Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Testimony

I always felt like I was a good person.
My morals were above standard, my conscience was usually always in over drive, and I was always a cheerful, generous, loving kind of person.
But I didn't know Jesus, and I was a little hungry for that.

I didn't grow up in a God-fearing and serving home. I had very little knowledge of the Bible.

I knew there was a heaven, though... and I'd heard of a hell, which obviously isn't the place you want to be.
So I knew if given a choice, surely I'd prefer the more pleasant of the two- aaaaand that would be heaven.
But there's all kinds of rules I have to live by to get there, huh? Tough. Because I was totally having a great time in my own world with my own rules. Oh well, I've got plenty of years ahead of me to open the Bible, sort out the rules, and good deed my way up to heaven.

This was my mentality throughout my teens, and I married my husband, my high school sweetheart 20 days before my 20th birthday. We were building our house together. We were loving being "pretend" parents to our spoiled Labradoodle. We were happy.
and then right before our one year wedding anniversary, I got pregnant.
I read that pregnancy test and a really cute and fuzzy future flashed before my eyes.
I saw myself folding laundry with a big plump baby belly.
I saw myself laughing and balancing bowls of ice cream and pickles on my belly.
I saw my happy husband rubbing my belly and feeling for little baby kicks.
aaaand then a nasty little disorder called Hyperemisis Gravardium kicked in when I was about 5 weeks, and I was horribly, terribly sick every day, all day for most of my entire pregnancy.
Most days in my first trimester I threw up at least 12 times a day.
I became so weak that I could no longer get up by myself without falling on the floor.
I became so dehydrated that I had to go in and out of the hospital for fluids.
Fainting was something I'd do untimely and when no one was around to help me.

On top of being miserably sick, my parents that were married for my entire life suddenly split up and divorced. The details of it all were really sad, disappointing, and a little bit devastating to me.  During the beginning of my sickness, before my Mom left my Dad,  sleep was the only and best part of my day/nights. Then once the pain and the details of their split onset I couldn't even sleep anymore. I felt robbed.

I felt alone, I felt discouraged, and I felt abandoned. I felt disgusted. I felt miserable.
I remember being on the bathroom floor sometime during my second trimester begging God to make it stop. I had thrown up for probably the tenth time that day. Every part of my body hurt and throbbed. I hadn't been able to keep anything down, not even water for two days. I was so drained physically and emotionally.
I was in so much pain from throwing up so often, I was all by myself most of the time, and I was tired of living every single day and night unable to even make it to the bathroom when I was sick. It hurt, and I was exhausted. I asked a God I didn't know that day to take it away. Just whatever He had to do to make it stop. I screamed and yelled and snotted my way into a breathing fit that I couldn't control.
 I was really angry. I was really sick. I was really scared.
The next day, I took a nap. When I woke up, I was bleeding, and I was far enough in my pregnancy to know bleeding wasn't good.
I raced to my doctors office where I found out there was a tear in my placenta.
My baby was given a 50% chance of making it that day. I was told the tear could heal itself in time, or it may continue to tear in which case there was nothing they could do and I'd lose my baby, my doctor seemed to be leaning closer towards the second option.
I went home terrified on a level I'd never been before.
Why did I ask God to take this away?
Didn't He know I meant the pain and sickness, not the baby?
Why couldn't I be one of those happy pregnant women sitting on the couch folding laundry and balancing bowls of ice cream on my belly?
Why did I do this to my baby?
I had so many questions and so many pleas, and I can honestly say I've never prayed so hard in my life.
On my knees, desperate kind of prayer.

Sparing you some of the the worser details of the in betweens...
I delivered a healthy 8.1lb baby girl a couple of long months later.
He heard me.
and I felt so amazed and so unworthy and so grateful.

I owed my baby to Him.
She is His, and I wanted to be able to give her to Him as well as give Him to her. 
I wanted her to have the kind of relationship with the Lord that I had always wanted, that I had never had. 
In order to do that for her, I had to first do it for myself.

I prayed for the Lord to put us where we should be.
Not just me, but us.
My husband, who was raised in the church, had a rough time growing up.
He had a lot of emotions, doubts, and feelings of abandonment.
I knew his heart wasn't right with the Lord, so I just prayed that God unite our marriage in Him so that we can do His work, and so that I could learn who He is.
I didn't want "church".
I didn't want legalistic to do lists.
I wanted God.
and I started to want Him bad.

God is amazing.
He heard me again.
Little ole me, out of all of these people with big needs.... He heard me.
and my husband brought us to a church service on Easter day when our daughter was 2 months old.
No pressure, no pushing. We just took that step...together.
Every Sunday since then, Philip takes us to a church where we stand up and sing and worship our God, where we sit down and listen to a message from Him.
But way more importantly than that, every day, since then, we pray, we love, we serve, and we live for Him.
In our marriage.
In our home.
In our children.
In our lives.
and He continues to hear me.
He continues to completely and incredibly amaze me.
and every single time I mess up, he forgives me.

Philip and I were born again in May of 2009 when we both accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and the Lord of our life, and we actually were baptized together October of this year,2011.

I feel so thankful to have gone through this with my husband. We've been together for 9 years, and we were once a very different couple. It's incredible to listen to Philip lead us in amazing prayer and just think of where we used to be. If you asked the younger us if we'd be here right now, we'd have laughed.
I'm so glad that we came to realize God's will for us is way better than our own.
Over these two years we've been through a lot.
A lot of great things.
A lot of not so great things.
but A lot of love.
More love than I've ever known.

I remember hearing someone say a few years ago, "I hope you like singing and praising Jesus, because in heaven that's what we'll do all the time."
I remember thinking, "really? worship Jesus all the time? That's it? That's heaven??"
but now that I have a true, real relationship with Him, I cannot wait to get there. Seriously I imagine it all of the time. I cannot wait to meet Jesus.

When I'm in His presence, I feel my soul smile.
I could stay in it forever, and I'm so, so glad that through the price he paid for me that I get that chance.
Thank you Jesus!

"Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God" Ephesians 3:17-19

Salvation Stories


  1. Oh, Courtney, I loved reading this! Your testimony choked me up and gave me shivers. Thank you so much for sharing it, and praise the Lord for what He has done!

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  4. How beautiful Courtney! I never grew up in a religious household. We never said grace or prayers & we went to church every now & then & on special occasions. Even with Brandon & I now, we still don't go to church. I am Catholic & he is Baptist. What kind of religion you are doesn't matter to me so we tried a Baptist church. I really, really enjoyed it. It kept me interested & captivated. Then we soon fell out of going. I don't think Brandon enjoyed it as much as I did & I didn't want to have to attend alone all the time that he's gone at work. I am in a place now that I am searching for somewhere to go & hoping that Brandon will come along with me. I want to raise our children knowing Him & I want to have answers about Him when they ask. I'm just not sure how to start or where to start, but I hope I find those answers soon. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Wow, what an amazing story! Gave me goosebumps! Praise God for saving your precious daughter's life and for you and your husband's salvations! What a wonderful blessing!
    And how amazing you and your husband were able to come to know Him together and be baptized together-so sweet!

  6. Courntey, This is such a beautiful story. I shared this with a lot of my friends. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. Bless your family.

  7. What a beautiful story of God's love & guidance! So awesome! Praying that He continues to guide you & your family. :)

  8. Oh wow! This is an awesome story. It's so crazy to see the different ways God draws each of us to Him. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Wow absolutely beautiful! God is so amazing! :) I found you through Callie's blog :)

  10. Hi Courtney,

    I found you through Callie's link up as well. :)
    Thank you for sharing your story! You are blessing us, your sisters in Christ, with what you share. What a blessing, to be partnered in unity with your husband, sharing such a journey together. Wow! God is so good.


  11. Your story is absolutely beautiful! I linked up at Callie's site to do the salvation stories as well and came across glad I checked it out..was a blessing to read!!!