Yellow crocus flowers

#59: Gloria Pinkney 2006

God is Still Speaking, July 7, 2022

In episode #59 of Rewrite Radio, author and minister Gloria Pinkney retells stories of how God answered her prayers through a reoccurring bumper sticker, through a yellow tow truck outside the LaGuardia Airport, and through many other signs. Listen as she encourages others to take time for God and ask Him questions.


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Intro

[music]

Heidi Groenboom: [00:00:05] Today's Rewrite Radio includes a session from author and minister, Gloria Pinkney, where she retells stories of how God answered her prayers, like through a reoccurring bumper sticker, through a yellow tow truck outside the LaGuardia Airport, and many other signs. Listen as she encourages others to take time for God and ask Him questions. 

My name is Heidi Groenboom, and I'm a Senior Student Fellow at the Calvin Center for Faith & Writing. 

Gloria Pinkney is an author and an ordained minister. She has written several children's books, including Back Home and The Sunday Outing. She has also collaborated on children's book projects with her late husband, the artist and illustrator Jerry Pinkney. She has published Music from Our Lord's Holy Heaven, a collection of twenty-two African-American spirituals and reverential songs. She has also published a memoir, In the Forest of Your Remembrance. 

Please enjoy Gloria Pinkney from the 2006 Festival of Faith & Writing.

[theme music]

Session 

Gloria Pinkney: Thank you. Well, does everyone see that lady walking in right now with that yellow sweater on? All right. Why is yellow my favorite color? Because the Lord told me that it is the color of hope. I heard it one night in my sleep. And I want everyone to look right there, that second picture. I am supposed to be in that room. In this particular room. Do you see that picture right there? “In the forest of your remembrance.” Look at that. 

Now some people would say, oh, what a coincidence. Uh-uh. I know better. I know because one thing – the calling in my life is to reveal to people that God is still speaking. He isn't mute or deaf. He has a voice. He's always had a voice. Have I always heard him? No. Did I grow up Christian? Yes. Do I come from a religious family? Yes. But I had no idea that God could speak. I thought he only spoke to the prophets and the great people like Moses and – you know, a long, long time ago. 

And so for 50 years of my life, I taught Sunday school, I taught Bible school, I sang in church. I talked about the Lord – Father, Son and Spirit. And I had no idea that God could still speak. I’m 64 years old now, and the last, you know, really almost 11 years. I have – I hear him. When I wrote this book, In the Forest of Your Remembrance, I was very shy. 

But how many people here have read this book? In the Forest of Your Remembrance, this book? Oh, you have to read this book. This is a wonderful book. It was given to me. So what I'm going to do right now first is, um. I am going to sing something, too, but before I sing it, I just want to say this: When I was growing up in Philadelphia. My great-aunt felt that I should be a singer. When I was growing up, Marian Anderson was very, very popular and famous at that time. And she wanted me to be like Marian Anderson. So she would force me to sing, and the church, they’d force me to sing. And I always sang like this. [Sings shakily]

I was so scared. I was fine in rehearsal. But as soon as I was in front of a congregation, like you, the people here, fear would set in. In school, they forced me to sing also. So as soon as I was old enough to make my own decisions, I decided that I would never sing another solo. Instead, what I would do, is I joined the Glee Club at school, and I sang in the choir. All right? And it just so happens, I have – I can sing in a very deep voice, a contralto voice – or with the men in the choir, I sang tenor. 

And then I have this very high falsetto voice, which I absolutely loved, because I wanted to sound like the other girls. Who wants to be a little kid with a deep voice? You know? Like Tallulah Bankhead, right? So really, I worked all of my life trying to lift my voice up. To raise it up, to sound like the other girls. So, let me say this to you that, um, a few years ago, my husband led us to a new church. And that new church is a Congregational Church or United Church of Christ. And, um, they sing spirituals in our church, but they sing them more like anthems or more like classical music. And here's what happened. 

One day, I was sound asleep. And this story is not in the book. This is in the sequel, but I want you to hear this because it leads up to the fact that I'm going to sing to you in a minute. I was asleep, and the Lord spoke. The words that I heard were eleven eleven. It woke me up. I thought, Lord. What is eleven eleven?

[00:04:49] Now let me just stop here, because I feel I must say to you that I believe there is one God. Being Christian, I believe that God is in three persons. But there's just one Creator God. And he loves all of us and wants us all to be one. In this book, In the Forests of Your Remembrance, even though I'm Christian, there, I use the Hebrew Bible. I used a lot of different translations. I used some quotes from the Amish, and the third chapter opens with a prayer from the Quran. This book came out, September 2001, when 9/11 happened, this book was already in the bookstores. 

Why? Because the Lord God told me. Lord God Jehovah said that I should put a pair from the Quran in that book. I knew nothing about the Quran at the time. So now, let's go back here. Because I’m trying to give you that little background. I'm in the bed, and I heard eleven eleven. I wondered what it was. And when I got up, I thought, hmm. I think I'll start at the beginning. So I open to the Book of Genesis. I open up to Genesis, chapter 11, verse 11. The last word in that chapter is daughters. I thought, daughters. Let me find out about my daughters, my granddaughter, and our daughter Troy. 

So I called Troy, and she was very upset, because she and her husband had just had a big blowup. And I said, you know what, Troy? I'm going to go to church with Dad, and then I'm going to come and join you at our old church – which is the Baptist Church. Star Bethlehem Baptist. That particular morning was a Sunday between Christmas and New Year's. And we didn't have a choir that Sunday, because that's the choir’s one day off. So the minister said, Reverend David Powers, “If anybody has a song that wasn't sung during Christmas, why don't you begin now and we'll all join in.” 

Well, guess what? Not one person raised their hand. Nothing. Silence. 

Now, I had just started going to that church, and I'm in the back. So I go timidly, “Well, I know a song.” H says, “Well, Gloria would you come up and sing it? Would you come up to the microphone?” 

Now in my head, I'm thinking: Come up to the microphone. I don't sing solos. Oh my God. What am I doing? I went up to the microphone. He clipped on this clip mic, and I sang a song that goes like this, I sing a little bit of it, Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Jesus the light of the world. Glory to the newborn King. Jesus the light of the world. 

“Gloria. Nobody seems to know that song.” 

Well. What happened? I ended up singing it. So now, church is over, and I'm rushing because I have to go meet our daughter, Troy at the old church. And a lady comes up to me and said, “Gloria, you have a good voice? Are you going to join the choir?” I said, “Well, you know, I love to see if I can join the choir.” I said, “because I travel so much. I'm speaking all over the country, and I gotten to the point in the choir is that I would be there moving my lips, not knowing the words because I'd miss rehearsal.” And then these words came out of my mouth. I was shocked. I said, “But if you ever want me to sing a solo.” I was like; in my head, what?!

“We would love you to sing solos.” I left there thinking, “Lord, what did I say? You led me to say that. Sing solos, me?” 

I arrived at Troy’s Church, Star Bethlehem, my old church, and I had to go through a gate. No one was walking around. Everyone there knew that I had left that church to join this new church. My daughter always sits in the front. I was gonna have to walk in. Everybody was going to see me. Oh God. What time is it? I looked at the clock. It was 11:11. Eleven eleven.  

I said, “Wow, 11:11, it’s going to be all right, isn't it?” I walked in the church and here is the congregation coming up from the Sunday School room. They'd had their Christmas program. Everything was running late. I just joined in, walked in, and sat with my daughter. Now, I'm locked in to sing at the church, but I'm still frightened singing in front of people. 

So after my second solo, now, I have to tell you something: God speaks in the Bible in signs, wonders, and miracles. He has always done that. And if you have eyes as the Bible describes or the Christian books, or the religious books, whatever your religious book is, it talks about having eyes that. They talk about having ears that hear. They have talked about having an understanding heart because we have one Creator who loves us, who speaks to us in many ways through many Holy books, and what's the key word in there? Love. Love one another. If there's no love in it, it isn’t our Creator. God, he loves us. So anyway. 

I moved away from something that I was supposed to say to you, right then. Oh, I know what it is. Okay. Thank you. 

I'm still frightened to sing in front of people. I was riding down the road, and a car pulled in front of me with a sign on it. It was in their license plate, and I saw it. Why? Because of eyes, see, I do hear the Lord, and I'm gonna have to find it for you. 

Sorry, I’ll find it. I must have put it near the back. Here it is. 

[00:10:00] I will tell you for those who can't see it, anyone who wants to walk up later and look at these pictures. The license plate said, “Sing 2”–the number two–”GOD.” God.

I thought, “Sing to God, that's what's wrong with my singing. I'm singing to the congregation. I'm worried about what the people are thinking. From now on, Lord, I'm going to sing to you.” And that's exactly what I do. And since then, the Lord sent me to Russia. This past summer, I sang in Russia. I just came back from the White House this past Monday for the Easter Egg Roll. I was there, and I sang. So I've been singing all over, and fear is all gone as long as I focus on the Holy One. 

So since then, he's constantly giving me…saw that one day, singing, right? Now, everything in here, often times messages aren’t on the back of cars. All right, I went to see a very sick friend, not too long ago, and she's passed on since then, but I got to see her before she passed on. When I got there, I saw this car as I was going in the Forsyth Medical Center in North Carolina in Winston-Salem. It says, “Look at What the Lord Has Done.” And so I got it. 

Now, I want to go back to seeing “Sing 2 God.” The Lord had revealed to me that I must always carry a camera. Why? In this book, In The Forest of Your Remembrance, it's illustrated by my husband, Jerry, and our sons. In the sequel, to this book, and He's given me a title as He gave me this title. The sequel is called Deep In The Forest With Rabboni. Teacher, Master, for me, Jesus Christ. He gave me the title. He told me to keep a camera because he would give me pictures, so that I can document everything and show people who don't want to believe that this indeed happened. Alright? 

On that day, I didn't have a camera with me. I didn’t. I just forgot. I didn't have a camera. Here's this car in front of me saying, “Sing to God.” And I thought, “Oh God, I'm sorry.” That's what you have to do when you're disobedient. Forgive me for this. Could you put that car in front of me again? 

Two weeks went by. I went to the Croton-on-Hudson post office where we live. There was the car. I have a picture. It says Croton-on-Hudson behind it, and I took the picture and out walks the owner. And of course she sees me there with the camera. She goes, “Excuse me.” I said, “Oh, excuse me. Is this your car?”

“Yes it is.”

I said, “Well, you know, I'm a new singer, and the message on your car is so powerful for me, you know, just gives me courage to sing.”

She says, “Well, I'm a musician.” 

Then I looked at her and lo and behold, this lady was wearing a bright golden sunflower yellow sweater. And P-I-N-K pink pants, corduroy. 

I said, “Hallelujah, Lord. This is too much.” I said, “May I take your picture because I'm going to put you in a book.” 

She says, “I would love to take my picture.” 

So there it is. That's that document to show you that, that really happened. Now, I'm going to move all around, you know, because I'm going to go as the Spirit leads and God has a reason for everything. And so there's something that I want to tell you about the singing, and I will tell you what that is in just a minute. Wait a minute, something about this thing. Okay. Yes. 

Once this book came out, Jerry and I were having dinner one night with Rosemary Wells, you know, she's a writer, Rosemary Wells. And I was telling her stories of the Holy Spirit, and not long after that, Rosemary Wells was invited by Harper Collins for new projects. To come up with new projects. They hired her. And right away, she thought about doing a book on spirituals and she thought about me. 

Well, I got a call from Harper saying “Gloria, we want to do a book on spirituals. Would you be interested?” 

Am I interested? I was struggling trying to get another book published after many rejections. So the day that I went there, I felt inspired to sing to them. So I sang just to show them, indeed, I do know spirituals. 

And so the plan was that Jerry, my son Jerry would illustrate, you know, and our sons, Brian and Miles, our daughter would write the introduction. I would select all of the songs and put a Psalm to go with each one. And I would write something about our family and about me and singing in the back. Now, the book was supposed to go out in 2004. And in 2003, I got a call from Harper saying, “Gloria don't get upset but we're going to hold your book back for another year.” 

Well, I got upset; I did. Another year? Oh my goodness. Well, that night, I said, “Lord, I repent of this. I know that I'm living a guided life, and I'm being obedient, so you have a reason that this book is being held back. I don't know what it is, but I trust you, Lord.” 

Well that night, I was asleep. And what I heard in my sleep is this, “Call your agent, and tell him you want to sing.” Call your agent, call my agent, and tell him I want to sing. Okay!

I called my agent, Shelly Fogelman: “Shelly, you’re not going to believe this, but the Lord spoke to me last night and said I should sing for music for my Lords Holy Heaven. This is Gloria.”

She said, “My son David just started working for a recording studio. I'll send you there.”

“Hallelujah. Shelly.”

[00:15:01] I went there. I made a demo tape. Came back. It went to Harper. They listen and said, “Absolutely, we're taking out those music sheets, and Gloria is going to sing.”

And right now, we are going to play at least one song on this CD, and I would say how about Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho. And the walls came tumbling down

Just remember this, now. I am an untrained singer, but God said that he believes in me and he says that I have a gift, so I'm using it. So I know that I sing in the Spirit, you can turn it up as loud as you can for in here. 

[music: Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho, sung by Gloria Pinkney]

[applause]

Thank you. When I tell you that the Lord had his hand and has his hand on everything that I do, I am here today to give you a gift that's been given to me. And in the beginning, I would say to people, “I'm going to share the gift.” 

The Lord said you are to give the gift. Hopefully, when you leave here, whatever your belief is in God, it will be stronger, you will receive confirmations, your eyes are going to be open a little wider, your ears are going to hear more, you're going to observe more, and most of all, you're not going to keep it to yourself because this is good news. We are living in a troubled world.

There's so much trouble all around us, and Jerry and I went to see a movie not too long ago called Hotel Rwanda

I was so upset at that movie, I just sat there and cried and cried. Everybody left the theater, except me and Jerry standing in the aisle, saying, “Aren't you coming?”

I said, “We have to do something about this.”

Well, I went with my church and afterwards we had a meeting, and it bothered me greatly that the meeting became very political. They talked about the politics of it. And I just felt, and the Spirit was just touching the finances: “Can I say something?” 

“Yes.” 

“This is something we can all do right now. We can pray about this. We can pray about this.”

We stopped and we prayed. So that night I prayed. I said, “Lord. I'm one person. What can I do about this?” 

And He gave me a scripture, and it’s 2 Chronicles 7:14. It says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will forgive their sins, heal the land…” No. No, I left something out. No, that's the most important thing: “I will hear from Heaven, forgive their sins, and heal the land.” 

Now. I knew that scripture. I've known it for years, and I had to think about that all of a sudden, you know, you can read something, and then you hear something in it that you never heard before; it was “hear from Heaven.”

I thought, but Lord, You're In Heaven, who's going to hear from Heaven? Who is going to hear from heaven? And an answer came–you know who is walking the Earth: The Holy Spirit. 

When Christ came to Earth, he went back to the Father. He says, “I'm going back to the Father, and I will send you the Spirit. It is the Spirit. The Spirit does nothing without the Father. They are one. That's the meaning. 

Now. He said, get a book. Okay, get a book and get people to commit to praying for the healing of the whole earth. 

[00:20:02] Now, there again, there's some things he's saying, if you're called by his name, if you humble yourself, and pray, if you seek his face, if you turn from your wicked ways, then he will hear from heaven. 

So, there's some things we have to do there. So, I went out to get a book, I was going up to White Dove Bookstore, and I was passing this little shopping center, and the Lord said, no, go in there. Go in there. Okay, I turned up, and I went into this little stationery store, and I'm looking around. There's something here. 

And what did I find–this book, with three crosses on it, three crosses on it. So, I started this book on January 17th, 2005. This book should be full, and it is not because I'm guilty of forgetting. Am I a perfect person standing in front of you? No, I am not. I'm constantly asking God to forgive me. I'm trying to do everything, he's calling me to do. I get forgetful, and then I tried to cheat on the book. I had people skip lines.

And I had don't write on that page, write over there. So I can fill the book. But guess what? God will always have His way. Next thing I know, people are writing like that, you know. 

And so anyway, so what I did was I printed up those two scriptures. There were two of them. The first one is said 2 Chronicles 7:14. The second he gave me that night was from the Prophet Jeremiah, and it is a prayer in itself. It says, “Heal me, oh, Lord, and I shall be healed. Save me, and I shall be saved.” And then old King. James is, “For thou art my praise, my I praise you, I glorify you. I believe in you.” 

And the instructions I got from the Lord was, pray it for yourself, and then make it a corporate prayer. Heal us. we're not just going to be concerned about America or families, but this whole world. And if the whole world isn’t healed, we're going to destroy each other. So we must do something. 

So I started this book, and I'm going to pass it around, and that's why it's been revealed to me right now. And I'm hoping you guys will sign, anyone who wants. And what you can commit to, you’re going to try, you know, none of us are perfect. We have to try to do these things. You know, as I once heard a minister say, “It's a progression.” Tou know, it takes time to fulfill all those commandments that are in that prayer, but God can read the heart. He knows your intention. He knows I intend to fill this book. 

But right now it's revealed that I must pass it around and if someone has a pen that they could lend. And the first next…How about you start with you? I know you'll sign. 451. This is a very spiritual young man here 451. 

All right. Now I grew up; I marry Jerry Pinkney right out of high school. Jerry Pinkney knew what he wanted to do. He wanted to be an artist. I wanted to be a mother. Why did I want to be a mother? When I was just eight years old, my mother was murdered. My parents were divorced at the time. I was living in a rooming house with my, we were living in a rooming house with my mother's great aunt, my great-great, aunt. And so, when my mom died, she had custody of me.

Right after my mom died, my dad came and asked to take me out for the day. He didn't have custody of me. He put me in a car, he and his new wife and off we went to North Carolina where we hid out on the farm in North Carolina. I know it sounds sad, it was the best thing that could happen to a child whose mother has just been killed. 

You know, here I was, I mean that was a terrible thing, and it was all so unreal even now. And I try to write about it, and I'm still struggling trying to write about it. But anyway, he came, and they took me. And I spent that week on the farm. I didn't know we were hiding, thought I was just having a great time. 

All right, when my aunt came to North Carolina, to get me, there was an injunction that he could not see me again until I was a teenager, my great-aunt closed up the rooming house because of the murder. We changed neighborhoods. I had lived on one street from eight months to eight years. All of my friends were there. I had one school, which I loved. I knew my teachers, everybody knew me. 

Now, here I am in a new neighborhood. My aunt, who closed up her rooming house, had to go out to work for wealthy families. She’d leave early in the morning around 6:00 to go there, to arrive at these families, to fix breakfast for them, that meant I had to fix my own breakfast.

She didn't come home until they went to bed at night, and she'd bring my, she’d bring my food home in her big bag that's on the front of this book, The Sunday Outing, my second book. All right. First book was back home. The second was The Sunday Outing

Now, I don't want anyone to leave here feeling sad. I want you to leave here feeling good and joyful. I'm joyful. Wonderful thing: God has a reason for everything that happens in our lives, and no matter how tragic it is, He can fix it. And which is what he did with me. 

As I said, when I met Jerry, he knew what he wanted to do. I wanted to have a family. My great-aunt, she had been the product of slavery. Her mother was a slave. Her father was a sharecropper or not a sharecropper; he owned a farm. All right, he was a master of the house. She was, because she was very fair, she was raised up in the house. She was not raised up with her mom and the other siblings. She was never hugged. She didn't know how to hug. She didn't, she cared for me. 

[00:25:03] She was a very religious woman, and she did something for me that was the most precious thing that any child could ever have: she prayed for me out loud, and I did this earlier today and I love doing it because it just brings her here. She'd throw her hands up like this, and say, “Oh Lord, please let me live long enough to see this child marry a good man and make something of herself.” 

Well, because she prayed, I did too. And I prayed, “Oh Lord, please send me someone to love me. I want two girls and two boys, and I want my own house.” 

I prayed specifically for just what I wanted. Guess what? I pretty much got it. Do you know that by the time that I was 22 years old, I had four children. We had four children. We had our first home in the suburbs, and Jerry came from this tiny little house in Philadelphia. We married with zero. All right, but we had lots of love. By the time we were 22, we had the four children, but God, he's very wise, you know, he gave us three sons and one daughter. Our daughter talks as fast as I do and has as much to say as I do. So, there were two very talkative women in that house. And then actually, the guys aren't so bad. Oh, we only have one quiet child, that's Miles. Who I think some of you've heard speak. He was our quiet son. 

So, God is wise. That's what he gave us. And my aunt lived to see all of this happen, and I have to tell you a cute story about her. Once after having Miles, we had gone on vacation on Cape Cod. And she came to take care of me, and she wore her uniform. She was in a white uniform the whole time taking care of me. Isn’t that something? 

You know, but she was a product of where she's come from and her own experiences. Her name was Alma, and she never liked her name. So I named her Aunt Odessa in my book. Now Aunt Alma worked all week long. Saturday was cleaning day. I didn't like Saturdays much when I was a kid, except when she let me go to the picture show, the moving picture show. But Sunday was our Sunday to just unite and do things together. Always started with church. We always had to go to church, went to Sunday school. We went to church. We ate at the church often times, and then afterwards, we'd have an outing, and I had a favorite place that I love to go. It was the train station. North Philadelphia station in Philadelphia. So she’d take me there, and we sit and watch the trains pass through, and she would share stories with me. 

Now, my writing voice comes from hearing Southern relatives in that rooming house that she had for those first eight years of my life, and of course, living with her. For just a few minutes, I want you to hear the gift of her voice that she gave to me. And this is from my story Back Home, and it was in this story that I found my writing voice: 

Ernestine recognized Uncle June Avery right away. She remembered Mama saying, "He'll probably bring you flowers." He also had the same sparkling eyes and apple-dumpling cheeks as Grandmama Zulah in Mama's old photograph. He was waiting on the platform as the Silver Star slowly pulled into Robeson County Depot. When he caught a glimpse of Ernestine peering through the window, his face lit up in a broad smile. Ernestine smiled back. 

"Uncle June! she cried, waving to her great-uncle. Then she straightened her new organdy pinafore, grabbed her satchel, and hurried to the exit. Her legs felt wobbly from the long train ride south. But that didn't bother Ernestine Avery Powell. She was in Lumberton, North Carolina--the place where she was born--for the first time in her memory.

"Hey, Ernestine!" said Uncle June, lifting her satchel. "I knew right off it was you. I do declare,” he exclaimed, "if you don't favor my older sister Zulah when she was a girl.”

Ernestine felt warm inside. I look like Grandmama! she thought. 

"I picked these here flowers for you," he said, "fresh this morning from my garden.”

"Thank you, Uncle June. It was real nice of you and Aunt Beula to invite me."

“Well,” he said, "we think it only fitting that you get to know your kinfolk. Was the train ride to your liking?"

"Oh, yes! Ernestine cried.

“Come on,” said Uncle June. “My truck is right out front. Wait ‘til your Aunt Beula and cousin Jack see you.”

“Well, why didn't Jack come with you?” asked Ernestine. 

“Well,” said Uncle June, “Jack had his mind set on riding with me today, but his new kid was born this morning.”

“Well, I know all about Jack and his goats. Aunt Beula told us in her letters.” I hope Jack will like me, she thought. 

Uncle June walked up to an old truck. “Oh, Lizzy!” Ernestine shouted, jumping up and down, and dancing all around it. 

“Mommy used to ride to the schoolhouse in the back of this pickup truck, didn’t she, Uncle June? 

“Everyday,” he replied. Earnestine’s eyes lit up. 

“May I ride in the back, too?” she asked.

Uncle June laughs: “I think, I think you best wait, and change out of them fancy clothes, first.”

She climbed right on to the front seat. 

“Is it a long ride to the farm, Uncle June?”

“We’re just a few miles down Sandy Bottom,” he said, pulling onto the road. 

Now while they rode along, Ernestine studied the green countryside. 

“It's so quiet here,” she said, “not anything like the city.” 

“Never did take the city life myself,” Uncle June responded, “After your folks moved up north, we paid you all a visit. You and Jack were still babies then.” 

He pulled into a long driveway and turned the engine off. 

Ernestine looked up at the old wooden farmhouse, then jumped down onto the soft ground, pulled off her shoes and wiggled her toes in the warm North Carolina sand. “I’m here!” she shouted happily. When Aunt Beula saw Ernestine dressed in her fancy frock, carrying her flowers in one hand and her shoes in the other, she laughed until the tears flowed. 

[00:30:41] “How I wish your Grandmama Zulah could see you today, Ernestine,” said Aunt Beula, “Zulah never did take to wearin’ no shoes. Come here child!” She said, “Give your Aunt Beula some sugar.”

That’s just a little bit of it. 

[applause]

Thank you. I started writing at age 48. My husband tried for many years to convince me to write. I didn't think I could write. I knew I could tell a good story. When our first grandchild was born, whose name happens to be Gloria, and you will find her in this book a lot, she reminds me a lot of myself as a child.

When she was born, I decided I was going to write about her because at that time, I was a milliner, searching for what I really wanted to do. I used to make ladies hats, and I had a hat shop, and I closed it when she was born because my daughter went through a divorce. Remember that same daughter that I made the phone call about, she went through a divorce. And so, she came to live with us–with Gloria who was just an infant. And, Gloria just right away fell in love with the hats. She thought they all belonged to her. She loved for people to come to the house. I closed up my shop and moved my shop into the house. 

She loved for them to come in and try the hats on, but Lord, and lo and behold, if anyone were to buy a hat and start for the door, she’d fall out. Well, this grandmother thought that was just the cutest thing. I must write about it. So I wrote a story about it and submitted it to a publisher. They said, “Gloria, you write beautifully, but you have to find a writing voice. Every writer must do that.” 

She did not tell me how to find the writing voice, or where to go for one. Okay? 

Well, I'm a praying woman who prays about everything. Okay? Here's what happened. God answered. And this is when I would say, I really, my eyes were open to how miracles were happening all around me. They had always been happening. I just didn't know, I didn't see them. I was blind, spiritually blind. 

What happened is Jerry's invited to speak in North Carolina. And while he was there, at North Carolina Central, he mentioned to the audience that his wife is from Lumberton. There was a gentleman there who came to him and said, “You know, I'm from Lumberton. What's your wife's family name?” 

Turned out to be my first cousin. We're having a family reunion. The last time that I've been there, I was eight years old. Now, I am 48 years old. Because of that divorce and no contact, I just had my own family. I wasn’t even thinking about going back, you really need to go back and find out your roots. Wasn't even thinking about it. But God fixed it. I went to that family reunion, and I went to that family reunion with the notebook. I had one out here, or a journal. 

And I started interviewing people and taking down information, and I found out something that was the most wonderful thing. When I was in school and had to change schools, I got in a lot of trouble in the fifth grade for talking out of turn. I had a lot to say. I was also trying to make friends in the class, and the kids were giving me a hard time. That was another thing. I was trying to fit in. 

So my fifth grade teacher thought that I was a real brat, and I didn't do well. And when I, my sixth grade teacher took the time to go back and look in my records, and she discovered that I had been an excellent outstanding student. They used to give O’s for outstanding in those days. S for satisfactory. O for outstanding. U, I had made a lot of use in the fifth grade. Okay. She found out what had happened. She found out my family history about me losing my mom. The change of neighborhoods that I was a latchkey child, home alone all the time, and she took me aside, and she hugged me. I wasn't getting any hugs. She hugged me. And she said to me, “Gloria, you are gifted. You have a lot of talents, and your voice is a talent, but you must learn to control your talking.” 

Then she gave me a seat right next to her desk. 

[laughter]

And I loved it, and I was good, and my grades went up, and it was a wonderful time. I never forgot it. So, for those of you who are going to be teaching, do not be afraid to hug your students. Do not be afraid to find out their backgrounds because so many children are coming from homes where there's a lot of pain. Or an empty, it where it's empty, there's no one there. 

I was alone a lot growing up. Now, as sad as it sounds I'm also alone on the road a lot traveling as far as another physical person, but I'm not alone. I didn't know the Holy Spirit was there with me when I was in that house, but the Holy Spirit was there. I know it now. So and so I really know that my steps are ordered. So that's how I started with my writing career. 

Then I had a seven-year gap between that second book and this book. When I went to the family reunion, I discovered some wonderful things. I found out that I had seven Baptist preachers on my mother's side of the family. I found out there were 27 school teachers on my mother's side of the family. And I found out that there were four lawyers on that side of the family. 

Who can tell me, who can put on your thinking cap, and tell me what all these people have in common. 

No, I heard it back there. 

[00:35:21] Talking! Talking! They use their voices to communicate. I had arrived. That's why I talk so much. It really is a gift. And that's one thing that I've never…I can get up and make a speech at any time. It doesn't…I've never been frightened of that. It was just singing that scared me. 

Okay, so I found out that, so you need to know those things. I thought, like, oh, thank you, God now, I understand; it truly is a gift that you want me to use. 

Now, spiritual things were happening in my life. I had a wonderful editor who kept saying, “Gloria, are you writing these things down?” 

I called and said, “Phyllis. Guess what happened?” 

“Are you writing?”

I said,  “They’re in my journal.”

She already knew this was going to be a book, I didn't. I was struggling with the book called Jesse's Tree, which was about my grandfather and great-grandfather who were circuit preachers in North and South Carolina. The open churches in those places by horse and buggy. I went to North Carolina. I found out this many facts and made up this much. 

Did I know that's why I kept getting rejected? Only God knew he was calling me to write only the truth. That's why Jesse's Tree was rejected. And in that writing one night, I was sound asleep. I heard a long sentence from the Lord. At that time, it was the longest thing I've ever heard. It was: “in the forest of your remembrance.” 

It woke me up. I says, “That sounds like a title, Lord.” Let me write it down because if you don't write it down when an idea comes, you're going to either you're going to rewrite it and change it, or you're going to forget it. So what I do is I write it down and put the date, andI went back to bed. And when I looked at in the morning, I wrote down “in the forest of my remembrance.” And I thought, “No, it's your, it’s for the readers because these things are happening in everybody's life.” It's just that people don't realize that it's a gift from the Holy One. 

So, you know, I had this title, but, but what else am I supposed to write? Let me just go back to Jesse’s Tree, hard-headed me. So I went back to Jesse's Tree. It got rejected for the fourth time.

That morning, the next day after that rejection. I got up, and I was on my knees. I get up early every morning to be with the Lord. And I want to go back to that right after I tell this. I'm on my knees. I was crying, “Lord. I don't understand it. How is it that Jesse's Tree–and I know you revealed that story to me–has been rejected four times, and now you give me this title In The Forest of Your Remembrance, and I don't know what to write right. Could you please tell me what to write?” 

All of a sudden, I got this warm feeling, like, get up, sit down in your chair and do what you do every morning, which is close my eyes and just open up the Bible. I opened up to the Hebrew part of the Bible. I opened it up to the Book of Malachi. And Malachi 3:16 was at the top of the page, and you can, I was using what's called a Spirit-Filled Life, New King James Bible. Even when books turn, look, because they're all the same. Right at the top of the left hand side of the page it said…My question was Lord, what am I supposed to write? You've given me this title. Heading is A Book of Remembrance. Scripture: “Then those who fear the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them. So a book of remembrance was written before the Lord, for those who fear Him and meditate upon his name. 

Now, I have Baptist Roots. I'm now in a Congregational Church, which is like a real quiet church, but I have Baptist Roots. I was ready to go, “Hallelujah!” But, my husband was asleep. So I just went, “Hallelujah. Lord. This book is going to get published, isn't it?” And it did. And it came out two weeks after 9/11, this book, and it has a…and the first chapter came off the back of a car. It says, “Arise.” The first chapter is called Arise, and I actually have that here. Let's see if I can find it. Maybe I can use my assistant over here to find find these things for me. Okay? Oh, I just saw it. Could you hold that up for me? 

Because the Lord said to me, “A-B-C. Arise. Arise.” 

Okay. Now, Then another day, I saw believe. That's the B. 

And then He spoke to me and said, “Creator.” 

And listen to this. I'm going to tell the story. That's the Quran, and the prayer from the Creator comes from the Quran. What happened is this. I was resistant. “Lord, I don't know anything about Quran. I've never read one.” 

So, one day, I was speaking at a school in the Bronx, New York. And at lunchtime, the woman came to me and said, “I heard you're very spiritual, and my daughter was hit by a bus this morning. Would you pray for her for me?” 

“Yes, of course, I will.”

So we stopped, and we prayed. And I looked at her, and she had a scarf tied in a triangle like this. And I says, “By any chance, are you Muslim?” 

She says, “Yes, I am.” 

I says, “Uh, oh.” 

As you know, the Lord has revealed to me that I need to use the Quran, and the manuscript on working on. You know, on my way home, I'm going to stop at a bookstore and see if they have the Quran. 

I thought you had to go to a special bookstore. Well, I went into this book store and asked if they have the Quran, and they did. “We have three.” I like that number three, so I went over, and I'm praying in the bookstore silently, “Lord, please reveal to me whetherI’m supposed to use the Quran.” 

[00:40:22] And I reached up and got this one, and I looked down on, and I'm holding it. And I looked down, and there, right there, will you tell them what that is, because they can’t see it. My publisher: Penguin Putnam. I said, “Hallelujah, Lord. I would use the Quran.”

Well, probably stay near me. 

[laughter]

Okay? All right. 

Yellow is the color of hope. I heard it. It woke me up. “Lord, what does that mean?” 

So, I had to think about it. Oh, I know when the winter ends, when the earth first opens up, one of the first flowers up are the forsythia bushes.

All right, the forsythia bushes, and there are yellow crocus, white crocus also, but the yellow flowers reflect the sun. 

So at breakfast, I said to Jerry Pinkney, and I have to tell the truth about my husband, he went from unbelief to disbelief to belief. Okay?

“Jerry, guess what the Lord told me this morning.” 

“What?”

“yellow is the color of hope?” 

“Oh.”

[laughter]

Couple days later, we're on our way to LaGuardia Airport. We're going to Iowa to speak. We got a flat tire right outside of LaGuardia Airport Jersey. 

“Jerry,” I says, “This is a dangerous place. Call 911.” 

Well, I dialed 911. Then I remembered something, we have a service called Triple-A. So I called AAA. 

Now we're waiting and waiting, and no one came. Two lanes to one lane. People are annoyed. They're trying to get around this. They're trying to get to their flights, Jerry looked at his watch and said, “If we don't do something quickly, we're gonna miss our flight, you get out there and direct the traffic and I'm going to change the tire.” 

I go, “Oh God.” Right at that moment, a bright yellow…tow truck pulled up. 

[laughter]

“Look, Jerry! Yellow is the color of Hope.” 

Well, the guy came from Triple-A. He looked at the situation says sorry folks, it's too…

[brief audio cut] 

“And I'm going to get killed out here. I'm gonna have to tell you.”

My husband was like, “Yeah, I knew it.” 

And I'm going, “But Lord, yellow is the color of Hope.”

Right at that moment, a second yellow…a second yellow tow truck pulls up.

[laughter]

A second yellow. Tow truck pulled up. “Look, Jerry! Yellow is the color of hope.” 

This one came from 911. Mr. Triple-A estimates asked Mr. 911 if we'd park, block traffic, change their tire, charged us $35. I kept that primary receipt, okay? And now, we're racing to get to the gate. We got to the gate, everybody's on the plane. We walked on. 

Now, I don't like to be naggy wife. But, I mean, who could resist it? “Didn't I tell you, the Lord said yellow’s the color of hope?”

And now, here I am on the plane, knowing that I had just received another gift, a goodly news telling for the manuscript In the Forest of Your Remembrance. And because I have eyes to see, I'm looking out the window, and on the grounds are large patches of gold and yellow on the ground. And if you've read this book, please don't raise your hand because I want one of you to guess what I saw. I’m going to give you some clues. What I saw on the ground is yellow. You can see it anytime of year–them any time of year. You can see them in almost every city and town in America, maybe every city and town in America. Not any time of year, not dandelions. Any time of year. Can anyone guess? 

Take it out. Yes. 

School bus. Who rides a school bus? What are children? Hope. 

Once that happened, I realized something. Yellow has always played a major role in my life. My first children's book, look what she's wearing. This story was given to me around year, around 2000, or maybe 1999. This book came out in 1992.

The last dress my mom gave me, she was a seamstress, was a yellow pinafore. I told Jerry. I only had a few things that belong to her, and one was her yellow suit because it was her favorite color. Yellow has always been a color of hope. And, certainly you all know Tie a Yellow Ribbon, Round the Ole.

Yellow has always been a color of hope. We have yellow ribbons on the back of our cars, hoping that the war is going to end soon. And the young men and women are going to come home safe, don’t we? Yellow has always been a color of hope, right? 

So and oh, and one more thing. I have a studio, hold that up. Yeah. And my studio that sits in the woods behind my house is called Sunflower. And the day that was given to me, I had had sunflowers several years at that time. But did I know that yellow was the color of hope then? Probably. Somehow, I knew it. But I didn't, you know, I hadn't realized it. 

[00:44:43] All right. So, I wanted to say that to you, and I want to go on to now. Let's see, this one, about signs. How many have you have ever seen this sign? Seen this truck? Has anybody seen this truck before? All right. It's guaranteed overnight delivery. The first time I really noticed that truck, I was in Washington. I was lost. I was waiting for Jerry. It was bitter cold. I was supposed to meet him because he was going to be going over to be sworn in by Justice…what's-her-name…who swore you in, Jerry. Sandra Day O'Connor. That day for the National Council of the Arts. And I couldn't find him, and I was so cold. And all of a sudden, that truck went by. And there it is going by, and I had my camera because the Lord tells me to have a camera, and I took that picture. And a taxi pulled up, and someone got out and the Lord said, “Go get in that taxi.” I ran over, and I got in that taxi. 

I got over to the courthouse, and there's these long lines: “What do I do now, Lord?” 

“Go up there and speak to the guard.” 

I went to the [guard]: “Excuse me. I'm supposed to be my husband.”

“Oh, come right in.” 

We passed all the people, took me in. “Have you had lunch?” Took me to a lunch room. When Jerry got there, there I was sitting. One the first people sitting there. 

Directed ordered steps. God will help you do anything you want to do. It all depends on you, how much time, and that's the next thing I want to get…

One of the key thins…It's in there, in the bottom. Time. T-I-M-E. 

This is a memory box. I use it when teaching, and with students, you see that word? It says, “Yes.” Yes, you have a gift. Yes, you have a helper. You got to believe it. Oh, there's a bigger one. 

[laughter]

There you go. 

Time. You have to put time in. When you meet somebody that you really like, say the person that you end up marrying. What do you do? You spend time with them. You try to spend quality time. Very important. I had made this vow that I would get up every morning, because I knew this, and meet the Lord at six o'clock. 

One morning, I was sound asleep and a little nudge came. Although I look at the clock; it’s 5 o’clock: “Oh, Lord. It's 5:00. I'll get, I'll get up, just get some more sleep.”

And this is what I heard, “Get up now, and abase yourself.”

I said, “What is that?” I'm going to get the dictionary. I got out of the bed, and I got the dictionary. Now, I have read the entire Bible more than once but I've just must’ve been going right over the word abase in the Old King James. It means humble yourself before a king. To humble yourself. 

So after reading this, I said, “But Lord, I get up every morning at 6:00 just to be with you and to read the Bible and to sing and praise you.”

And the answer came back: “You get up when you feel like it. I want you to get up when you don’t feel like it.” 

That is a true abasing. 

So the Lord wakes me up, all kinds of times, and I try to get up all the time. Now, when it gets light early in the morning, it's easy, but when it's winter, and it is cold and dark, it is hard, but that's really a true abasing. I get up to be with the Lord, and I have heard a lot from Him. And I don't know all the things He’s going to say to me, but I did make a copy of a few things. 

One day, He said to me “circumspection.” Had to tell you, I didn't know what it meant. So again, I had to hit the dictionary, and it said, “heed caution, wariness, care, prudence, watchful, and careful.”

Another time, He said take a picture of a picture, and that's connected to a story, and I didn't realize it's actually the title, but I told this story yesterday. I had to say, another good thing to do, a wonderful thing in your relationship with the Lord is t0 fast. Fast and pray at times. I decided in this fast I would give up something that I love. I love tea. I drink a lot of tea all day long. So I decided I would not have any tea, instead, I would just drin what I had at lunch today, or this morning, lemon and water. 

Well, I was on a trip where they put me in this beautiful two-room suite. When I walked into the suite, there in front of me, when I'm on this fast, is this most beautiful tea set with every kind of tea you could name. And I looked at that tea set, I said, “Lord, I know you would not put me in this room with all this tea, knowing how I love tea and want me to hold that fast.” 

So what I'm going to do is, I'm just going to go in this room and unpack. I'm thinking, and then I’ll go out and brew some tea. I went into the bedroom, and I'm sorry I don't have that photograph with me, but there over the bed was a big painting, is a painting of a glass cup, a glass saucer with one yellow lemon in it. 

[laughter]

“All right, I'll get you. I’ll hold that fast. I am not going to do that. 

Alright, so I took a picture of the picture. Okay? 

This one says, Thus, says the Holy Spirit of the Living God. This was 3201. My writing had to blow it up. I'm writing in the dark, you have to understand, I am working on you.

He's working on all of us. 

And this is a good one. 1:22 a.m: Gloria. God says to get up, to wake up. Gloria, God says to wake up. 

Now, that means that someone else is speaking. It kind of used to worry me. You'd hear about people who hear voices. Why wouldn't you hear voices? In the Bible, sometimes Gabriel spoke, right? Sometimes a God would send a prophet. And other times, God himself spoke. 

[00:50:03] Three people make voices. Three forces are voices. Yes, you will hear the voices, but someone once said to me, and it was a minister, she says, “Gloria, God isn’t the only voice that you're hearing.”

I got very upset with her at the time, but she really was right. But what I want to say to her, and I said to her later, I said. “Linda, he's the only one I'm really listening to, and I can tell the difference.” 

Sometimes, if you, if you hear something, and you can't find it in your book and the Holy Word, if it isn't a good thing, if it isn’t about love, it isn't God. I've learned that. 

Often another way that something will happen to me, I’ll find myself sometimes writing on top of my writing. I don't even try to read it. I’ll throw it away. Yeah, you know, some of it I don't think would let me write on top of the writing if it again, if it was coming from the Lord. 

So I am saying this to you. You all have this gift. It all depends on how much you want to put into that relationship. When I started a new church, they didn't have a prayer meeting. The Lord told me to start a prayer meeting. I called it Sweet Hour of Prayer, and it was on Wednesday night. Well, nobody much was coming, and the choir meets on Thursday. So Gloria decided, without asking God, to change it to Thursday night. 

Alright, so, what happens the following week I was going away. I forgot that I had changed it, and there I am at the church on Wednesday night, and no one showed up. So my minister’s son walks by, and I said to him, “Seth. Where's your daddy?” 

He says, “My dad's out of town.” 

“How could your dad be out of town? We have Sweet Hour of Prayer tonight. 

So, he said, “Mrs. P., I have the key.”

So he went and got the key for me. And just as I was getting out of the car, the Carillon above the church started playing a song, it was “Sweet Hour of Prayer.” Do any of you know that song? Was playing “Sweet Hour of Prayer.” 

“Oh my God, it's tomorrow night.”

It was Thursday night. I says, “This is Wednesday night, and it's playing on Wednesday. Let's go back to Wednesday.” 

So I changed it back to Wednesday again. And the first time we went to Sweet Hour of Prayer, my book was not out. My minister knew nothing about me and the color yellow. And he set up chairs, the chairs were yellow. 

Something I said I wanted to share with you. Oh, wait a minute. I'm going to see which one there's so many. I'm trying to think, which one I would like to share with you. Okay, this one. 

There are so many gifts that we all have. We don't even know how many gifts we have that are untapped. We have a Holy One who wants us to continue to grow and step up a level higher every day of our lives. I started off as a mother, first as their mother, and as Jerry's assistant, as his agent, for a while. Searching more of myself, I became a milliner. I became a silversmith, searching for myself. The day I found the courage to start writing and to really listen to see how God was leading me. I just love writing. I love it, and I especially love writing about God and speaking about God. 

And so then he told me to start taking photographs. Well, he won't let me use a fancy camera. Jerry bought me a fancy camera, took it out the first time, dropped it in the snow bank, it broke. He sent it back to the manufacturer, came home, took it out of the box, handed it to me, I dropped it, and it broke. 

Why can I only use this or Polaroid? Because God does not want me to take pictures that I can fool with. And here, I finish a quarter of it, right? Okay. 

All right, the most important story in this book, In the Forest. One day, I was in a supermarket. There was a lady in line, and she's complaining about feeling really sick. One thing the Lord has called me to do is pray for people, to help them. I started silently praying for her. – Oh incidentally, that little girl recovered. I forgot to tell you that. Hit by the bus. She recovered. Perfectly. Whole. – All right. So, this lady was complaining, and I started praying for her. She got louder, telling the cashier how badly it was. So I asked the Lord if I should say something to her. I said, “Excuse me. I overheard you talking about your illness, and I would like to tell you that in the town of Croton, there is a Catholic Church, which is celebrating Jubilee 2000, the Millennium year. And they have this big welcoming banner up. And every time I go in their sanctuary, something miraculous happens. A lot of things have happened to me in the Catholic Church. Okay, and maybe you ought to, maybe you might want to go there for healing,” I said to her. 

She says, “Well, I'm Jewish. Can I go in there?”

As you know, “I'm Baptist, and I go in there.”

So she said…[laughter] I know, I tried to change it to, I'm African-American in the rewriting of the book, but the Lord said, no, that's not what you said. You must only write the truth. 

So what I said was okay, I’m Baptist. 

So anyway, so we said goodbye. A few days later, I was coming from New York City. Jesse's Tree has just been rejected for the fourth time. I'm sorry third time, was the third time. I'm at the light. I'm crying “Lord, how can this happen?” 

And He spoke, He said, “Go find the chapel.” 

I made to turn, I started down the road because I knew there was a church about a mile down. And they're on my left, I saw this beautiful icon of Christ with his arms basking in the sun. All right? And a sign saying “Chapel of the Good Shepherd” and a place to make a U-turn. I made my U-turn and parked and went in with my head lowered, and I got down on my knees, and I prayed: “Lord. I don't know why you've told me to come here, but here I am. And in the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.” 

Finish that prayer. I got up and looked at the altar, and can you see what was on the altar. Right in that first row, would you read what that says on that altar? Nice and loud. It says, “Gloria.”

[00:55:08] And I went, “Wow, Lord. I've never seen Gloria in the Baptist Church on the altar before. What are you teaching me?”

So I sat there a little while. Oh, I know what it is. So, I went to get Gloria, my granddaughter from school. Gloria got in the car, went to sleep. We arrived at the chapel. She was 14. Tall. Reaches the door, looks through the glass and goes, “It says Gloria in there!” 

I think, Lord how did she see it? 

Let's go in there. So Gloria and I went to the chapel, just the two of us, and there with the Holy Spirit, behind that altar is this stained-glass window. 

Whoops. That stained-glass window with Christ in it. Seven doves and two angels. The doves around the side. The angels are at the bottom. Okay?

Now, when we finish praying, we went outside and read the prayer that's on the beneath the icon, which says, “Give us the heart that Christ gave to love everybody. One people, one God, everybody.” 

We read that out loud to each other. We got in the car, and she said to me, “Mum-mum, I'm gonna ask you a question.” 

I said, “What is the question?” 

“That Gloria up there on the altar, was that about you or me?”

I said, “Gloria, I am guilty.” I said, “When I first looked up, there I was like oh, my name's up there.” 

I said, “Do you remember what our name means?”

“Oh, yes. That means praise God. Glorify God.” 

I said, “That's right, Gloria” 

And I said, “You know, that manuscript has seven Gloria's in it. I finally realized what God is saying, this is not about you. This is about me. I have called you to glorify me.” 

So I started going to the chapel over the year. And at the end of the year, the Lord spoke one day, and that's when he first told me to take pictures, get a camera and go to the chapel, I will give you pictures. 

I went to the chapel. There was a green cloth out. Second visit, green. The third time I went, it was up again, and I had a Polaroid with me, and I also had a throwaway camera, and we're going to just take this out like this. Let's see it a little better. And that's the picture the Lord gave me of this window. 

Anybody wants to come over here on the table. You can come look at it. I have many pictures the Lord has given me since then, but that was the first one, and I call it a holy picture. 

Just recently I was visiting Philadelphia because the Lord told me to go see my, I had a stepfather for a very short time before my mom was killed, and he was a wonderful man. The woman who married a wonderful woman. And the Lord sent me to see her. And I went to see her. And that day, when we came out of the restaurant from having lunch. What did I see but this? 

She didn't even see it. And when I stopped to take the second picture, I turned around and who was coming out, but the waiter looking for me because I had left my brand new glasses in there. If I hadn't stopped to take the picture, I would have been gone to the turnpike to go home.

Alright now, questions. Anybody have a few questions for me? Questions, questions. Oh, I know. You must have a lots of questions. 

“Mrs. Pinkney.” I'll tell you one that I was speaking at a church recently, and the young man said, “Mrs. Pinkney, do you think you've arrived?” 

“No, I have not. I have not arrived.” 

You know what my life is like, I'm going to show you. It's like this photograph the Lord gave me. And where am I? I'm down here. 

There's so much I don't know. I just came here to tell you what I've learned. There's much I don't know. And if you have any questions or you have about God, ask Him. All you have to do is ask. This is about your own one-on-one relationship. He's called and, just one second, He has called me to do some things, but He also has a special plan just for you. I don't know what it is. And the only way you're going to find that is ask Him. Ask Him to make it clear. Wait for the answer to come. If you're not sure, ask them to show you again, and he will do it. 

It's all about how much you put into it and how much time and faith and belief. And prayer is the key. Praying is very important because that's communicating and listening and silent time. 

And for women, I'm going to tell you something. This is written in the Bible, and it's there. It's in Corinthians that a woman should not pray or prophesied without her hair being covered because your hair is your glory, and we want to glorify God. Will God bless you without your hair being covered, of course. Otherwise the sun couldn't shine. Of course, He will. I'm talking about intimacy, close-knit relationships. Like how you used to want to please your parents when you wanted something? You want to be a pleasing child in God's eyes. We are children every day of our lives. We are all children. Not childish. Childlike.

Heidi Groenboom: Rewrite Radio is a production of the Calvin Center for Faith and Writing, located on the campus of Calvin University in Grand Rapids, MI. You can find more information about the Center, our initiatives, and our signature event, the Festival of Faith & Writing, online at CCFW.calvin.edu and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @CCFWgr. You can also subscribe to Rewrite Radio on iTunes, Spotify, and SoundCloud. Thanks so much for listening, and stay tuned for more from our archives.