We had a big, huge, wonderful moment today.
Part of me wants to keep it to myself, but I know one day I'll want my kids to read this post so I'm going to write it down and share it with you. Hope you don't mind.
Today at church, for the first time, one of our children got up and bore their testimony.
(Let me explain that really quickly: The first Sunday of the month at our church is called "Fast Sunday". That means we skip a meal or so and give the money we would have spent as a fast offering. Some fast Sundays we focus on something in particular, such as a sick congregation member, or we fast for water for crops or just whatever is needed. Everyone has their own things to pray about on Fast Sunday and it is a personal thing. Oh, and I have yet to make it through without having to eat something or I get all shaky and woozy. I'm a wuss and I own it. Anyhow, at church that week instead of a speaker teaching a lesson, members of the congregation are invited to get up and speak for a few minutes and bear their testimony on any principle of faith they feel moved to talk about. People talk about answered prayers, trials they are going through... all sorts of stuff. Children get up too if they want. It isn't a huge crazy thing, just a moment to speak a deep thought if you want to look at it that way. Oh and again, my thoughts are never deep and usually when I sit down I think to myself, "well, that's 4 minutes those poor people won't get back." Sigh.)
Okay, so now you know the gist of Fast Sunday if you didn't know it.
So, we're at church and people are going up to bear their testimonies. We got to church late due to a hot pink nail polish spilled on the carpet debacle that mandated immediate cleaning (Hello, pink stain! Meet blue stain and orange stain. Welcome to the family! Blah.), so we ended up sitting in the very, very back of the church.
(Amusing sidenote: There are a few other police families in our ward and we all ended up together in the back. It wasn't intentional, it just happened, but it was pretty awesome. I just really love my family in blue and all those kids. Note to self: Bring more snacks next week.)
Okay, we're in the back and people are going to the front and the kids start jabbering at each other. I turn to shoosh them and Buddy is in my face looking very serious.
Buddy: Mom, I want to bear my testimony.
Me: Seriously? (Nice job there, Kimber. Way to show confidence.)
Buddy: Yes. Can I?
Me: Well, do you know what to say?
Buddy: Can you tell me what to say?
Me: No. I can't tell you what your testimony is. You have to know what to say yourself. But if you can tell me, you can go up and say it.
(Buddy thinks for a few minutes, then comes over and whispers what he wants to say to me and it was just fine. Whoa.)
Me: Okay, go on up.
Buddy: Can you go with me?
Me: No. If you want to do this, you need to go up on your own. You don't have to do it.
Buddy: I'm scared, but I want to.
Me: It is up to you.
Buddy: I'm going to go up.
So, my brave little 6 year old walks all the way up to the front and sits down to wait her turn to bear that testimony.
I was terrified.
I wasn't scared that he couldn't do it. I was afraid of what he would do when he got that microphone. Remember the TaVaci incident? Well, he pulls similar stunts whenever he gets his hands on a microphone in primary at church.
I started inching forward just in case it looked like he was going to pull a mini-Howard Stern or something up there and started praying for deal life.
I turn back and see some of my friends from church who all have a similar amused/mildly terrified look on their faces also.
I'm pretty sure everyone who knows Buddy was holding their breath to see what would happen.
His turn comes.
He stands up... and says a beautiful, short testimony. He says he knows God loves him. He sits down. Then he walks back to his seat.
I own it, I cried a little.
I couldn't say it at church because I would embarrass that boy, but I can type it now.
I am so proud of that kid.
I have known for years that he is a wonderful boy who will always make good choices if I can just guide him in the right direction.
Guiding him has been tricky so far and I won't lie, some days I have wanted to throw in the towel, but today was a moment when I just felt God saying to me, "you are moving in the right direction." I needed that.
I am so grateful for the people at our church who are always so kind to our family and especially to our kids. When we started going to this congregation, Buddy in particular was not happy about church (he'd had some negative experiences and it really soured him) and he struggled every single week. His teacher had the patience of a saint and he became attached to her.
I was so grateful when she was willing to teach his class for a second year. He needed that so much and he really loved her. She spent two years helping him settle down and teaching him that church is wonderful and fun. It has been nothing short of a miracle in my eyes.
I remember running into her at her job one day and Buddy telling me in the car as we left, "my teacher is so beautiful."
Having a positive influence every week and knowing his teacher loved him really helped Buddy in primary.
Our entire family loves her so much and we are in debt to her for taking a little boy who was really struggling at church and helping him become a happy boy who loves being in God's house.
Also, the two primary presidencies we have had have been so kind to him and patient, even when he shouts out every single answer instead of raising his hand. They have encouraged him, made him learn to raise his hand and treated all my kids with so much love and patience (and me too since I'm in there with them every week doing the music). I love these ladies so much and my life is better because I get to be around them every week. My kids are so blessed to have their influence. I wish every child in the world could spend time on Sundays with these ladies. They love the kids so much and you can just feel it in that room.
All the other teachers in our primary who are so patient and kind to my kids come to my mind too right now. They laugh are the weirdness that comes with my herd, but they don't judge. They just enjoy the ride. I love them all for it.
Oh, and the kids. I know everyone thinks their kids and the kids they are surrounded by are the best but I have to tell you... the kids at our church really are the best. You should hear their sweet thoughts and listen to them sing. They even let me teach them dances to our songs and put up with all my silly antics. I don't think there is a more wonderful bunch of children anywhere.
We needed this congregation and the positive people we are surrounded by. Today was a moment where I got to see how much good they have done in our lives and the only words I can think of are that I am very grateful.
Today was a big day.
Buddy is heading down a wonderful path in his life and my heart is so full it hurts.
God winked at me big time today. He showed me a glimpse of who Buddy is becoming. It is incredible. That kid is going to make this world a better place.