Heidi Johnston

Heidi Johnston is the author of Life in the Big Story and is currently the Rabbit Room’s only Irish contributor. She studied law at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and now, amongst other things, teaches a class on “Poetic and Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament” at Belfast Bible College. Heidi is passionate about getting people to engage with the Bible and has a fascination with the book of Deuteronomy.


The Long Road Home

By Heidi Johnston

Almost twenty years ago, while I was at university, my parents decided to move back to the seaside village in Northern Ireland where I had spent the first twelve years of my life. We relocated several times during my teens and, for me, this latest move felt like a step backwards. I visited for their first Christmas “back home” with no intention of joining them on any permanent basis. On Christmas day a guy with ginger hair and a smile that was contagious gave the children’s talk in their new church. The response to his self-deprecating humor was evidence that he was not only well known but also well loved. Long story short, I ended up staying. Two years later we were married.

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The Sheer Face of Story (Why Writers Need an Anchor)

By Heidi Johnston

Two years ago at Hutchmoot, Doug McKelvey and I did a session on the importance of both anchors and grappling hooks in the life of a writer. For me, the topic was born out of a growing desire to understand why certain stories, music or art have impacted me more deeply than others, in many cases fundamentally shaping my own view of the world and my place within it. Read More ›

Truth and Lament

By Heidi Johnston

For my family, like so many others, 2016 was a year punctuated by loss and grief. It was a year of watching as people we loved fought heroic battles, some ending with partings we prayed would not come. Read More ›

The Bible Project

By Heidi Johnston

A couple of years ago a friend introduced me to the resources available at the Bible Project. It may be that I am late to the party, however I have found myself turning to them increasingly often in recent months. If you are not familiar with the work of Timothy Mackie and Jonathan Collins, they describe themselves like this: Read More ›

Gifts of and for the Church (Pt. 2)

By Heidi Johnston

What does it look like when writers, artists, poets, musicians and storytellers choose to use their gifts for the glory of God? Have you ever wondered why God chose to work into you a love of words? A vivid imagination? Read More ›

Gifts of and for the Church

By Heidi Johnston

The church in Ephesus had a fascinating back-story. Made up of people from every social and cultural background imaginable, from those steeped in Old Testament law to others raised in a culture of ritual prostitution and sorcery, it was as diverse as any modern church. Read More ›

Scent, Memory, and Worship

By Heidi Johnston

Last year in Nashville I bought some pumpkin and caramel scented candles. For the next few weeks our home was filled with a smell that, in my mind, will forever be associated with Hutchmoot. While I burned my candles mercilessly, my daughter saved a small one and Read More ›

To My Girls, On Your Baptism

By Heidi Johnston

To my beautiful daughters,

Last night in our church, surrounded by so many of the people we love, I watched you stand up Read More ›

Who Is God to You?

By Heidi Johnston

A good friend once asked me, “Heidi, who is God to you?” At the time, the question was born out of a growing realisation that, as someone who worked for a Christian organization, God was in danger of becoming her “boss.” Read More ›

The Coming of the Light

By Heidi Johnston

The absence of light is almost oppressive this year. For weeks, those of us who live in northern latitudes have been getting up in the dark, driving to school in the dark and coming Read More ›

Songs from the Shadows

By Heidi Johnston

A couple of weeks ago my Facebook newsfeed was invaded by a selection of animals urging me to go to the Rabbit Room Store and pre-order Andrew Peterson’s new album, The Burning Edge of Dawn. Never Read More ›

Love That Will Not Let Me Go

By Heidi Johnston

There are times in my life when my own mediocrity and lack of holy desire leave me quietly wondering if God has finally given up on me. That, disappointed with my weakness, He has taken Read More ›