DANVILLE — For the first five decades of her life, Dolly Redden wore many masks — as the perfect wife, mother, club member and churchgoer. Only she knew the guilt and deceit beneath the masks.
After reluctantly getting involved in a Bible study group, she began to feel the masks fall away. Finally, at age 53, she knelt in a darkened closet and cried out to God for forgiveness.
For the next 40 years, she would keep a journal of her thoughts, as well as the voice of the Holy Spirit, which she heard inside her consciousness.
“All through it, the Lord talks to me about singing,” she said.
In her first book, “Songs I Must Sing,” the 92-year-old Redden shares those writings and chronicles how her life has changed since that day in 1974 when she sought forgiveness.
She will sign copies of the 96-page paperback from 1-3 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Danville Public Library and starting at 1 p.m. Aug. 31 at Raynbow Antiques, 111 S. Chicago, Rossville.
Redden said the voice of the spirit urged her to put her writings into a book, and it took her a year to sort through her notes. “I felt a strong leading of the spirit that I should put the book together for my children and grandchildren,” she recalled. At the time, she was 91.
Last September, her granddaughter, Army Capt. Meredith Morris had a similar inspiration to help her grandmother publish the book. Morris, who was serving in Afghanistan at the time, found a publisher and edited the book.
Redden finished writing the book before Christmas.
“I don’t want to toot my own horn,” she said, instead giving God the credit.
“I wanted to show people who might be seeking or are troubled, the love of God. My goal is that someone out there will relate to part of my testimony.”