I prayed for guidance, patience, and an ability to teach those precious souls in the best way possible. I prepared my first lesson, and walked into that primary room Sunday Morning with sweaty palms and a racing heart. The kids were wonderful, and eager to learn and I left that day feeling a bit better about this whole situation.
From then on, things only got better. I remembered more kids names, I understood the schedule a bit better, and I didn't feel like I was going to throw up, so that was a plus.
And then last week happened.
I planned a fun coin toss game. Basic premise: Choose a child to come and toss the coin. Heads we sing a song, Tails we did an activity to get the wiggles out. Easy enough.
The first hour, junior primary, things went great. It was a pretty normal day and I really felt the kids were learning the songs extremely well. Senior Primary filed in an hour later, and I was ready to do the same activities as I did with the little kids. All was fine and dandy, until we did an activity that got a little to rowdy. Asking forty 8-11 year olds to do 10 jumping jacks is a little insane. I laughed it off and they calmed back down so that we could sing another song. When it came time to do another activity (singing Jesus Wants me For A Sunbeam) I was wary about the reverence level, but let them sing the song anyway. That's when I see one teacher sitting the front row rolling her eyes and mouthing the words, "Oh My GOSH." I was a little taken aback, but didn't think much of it until another teacher sitting straight up says, "I can't believe you are letting them do this. It's SO irreverent."
Immediately I revert back to feeling insecure and lousy. I don't feel like I can do this calling. I stand up in front of all of these children and I try to hold back the tears. We manage to finish the lesson without having to do any more wiggle activities, and I quickly gather my things and bolt outside where the tear promptly begin to fall. I'm hyperventilating and freaking out, and that's when the primary president runs out after me to ask what is wrong. I'm still in tears and i try to explain with the most tact possible, how this sister in primary had extremely hurt my feelings and made me feel like I shouldn't be up these teaching the children. I told her how I felt like everyone was still treating me like a Young Woman instead of an equal. I told her how I easily let my feelings get hurt, and how terrible I am at hiding it. I told her how now it will be hard to hold me head high while that sister is in Primary. I explained how now I am at a loss for how to teach these children in a way that will please everyone, especially the Lord.
Luckily, our Primary president is an angel, and she reassured me that I am indeed capable, and that i can't let someone else criticize me and belittle me when I am, in fact, doing a good job.
I'm still a little hurt and apprehensive for next week when I will have to face this sister again in primary. But I am determined to learn from this experience and use it improve my understanding of other people's opinions. I am constantly trying to take less offense from the things that people around me say, and this is just another place I can practice this.
I believe that the Lord called me to Primary for a reason, and I do know that I will have an impact on those children's lives. I love being able to teach those children the simple principles of the gospel through music, and being able to bare my testimony to them every week.
I'm grateful for the power of prayer and the ability I have to cry out to my Heavenly Father and ask for his help in this learning process. I'm thankful for a loving husband who encourages me, believes in me and reassures me that I am enough.