I thought this Virtual Blog Book Tour was appropriate today, given recent events. My friend, Vicky was on life support ten days ago and survived, by the grace of God, a massive heart/liver/lung failure, defeating all odds. She walked out of the hospital yesterday, all organs miraculously normal. Doctor’s are baffled and have no answers, except one doctor who said, “God gave her a heart transplant.”
Today on my blog, Author Elizabeth Chalker, one who is also fighting to defeat her physical illness, shares about her new book, HANGING ON. Please check out her book and interview below, and please offer prayers for her full recovery.
Virtual Book Tour for Elizabeth Chalker
About the Book
Foreword by Pastor Charles Carrin and Dr. Corey Cameron
You—one person—an individual, can literally change this whole world with love. By focusing on love, making a choice to love, feeding all that is positive, good, and of the light with exuberance and abundance instead of feeding the negative and evil things of the darkness. You can literally change the world and yourself. One relationship–one interaction–one decision at a time.
If you are experiencing the dark night of the soul in affliction year after year, it will present you, as it has me, with opportunities not found in most other life circumstances.
This is a life story of being in the fire, where I currently remain, where my heart for the Lord has become increasingly insatiable. A deepened intimacy has developed and continues to grow even through this very moment, and will continue beyond. As you read, this is my hope and prayer for you as well.
About The Author
Elizabeth Chalker is still in the furnace of life’s’ calamities and fighting the good fight of faith and endurance, keeping her eyes on the prize of heaven. Before serious, physical illness devastated her body, Elizabeth was on the fast track as a successful psychologist and addictions specialist, working with violent juvenile offenders and their families, near completion of her third graduate degree. Her life is a testimony of faith that is steadfast and remains no matter the seemingly dark, unjust, and treacherous circumstances of life. She resides in Lighthouse Point, Florida. Elizabeth continues to minister to those in need and aspires to show God’s glory through every breath she takes.
This is a real life story of being in the fire, where I currently remain, where my heart for the Lord has become increasingly insatiable. A deepened intimacy has developed and continues to grow even through this very moment, and will continue beyond. As you read, this is my hope and prayer for you as well. ~ Elizabeth
Q: What motivated you to begin writing?
A: I began writing as a catharsis to everyday life. Also, as an avenue to share raw insights, emotion, and to inspire and encourage others.
Q: What is your favorite genre to write? Why?
A: My favorite genre to write is non-fiction. I believe there is more than enough to share about real life, our raw human expressions and dealings, events that happen in life, ponderings of our hearts and minds, to fill volumes without the necessity of fantasy. Our authentic lives hold many and continuous unfolding stories that we each want to share, and that we desire to have heard. When we share from an altruistic place, we make ourselves more vulnerable and hence, relatable to others. Such is an opportunity to connect with each other and share in all of the stories life affords.
My personal favorite subject in non-fiction is of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. He is my compass in life and my core. From this place, I exist and all of life is staged upon this foundation. Fiction has its place of course; I personally have the drive to write non-fiction.
Q: How have other jobs and life experiences influenced your writing?
A: Other jobs and life experiences have largely influenced my writing. Currently, I am in the challenge of a life-time in enduring and persevering through serious physical illness that has no cure in the natural and is potentially fatal, yet causes a very slow, agonizing death rather than a relatively quick demise.
Before becoming debilitated to the point of being mostly bed-ridden, I worked as a Psychologist in the fields of Forensic and Sports psychology. My work was with violent juvenile offenders and their families. Additionally, I worked with athletes helping them hone their skills and on and off the playing fields. [I helped] them to raise their confidence and play whatever sport it was, with passion rather than intensity, a life skill as well.
Working in both arenas afforded me the opportunity to see diverse aspects of society and opened my eyes to the deep need we all have to be loved, to be understood, to be cared about. No matter the population, whether gifted athletes or youth who lived in battlefields and committed violent crimes as a means to survive…the core need of each is the same.
Nevertheless, writing with different lenses; the lenses of talented athletes or that of sitting in a court room testifying on behalf of a teenager who has never known the love of another human… inspiration and self-analysis presents in profoundly deep measure.
Having serious physical disease with no cure, no answers and no means to receive necessary medical treatment, has deepened my relationship with God and the intimacy in relationship. Such has poured out and into my other relationships and given me a deeper compassion for individuals. Living with these diseases, where I am not able to simply think them away or ‘push through’ as if they did not exist, has truly humbled me and deepened my character as a person, all of which is reflected in my writing and influences the perspective I have on the world around me.
Q: What is the aim of Hanging On by the Scratch Marks My Nails Left Behind (Raw Faith)?
A: I have several aims of my book. One is to inspire individuals to self-examine and find their core; to realize that we are all children of God and therefore, one in Him. We tend to see as if from under a quilt as it is being made, where all that is seen is a bunch of haphazard threads from our view. God’s view is from above where everything comes together and forms a beautiful and complete picture. Another aim is to encourage individuals to seek love and extend love.
One of the most important aims of the book is to strengthen anyone who reads it, to cause him/her to embrace all of who he/she is, the parts we deem ‘dark’ and unacceptable as well as the parts we see as praiseworthy and pleasant.
Most importantly, my hope is that the reader will embrace intimacy with God and realize that raw expression of heart, no matter how unacceptable to the world, is honorable in the eyes of God and welcomed.
We live in a world where appearances are most important and true character; integrity, honesty, ethics, service…are balked at and mocked in exchange for superficial ‘wealth’ that only breeds hate and egocentricity. I pray that the God inspired messages in my book will lend ‘permission’ to the readers to step up within themselves and fully own all of who they are and share such with others, while also serving as a soft cushion for others to share.
Q: What was your experience like with your publisher?
A: I had a wonderful experience with my publisher. [They were] very helpful, patient, generous, humble, with expertise and leadership for guidance.
Q: Where do you look for inspiration when you are struggling?
A: Mainly I look to God. I see Him everywhere; through nature, other people, and the trials/triumphs of life.
Q: What are some activities that you are involved in aside from writing?
A: Currently I am fighting for my life and doing all I can to promote my book in order to have some income for life-saving medical treatment. Due to severe limitations from physical illness, I am not able to participate in much of life. Nevertheless, I do all I can and push to do more. Encouraging others and giving to my loved ones in all the ways I am able…sharing my relationship with Christ wherever I can…to God be the glory.
Book Website: www.elizabethchalker.org
Connect with Elizabeth:
http://www.publichealthalert.org/pdf/2010/2010_06.pdf (this is a link to Public Health Alert medical paper, the issue has some of my story, photos, and a letter to President Obama). I am happy to send a hard copy of this issue too?
For Book Ordering: