Courtney... This sweet girl's story is the one that touches me the most. Some things I knew about her: 15, lived with a foster mom, no family that she told me about, I gathered that she had some kind of small mental handicap, and last of all.... she had a beautiful heart.
When Smokey-our youth minister-made the invitaiton to become a Christian there were alot of kids that got up and came to talk to one of the students! Praise God! I saw this girl that I snagged to talk to. Her name was Courtney. I began to tell her about Jesus' death on the cross and what it meant for us as sinners. She asked me alot of different questions and I was able to answer her questions-but was leaving it up to God to let her understand what He wanted her to know. I was afraid for most of the time that she really didn't understand, because there was some sort of small mental handicap that I noticed. I didn't let that get in my way of talking to her, I just tucked that away. So after I lead her in the prayer, I told her that it was her birthday. This look of confusion just swept over her face and she was like "What? really?" and I just said "Yes! Today is your spiritual birthday. The Courtney from yesterday is a different Courtney from today. You are a new person!" she just looked at me with this look of wonder. Then I looked at her and said "Do you know what else? I am your sister now. I am your sister in Christ!" Yall, she was SO excited..... so then I proceeded to say "Do you see all the boys and girls out there wearing yellow and blue tshirts?-(everyone on tour had yellow and blue shirts)- They are all your new brothers and sisters in Christ!! You have been accepted into the family of God, and He loves you!"
She started crying.
Immediately I started asking her why she was crying, because it wasn't just eyes tearing up-but full out bawling. She looked me in the eye and said:
"I have never been accepted before. Now I am accepted into a family!"
can you imagine how much I started crying?!
So I started hugging her and I just didn't let go for the longest time. The whole time that I am hugging her, she was saying "I want to come home with you! I want to go home with you!"
wow... again with the crying SG, snap out of it!
So I get Courtney calmed down and the first thing she asks me is if she can pray for her friend Scott. WOW!!! How selfless! She just learned about how she is a new child of God and how God can do ANYTHING for her, and her First Prayer is for someone else!
I end up having to go back up to the stage to sing and finish out the rest of our concert while Courtney is sitting on the first seat of the back row in the middle. She can see everything very clearly and very well! After our Human Video to Avalon's You Were There in which we have a representation of Christ dying on the cross for us, I can hear Courtney crying... I see her in the back and one of our chaperones is trying to calm her down. I went over to her before our very last song started, and took her over to the side to talk to her. I looked at her and asked her why she was crying, her response is what killed me (in a good way)
"I'm crying because Jesus is ALIVE!"
-there I go crying again. so amidst my tears, i slapped on a smile and said "Courtney, that's a good thing! Jesus is alive, we have nothing to be sad about, so why are you crying?"
again, another response that hit my heart.
she said, "These are tears of JOY!"
In that moment, I knew that whatever mental handicap she had, did not prevail here. She understood fully the commitment she had made.
I tried to find her later, after we had fed the people that attended, and someone told me that she had left.
God blessed me so much with her. His love shone through her to me, and I learned so much from her!! Especially her beautiful prayer for her friend. What a beautiful heart.... Courtney is the home to one of the most beautiful hearts I have ever seen.
Praise God for my new sister.