May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by theRomans 15:13 ESV
power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Did you know that the word worry means “to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts”? Yeah. I didn’t either until I wrote this study. Yeesh. Torment isn’t a word I would toss around lightly, would you? Yet, so often we act like worrying is no big deal. Fretting, obsessing, and even getting together with our friends to hash over worry. It’s almost like
worry is just an accepted part of of the human experience, and especially being a parent.
When I read the definition of worry, all I can think is that worry is quite literally emotional and mental torture and is very much a BIG deal. For many seasons of my life, I was plagued by worry. And I’m not talking about the everyday worries we brush by as normal. I don’t even mean the anxiety I’ve had most of my adult life. What I was emotionally and mentally tortured by something called Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. (PPOCD)
One of the key symptoms of Postpartum OCD is intrusive thoughts (aka tormenting worry)
If you are not familiar with perinatal mood disorders you might not realize there was any other diagnosis for a parent to receive after giving birth (and during pregnancy) than Postpartum Depression, but there are many. The best way to describe intrusive
thoughts is to take the normal nagging fears of your child being hurt and twist them until they are ugly horrific nightmares that plague you constantly.
You can’t shake it, reason with it, or stop it. You can’t tell anyone what is happening because who says out loud “Every time I’m at the top of a staircase I imagine throwing the baby
down.” Or, “When I’m on a bridge I imagine driving off of it.” Um. No one. I was trapped in my own brain with a personal invitation to a private hell only I knew was happening. I’m not exaggerating when I say my worst season of my PPOCD lasted almost 18 months and those kinds of thoughts would happen hourly.
It is so traumatic, that women who suffer from PPOCD are often diagnosed with PTSD afterwards*.
When I have a trigger or PTSD episode that obsessive worry can come back-even years later.
The only way I overcome the worry is by reminding myself of the truth that no matter what happens to my children, even if every horrific thing my mind thought up occurred, God is still in control. He would make them whole again and turn their brokenness into beauty just like he did for me. Admitting the brokenness I experienced because of those seasons, and still choosing to rest in the certainty of my God, is how I’m embracing those scars today.
We all have worry and we need to combat it instead of letting it go like it’s normal or to be expected. Worry is not from God. Worry needs to be confronted right away before it consumes you and poisons you from the inside out. Let’s dig into the Word to see what God says about how we can (and must!) choose certainty in the midst of our worry After
you read the verses below, take a few moments to record how these promises can help you defeat worry and choose certainty instead
- Psalm 23:4
- John 14:27
- I Peter 5:6-8
- Isaiah 43:1-3
UNBROKEN Journal Questions:
- Does the dictionary definition of worry make you think any differently about the effect it has in your life? Why or why not?
- How can you choose certainty over worry? Write down some specific action steps you can take when worry starts to overwhelm you.
- What is God saying to you as you complete today’s study?
When worries bombard me, I will remind myself that I can trust in the certainty of my God. I choose hope. I have no reason to worry because He will not fail me.TRUTH STATEMENT®
I hope you have enjoyed the UNBROKEN Summer Series! And I hope you grab the 2nd edition when it releases in a few weeks. Hold tight dear reader. Storms don’t last forever. The best days are still ahead.
With Grace & Grit,
*To the person reading this thinking, “Oh my gosh I think that’s what I have!” Please hear me when I say that PPOCD is a mood disorder and will usually require medication and therapy to overcome. While these Bible verses will bring you comfort they should not replace proper treatment. You are sick and you need proper treatment. There is ZERO shame in getting all the help you need to overcome this.
Raychel Perman is a Certified Life & Business Coach, Speaker, Author, and Co-Founder of RAYMA Team, LLC. She is the Co-host of the She Who Overcomes™ Podcast and is funny, wise, and tells it like it is. Raychel shares her story of overcoming trauma and living with mental health challenges to inspire others to believe that the broken pieces of their past can lead to beauty, strength, and new beginnings.