This was a great blog posted by our friend Courtney Weber on the GYMSOX blog. She is a rising Junior at Millbrook High School and a stud!! We're so excited about what God is doing in her life and blessed to be a part of it.
If possible, this summer has been even better than last. I spent a week in Arizona for the junior mission trip, a week at Western Carolina University as work crew for Great Escape and the past week in Jekyll Island for Fun in the Son. As much as I have to share about Arizona and Great Escape, I think the most life-changing experience this summer occurred during FITS.
To begin with, it was incredible having Casey there to be with and talk to, Sarah speaking during the morning sessions, and their beautiful daughter to hang out with. I met Casey at the beginning of last summer and really got to know him during our mission trip in Charleston and my first Fun in the Son. I can never thank God enough for placing Casey in my life at such a critical time. I clearly remember him being there to talk to in Charleston as I questioned God, his arm around me as I committed my life to Christ at FITS, and to talk and pray with after to answer my questions and doubts. It was hard when the Prince family moved to Africa in October, especially since I had just met and grown to love them so much. Even then, though, I talked to Casey several times a month, updating him on school and my life in general. No matter how busy he was changing countless people’s lives, or how late it was over there, he never hesitated to talk to me when I bugged him on Skype and Facebook. I told him constantly, but I don’t think he will ever know how much that means to me. My life is forever changed because of what God does through Casey and it is beyond any earthly words!
It was in a Facebook message during January I think, when I told Casey about this “weird feeling” I had concerning mission work and the Spanish language. Since I began taking a second language class my sophomore year, I realized an intense passion I had to learn more and talk with people in Spanish. Every time I hear or read Spanish, something inside me gets soo happy. Casey and I talked on and off about it throughout my whole second semester and in May, as I had just finished reading an incredible and moving book, Crazy Love, I sent Casey another message. I had been reading his and Sarah’s blog everrryy day since they left, and was totally amazed at their continuous love for God and everything He was doing in their lives. And somehow, I just knew that was going to be me one day. So I told Casey that through reading their blog and Crazy Love, I’ve been feeling this “really powerful presence or thought or something” that one day I’m going to do what they’re doing, but in a Spanish-speaking area. He sent an incredibly motivating message back, explaining that the Holy Spirit was planting this thought deep in me so that I won’t ever let it go. He also said that at 16, during a camp between his sophomore and junior year, (my exact situation this summer), the Spirit moved in him and gave him his calling.
And so, months later at Fun in the Son, I was floating in the lazy river with Casey and his friend, Scotty. Casey introduced me saying, “Scotty, this is Courtney. She’s going to be a missionary one day.” It kind of took me off guard considering Casey was one of the only people I had actually told about this “weird feeling” and I didn't even know this Scotty guy. I guess it was something I wasn’t really sure about and not quite sharing with the world. But when he said that, I was overwhelmingly happy and a little surprised that he still remembered and had taken me so seriously. I was in such high spirits the rest of that night, thinking about my future God already has planned and so glad that Casey believed in me.
The next morning, (of course) Sarah spoke about how some of us may feel God move in us, that we may have callings. She said we can’t be afraid; we have to constantly trust in Him and in His plan, and when we do, “we can fly.” She concluded that morning’s program with a prayer meant particularly for those who feel called into mission work or to be a youth pastor, or something specific like that. With all eyes closed, she asked for those who felt that call to raise their hands. With my hand raised and my eyes a little teary, Sarah prayed for me. It was such a special moment in time-another indescribable day that I could stick right next to July 21, 2009 at FITS last summer.
God is so incredible and will do amazing things if I trust in His plan for me. Just look at Casey and Sarah. Casey felt his calling when he was 16 and trusted in God to make that happen. I feel His calling now, and all I can do is trust that it will happen. Things may change, and it probably won’t be easy, but I am so so so excited to see where this goes and where He will take me.