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Hello friends I'm new to this site and I joined hoping to meet new friends and hopefully grow in my faith. To start off, I am 16 years old and have started going to church nearly every Sunday for the past 9 months. I never went to church before that, not because I didn't want to but because I didn't have the chance. Both my mom and I are new to our church community, even though we've been going for 9 months it doesn't seem that long. Our church is HUGE. About 10,000 people attend our church. It's not one of those small chapels, it is very large. My mom and I do not attend the same service. Our church is divided into; English Service (adults), Youth Service (13-18 year olds), Children, Nursery (Babies/Toddlers). So obviously, my mom is attending the adults and I'm attending youth. Being new to a church community is like being the new kid at school. I have never been a new kid at school however. The first time I switched schools was when I transitioned to high school, where I still got to see my elementary friends do that doesn't really count. I feel like I am experiencing what it's like to be a new kid for the first time. Not to mention, I suffer from social anxiety disorder so it is extremely hard for me to get out there and meet someone new. When I first came to my church, one of the pastors led me to 4 people the exact same age as me to make me feel welcome and told them to sit with me in service and get to know me and all that kind of stuff. The problem is, they go to the same school together. They've known each other for YEARS and I barely know them. They talk about stuff that I don't even know about and don't share interests with me. Whenever we're together they all talk about stuff and I'm just sitting there awkwardly like the "fifth wheel". Sometimes, I don't even sit with them in service. I only do when I see them. And even when I do see them, it's more like, "Hi!", sits in service and listens to pastors talk, "Bye!", then one week later and the same thing happens. There has been times where I sat completely alone by myself at service. And for someone who has social anxiety like myself it is excruciatingly embarrassing. I hate being SEEN alone. I don't hate being alone. I hate it when people SEE me alone. I think that fear comes from the fact that I don't want people to judge me I don't want people to think I have no friends and think I'm a loner. Every week, I get major panic attacks about having to sit alone at church and feel humiliated. I know to most of you, it seems like I'm worrying for nothing but for me my anxiety is so intense that I lose control of my fear and I start crying. I also know a lot of you might tell me I should just meet new people but I feel like the people are the same at school where everyone is divided into their own group or "clique" and they exclude everyone else. It is super awkward for me to randomly go up to that person over there at the wall and just say "hi". There is no way I can do something like that and that is also considered to be very creepy. Sorry if I bored you over this long essay. I want to be able to attend church so I can learn more about God but I also can't because I have so much anxiety and feelings of loneliness and just worshipping all alone. I feel very alone. I have no friends at church. I need help. Thank you to everyone who wants to help me! Also please feel free to send me a message I would love to meet new people considering the fact that have no friends at church.
This is the quick story of me in this LITTLE world guided by my BIG God July 1999. The OBGYN doctor of Boston Massachusetts Hospital is stuck in traffic. Who is left in the hospital? Mom, Dad, a baby on the way and the brand new nurse in training. Dad is passed out on the floor and the nurse is plastered against the wall. Mom manages to scream enough that the nurse puts herself together and delivers that 7 pound baby girl. Me. I am the oldest of the 2 kids in my family. My sister being 3 years younger. I have been in and out of Hospitals from the day I was born. Doctors try and comfort me by telling me that "there's always one "sick kid" in the family." I'm the kid who always gets the flu, stomach virus, diariah, food poisoning, bladder infections, bronchitis, laryngitis, migraines, and extreme cramps (on periods)... The kid who needs surgeries, endoscopies, colonoscopies... The kid who has allergies and needs and EpiPen... The kid who can't make it through one school year without being sent home sick at least 3 times... The kid whose mom has to bring her the medication she forgot to take before going to school, and give all 6 pills to her in front of the entire class. Yes, I am that kid. I had my first Grand Mal (physical shaking) seizure at 3 years old. We were at that time living in Maine, and the closest hospital... well... wasn't that close. By the time my parents had called the hospital and had brought me in... the seizure had stopped. They sent me home and said it was most likely dehydration. Oh... I forgot... The reason they suspected dehydration was because that previous month I threw up everyday for 1 month straight. Yes... every, single, day. The doctors couldn't figure out why, and to this day the only one who knows why that happened is the Lord, but that is what my seizures were originally blamed on. Over the next week I had 3 other seizures, all at home. Which means none where seen by any doctors. The only reason my mom knew for sure they were seizures I was having, was because her sister, my aunt, has epilepsy. hmmm see where I am going with this? After many frustrating difficult doctor visits to doctors all over the country, I was put on some random medications on and off and things started to dial down. No more seizures, I had grown out of my milk allergy, and things were... good Beginning of October, my 7th grade year. I don't remember much, but I remember being on the couch with my parents leaning over me explaining they had found me on the floor screaming eyes wide open. I don't remember that. I do remember seeing flashing colors and standing in the dining room talking to my dad. You know after you loo into a bright light for to long, you see spots of yellow green red black white and other colors? Thats exactly what I remember. But there were no bright lights. In fact it was night time. My parents didn't know what to think but they called my pediatrition and told her what happened. She told them to get me a good night sleep and let me stay home from school the next day. I don't really remember the next day. I remember bits and pieces. I remember being down in my basement with my dad trying to calm me down (a finished basement not a creepy like dark cell haha) and I remember throwing things at my mom. The slightest things she said got me upset and I remember trying to hurt her and my dad. I bit my dad. I remember that clearly. They put me in the car and drove me to the Emergency room where they gave me sedatives and put me in a small EXTREMELY hot room. A lady came in and asked me some questions and offered me a drink or a snack all the while I remember acting completely normal and responding politely to everything. I stayed the night at the hospital and was released in the morning. They scheduled me for and EEG and an MRI to be happening in the next week. While waiting for tests and procedures to take place in the next week I stopped going to my school and entered into a day program at Shepard Pratt (we were then living in Maryland). Shepard Pratt is a mental institution. I remember all the days going there. Wake up at 5, get on the bus at 5:30, get there at 6:30, spend the day there, get on bus at 7:30, be home at 8:00. I was by far the sanest of them all. I was put in the younger group by accident (4-10 year olds) and when asked if I would rather change groups I said no. I was fine with coloring all day rather than doing the sketch stuff going on in the "Big Kid" room. We talked about our feelings, ate lunch and snack, worked on worksheets, and had one on one time with the therapist assigned to each on of us. Once again I acted normal and like I didn't even know why I was there. By the end of the first week there I just wanted to go back to school. When my parents got the tests back saying I had Epilepsy, Depression, and was bipolar (along with a whole slue of other stuff) they decided I would be in the program a few more weeks while they got me on good medications. Here is where my memory fades again. I remember deciding that was NOT what I wanted to do. So I ran away. There were some woods at the end of my street and so I decided to just walk and walk and walk until I don't even know. I found a tree house that was far enough away from any houses so I decided to hide in it. I played games on my phone and just sat there, shivering and crying out to God. "WHERE ARE YOU?" I was trapped in my own decisions. I couldn't blame it on him... how can any of us blame anything on God?! Are we really so blind to everything he has given us and everything he does for one a daily basis? Who are we to not take responsibility for the things that happen to us. We are the ones at fault and I have no respect for the people who say otherwise. Yes, we slip up and its okay to cry out to God and even to get angry with him, but not to live this life not owning up to we, humans, creating sin in the first place. When they found me in the woods at about 11:00 PM that night (My grandfather was the one to find me... a bunch of people were looking for me... grandparents, aunts, uncles, foster siblings (we use to do foster care), my sister, my parents, neighbors (that was embarrassing). They told me they were just about to call the police. They locked me in my room that night and I didn't even have any tears left to cry. I got no hugs no comfort at all. Not even from my parents... nobody seemed to care once I had been found... They acted like it was a game. "Who can find her first?" I was waken up by my mom telling me to pack some things because I was going to be sleeping somewhere else for just a few nights. Instead of these day programs I had been doing, I was then admitted as an "In-Patient." I slept in a creepy white room like you see on the movies. the bed and dresser nailed to the floor. I was locked in the room at night. The bathroom was huge (that was a plus nice shower!) The worst parts were the nights. I could here the girl in the room next to me screaming. She was 6 and I tried to be nice and actually played with her. She was recovering from abuse and had horrible nightmares. She had a mental illness and would lash out at people and hurt them. I was again put in the younger aged group. Apparently the girls next door (the 11-18) where in for "harsher" and way more "difficult" treatment. It sounded really scary... It wasn't that bad there.... Whenever you were good you got tokens and then you could buy toys to play with. I just did some puzzles. They even had a wii room. I'm not insane. I have an epilepsy that makes it so I have internal seizures that cannot be seen by other people. My brain misfires electrical signals which make me act out and feel crazy emotions (depression or anger) for no reason. Im not insane I repeat. I was just in there because I was harming people when I got angry. I was harming myself also. I learned to have a healthy fear. I learned that sometimes God allows us to go through things to show us how much he can offer and how much better his offer is. My mind learned to accept some things because of the experience at Shepard Pratt. I was locked in. Trapped. The first snow of the season came and I could only see it from my window. I had to wear the same clothes every other day. I only could see my family at the 1 hour visiting hour Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Girls (and guys I guess) don't be afraid to lash out. Do it. Be crazy, laugh at yourself and others, be truthful, and don't hide your emotions. Because after you go through those experiences I PROMISE YOU you will walk away with something learned. And if you look at it just the right way, and think about it just enough, you will see God through it. No matter what. Do it. My medications were fixed, and I was on the road to recovery and living for God and I decided to call my mom for the first time. (I hadn't been accepting her calls during calling hours) I told her that I was ready to come home and she started crying on the phone. I got first 3 hours out of the house, then 6, then 9, and soon I was spending the night at home I even got to go trick or treating The middle of November I went home. Ive had many ups and downs but today life is so different. I now live in Managua, Nicaragua Central America as a Missionary. I struggle with depression, and cutting. You know what? I pray not more than I ever have in my entire life. I rely on God more than ever. Even though I still struggle (an almost attempted suicide) God has brought the most amazing people into my life. You have no idea what I go through. I struggle with being "in the closet" but I truly believe it is not what God wants for me so I do nothing about it. I pray for feelings to go away, and I have better days than others. The reason I have those better days are because of my faith in the Lord. I will never be perfect so I won't try. But I will try to do everything God wants of me and to follow the path he has planted in front of me. Even when I am trapped in this little world I will remember how BIG my God is and How Great his plans are for me, and because of that, I cannot EVER and will not EVER give up. John 14:13 12"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.13"Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14"If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.