My Battle With Feeling Unforgivable
Because of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
“I Cursed the Holy Spirit Out Loud”
A Testimony of Overcoming the Odds
As explained in Scrupulosity: Help When Religious Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Causes Unwanted Blasphemy, Profanity or Excessive Guilt, OCD is a medical condition afflicting many people, often without them knowing they have it. It seriously undermines people’s ability to believe they are forgivable and often causes them to think, say or do the very thing they desperately want never to think, say or do.
The following testimony is by a woman who had to overcome not just this, but other serious obstacles to faith.
Founder of Net-Burst.Net
I am thankful that I came across this website over a year ago. I now teach at a Christian school and am blessed that my spiritual life is getting back on track after years of no productivity. How Satan wants that for us – ineffectiveness!
It helped me overcome my fear of having committed the unforgivable sin to read the testimonies on this site about the many people with OCD who also believe they have committed the unforgivable sin. And now I would like to share my own story, in the hope that it might help others facing similar challenges to me.
Until I was about 12 years old, I literally feared God. I had been attending spiritually dead churches and didn’t understand God very well, but I knew enough to know the plan of salvation and had prayed “the salvation prayer” on many occasions, unaware that it only took once to be saved. One day, I was given a Christian tract and read it with interest. The students on the school bus mocked me when they saw me reading it. I thought, “I’ll show them; I’ll learn some Bible verses and throw it in their faces, then they will be ashamed of mocking me.” I went home to my Bible and opened it to any old page, with a haughty spirit. I found the verses about the unforgivable sin. Immediately my attention was drawn away from my (admittedly prideful) reason for reading the Bible. My OCD took over and I found myself obsessing about what might happen to me if I cursed the Holy Spirit out loud. Of course, that’s exactly what I ended up doing.
Years later, I found myself at a church. I trusted a pastor there enough to go through biblical counseling with him. In line with this website, he told me that what I thought was the unforgivable sin actually was not. I was happy again and experienced some spiritual growth during that time.
I went to Bible College, believing God would have me use my gift of easily learning languages in Bible translation on the mission field. I didn’t want to do this, but I believed the common misconception that if you don’t want to do it, and it’s painful, it must be God’s will! Although I was determined not to get my “MRS degree,” I met a man there I honestly hated. I felt I was being uncharitable toward him and that I should give him a chance. We dated and eventually married upon the advice of many at the college. We had the same ministry interests and thought that was a sure sign of God’s will for us to be together. Unfortunately, we didn’t know each other very well. I didn’t understand that he wanted a barefoot and pregnant housekeeper, and he didn’t understand that, due to my personality type, I was trying unsuccessfully to be what I thought was the ideal of a submissive Christian woman, which had been amply and frequently demonstrated in the Bible College atmosphere.
Our marriage failed immediately. We separated after three months and later divorced. This threw me into severe confusion and depression about having failed God. My life before had been a bliss of good grades, talents, and kudos from others for my achievements. Now I was looked upon with disdain.
Shortly thereafter, a man in my church and I fell in love, but he refused to date me because he was “training to be a pastor and marrying a divorcee would be unacceptable.” This reinforced my ideas about who I was in Christ – a nobody. I was supposed to just sit in the back of the church now and never minister again. I left that church I had so loved.
A few years later I met and married a man who was also divorced. He had six kids, and had been unfaithful to his previous wife. I thought I didn’t deserve a virgin and would only be loved by other “failures.” After five years and our own baby, I found out that he had repeatedly molested his oldest daughter for about four years and that’s one of the reasons why he had left his previous wife and kids. He had also lied to me about the number of times he had cheated on his ex. Perhaps due to his issues with the molestation, he was living in his own internal world and didn’t relate to me. Our marriage had deteriorated by that point and I felt vindicated in leaving him when I discovered these secrets.
Once again, I was pushed aside in the church I was then attending. The pastor was horrified to discover what my husband had done, but offered no support as I went through my divorce, only a spirit of confusion. I gave up on Christianity then.
Years later, my parents introduced me to a man they had known for years and respected deeply. We fell in love and married. He is not physically attractive. He is quite “nerdy,” but I love him so much! He is everything a man should be. I respect him greatly. Every day I observe how he relates to other people and how he handles tough situations. My respect and admiration for him grows daily. I cherish his heart. I learn so much about how to love others from him! He grew up as a Jehovah’s Witnesses and converted while we were dating. He is fascinated by the Bible . . . sometimes I cannot get him to put it down and give me some attention! He spends hours reading commentaries and the like. I think he is a brilliant man and the Lord is going to use him in some way. My life is richly blessed with this man. Most people we meet have no idea that we weren’t a family from day one. We are still deeply in love after three wonderful years together.
My husband has seen me through the toughest times in recent years with my OCD. It was severe, with unwanted obsessive thoughts that I might hurt someone in my beloved family. I sought therapy and went from counselor to counselor, unsuccessfully trying to rid myself of these intrusive, repetitive thoughts. OCD often causes its victims to fixate on something they are afraid of – such as losing a family member – and obsess about it. (My compulsion as a young child was to stare into the sun. Even though I knew it could hurt my eyes, I couldn’t stop. Thank God no damage has resulted from that.)
About a year ago, I remember repeatedly asking God in tears to help me. I believe he answered my prayer. I found a Christian counselor who happened to have an appointment cancellation the very day I called, and he was able to fit me in. It turned out that he was an expert in OCD.
He admitted to me that he is often “underwhelmed” by his profession (a nice way of saying he is frustrated by the incompetence of many counselors and their faulty approaches to dealing with OCD). I told him every detail of my struggles. He recommended a book entitled, “Brain Lock” by Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D. I was encouraged by the book and went through very successful therapy with my counselor. I am now taking a prescription medication along with daily multivitamins, and this has also helped immensely. (Research suggests a vitamin deficiency may contribute to OCD.) I have freedom from those thoughts and now know how to deal with my OCD, if it rears its ugly head again – and when it does, it is rare, weakened and short-lived. Praise God!
The comment, “I believed the common misconception that if you don’t want to do it, and it’s painful, it must be God’s will!” is most interesting. God’s will for us can certainly be challenging at times, but his will for us is always filled with love. If you wish to explore this, please bookmark this page and see God’s Wonderful Will For You
There’s so Much More!
Comment by Grantley
Like a dentist emphasizing the importance of daily flossing and brushing, I must stress the importance of daily reading of these webpages for people plagued by spiritual worries. Your reading should include Scrupulosity: Help When Worried about Salvation, Blasphemous Thoughts or Continual Guilt Feelings and all the pages it leads to. For theological and biblical help with these matters see all the pages listed at Condemned? How to Cope When Riddled with Guilt. And for reassurance of God’s love for you, see How Much does God Love Me?
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