the pressing on my heart was strong, so I was obedient. I shared with her what I had seen and that I thought it meant she was going to birth a baby soon. She told me she appreciated me sharing but that they had given up trying and were just going to pray an adoption could occur. I felt like a jerk for sharing something that was seemingly so wrong and full of heartache. However, she decided to take a test in the following week or two anyway. And sure enough, she was pregnant! I just knew this child was going to be carried to term and that light that was bright enough to emanate from his Mama’s womb, was just a glimmer of what he would do here on earth. And I say he, because I knew it was a boy. I told her that and always referred to him in that way as God had whispered this detail to me. Again, I did not know why I was the one receiving this information, but I was certainly grateful to share it and pray with her for it! Fast forward to his due date. Because of past complications, her medical team decided it was best to perform a c-section three weeks early. My friend was nervous, worried about his health coming that early, and just worried in general given what she has endured. And so when she told me the date was to be January 21st, I shared with her the importance of that day in my life. I shared with her the overwhelming joy I felt knowing that this day that had been marked for death is, instead, literally bringing forth miraculous life again and again and again!!! She knew then that this was exactly the day God had designed as he weaved our stories together, and that her son would be fine. Praise the Lord, her boy is perfect!
I share this to go back to my number obsession. The day I decided to take my life was 1/21/20. You take the one from the 21 and get 20. The day this sweet rainbow child was born was 1/21/22. You take the one and add it to 21 and get 22. The ONE…. Taken away…. Added in. This is really what it always comes down to. Is the One in, or has it been removed? Is the One inside of you? Or have you removed the One from your life? Each scenario has a different result, life or death. Eternal life or death. We need Jesus within us!
We serve a big God, capable of infinitely more than I could even imagine. And yet, He still takes the time to author in these beautiful chapters that are seemingly insignificant to the overall story. But they aren’t insignificant to Him, because He knows our hearts and how significant each little detail is to us. I will never stop being amazed at the deep love God has for us.
It is out of that love that God provides. I did not know that postpartum OCD was a thing. I suppose I could have been more prepared for it if I had recognized those traits I exhibited my entire life. But I was unaware. And so, when the obsessions became about far more than numbers, and when I began with repetitive compulsions, I was taken aback. It just compounded the postpartum depression, anxiety, and PTSD. These combined all drove the suicidality. But God said, “no, this is not what I desire for MY daughter”. And with that, He kept me alive that night and opened numerous doors to get me into treatment. Sometimes, the miracle is supernatural and instantaneous healing. Sometimes, the miracle is in Him providing access to professionals and medications that are able to help with our illnesses. Does that mean you don’t also pray and praise our God? No way. I still firmly stand on prayer AND treatment. Never stop talking to God; He never stops talking to you! He is always there. You might not feel it right now. You might not hear Him well right now. You might feel alone, isolated, hopeless, drowning in darkness. I understand. I have been there. But there was another there with me, just as He is with you. Close your eyes and picture the flicker of fire that comes from a small pocket lighter. It’s tiny. And sometimes it takes a few strikes to even light. But it is there. You can see it, right? Now hold on to it. Because that light, the light from God Himself, will never burn out. That tiny, almost imperceptible flicker, will soon become an all-consuming fire! He loves you so much, friends.
But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
You will not be burned up, the flames will not scorch you.
For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;
I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Others were given in exchange for you.
I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me.
You are honored, and I love you.”
–Isaiah 43: 1-4, NLT