Who. What. Why. Q&A with Emma Harling


Emma Harling

Which site did you attend? What year were you there?
Three Springs (year 2) 2018-2019


After OneLife, what did you do/what next life step did you take?
After OneLife, I worked as OneLife’s Admissions Counselor while running a part time photography business. I got married that next August (2020) and then transitioned into being full time with my photography business.

How did OL help prepare for what you are doing now?
OneLife gave me an understanding of how powerful communicating is while showing me the value of having healthy boundaries/structure to work and rest. I learned how to care for those I came into contact with in a gospel centered way. I work from home during the week (editing, sending emails, helping brides create their wedding day timeline) and shoot weddings on the weekends. OneLife prepared me in knowing how to manage my time well and provided a foundation of any strong business (heart and hard work).

In what ways do you see the goodness of God in what you do?
The goodness of God is most present to me in relationships and I have 35 couples this year I’m in a relationship with. As their wedding photographer, I walk through this season of life with them and become someone who they can trust. I know the Lord loves when His body comes together and many of my couples are believers. There is a rich fellowship that I have the opportunity to create and that’s a gift.

What is something you are currently learning (or continually learning) about yourself,  others, or God?
In this season of my life, I have been learning how valuable abiding is. Abide was a word during my OneLife year I heard a lot and it hasn’t really left my thought process since. Being in Christ allows you to abide fully – all the time remaining in Him. I have the fullness of Jesus and I believe I can’t get more of Him. For if I could, I then come to the understanding that I only have some of His blood, some of His character, some of His new life. This is completely not true! As a born again believer, I am in Christ and He in me and thus, I continually abide. Wether I work, go on a walk, make supper or am driving – this is worship. Living as one who abides is being with God. What a wonderful place to be.


What is something that you would like to tell prospective students or current students about life IN OneLife?
To current OL students: Don’t ever think you know everything about one person. And don’t believe the lie that someone can’t teach you anything. The body of Christ is so beautiful because of all the unique parts. I have a bold, strong personality and coming into OneLife I viewed that as the best. I slowed down the process of friendship because I thought one was less than me. There is a richness to thinking and learning differently. Be gentle with those you’re doing life with. Seek to understand. Take the uncomfortable action. Be disciplined. Your 9 months go by so quickly – don’t let petty things consume your mind.

To prospective OL students: It was the best and the hardest 9 months of my life. Do whatever it takes to get into this program. The relationships are life long and the quality of people you do life with is the biggest blessing. They’ll call you out, they’ll give you grace, they’ll walk with you thru sin. OneLife was the hardest 9 months because as an intentional community, we saw each others sin. Recognizing how you withdraw when there’s conflict or why you become defensive is difficult – it’s sanctification and it’s for your good. The OneLife community is a space where mercy is displayed and forgiveness is present. If you’re set on college or wanting to work after senior year, go to OneLife. It could change the trajectory of your life and how you see the world, those around you and Your Heavenly Father.


What is something that you would like to tell prospective or current students about life AFTER OneLife?
To current OL students: Life after OneLife is exciting. As students in the program and who are loving OneLife, you probably think I’m crazy. But hear me – the lessons and values and disciplines you learn during OneLife won’t be any good if you don’t have a chance to apply them to real life. Similarly, if you don’t take the responsibility to connect belief to behavior in the real world, you do a dis-service to the OneLife program. OneLife wasn’t made just for the 9 months you’re together.

What brings you joy?
Early morning sunrises with hot black coffee and the Word!