What started as a two-year journey penning her latest book, , turned out to be a three-year trial as Katy minister and author Joan Murray battled through major health issues and a personal family tragedy before she could finish.
“This was the sixteenth book that I’ve published, and it was the hardest of my life to complete,” said Murray, who is also the founder of , located in Katy, Texas. “I started writing this back in January 2018 but ran into my first setback just two months in when my shoulder started to hurt.
“Before long it got to the point that I could no longer write and had to go to the doctor. I was diagnosed with ‘frozen shoulder’ which I had never even heard of before. When he showed me an x-ray, it looked like there was a layer of ice on my shoulder,” she added.
“While I was still dealing with this, I got shingles in August 2018. The pain was almost unbearable. If not for the fact that I was still on pain medication for my shoulder, it would have been. This sidelined me for another two months,” she said.
Finally, around January 2019, Joan was able to continue with her writing and labor on until she started having excruciating pain in her abdomen and was rushed to the ER.
“The doctors discovered that I had tumors in my intestines, and their fear was they might be cancerous. They scheduled surgery for November 12, 2019, and three days before my surgery, I received news that my mother had passed away. That was an extremely difficult moment,” she recalled.
“I was in no condition to travel, and after much discussion with my family, we were able to wait six weeks for my mother’s funeral, something I could not possibly miss,” she remembered.
Three days later, Joan undertook the surgery as planned, and what should have been a two-and-a-half-hour operation took over seven hours to perform. “The doctors found an unexpected tumor and had to test it for cancer. Being under anesthesia for such a long period of time has caused me a lot of breathing problems which persists to this day. Even now my breathing is only around 80 percent of normal,” she said.
“After the surgery, I traveled to Jamaica, where I am originally from, and was able to minister the message for my mother’s Celebration of Life. The pastor told me afterwards that the message I gave was exactly what the people in attendance needed to hear. After I spoke, over half of the people who were there received Christ as their Savior, mostly family members!”
“My mother raised my siblings and me in a very solid Christian environment, and there is no doubt about her [my mother’s] salvation. But many people there that day needed to hear about the Lord, and that is what I spoke about,” she strongly stated.
With most of her health issues and her mother’s funeral behind her, Joan was able to finally complete the book in February 2020- one year behind schedule. After another six months for the editing process to unfold, her latest book is now available.
“It’s like the gates of Hell did not want this book to be released. Satan threw everything at me he could, but through God’s grace, determination, perseverance, and great struggle, the book was finally released,” she concluded.
Joan Murray Ministries has been operating worldwide for over fifteen years, and during that time, has seen over 27,000 salvations.