One Book’s Journey: Collaboration

Collaboration is like carbonation for fresh ideas. Working together bubbles up ideas you would not have come up with solo, which gets you further faster. Caroline Ghosn

Dear Reader, I must sadly make a confession. One that in our current culture may seem like an unforgiveable sin. Here it is: I’m not a very good team player. Frankly there are times I don’t even pretend to be trying to be a team player.

In school, teachers called teamwork in the classroom small group or table time. Later in college the same kind of groups were labeled cooperative learning groups, and we were assigned “roles”. You know, things like facilitator, timekeeper, resource coordinator, and some other title for the less motivated/achievement-oriented member of the group. Most recently, in the work environment, the term “collaboration” signifies a group of colleagues working toward a common goal. 

You’d think I would have eventually adapted to the researched-based best practice of “works and plays well with others”.

The Spirit’s presence is shown in some way in each person for the good of all.

1 Corinthians 12: 7  GNT

It seemed the more I was expected to participate and contribute collaboratively, the more I resented it. It took me years to realize that avoiding collaboration hid multiple shortcomings, or sins. Arrogance was the first one to emerge.  Eventually it became clear that pride, fear, and mistrust were also major players. 

But when God has work to be done, He’s always got a plan for its implementation. I passionately believe the Lord had a plan then, and now, to share His gospel through a new perspective in Behind the Halo, but He had to work out some junk in me first.

Brothers and sisters, I know that I still have a long way to go. But there is one thing I do: I forget what is in the past and try as hard as I can to reach the goal before me.

Phiippians 3: 13  ERV

Tom and I are blessed with a terrific fellowship group from church. Although we’ve only been with the group for a couple of years, it feels like we’ve all been friends for much longer. More than a year before I was finished with the first draft of the manuscript, God  was putting just the right people and places into action, people like the women in our fellowship group.

Because He is so gracious, God was facilitating relationships built on trust. 

As much as I love writing for you, Dear Reader, it’s always been hard for me to share it those closest to me. Writing and sharing Behind the Halo was different. I longed and hoped that Behind the Halo would make its way into many  hands and hearts. I wanted it enough to go beyond my writing comfort zone. 

Just be sure you live as God’s people in a way that honors the Good News of Christ. Then if I come and visit you or if I am away from you, I will hear good things about you. I will know that you stand together with the same purpose and that you work together like a team to help others believe the Good News.       

Phillipians 1:27 ERV

The first step out of my comfort zone was collaboration, you know, that whole working together thing I had never gotten a grip on, this time was different. This time, working with women I knew and trusted made it seem entirely possible. I won’t lie and tell you it was smooth sailing from the beginning. My arrogance, pride, and a bit of fear tried to rear their ugly heads every so often, but the Lord seemed to sit among us working out the rough edges.

On this side of publication, I am so thankful God chose to be patient and invest in me. I treasure the richness of literary conversations and loving fellowship the Beta Team and I shared.  And without it, I would have been grossly unprepared for what I needed to do once my manuscript was sent off to the publisher.