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A Story to Be Heard began six years ago after a mission trip to Guatemala. I returned to find numerous stories that had flooded the minds of the people who joined me on that trip. From there, I realized that there is something remarkable about the people of Guatemala. Everyone has a story and it should be heard. There is power in everyone’s stories and I aspire to give a platform for other people to be heard, known, and for those stories to thrive.


I am Courtney Marie Zandstra, a writer, storyteller and founder of Gather&Grow Creative Conference, who believes that everyone has a story to be heard. We live in a hustling society, where I myself crave the fast pace, but I believe in the sacredness of rest and sabbath. Oh my goodness, I find inspiration in a slower pace; cool air and the light that comes through my blinds to leave its mark on the wall. I am a girl who yearns to run in her own lane and celebrate other’s victories which is a daily battle.




Courtney lives in Austin, Texas with her beloved husband, Daniel. According to the Strengths Finder, Courtney is disciplined; to the Enneagram, a 3, but ultimately, a daughter of a King with nothing to prove. When she is not writing, you can find her running around in the early mornings, sitting in her corner chair, probably leaving someone a voice memo, jamming to JohnnySwim, being a Whole 30 gal, (even though some of her friends told her it is more like Whole 365…), going on walks with her husband, and chatting over her personal fave, banana chips and guacamole.