Stories of OBU: Freshman publishes first book

Andrew Thomsen, Assistant Features Editor

It is often easy to think that God’s calling is something for the distant future, but God often presents opportunities to live His calling – even before obtaining a college degree.

Jillian Murphy, a freshman nursing major, felt a calling to go into Women’s Ministry while she was in high school. This led her to the opportunity to write and publish her first book, “The Four Seasons of Hope.”

“I wrote it my junior year of high school in a program called Independent Studies Mentorship,” Murphy said.

Courtesy Photo

Independent Studies Mentorship is a program through Murphy’s high school, which allows students to get involved in opportunities they would like to be part of in their futures.

Murphy was able to get involved with an organization that reached out to women from backgrounds of drug addiction, abuse, prostitution and more.

“I saw the different stages of life everyone was in with their walk with Christ, from when they first came in, to a girl that’s been in the program for 12 years,” Murphey said.

“So, I started talking to some of the women, and some of their stories intertwined with Bible verses and commentary in my book.”

Murphy’s writing was initially a project for her class. She had written over 200 pages of work which she pieced together and turned in.

However, it was not until her senior year of high school that she decided to try and get her work published. She initially received over 20 rejections from multiple publishing companies.

Her teacher, however, convinced her to try again by sending the actual manuscript to a publishing company.

“I sent [the manuscript] in, and two hours later I got a phone call from the head publisher of a company, and they were offering me a contract,” Murphy said. “I started that process in November of my senior year, and was nationally released on July 17, 2016.”

“The Four Seasons of Hope” focuses on where people are at in their lives and walk with Christ.

Murphy compares these points to the four seasons in nature.

“Fall is when you fall into habitual sin. Summer is when you just want to have fun,” Murphy said. “Winter is when you’re stone-cold against the Lord. You don’t want anything to do with Him.  Spring is when you’re flourishing.”

Each of the ‘“seasons of hope” use the stories of women that who experienced that particular season.

“I realized that we’re all in a different season,” she said “We can all relate to being in different seasons of life and our relationship with God,” she said.

Murphy has already made plans to continue expanding her reach in women’s ministry. “I’m writing one called ‘God Winks’ right now,” she said. “It’s all about being in really rough circumstances in life, when you feel like they’re for no reason.”

Murphy had a book signing Saturday, October 29.

She will have another local book signing December 10 that is open to anyone at the Shawnee Mall.

“If you open up your spiritual eyes, you can see it, and see how He’s going to be using you in those bad situations to make things good,” Murphy said.

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