Monday, November 12, 2012

Facing a Fear

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up very early to do my Saturday morning shift at the Bountiful (LDS) temple. Typically, I am a pretty nervous person when the house is quiet, and I'm the only one awake, and especially when it comes to going outside/or into the garage (depending on what car I'm driving) to get into the car.

To make a long story short, I happened to not be as nervous that morning. Mike had woken up when I did and we had a conversation, and then I had an e-mail I had to send before I left, so by the time I was ready to walk out the door, I think I'd forgotten it was 5am. I'll make this story shorter: just as I was getting into the car on the driveway, Mike decided to "be friendly" and opened up the bedroom window (directly above our driveway) to whistle at me.

The whole thing is really a blur, because Mike scared me like I don't think I've ever been scared before. My scream was obviously pretty loud, because I had a sore throat for 48 hours following. I quickly got in the car, locked the doors and burst into tears. I immediately called him a not-so-nice name (although it is a word found in the Bible so I think it's excused) and went to grab my cell-phone so I could say the not-so-nice word directly to him. It was right then I realized I had left my cell phone in the bedroom, but at this point I was too scared and traumatized to get out of the car to go get it. Which is probably a good thing, because I was so mad at him I probably would have done a lot more than say one not-so-nice word to him.

 I drove the 10 minute drive to the temple, with my heart still pounding, my body shaking, calling him the not-so-nice name repeatedly for the duration of the drive. (Remember, the word is found in the Bible, so I don't think saying it repeatedly on the way to the temple is as bad as if I'd been calling him a non-Bible word.)

With my 4 hour shift at the temple, and Mike's morning obligation, it was 6-7 hours later before we finally hooked up again. I don't think in my 15+ years of marriage I have ever seen my husband feel as badly and/or as apologetic as he was that morning. He felt awful. Made worse by the fact I didn't answer my phone for him to immediately apologize, or to check I really was okay. Forgiveness took a while, at least until the 48-hour sore throat subsided.

Mike has now earned accompanying me to the car early on Saturday mornings.

That was a pretty long story and probably nothing to do with the fact that this weekend Mike was very kind and loving helping me overcome a fear, instead of helping perpetuate one. And I'm not talking about us driving in a massive snowstorm Saturday night. That fear may still take a while to overcome...

I digress again.

For years and years, I have had a horrible fear of ever leading/conducting music. Within our church we have a lot of meetings, and a lot of singing, and there always seems to be a need for someone to lead/conduct the music. It is something I have always avoided. I know it sounds ridiculous. I could speak, pray or teach in front of hundreds and not even break a sweat, but the thought of leading music has been enough to put me over the edge.

A few fellow church members laughingly remember the time a couple of years ago I was asked to lead one side of the Primary (children's organization) room for a song to be done in a round. My face immediately turned bright red and my body just about went into panic mode before I passed the responsibility off to the person sitting next to me.

It's ridiculous. I should be embarrassed to even be admitting such a pathetic fear publicly, but I'll tell you why I am.

Sunday night we were due to have a very small meeting that would include 16-20 members of our church. Earlier in the week, the lady I serve with in the Primary Presidency sent me an email asking if I would be willing to either play the piano or lead the music for the meeting. I immediately responded I would play the piano, but then I got some wild-hare idea that now was as good a time as any to face my fear.

If you are still with me after this rambling, long-winded story--

I am pleased and proud to announce that tonight I finally faced my fear. After practicing at home all week, (much to Drew's disgust-he thinks HE is the self-appointed conductor of any and all family singing), tonight I stood in front of 16 people and conducted the singing of two hymns!!! Sure I may have smiled a little too much, due in part to trying hard not to laugh out loud, (remember I have a tendency to laugh when I shouldn't laugh).

I had warned Mike not to look at me, and certainly not to make any funny faces, but there were a few times we caught eyes and he smiled a big, huge proud smile at me. A part of me wanted to burst out laughing, and another part of me wanted to burst into tears.

But I did it. I am very proud.
Upon arrival home, I was greeted by Megan who was anxious to hear the results of my conducting debut. It's kind of a rare occasions when a parent/child reversal takes place, but I couldn't help but smile as Megan looked directly at me and said, "Mom, I'm really proud of you. Good job."

Move over Drew. You may have to start sharing your pencils.

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