Meet Iris!

Hi! My name is Iris. I am eleven years old, and I struggle with anxiety. I love spending time with friends and family, but I get really anxious and uncomfortable when I have to go to an event or am in a situation where I don’t know anyone.

Two weeks ago, I attended a church camp where I didn’t know anyone. I was afraid that no one would let me be their friend because almost everyone already knew someone else. Thankfully, everyone was so sweet and kind to me, and by the end of the week I felt like I was friends with everyone. In fact, the entire theme of the week was to be accepting and kind to others. The camp director said we need to “save the drama for the stage” by being confident in who we are and real in the way we live. From this experience, I learned that scary situations may not be as bad as I think they are going to be, and that it is ok to try things outside my comfort zone and make new friends. I also learned that when I am part of a group where I already know everyone, I need to make sure to help any new kids feel like they are welcome and part of the group.

In three weeks I will be attending another church camp. This one is overnight, and I am so excited also a bit nervous again. This will be my second year attending this camp. Last year I went with two of my friends from church, and I had one of the best times of my life. This year I am going with only one friend that I know, but I am excited to see if any girls I met last year will be back. Although I was very anxious and nervous last year, the difference this year is that I now know I just need to trust in God with all my excitements and my fears. Also, I am going to make sure I am friendly and kind to any new campers.

If there is just one thing I could tell you, it would be this - you can conquer anything with God right beside you. Following Him was the best decision I have made and will ever make in my life. I know some people may think differently, and that is ok. But for me, it has made all the difference. He has helped me through everything. Know this, God is always there to listen to your thoughts, fears, and worries. I want you to know that God loves you. Just remember, God is always available and is always ready to listen. He is always there for you even when it feels like you are alone and no one loves you.

Iris, 11