Jon Seidl is an expert storyteller, having worked for diverse outlets including I Am Second (known for powerful testimonies of faith) and the ministry of outspoken believer and Hollywood personality Kirk Cameron. But it wasn't until he told his own story that God magnified his message—and used him to teach believers about God's power in all circumstances.
"I was working at I Am Second back in 2016," Seidl tells Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of Greenelines on the Charisma Podcast Network. "I was hired as the editor in chief, and so one of my roles was to create written content that rivaled the authenticity of the films. And so I had hired a team of freelancers and staff who were writing just these beautiful, authentic stories."
But God had more in mind.
"That's when the Holy Spirit started tapping me on the shoulder and saying, 'Hey, Jon, there's that one thing you could really talk about and be open and vulnerable about," the author says.
Seidl says the experience was akin to telling God, "I'll move anywhere but here"—and then having Him send you to that place.
"The Holy Spirit kept tapping my shoulder," he says. " And so finally, one day, I just locked my office door, I sat down and I write out an article that said, 'It's time to tell the world my secret.'
"And so I just opened up and talked about my lifelong struggle with anxiety and OCD," Seidl says. "Now I call it a lifelong struggle, but it had only been diagnosed two years earlier. But once I was diagnosed, I then was able to look back and realize, Oh, wow, this has been with me a lot longer than I realized.
That message brought a tremendous response, he says, which showed him how many people are out there struggling but afraid no one shares their experience. As he sought treatment for his obsessive-compulsive disorder, God helped him develop a proper theology of suffering, which he says is "the only way I can make sense of any of this."
A proper theology of suffering, Seidl says, is "understanding that no matter what I go through, God is going to use it for my good and His glory. Said another way, I cannot judge God by my circumstances, but rather, I judge my circumstances by who I know God is."
For much more from author Jon Seidl on his experiences with OCD, true suffering and his new book, Finding Rest: A Survivor's Guide to Navigating the Valleys of Anxiety, Faith and Life, which arose out of these experiences, listen to the entire episode of Greenelines at this link, and subscribe to Greenelines on your favorite podcast platform. Purchase Finding Rest wherever fine books are sold.
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