I agreed to get up in front of our church congregation on Sunday and give a prayer of praise during the worship service. All that morning before the service I had this increasing feeling of dread, growing to severe anxiety, culminating in all-out stomach-turning terror. By the time I picked King up from his dad's house to take him to church, I was already shaking.
"King," I explained, "Mama has to pray during church today, so when I go up to the front, you stay in your seat. Okay? Mama's really nervous about it."
"You are going to pray out loud?"
"All by yourself?"
"In front of everybody?"
"Stop! You are making it worse!"
"It'll be okay, Mom. It'll be okay. It really will, even if everybody laughs at you."
"Thank you, King."
After I parked the car, I turned around to King and asked him to pray with me before we got out of the car.
We held hands and I began, "Dear Jesus, please give me the right words to say, because I don't know what to say..."
At this moment, King added, "and please don't let anyone laugh at my mom, unless she is trying to be funny."