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Hi there!


I am Michelle Layer Rahal. (The middle name is my maiden name, in case that rings a bell with anyone.) I live in Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC, with my incredible, smart, and funny husband, Greg. Every day is an adventure waiting to happen. I’m happiest when I’m grocery shopping, cooking complicated meals, or reading a thick, non-fiction book in front of a roaring fire. Greg, on the other hand, is happiest when he’s building something, socializing with friends, and listening to NPR—all at the same time. It makes for an interesting marriage!

My first book, Straining Forward, was published in 2018. Prior to this, I wrote a lot of educational reports and articles at the local, state, and national level. My writing focus took this 180° turn when I felt God’s call to write for him instead. I now write a monthly blog, A Glimpse of Holy, which guides readers toward recognizing God’s presence by focusing on God’s goodness. (Philippians 4:8-9) My second book, Are You Listening? A Guide to Recognizing and Responding to God's Voice, came out at the end of October 2023. Stay tuned!

At one time or another, I’ve held these titles (or perhaps they’ve held me): news radio anchor, elementary school teacher, Youth and Family Ministry Director, Director of Assessment, spiritual formation leader, worship leader, and educational consultant. I now call myself an author, even though that title seems the most pretentious of all. Perhaps it’s because I gave it to myself.

If you’re into the Enneagram, I’m a 1, the Reformer. I have an insatiable desire to do the right thing and do it well. If you’re into Meyers-Briggs, I’m an INTJ with J (for judging) off the charts. In my mind, there is always room for improvement. If you’re into Strength Finders, I’m a Learner. Diligent about examining what needs to be revised or fixed, I feel most alive when I’m studying facts and sharpening my skills. If you’re into Spiritual Gifts, I rank highest in Faith, followed by Discernment, Wisdom, and Teaching (all tied for second place).

I hope this gives you a better glimpse into who I am. First and foremost, I am a child of God, a daughter of the King of Kings. It’s this assurance that inspires me to keep straining forward. I hope it inspires you, too!


MICHELLE LAYER RAHAL served as the youth and family ministry director of her church before devoting herself full time to writing for God’s kingdom purposes. She is passionate about spiritual formation and leads women, students, and the homeless in weekly Bible studies and annual retreats.

The Indie-award winning author of Straining Forward enjoys collecting “God-sighting” stories and publishes a monthly blog on recognizing God in the everyday moments of life.


Michelle is a published educational consultant and former news radio journalist who holds an undergraduate degree in Theater Arts and a graduate degree in Education. She lives in the Washington, DC area with her fun-loving husband, Greg.

Vintage Music Store


As a former news radio anchor and current worship leader, Michelle is quite comfortable behind a microphone. Michelle is available for podcast, radio, and T.V. interviews. Check a few of my favorite conversations below:

Space for Life with Tommy Thompson

Encouragement for Real Life with Julie Lefebure

Book Marketing Mania with Kim Stewart

Westminster Presbyterian Church (starting at 34:00)

Bill and Odell are Finding Common Ground


Writing for Your Life with Brian Allain

Connecting Faith with Carmen LaBerge


Media Kit available upon request.

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Michelle’s experience as a retreat speaker, teacher, and educational consultant makes her an ideal addition for any Christian conference or church event. Drop her a line for more information.


Are you part of a book club that is interested in reading Straining Forward or Are You Listening? Contact Michelle directly for the opportunity to have her participate in your book club discussion in person or by Zoom. 

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