Today’s win over anxiety

Dom is a Sunbeam: the youngest class of kids in Primary at church. He’s had the opportunity to share a scripture and a turn to say a prayer. All the kids take turns with these things and the adults sitting with the classes quietly laugh when the little kids muddle up words like the time a Sunbeam named Conrad loudly stated into the microphone: “The church of Jesus Christ has been destroyed!”

Restoration, be damned.

Anyway, Dom collapsed into tears the Sunday when Nathan tried to help him say the prayer. Nathan said it instead. When the turn to say a scripture came up, a few months later, I tried to prep him. If he’s like me, he hates saying prayers in front of others anyway. The stress of being on the spot for saying the right words while speaking to God on behalf of those around: GAH!

So I’ll help him to memorize the scripture. Arm him with confidence so he’s not as scared.

I sat with him in Primary that Sunday afternoon waiting for the scripture recitation part of the church routine. We stood up, took one step towards the microphone, and he melted into tears. Too scared.

Today was the first day of the Primary program practice. All year, the kids have learned the songs, last week they each got parts to say, and now they practice their performance in the chapel leading up to their sacrament meeting.

I read Dom’s part with him this morning while we sat at the table with Gabbi, eating out gourmet hot dog lunch. We repeated it over and over. We pretended to say it into microphones, shouting because our voices are amplified, duh. Gabbi joined in and shouted into her fist. Then we practiced saying the part with our eyes squeezed shut in case we felt scared.

Then it was off to church. Dom was nervous. He told me he was scared. He didn’t want people to see him. Or to laugh at him. I didn’t blame him. I still get stupid nervous when asked to speak in church. Currently, I lead the music in sacrament meeting and, really, I DISLIKE being in front of the entire congregation.

At the end of church, I asked Dom how their practice went.

He proudly stated, “I did my part without help!”

“You did? In the microphone?”

“Yes.” Big grin.

Wow. We high fived.

If my little three-year old can be brave like that, I can, too. Next time someone asks me to pray, I’ll say okay. At least I can do it with my eyes shut.


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