Straight from a Co-Labouring Heart
By Lisa Elliott
I have a very important announcement to make. You don’t want to miss it! I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally have the opportunity to share it with you all. I’ve been holding myself back, waiting for the right timing. And, today the timing seems right to let you know that… I’m expecting!
Now, before you get too wound up. This baby I’m expecting is not a human being. No, it’s not an alien either! Rather, it’s another book! It was conceived in my heart long ago. I’ve had it incubating for several years, in fact.
COVID seclusion and social-isolation allowed me the perfect conditions and fertile soil to nurture this new life growing within me. In the case that you’re wondering, I don’t have my exact due date quite yet. But you can be sure that you will be one of the first to know when it arrives!
For now I must endure the labour and prepare for its delivery. Decisions must be made about things like picking out a name and decorating the nursery. While all the preparations take place, it’s important that I provide it with all the health and strength I can offer it until it’s finally birthed.
If you’ve ever published a book, you’ll know exactly what I mean by using this analogy: conception, pregnancy, labour, and delivery. It’s all part of the process.
When a thought is conceived in an author’s heart, like mine, it immediately feels alive. You feel it growing within you. It begins to take on a life of its own. You awaken in the middle of the night with thoughts you have to write down immediately before you forget them. Your waking hours are consumed with how this baby could look and what it will be when it grows up.
As you nurture it and it grows from a place deep within you, so too does the anticipation of the day you’ll hold it in your hands. You can’t wait to share it with others. You wonder where it will go. You dream about the lives it will touch.
One day you catch an ultrasound glimpse of what it will look like; a computed image of the cover and the formatting of the interior design. Finally, when that hard copy is placed in your hands for the first time, your breath catches in your throat. There’s something very special that takes place in your heart. It’s a bond like none other you’ve ever experienced.
I remember experiencing the urge to hug the Purolator delivery man when he arrived on my doorstep with the first copy of my first book, The Ben Ripple: Choosing to Live through Loss with Purpose and he placed it in my hands. After the Purolator man left, I anxiously unwrapped it and savoured the unforgettable moment. I gazed upon the cover, so well representing the impact of my deceased son, Ben. So much life and hope depicted by one simple image. I took it all in. A simple heart-shaped droplet descending into ripples that sprung up again, forming a crown. It gave me the hope of life after death and reminded me of the eternal impact one single life could have for eternity’s sake. Taking the tiny bundle, I held it close to my heart and wept.
Thankfully I didn’t have to go through all of this process alone. I had a midwife. The Word Alive Press team co-laboured with me. Bringing my son to life in a way I could never have imagined. The Lord put them on my path to co-labour with me, before I even knew I had a book in me. They helped me produce what many around the world now hold in their very hands.
Again, a couple years later they helped to give birth to my second baby, Dancing in the Rain: One Family’s Journey through Grief and Loss. And, just when I thought I could never love another, here we are for round three!
It’s hard to imagine that I’ve had the joy and privilege of co-labouring with the team at Word Alive Press for over a decade. Since our partnership began, I’d say that it’s turned into more of a “heart-ner-ship”. Especially once they opened the door for these monthly blogs, birthed Straight from the Heart.
Perhaps you have a story in you, just waiting to be birthed? If so, allow me to plant a seed to encourage you to join hands and hearts with the team at Word Alive Press.
So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building (1 Corinthians 3:7-9).
About this Contributor:
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple and Dancing in the Rain. Additionally, she has written articles for Just Between Us Magazine and devotionals for theStory. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (three on earth, one in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, ON, Canada.