My Story

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I was just a few weeks from graduating from college and knew that professional counseling — what my degree would be in — wasn’t for me.

What I really wanted to do was write.

Scratch Plan A

I don’t ever consider education to be a waste. But sometimes when you’re pomp-and-circumstance-ing across the commencement stage all the while knowing you won’t be looking for a job you’re actually qualified for, well, Life becomes a bit murky. And you become a bit apprehensive.

I had chosen counseling because I was passionate about youth ministry, and I thought that was an excellent auxiliary skill for ministry. Plan A was to go to Bible college, meet someone who was also passionate about youth ministry, and marry him. Badda-bing. 

Seemed like a good plan. So good, in fact, that I didn’t exactly have a Plan B. 

But what I did have was a solid work-study job in the university’s communications department, working under a guy who had held pretty much every journalism job possible. He trained men reporting and journalism, and over the three years I wrote for him, I had written hundreds of stories for the university’s website — and a whole lot of experience writing and working with an editor. More experience than I would have gotten in four years of a communications degree. 

Before Storytelling Was A Thing

You know what else I wrote? Alumni profiles called “Spotlights.” 

I had to email or call alumni and ask them about why they chose our college, who or what impacted them the most and how they were using their degree(s). Then I would write about it. I would write their story. 

I loved it.

The month after I graduated from college with my counseling degree — knowing I really just wanted to write — I made a friend who would eventually become my writing mentor. And through our conversations, it dawned on me: my counseling degree made me interested in hearing people’s stories, and I wanted to use my writing skills to make those stories shine. 

It would be at least two years before I’d meet Shattered Media, Inc. and realize that storytelling is actually a thing. 

And God said, “Badda-boom.” 


I earned an M.A. in English from the University of Michigan in 2015 (Go blue!), and continued working with Shattered Media, Inc. as the Storytelling Director and Editor-in-Chief. The company dissolved in 2020 (thanks, 2020), and now I’m a full-time freelance storytelling coach.

As a storytelling coach, I help you realize that you have a story, and walk you through the writing and editing processes to share it. I’ll help you get your book written, your story told, and your writing projects edited and polished. I’m still involved in youth ministry and love teaching the Bible to students and people of all ages. The Bible is full of stories of people being people and God being God — and so are our churches. I help faith leaders and communities share the stories of God at work.

Along the way, I’m learning the unforced rhythms of grace, and it’s a beautifully messy journey. I’m still in the middle of my story, but you’re more than welcome to read along. It will take some grace on your part and mine, but in the end, we’ll zoom out and see the mosaic of all our stories—all part of one really great one.

Because Jesus is the Master Storyteller.


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8 thoughts on “My Story

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  1. Luv you Emily! God will be and has been so generous to you; I’m sure you realize that already. Keep writing!

  2. I found you! 🙂 I really like what I see. Hey, maybe we can talk more about those enrichment classes. I’m interested in doing that kind of thing is well, but haven’t found the resources to get started. Anyway, keep in touch!

  3. So glad to see this Emily. You have grown to be a beautiful young lady and I am so happy you are serving the Lord. You have some great examples to follow in your mom and dad.

  4. Wow. So glad to have discovered you through Ryan Thogmartin’s emails. I was struck by the voice and heart that came through in your piece about engaging with pastors. The quality of your writing is rare in the blogosphere. Thank you and keep at it!

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