Author realizes hope exists even in trying times

Published 11:30 am Friday, October 3, 2014

By Merle Monahan/Contributing Writer

“His actions are in response to our actions. Relationship with Christ is reciprocal.”

Elaine Lankford - Merle Monahan | The Tidewater news

Elaine Lankford – Merle Monahan | The Tidewater news

This phrase echoed in Elaine Lankford’s mind, she said, as she compiled her new book, “Love Echoed Back.” It’s an inspirational and emotional account of how God took her life — which was filled with pain, fear and disappointment — and transformed it through His love, mercy and grace.

Lankford said she wrote the book because she felt that others who learned of her experiences would realize that no matter how difficult the times, there is hope.

The book, on sale now through Amazon and Barnes and Noble, covers a period in Lankford’s life when she endured one hardship and disappointment after another. Through it all, she clung to her faith.

Lankford said she knows God will provide peace and comfort.

“He did for me,” she said.

The 43-year-old nurse practitioner, with 20 years of experience, grew up in the Suffolk area. She said that from the time she was in sixth grade, she knew she wanted to become a nurse.

Through her faith in Jesus, her focus in life was to help others, and she knew the nursing profession would help her provide support, hope and care for so many.

Lankford never lost sight of her goal, and after high school entered the Obici School of Nursing. She worked as a nurse at both Southampton and Obici hospitals, specializing in oncology and pain management.

But she wanted more, Lankford said, so she became a nurse practitioner. She added that she felt secure in her profession until the office abruptly closed. That’s when her world changed, she said. The job she had given so much to was gone.

“There were some legal problems that lasted for months and months,” Lankford added. “Since I had worked there, I could not get employment elsewhere in the nursing field.”

She added that bills were piling up without her salary, and there seemed to be no relief.

Speaking from her home on Indian Town Road near Carrsville, she said, “I wondered what else could happen. It wasn’t long before I knew.”

It was during this time that Lankford lost a beloved aunt. Before she could recover, her father, whom she adored, passed away.

“I was devastated,” she said sadly. “But this was not to be the end. Later on my husband was diagnosed with cancer.

“I thank God he has recovered now, though,” Lankford said.

A long-time active member of Believers Church, said she called out to God, “And He listened.”

Today, Lankford works in medical coding and health education for Precyse, a national company that provides information to hospitals over the country.

She also spends much time at her church and travels to Nicaragua annually on mission trips, which she looks forward to.

“We have recovered,” she went on. “And God is the answer.”

Lankford said her book is a testament to the fact that if Christians will trust in the promises of God, they will discover how to walk in God’s will.

NAME: Elaine Aston Lankford

AGE: 43

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS AREA: I was born and raised here.

OCCUPATION: Nurse Practitioner.

MARITAL STATUS: Darrell Lankford and I have been married for 21 years.

CHILDREN, SCHOOLS AND AGES: We have one son, Nicholas, 16, who attends King’s Fork High School.

FAVORITE NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN: Dinner out with my husband.

FAVORITE RESTAURANT: The Plaid Turnip in Suffolk.

FAVORITE FOOD AND BEVERAGE: Steak, potato and iced tea.

WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU: That I travel on a mission trip from my church to Nicaragua every year.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOU: People say that I’m a great listener.

PETS: We have a parakeet named Nikki and a gecko named Cheetah.

WHAT IS YOUR WORST HABIT: I take on too much at one time, or multi-tasking.


PET PEEVE: It bothers me that there is so little communication between the school system and parents.


IF YOU HAD 10 MINUTES ON NATIONAL TELEVISION, WHAT WOULD YOUR TOPIC BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU SAY: I would address contentment in America. So many people are not satisfied with their lives. They should strive for contentment in their relationships with others and in their own lives. There is no better way to achieve this than to get to attend your church and get to know Jesus.