Joyce’s first book, The Courage to Forgive, was released in May 2010. Her second book, Finding Forgiveness in God’s Word, released earlier this year. Joyce is also a speaker who has encouraged and inspired many audiences with her insight on the topic of forgiveness.
She and her husband, Martin, live in Colorado, with their three children. Joyce can be found online at www.couragetoforgive.com.
Here’s more from Joyce, in her own words…
I was born and raised in Uganda, until the age of twelve, when my family and I fled Uganda due to the effects of the bloody coup by Idi Amin. I graduated from an all-girls convent school and was taught by Irish nuns.
I love to travel and have traveled all over Europe, Asia, various Indian Ocean Islands, the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and as far away as Tahiti. As I traveled nationally and spoke on the topic of forgiveness at conferences and various events, people would come up to me afterwards and share some of their pain and struggles with forgiveness. They would often ask me how I had found that deeper grace to forgive the terrible traumas that I had gone through.
So, I went through the Bible and pulled out the stories of characters from the Bible who had suffered or fallen from grace and yet,
who had been able to forgive those who had betrayed them or they themselves have been able to ask for and accept forgiveness from God. These stories and many others that I write about in Finding Forgiveness in God’s Word helped me in my personal quest to forgive some of the unforgivable incidents that I have experienced.
I want other people to find that same kind of peace that I found through forgiveness. So many times we hold on to the pain of what we have done or what others have done to us, and we shackle ourselves to those traumatic events, unable to move forward and truly live our lives fully.
In writing Finding Forgiveness in God’s Word, I wanted to show people that they need to break free of those shackles and events that continue to hold them captive, those events in their lives that have left scars or anger and bitterness on their hearts, so that they could find peace and allow God to unfold His plans for them, those plans for a future and hope, and not the lives of anger and bitterness that they are living.
WHY HER STORY MATTERS
Writing this book was very cathartic for me. I had to do a lot of research and speak to many pastors so I could find answers myself to some of these questions. I learned so much about these much-loved characters from the Bible. I learned so much about myself too, as I wrote about the various traumatic incidents that I went through. I learned I could get very angry and bitter and vengeful-minded, and I didn’t like what that did to me as a person. I learned to have compassion towards myself. I learned that I have a heart that can forgive what I thought was unforgivable. I still struggle with some of the things I have gone through, but I always come back to that place of forgiveness. I have learned that I am strong and most of all, I have learned that I can trust God implicitly. No matter what comes my way, good or bad, I can trust God. That has been the greatest gift to myself in writing Finding Forgiveness in God’s Word.
When people read Finding Forgiveness in God’s Word, I hope their biggest takeaway is hope and love. Hope, because I want people to know that even though they have gone through trauma and may feel like they will never recover, that they will. They just need to trust God. Love because God loves each of us fully and truly. If we meditate on the suffering of Jesus, we can see God’s great love for us. If we have faith in God and His great love for us, God will give us the grace to bear and endure our sufferings.
Always hold on to that hope and love.
My greatest encouragement as a person and a writer is when I see how my books have impacted or changed lives because I know that my pain and my struggles and my hurt and my tears have helped someone else. It has not been in vain. None of it has been wasted. That’s why stories matter. We use our stories to bring hope to others.