Friday, May 22, 2009

who i am, part 2

here we go.
part 2 :-)
we have a big weekend ahead of us, so this will have to keep you busy for a couple days!

if you need to catch up:
who i am, part 1

and i'm going to back up a bit to give a little history on my "testimony" - who God is to me.
i "accepted" Christ as my Savior when i was like 4 years old or something.
my mom told me that. i don't remember it.
but i grew up going to church and hearing the Bible my whole life.
it's what my family did. it's what i did.
i believed it. but didn't give too much thought to it.
i do remember saying "the prayer of salvation" multiple times when it would be given at church "just to be sure" He heard me :-)

in 7th grade i went on a retreat with my youth group.
the speaker walked through Christ's death on the cross for the whole weekend.
every aspect and detail of His death.
that was a turning point for my faith.
when i really GOT it.
what He did for me...a sinner...died a horrific death...for that i could live forever...with Him!

i was part of a wonderful youth group through jr and sr high that really helped me solidify and grow in my faith.

i went to James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA for college.
i was excited to go away to college.
and nervous.
my boyfriend of 2+ years broke up with me the day before we left for college.
which was hard.
especially since he was going to the same college.
i have mixed feelings about having had a "serious" boyfriend in high school.
part of me wishes i hadn't - that i wouldn't have given parts of my heart to someone so young.
but part of me is thankful. he was good to me and possibly kept me from being hurt by other "not so nice" guys.
i don't know.

so, i enter college.
my freshman year was one of the first really HARD times in my life.
i was alone. i was heartbroken. yet i was excited about "college."
for the first 6 weeks or so i literally couldn't eat.
i would be hungry. get food. sit down. and feel like i was going to throw up.
just nerves, i guess.
my world had been shaken. and i was on my own. it was a bit terrifying.
my suitemates were nice.
except for my roommate.
who thought she was a vampire. seriously. blood pellets on her desk and everything.
so weird.

i remember feeling so very alone.
for the first time in my life.
it was not all bad though.
i thought a lot. prayed a lot. read my Bible a lot.
i clung to Him...because i didn't have anyone else.
and i don't say that in a "pity me" way - it was so good.
i remember going to groups like Intervarsity and Campus Crusade all by myself.
standing in the back...all by myself.
i had spend all of my jr and sr high years surrounded by friends that were Christians, that it was wierd to be seeking Him alone...but it was good for me. i needed to know it was just me and Him.
and i felt Him always.
but there were still some dark days.

sophomore year i began meeting and becoming closer with some of those people in Intervarsity and Campus Crusade.
and one of my best friends from home came to JMU and was my roommate!
i also started dating pat.
{we dated for a few months freshman year...but we weren't ready...}
things were looking up! :-)

junior year i lived in a house with 7 other girls.
what a year.
the laughter. prank wars. standing in the hallway talking for hours. crazy grocery runs. chore charts.
living with 7 people that come from 7 different backgrounds was a GREAT experience.
lots of learning :-)
and still some of my best friends in the whole world.
once you live with is a whole other, deeper level of thankful for them!!!

something i realized during college was how thankful i was for being taught the TRUTH as i grew up. friends around me were having to "undo" lies they had been taught. and it was so HARD for them. through all the churches we went to growing up...and all my parents taught me...i was blessed to know Him and who He really is.

pat and i got engaged between our sophomore and junior years. i'm pretty sure people thought we were crazy. or pregnant. but we were neither. we just knew we wanted to commit to love each other forever and why not go ahead and do it?? and our parents were supportive...which helped.

we had a beautiful wedding the summer between our junior and senior years.
we lived in the sweetest (oldest) 1 bedroom apartment for our senior year.
it was a fun first year of marriage.
still living the college life.
but being married.
kind of the best of both worlds.
i graduated with an education degree. pat with accounting.

after we graduated, we moved "back home" to northern virginia.
i got a job teaching at a Christian school. 2nd grade.
and pat got a job with Arthur Anderson. {which he started AFTER passing the CPA exam - at least 1 of us has brains!}

there you have it.
college. :-)
i feel like i left out tons of how my mom send me a card EVERY SINGLE WEEK...but i don't want to bore you either.
it's hard to narrow it down...

stay tuned for part 3 - our 2nd year of marriage - but our first year of REAL LIFE!
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Julie said...

thanks for sharing... I love hearing all this Courtney!!!

Tisha said...

Yep, what Julie said.

anthonyandbeth said...

i am loving this! it just makes me more and more excited for each new "part". :)

Katherine said...

courtney- i just saw your blog via laurie harmer's fb page and have spent the past little bit reading and reading. i was a year behind you at jmu- i lived in the sonhouse. i totally remember you and pat getting married and i thought OHMYGOSH how in the world can they be so grown up and mature as to GET MARRIED? it blew my mind:)

i love reading your adoption story. congrats on two sweet sweet boys that you have added to your family! now i think OHMYGOSH how in the world can they wrangle SIX KIDS! :) very very exciting!

Anonymous said...

"I clung to him because I didn't have anyone else." Thank you for that line. Some words come just as we need it. God is amazing, and your blog has been a blessing.