Robin Roberts: A Simple Child of God
By Scott Ross and Renelle Richardson
The 700 Club
Every weekday morning, millions wake up to the voice of Robin Roberts.
And now, the co-host of Good Morning America shares the seven keys that led her to a life of success in her book, From the Heart. I met up with Robin at the Christian Cultural Center in New York.
Scott Ross: This is going to be fun because you generally ask the questions.
Robin Roberts: Fun for you. I’m like …ahhh... I’m more comfortable sitting where you are.
Scott: Everything you’ve done in life, to date…long list of accomplishments …now you write a book?
Robin: How’d that happen?
Scott: I don’t know. I’m here to ask you!
Robin was candid about the events that led her to put her thoughts on paper.
Robin: Hurricane Katrina literally came blowing through my life. My father had passed away about ten months before that so I was already trying to find my way. Then Katrina hits, three family member’s homes were virtually destroyed. It was my home. So I’m down there in that area and I just started keeping a journal and I kept reminding myself of the rules and principles that got me out of the feelings I had at that time. And that’s how innocently it began by just trying to find my way because my faith was wavering. My foundation I felt was crumbling, and I wanted to get back to basics.
But as Robin leaned on her faith throughout her career, she realized that she was keeping people at bay.
Scott: So have you lost sight of family and friends since you’ve become Robin Roberts of Good Morning America?
Robin: I did along the way. I was so focused, and some would say obsessed with my career and getting to a certain point that I blocked people out. I blocked loved ones out, and without them it’s all a facade. Without them there to share it and to help you, it’s all meaningless.
Scott: And what about the faith factor?
Robin: When people say to me, “What’s the secret of my success?” (I say) “Being the child of Lawrence and Lucy Marion Roberts.” They instilled in me a deep faith. We went to church. It’s a Sunday morning as we’re doing this and it brings back such wonderful memories. Mama making pancakes. We’re getting ready for church and she’s playing the piano. As I moved as an adult from town to town, the first thing I did was join a church. And all four of their children are college educated, we’ve all achieved and reached certain levels of success. But my Mama says what brings her the greatest joy is when someone says, “Hey, I saw your child in church today.” That’s what brings her joy. That’s what has been instilled in all the Roberts children.
But for the most part, this journalist turned TV personality has always considered her faith a private matter.
Scott: Is it more than church for you? Is there a God relationship, a Christ relationship? We get in to political correct stuff here with all the people and all their gods, but you’re a well-known person now so how does that work for you?
Robin: That’s a fair question. It’s one that I really struggled with early on in my career as a journalist. You’re not really supposed to let people know that. That’s private. I never force it on anybody. I never let it be a part of any story I’m doing…unless the story is personal. We did a story seven years ago about how we start our day. Something as innocent as that. People wanted to know what time we get up…what do we do…our morning routine. My routine consists of – where ever I am – saying the prayer of protection: “The light of God surrounds me. The love of God enfolds me. The power of God protects me. The presence of God watches over me. Wherever I am, God is.” So I say this and I say to the producer, “This is never going to see the light of day. They’re going to cut this out before it ever airs.” But the producer saw me saying this in my home and he said, “That was authentic. You weren’t faking it. That’s something that you really do.” We included it in the piece; seven years ago we did this. And I say to you, not a week has gone by that ABC or myself has not received a request for that prayer.
In fact, now that she’s gone public with her Christian faith, she’s receiving encouragement from her fans.
Robin: I love it when I’m in the studio and we have a studio audience and someone will tug on my shoulder when we have a commercial break and say, “God bless you.” Almost like (whispering) “Hey, God bless you I’m a Believer too, got it?”
I love it when people say they see the light shining through me. I don’t have to get on a soapbox. I’m not going to preach to people. I’m not going to force my beliefs on them. But if they do see something, great, so be it.
The power of dreaming big rings true from the heart.
Robin: God has dreams bigger that I could ever dream for myself. I had dinner with the Queen of England at the White House!
Scott: So where do you go from the Queen?
Robin: Well, I’m talking to you, Scott! That’s pretty good!
Robin: Part of the reason why I wrote this book was to strip away everything for me. If you strip everything away…if you strip away my college degree and my awards, and who I am and all that, it comes down to being a simple child of God. That’s who I am.
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