So some time back in December I volunteered myself to assist in the rebuilding of the Youth Ministry at my Church. Why? Because it is something I’ve always dreamt about doing, it is something I prayed about often, there was a need and opportunity and I believed I’d be very good at it, with God’s help of course.
So baring in mind I dealt with planning youth events once before and they were well received, I figured I could do it again but better, now I am older, wiser and more experienced. There was only one flaw with those thoughts; I am still after thirteen years struggling with what I now know as Agoraphobia and GAD. So planning the meetings were all well and good but the thought of being apart of them terrified me.
However; I know this is what God wants me to do and I also know if I run scared now; I will be forever running scared; and those visions and desires God placed in my heart would never come true. So scared as hell; I pursued this purpose with all I might.
The first meeting was supposed to be held on the 10th January; but was postponed because of the heavy snow; the second meeting was also postponed for the same reason. The next Saturday, I was sick and placed on bed-rest.
Eventually we decided to try again; February 7th; the first Saturday of that month.
I planned a heck of a session for that evening; I invented my own Ice Breaker game which I called “Game of Favorites” and incorporated a “Show ‘n’ Tell” session as well; where we’d all bring in an item we love or that best describes our personality and talk about it a bit. I even designed hand-outs; that would feature the evening’s theme, agenda, word-of-the-day and bible verses, as well as announce what the next session would be about and what you have to bring. The first session’s theme was “An Evening of Icebreakers, Brainstorming and Games.” The word-of-the-day was “Youth.” However, no one showed up. That evening nevertheless, I did have a panic attack, which I brought on myself but had no idea how to make it go away and nearly fell down the stairs; had three witnesses; including the Pastor and Youth Leader. I was angry, hurt and embarrassed and now this had set me up for more agoraphobic feelings associated with these meetings.
Meeting attempt # 2 was held on Valentine’s Day; the theme of the evening was “Love;” I decided to use the same icebreaker game I designed for the previous Saturday “Game of Favorites” and a new game invention called “Love Puzzle.” The word-of-the-day was duh, “Love.” However, no one attended this meeting either; but I did have an honest and deep conversation with the Youth Leader about my struggles. Which actually led to him and his wife inviting my husband and me to lunch after Church; to a steakhouse we have never been to before; the next day. The Pastor, Youth Leader, Church Van driver and I had decided that night the next step of getting these kids out was a “Bowling and Pizza Party.” I also had an anxiety attack that night but was able to mask it a lot better than the week before.
The next Saturday; we did go bowling and we had about eleven teens; I prayed that I would not have an anxiety attack in front these kids; I was careful and tense but I did bowl and bowled alright; got one Strike too. I am not sure if they noticed how stiff and robotic I was or the slight tension and fake smile on my face. I hoped they didn’t but I don’t know; I do however, know that the real me; wasn’t present that night and these kids didn’t get to meet her. I do hope the young lady they did get to meet was enough to encourage them to come to another meeting and that we could have a good time together. I did alright at this event considering and the young people enjoyed themselves to a certain extent.
The next event was to be held this Saturday, 28th February; however because a member of the Church passed away during the week; there will be a funeral at the Church on Saturday; so this session will postponed until next week. The session’s theme would have been “Black History Month.”
P.S; I also received the title “Youth Activities Coordinator,” and I love it. I am look forward to really living up to that designation.