Monday, April 7, 2014

Houston, We Have A Problem...

I was scared.
Geniunely, fearful.

Derek was diagnoised back in 2011 with multiple sclerosis (an amazing story which I'll share later). His amazing doctor started him on a great medicine called Copaxone. The side effects were small and quick, if any at all, compared to the other treatments available. Derek was 24 years old at the time and was covered by his dad's insurance, but we both knew that that would end on the last day of November of 2013 at 11:59 pm. We knew that day was coming and we had no clue what we were going to do about it. So we prayed and kept living life.

Moving to Seattle was so exciting! We came to realize that we were doing something pretty out of the ordinary. We would get strange looks when people would ask what was taking us to Seattle and our answer would be "Jesus." We didn't really have a plan. We just knew we were supposed to do it.

I had gotten a job with Princess Cruiseline over a phone interview while still living in Houston. The program was a temporary position and would begin May 15th and end October 15th. I didn't care. It was a job in Seattle, our next season, and another reason to give people instead of "Jesus" when they asked why we were moving. Plus, it sounded pretty official. "Oh, I got a job working for a cruise line, you may have heard of it. It's called Princess. Princess Cruiseline."

We made it to Seattle, and began to settle in. Derek applied and was accepted to do an internship with the church. That meant he would only have time to work a part-time position. But, I was excited! This is what we had been praying for and it was happening. We were both in agreement that I would be the primary source of income, (funny, huh? see Sailing to Seattle.) and Derek would continue to work part-time as a Segway Tour guide. Yeah, my Texan husband was giving folks a tour around Seattle. :) Jesus is hilarious.

I thought surely I could work my way into Princess. I thought I could show them I'm a good worker and have something to offer the company. But when I got there, I noticed I was one of about 2,000 other temps hired for the Alaska season. They seemed to be favoring others around me and I just couldn't get "in." We all know when we are "in" and when we are truly just temps. This temp position didn't offer any health insurance either, just a nice discount on a future cruise with them.

What am I supposed to do? Derek's medicine costs about $4,000 a month without insurance and God forbid he get hospitalized again. That's about $40,000 we don't have. We needed health care. We needed a good job.

The pressure fell on me like a heavy sack of potatoes. I felt like it all depended on me. So what does Courtney do when she needs to get something done. She does it. Quickly. With not alot of prayer or thought. She jumps on whatever seems fastest and most logical.

So I quit Princess.

I found out that Starbucks gives health care to part-time employees and they just so happen to be hiring down from my house. I applied and got the 25 hour a week job.

It was fun at first. I really enjoyed be a barista. But honestly, we could barely pay our bills, how the heck are we going to pay for health care too. I couldn't just get healthcare for him, I had to pay for mine also... And that was going to end up taking our whole check!! I realized quickly that I had messed up. WHAT HAVE I DONE!?

I was at my breaking point. Fear consumed me. Lies and condemnation flooded my mind.

"What are you going to do now?"
"Your husband will pay for your selfishness."
"God's going to punish you for being disobedient."
"You're done for."

I didn't realize how I saw the Lord until that moment. I began to realize that I saw him as some sort of karmic deity, that would punish me at any slip off of his harshly thin tight rope of righteousness. I couldn't handle it. I believed he would let us fail and crush us because of my fear, hasty decisions, and lack of faith. Oh how, I didn't understand the Gospel.

I believed I was a broken, unprofitable product that was once again failing the expectations of the One whom I just wanted to love me. What I didn't understand was, yes I am. I am all of that. But all of those expectations were fulfilled by Jesus. His righteousness is now my righteousness. His faithfulness is now my faithfulness. And I mean, I knew that. But I didn't really believe that. My mind said, "Oh, yeah, yeah, I got that." But my actions said, "No way. I'm all alone in this." Is it really something you believe if you don't do what you are saying you believe?

"Hey, there is poop in that cookie."
"Oh, okay thanks for the heads up."
Yeah, you didn't believe it.
I cried out. I repented for running in any direction I thought would be my salvation rather than turning to him. I repented for turning to this world in hopes that it would save us from our sure demise. 

I saw no where to go from where I already was, so I stayed at Starbucks. I was determined to be faithful where he has allowed me to be, and really trust that he can bring water out of this seemingly dry rock. I had to trust that God cared for both Derek and I, and that he would provide a new job or sustain us where we were. I would apply to local jobs as I saw them posted online, staying open for any new oppurtunities. I could breathe. The pressure began to lift.

August came quickly, and I noticed one morning I had an email replying an application I had filed. I was requested to contact the HR who had a couple questions about my resume. She made me aware that a couple hundred people had already applied for this position and that this would be a multiple step process that would take some time.

September rolls around. I do a phone interview with this company. I heard alot of "Oh, perfect!" and "That's awesome!" which was pretty encouraging. By the end of September, I, along with 5 others, were requested for an in person interview.

October 3rd, my 24th birthday, I go in for a background check.
*Super intimidating.*

October 7th, I heard "You'll hear from us Friday."
*I'm getting nervous.*

October 18th... I hear, "Monday."
*I am so scared at this point.*

What was happening? Was I going to get this job or not? It's an admin position and I was great at that and November was getting so close. Could I still trust God? Was this all going to worth it?

October 24th, my phone rings. I hear "Congratulations! Check your email."

I read the offer. I was floored. God provided. Derek's insurance would end November 30th, 2013 at 11:59 pm and the new insurance began December 1st, 2013 at 12 am. Derek and I danced and sang and cried.

Literally to the minute, God provided.


  1. wow what an amazing story! I love hearing about God's faithfulness.

    1. Megan, Thank you! He literally leaves me in awe! :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Amber. It was a hard. Life isn't easy and I want to be transparent and reassure folks that Jesus is with us even though we will encounter hard things and we can trust him because he sees the full picture. :)

  3. This was so beautiful! I was touched by reading this. I am so glad that you were able to put your trust in Him the way you did. God is not out "to get us". His grace is so marvelous! Praise God for His provision in your life! I pray for healing of your husband's body. know how to make a caramel macchiato? Any chance you'll share the recipe among others? Lol

    1. Kendwy, Thanks for the encouragement and the prayer. I do know the recipe for Caramel Macchiatos and I would love to share the recipe. :) Will do soon.

  4. Wow, what and incredible lesson, and journey, and experience, and an awesome, awesome move of God. He really is faithful and worthy of praise.

    So encouraged to see God using the both of you to tell His overarching story. Glad He's using you in this way :) Great story!

    1. Yes! He really is! These are good pillars for me to build to remind me of His faithful love for us, because I know there will come times when I need to be reminded.