Loving Life: An Interview with Sherry Story
Another Day Along the Way
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Sherry Story brings smiles to many faces. Read our conversation – be ready to smile.
Chris: You are a very talented lady. Professor, photographer, writer, mother: What am I missing? Tell us a little bit about the many things you do.
Sherry: Chris, God has blessed me with several talents. I am not only a science professor at Emmanuel, but I am a wife and a mother as well. I have been married for 18 years to Micah Story. I have two children, Kayla (15 year old daughter) and Jordan (11 year old son). In addition, I am a professional photographer. I started my photography business 11 years ago and God has really blessed me through this business. I’ve met celebrities such as actress Cicely Tyson, Dr. Ben Carson, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s children, and actress Victoria Rowell. I photographed President Obama while he was campaigning for the presidency.
I am a fictional Christian writer and a seamstress and designer. I like to make my clothes as well as certain things for my daughter. I love being creative.
I also love to cook. A friend and I started a catering business as personal chefs in November last year. I enjoy good, healthy food and that was the inspiration for our business.
Chris: You and I have talked before about your writing. What have you written in the past and what are your future plans?
Sherry: My stories cater to young girls and women who have been abused. I find that some people find it easier to read a novel and connect to characters who deal with real-life situations. It is my hope that my stories of faith will inspire those who have been abused and let them know that their lives can be joyous and fulfilling in spite of what they have been through.
I have published one book entitled “Severed Heart.” I am currently working on my second novel. Hopefully it will be completed within a year.
Chris: And, you have a wonderful sense of humor. I appreciate you laughing at my attempts at being funny.
Sherry: I love to laugh because I am loving life! Not to say that every day is splendid, but because of God’s presence through the Holy Spirit I persevere.
I like to make others laugh as well. It just makes you feel better.
Chris: What are some of your biggest thrills working with students at Emmanuel?
Sherry: Each student is different and has different needs and learning styles. One of the biggest thrills for me is to watch the spiritual and academic growth of students from the time they arrive at Emmanuel until they graduate. My students are like my own children. I nurture them as freshmen and each year I raise the bar of learning so that they may become more responsible and more independent academically.
Another thrill is that the students make my job of teaching enjoyable. They are a blessing to me. There are days when I may not be feeling well or just not my usual jovial self (it happens) and a student will say something or do something that will make me laugh. It brightens my day.
Chris: Tell us more details about your spiritual beliefs and development.
Sherry: I am a Christian. I accepted Christ at the age of 5. I believe wholeheartedly that He is God’s Son and very real. This is in part due to the faith and testimonies of my grandparents. Growing up I didn’t know why it was so important to know Him that young, but once I became an adult I understood.
At the age of thirteen, I was sexually molested by my mother’s boyfriend. For the next three years my life was miserable because my relationship with my mom grew worse. She didn’t protect me or support me and basically told me that the abuse was my fault.
Needless to say, at sixteen I wanted to die. I wanted to commit suicide and was going to try to do so. The night that I was going to do it changed my life and began a deeper development of my spiritual walk with God. As I was reaching for the pills I heard a voice say no and instead I reached for the Bible. As I began to read the tears began to flow and I decided that I was going to live and God would bring me through.
I laugh so much today, because there was a time in my life that I didn’t. I was angry and withdrawn for many years. Today, my relationship with God is stronger than it has ever been.
Chris: As we emphasized in ALPHA Week, how can learning in the classroom and in various life experiences help us spiritually?
Sherry: I tell students that the information learned in the classroom reveals more about God as the Creator. From the music that is studied to scientific experimentation, all of it opens our eyes to know and appreciate the wondrous works of God.
Psalm 19:1-2 (NIV) states, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
Every subject that is studied declares His glory. If we can grasp that we must love Him with our whole heart and mind, then we will be able to grow in knowledge as well as spiritually. Why? Knowledge allows us to know and appreciate God. It gives us a desire to know Him more. Therefore, we begin to seek Him and develop a deeper relationship with Him.
Chris: What are some of your concerns about the American church?
Sherry: I have several concerns about the American church.
a) We are conforming to the things of the world.
b) We are not being empowered to walk in spiritual authority. As a result, our faith and dependence on God is not what it is supposed to be.
c) The Word of God should be preached without dilution. Many churches are “tweaking” God’s Word to appeal to the congregation or to attract large membership rather than teaching the Word to change lives and draw people closer to God.
Chris: How can we bring positive changes?
Sherry: I think we can bring positive changes by teaching the truth and being living examples of our faith.
Chris: I enjoy seeing your children when I speak in Athens. It’s been fun talking about their mother when she’s not around. Offer advice to our readers about the importance of showing God’s love through parenting.
Sherry: Grace and mercy become major attributes as a parent. As a parent, you learn the true meaning of God’s unconditional love for us, because you have to show it as a parent.
It’s important that we as parents live and exemplify God’s love because it builds the faith of our children. Kids are smart and very observant. They watch to see if you live your life as the Christian that you claim to be. If parents exemplify God’s love, then it allows children to want to know and trust Him.
Chris: We are seeing many exciting changes at Emmanuel. What are your prayers for students, faculty, and staff as we run this rapid race into the future?
Sherry: My prayer is that God’s blessings will continue to be poured out on Emmanuel and its students, faculty, and staff. I pray that God will continue to send workers to this vineyard that are diligent in their tasks and have a love for God and a desire to do His will.
I pray that students, who come here and don’t know God, will find Him at Emmanuel. I pray that we as faculty and staff will treat our students in a way that pleases and honors God.
Chris: How can readers learn more about your writing, artwork, and photography?
Sherry: To learn more about my photography, readers can visit my website at www.svstory.com
To learn more about my writing and artwork, they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Along the way,
Powerful Truth: If we sustain our commitment to modeling grace-filled community, the Christian university just might be the place where world change begins. (Philip W. Eaton – Engaging the Culture, Changing the World: The Christian University in a Post-Christian World)