This weekend was a tense on for my dear wife.
First, some background: My wife does not like to do things in front of other people. She does not like to teach or speak or perform. She really doesn’t like it when people focus their attention on her. (When I say “really doesn’t like” it’s only because my lovely wife doesn’t like to use the word hate.) And yet, this weekend she had two events that were pretty stress-inducing. (And by stress inducing, I mean, sleep-depriving, stomach-churning anxiety.)
On Friday, she had to perform in her piano masters class. Yep. She doesn’t like to perform, but she’s in a piano masters class. She’s upgrading her credentials as a piano teacher, and the performance class is part of the training. Oh, did I mention she’s also one of our ward organists, and a really good one, at that? (Just because she gets anxious performing in front of others doesn’t mean she doesn’t do it.)
On Saturday she had to present at a stake Relief Society leadership meeting. She’s a counselor in the stake RS presidency and had to speak in the “larger” group and in her smaller group with “her” counselors from around the stake. She knows all these sisters because as a presidency they visit the wards in the stake several times a year. But the stake president was going to be there, too. And she was really nervous about speaking in front of him. (I should point out that our stake president is wonderful; he's our former home teacher, our former bishop, and his kids take piano lessons from my wife. But he's The Stake President.)
Saturday morning we also had some complicated car gymnastics common to families with more than one person in them. Daughter had to be at a babysitting class at nine. Dad had to be at church at nine. Mom had to be at church at nine. Daughter is 11, so either Mom or Dad had to drive her. The plan was that Mom would drop off daughter and get to church a few minutes late, but in more than enough time for her leadership meeting at 10.
(Ok, here’s where one might expect we all gathered in prayer and then someone got up and walked right to the key. But I told you already, it’s not the answer you’d expect.)
We all looked for the key. We retraced steps. We checked coat pockets. We looked in the trash. We ran out of time. Finally we (and I must say, we were all pretty level headed through all of this -- another miracle, but that’s a story for another day) decided we’d all go together in my car.
We managed to get daughter to her class on time. My lovely wife and I then drove to the church. On the way, she expressed her concern about speaking in front of the stake president. She even said, “It’s silly, I know. It shouldn’t matter to me what he thinks.”
I thought for a moment and then said, “You know, he didn’t call you. The Lord did.”
She said, “You’re right. And He already knows all my weaknesses. And He still called me.”
It was a ten-second exchange. And yet, it helped my lovely wife’s anxiety slip away.
We were both late for our 9:00 commitments, but it was ok. There were hiccups in the presentation at the leadership meeting (AV and computer equipment didn’t work the way it was supposed to), but it was ok.
After the leadership meeting, we renewed the search for the key. Finally my wife found it. In the pocket of the coat she’d worn the day before. It was a different coat than she had worn every other day this past week, and she’d forgotten that she wore it until after her leadership meeting.
My wife told our son that she believed her losing the key was an answer to prayer. She had prayed that she could calm down and do what the Lord wanted her to do in her leadership meeting. Our conversation in the car helped her to do that. Had she not lost the key, we would have travelled to church in separate cars, and we would not have had the conversation we did.
Thanks for those tender mercies.