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Emily R.

Today, Emily speaks to us about managing time, healing, and a book you will want to add to your list.

Emily R.

Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I grew up in Indianapolis, there I lived behind a corn field and learned to put ranch on everything! Thankfully, my family always went to church, and I was surrounded by people who loved Jesus. But when I was 11, my parents got a divorce, which changed a lot. The few years after, my heart was starting to get hard because there was so much deep hurt. I was looking for love in all the wrong places. When I hit high school, a family came to our church that would change my life forever. They showed my what the love of Jesus looked like. They encouraged me, challenged me, they believed in me. I even dropped out of public school after freshman year to be homeschooled. It feels like from then on my life has been one big crazy adventure for Jesus. I graduated a year early, when on my first overseas mission trip when I was 17 and moved to Minnesota for a year to do a leadership internship. My life has been a lot of healing and going against the grain.

“My life has been a lot of healing and going against the grain.”

Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: If I had a “life verse” this would be it! Matthew 22:37: “Love the Lord your God with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, and with every thought that is within you.”

Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Learning how to keep my calling at the forefront and taking steps toward it, every day. I want to stay in my lane and fulfill everything the Jesus has for me.

Profession: I’m a youth pastor full-time, and I also have an online shop where I make t-shirts and digital products to remind you who you were made to be.

If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? Brave Surrender

When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? Gosh. The first real encounter would be when I was in a Bible study at 14 years old and for the first time someone told me that Jesus was my Beloved. That I didn’t have to search for love, I had it all along.

How has your relationship with Him changed you? How hasn’t He changed me? From that first encounter with Him, my life hasn’t been the same. He started transforming me. I didn’t have interest in what I used to; I’d rather be at a worship night than a school dance. Every year, I reflect and can see my life transform, more and more. The fruits of the spirit have become more prevalent in my life.

What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Listening to the audio Bible. I listened to the book of Ephesians every day for a few months straight, and I can see through the way I talk and my actions that it is getting in me!

Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): Just read Letters to the Church by Francis Chan. It has opened my eyes to what the American church has been missing. Reminded me of what life as a community of Believers is supposed to be. HIGHLY recommend!

Top three essentials: My journal, passion translation Bible, sparkling water

How did God speak to you recently? God reminded me that He believed in me. That truth is really getting into my heart, I’m His daughter, and I make Him proud.

Hobby: Writing, reading, hiking!

Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:

Read the Word. But do it with Holy Spirit. Nothing is worse than reading the word and it not changing you. 

Find a community that believes in you. If you surround yourself with people who call out the gold in you, dream big for you, challenge and accept you, you will be set.

Protect your family and your time. Set strong boundaries and make everything you do worth it. If you waste your time, soon you will look back and you’ll have wasted your life.

“If you waste your time, soon you will look back and you’ll have wasted your life.”

Favorite person in scripture? John, the Beloved. I love that he knew his identity!

What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? That I stopped for the one, the unrelenting love of God.  

How do you engage with your community? I love one-on-one coffee dates, face times and voice chats!

Favorite holiday? 4th of July! I love friends, fireworks, cookouts, and wearing read, white and blue!

A goal you have? To write a best-selling book that leads people closer to Jesus!

A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Stockings are a must at Christmas! My husband and I even try to get every present we get to fit inside a stocking.

Question you will ask when you get to heaven? What was your favorite part of our journey together?

Thing you want to raise awareness about: Human trafficking, addiction.

What does your morning routine consist of? Listening to the audio Bible while I get ready, then journaling, reading my Bible, reading whatever book I’m reading, going over my habit tracker/goals/vision board and exercising!

What is on your nightstand? A book (currently The Culture of Empowerment by Steve Backlund), my gratitude journal, a water bottle, and a candle.

Define Christianity in a sentence: Those who live their lives completely surrendered to Jesus.

For more Emily:


Until next time, keep witnessing.


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