Today is Trinity Sunday and the readings today make me recall all that God has brought me through in the past year: my OCD diagnosis, my doubts and fears of life transitions he has brought my way, and ultimately the hope He has instilled in me through all the trials and sufferings.
Suffering is a huge gift, and we as Catholics believe this. While this is counter cultural in our society, as the world prefers to have things happen with the least amount of suffering possible, it is important that we spread the Good News that is born anew through this suffering. When we suffer, we realize just how small we are, and how great God is. The Lord is the foundation of everything, we can do nothing without Him. Suffering reminds us to redirect our hearts to Him and join our sufferings with the Cross and His most Sacred Heart.
Everyday is a battlefield within me as I am going through OCD. While I have the loving support of those that care about me I am always my worst enemy. I get in my head and worry what others think about me, I am anxious that bad things will happen to the ones I love, I struggle with scrupulosity, and I always worry about the future. These obsessions come out through my compulsions of checking that everything is off and locked in my home, along with other daily rituals.
Sometimes I feel so trapped within myself as I suffer, and so tired of keeping up the good fight. When I begin to face these struggles I remember the words of my spiritual director, Fr. James Adams. He reminded me during one of our marriage preparation sessions that God has a plan for me that includes the suffering of my OCD by asking the question, “Have you ever considered that your OCD helps you to be more like Christ?” Ever since this question my life has changed, my suffering has become a gift, and God has brought me back to the fundamental truth of how much I need Him.
Whatever your cross is to bear in this life, be encouraged. God desires to work miracles through you with the cross He has given you, the suffering that you are enduring. Remember that no matter how dark it may seem at times in life the Lord is a great beacon of light, the Light of the World. Continue to unite your sufferings with the Crucifix, allowing God to make you new and Christ like through your suffering. Know that the Spirit is working within you at this very moment, and will help you to eternal life. As St. Paul says in today’s second reading from Romans 8,
“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.”
Live in the hopeful anticipation of being one with Christ, hope for eternal life, hope for the day when we can finally gaze upon the face of our Lord.
“We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!”
~St. John Paul II
Nathalie Hanson is a special education teacher and a joyful convert to the Catholic faith with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). She loves to share her passion for Catholicism with others, including her conversion story and how God continues to work miracles in her life through her OCD. Nathalie is engaged to her best friend, Diocesan’s Tommy Shultz, and she is beyond excited to become Mrs. Shultz this October. Her favorite saints include St. Peter the Apostle, St. Teresa of Calcutta, and St. John Paul II. If you have any questions for Nathalie, or just want her to pray for you, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.