Growing Through OCD’s Storm

Scrupulosity Video Post

Jaimie Eckert

Published on Aug 17, 2023; Updated on Jan 25, 2024

Today’s guest post is from Dawn Jones, a 64-year-old mother of three, grandmother of four, and wife of one (and says that after almost 44 years, one is enough)!  She lives with her husband, Bob, and their dog, Buckley, in Missouri. She’s been a follower of Jesus since childhood and enjoys writing, reading, and cycling (yes, including padded spandex).  She likes drinking strong black tea out of a bone china tea cup and thinks stylish footwear means new Converse tennis shoes.  Dawn and Bob play guitar for their church worship team, but she has also played percussion, banjo, and the occasional Australian didgeridoo, (the last with limited success but much hilarity).  As one of the members of our recovery community, we are so grateful to hear a few words from her heart about her growth through OCD’s storm.

It hailed last night.  Mother Nature decided to unleash a little pent up anxiety by sending marble-sized balls of hard-packed ice along with the much needed rain. 

Now, I readily acknowledge that any area has its own geological challenges from time to time.  One of our daughters lives in southern Cal; their seasons consist of summer, fire, summer, fire, and more summer punctuated by an occasional earthquake.  Our other two daughters live in the snow-zone, one in upstate New York, and the other across the pond in Sweden—snow shovels are more relevant than air-conditioning.

At this writing here in the Midwest, (AKA, the “Fly-over Zone”), we are currently in tornado season.  My husband, Bob, and I live in what is affectionately referred to as Tornado Alley and it is rumored that the National Weather Service in Kansas City is referred to as “the keepers of the gateway to hell.” Oklahoma alone claims the dubious honor of hosting the highest number of twisters on the entire planet.  Rodgers and Hammerstein had it right when they penned the words, “where the wind comes sweeping down the plain.”

OCD’s Storm: A Fitting Metaphor

Thankfully, no tornado last night, but this morning I surveyed the hail damage in my yard.  No lost tree limbs (this time), but plenty of shredded plants in my various garden spots.  Try as I might to make things look nice, gardening can be a challenge.  Interestingly, however, as ragged as some of my plants look, they are still alive.  In fact, all they know to do is to live and keep trying to live.  It’s the same with other participants in nature:  a spider’s web is destroyed frequently, and what do she do?  Weaves another.  Ever see a dog missing a leg?  It’s like they don’t even know it’s gone!

Come to think of it, choosing to give up is not an option in any of God’s creation except humankind.  Only people, made in the image of God, are given the sovereign choice to give up even when life is still in us.   And it is a choice.

Pressing through OCD's Storm

Paul puts it this way:

“…we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…”

OCD’s storm has its own way of afflicting, perplexing, persecuting and striking.  But I have a choice, not only because of the fingerprint of God on my humanity, but even more so due to the empowering presence of His Holy Spirit.  I can acknowledge the shredding caused by Scrupulosity and OCD’s storm of ruminations, but I can also recognize the life still stretching toward the Son, as well as the growth that still happens, despite the shredding.

Now, for those of you on the coasts, here’s a little factoid about funnel clouds.  Tornado season occurs because the weather is trying to decide if it needs to be cold or hot, tries to be both at the same time, and ends up getting all twisted around (literally), wreaking generous havoc to everything in its path. 

Kind of sounds like scrupulosity to me.  I choose to trust God, or wait, maybe I need to trust my intellect (which God gave me, right?), but then I get anxious that that’s not how God speaks, or maybe it is, or maybe it’s not, and guess what…I spiral, spin, twist and if not careful, can wreak all kinds of chaos and damage in others’ situations (not to mention my own).  You know the hours wasted ruminating, the sleeplessness, the irritation, the embarrassment, the resulting depression.  And the fear.  Oh mercy!  The fear!  Is this the abundant life Jesus paid so dearly for on the Cross? 


“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.”

Learning to grow through scrupulosity

Learning to Trust Consistently

Trust is learned behavior, and it ain’t easy. People with scrupulosity are called to a very high bar of trust in the Lord, and I just bet that jewel of trust in our crowns will shine more brightly than those for whom trust comes easily.  No scripture on that one, just a thought. 

But part of that learned trust behavior, like any learning, calls for consistency.  That means doing it right, the same way, every time.  I like the adage: “Practice doesn’t make perfect; practice makes permanent.”  And so, I must practice trust consistently.  If I’m sometimes trusting God, sometimes trusting myself to figure it out, I’m not being consistent.  I become like the hot and cold air pushing against each other in the atmosphere of my brain, causing me to twist around and around like the tornadoes that roar through the Midwest.  Damage.  Destruction.  (And lots of hot air…Satan’s good at that.)

“But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”

This morning after the storm, my hostas and begonias might not look as “pretty” as I originally hoped, but no matter.  They will continue to blossom and unfurl their leaves into the sunshine.  So will I.  So can you.

To read more of Dawn’s thoughts about OCD and other inspiring topics, please feel free to follow her at her personal blog!

  • Hi its so up and down especially Today is soo Hard for please pray for me sometimes i dont Trust God and than again i do i am so tired

    • Sarah. I sure hope you can hang in there. I am having trouble today too. I lift my voice for you that you will be able to persevere

  • The fact that I’ve been having trouble trusting in God, deciphering His voice and all that and I was just reading the article about deciphering His voice when you have OCD and saw this one and clicked on it cuz the thumbnail drew my attention.
    I hold a B.S. in Atmospheric Sciences and tornadoes are one the phenomena I take great interest in, so this whole find was definitely something and my OCD still wants to doubt it was God but…
    Thank you for writing this.

  • Thank you Dawn and Jaimie, Great message! This is my second bout with Scrupulosity and, so far, the better part of four years. I read a definition for Scrupulosity on the web as I researched to learn about it. The definition, "Scrupulosity is not a lack of faith but a mental health hijacking of one's relationship with God". I am Catholic and my compulsion has been to run to Confession very often because I feared offending God if I received the Holy Eucharist in a state of sin. This routine of obsession followed by compulsion is exhausting. I can go on and on about my experiences with medical and spiritual counseling which have helped me in dealing with this affliction, but I won't. I think we all know that compulsions fuel obsessions but I couldn't keep myself from running to Confession during the many times when it wasn't necessary. My message here is something that seems to have finally and recently sunk in with me and which your post supports. Scrupulosity may not be a lack of faith but, rather, a lack of trust in God's mercy. It would benefit all of us, who suffer with this disorder, to keep that in the forefront of our minds. Peace to all!

    • I highly recommend Ian Osborne's book Jaime speaks about. "Can Christianity Cure OCD?" You are not alone, even through the ages!

    • Jerry. I can relate to everything you said. I am having a whole lot of trouble with going to confession and receiving Communion just like you. I hope you can recover. It’s very hard to live in that fear. It’s not a lack of faith but a lack of Trust in God’s Mercy….Yes but now my Faith seems to be waning too. That’s another challenge. It’s hard to keep Trusting, I keep looking up to the Light so far like those plants after a storm. Lord stay with us.

  • Thank you so much for this article – it is very helpful and encouraging. I am struggling to understand how to trust God – what does this look like day-to-day? How do I rely on Him over myself – I know I need to, but how do I do this in practice? Thoughts and prayers appreciated, and thank you again for this post, and for the whole blog

  • Thank you Dawn for writing this! I can very much relate and so appreciate that encouragement to focus on the life giving work that Jesus continues despite the shredding of OCD. I feel like a failure at trusting at the moment but it’s certainly a thing that is learned, as you say, and harder for those of us with OCD.

    • Yeah, I get it! I think John Bunyan is quoted as saying "trusting God is sweating work". We're walking this together, one step at a time. I think Mr. Bunyan may be one of those in the "great cloud of witnesses" that surrounds us, rooting us on!

  • Thank you for sending the email to me. Yes I really enjoyed reading what she had written. I find it very helpful and interesting. Always look forward to getting emails from you. Hope all is well with you. GOD Bless you and yours. 🙂🙏

  • went through that storm like 6 months ago and now I am much happier than I've ever been. I learned so much about the power of now/presence and the power of acceptance and trusting God through it all. It was such a growth in real spirituality (no the one ocd wanted me to believe as spirituality) and a growth in every aspect of my life. I wish that for everyone here. If you are reading this, just know that this phase/fear/episode or such gonna pass. you will be happy again and all is always well.🤍🌸

    I am not Christian but I am religious and could relate to so many of your contents even I am from a different religion. Thank you for that! It helped a lot.

  • Dear Dawn, thank you for this collection of beautiful metaphors that encourages us, the scrupulosity sufferers, to continue pushing to manage it.

    Indeed trusting God is the cornerstone of overcoming scrupolosity. I came to the realization that as a human being I cannot overcome this alone, with just my intellect. I cannot fight and get out of this storm on my own without first ensuring my trust is totally deposited in the Love and Mercifulness of God.

    May God grant us all the wisdom and the strenght to continue moving forward with the hope that one day, as you mentioned, our jewels of trust will shine like no other in Heaven. God bless you, Jamie and this wonderful website and us followers. Greetings from Costa Rica.

  • Thank you Dawn. So much wisdom in your words. In the autism community we say practice makes progress. I am striving to practice faith in God but it is challenging. Thank you for the encouragement.

    • Rhonda, when our oldest grandchild (who is now nine) was diagnosed with autism a few years ago, I took a deep dive into what that means. I have only a small appreciation of the extra layer of challenges people with autism might have to negotiate, and add ROCD on top of that, wow! You're a hero! I see you as strategically placed as you learn the Father-love that wants to nurture your heart to wholeness, as He wants for each of us. But your position has an extra flavor just for those on the spectrum. (BTW, I think we're ALL on a spectrum of some kind, it's just that some of us are aware of it!) God bless you!

  • Thank you i am for 26 years in Blasphemie thoughts time more and times less i looking so much to become free so much times it just feels i can Not make decisiones and i dont Trust my Self but i Hope so much to get help

    • You've certainly taken a good step by coming to Dr. Eckert's website. Check out all of her content to help you in your journey. You are not alone in this.

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