Friday, September 2, 2011

Guest Post: freedom inside a closet

hi everyone! this is courtney from vintch. i’m so honored to be posting for jennifer while she’s away in ecuador and share with you a little about my walk with christ, specifically about a period when i realized my utter dependence on him. safe travels jen! 

so, there’s something you should know about me:

there was a time in my life when you couldn’t convince me i didn’t kill someone.
every awful story on the evening news. every amber alert. every prayer request lifted up in church. i would sit in my room and just cry, convinced that i was the sole cause of the hurt. i suffered from a form of obsessive compulsive disorder that caused me to feel guilty all.the.time. with a conscience big as a house, i literally carried the weight of the world on my shoulders. and as much as it made dad confused and mama cry, no one knew how to fix it.

i would come home from school and the first thing i did after getting off the bus was go to my room, take out construction paper, and write down everything bad i thought i did that day.

truth be told, you could trust me with your life. i never, ever, ever strayed. i was in college when i had my first sip of wine. wore white with honor at my wedding. never as much as cheated on a pop quiz. but the guilt and worry remained. oh the worry. the worry that followed me to high school and had me up all night the day before my first prom, almost ruining the whole thing. it was a trapped existence and i was powerless to defend myself.

then one night, when the walls were closing in, i went into my closet.

i remember the fibers most of all. the coarse texture of the carpet on my knees, bare in my nightgown. i lowered myself and shut the door behind me, gathering my hair in my hands and weeping. and i prayed for the lord to take it away. i was a christian. raised in a godly, beautiful home. and i believed, but i had never been forced to believe. it was more a doctrine, a habit. does that make sense? i believed because i just did. my life had never depended on my belief, so it had never been tested. that night, it was.

but it didn’t just go away. not all at once anyway. not the way i would have preferred. spare thoughts still lingered. outlying worries still maneuvered their way in. but this time, god had beat them to the punch. he was there within me, fighting those demons with a heavenly vigor. if i was going to be in a mental war zone, at least i had the most powerful defender on my side.

i haven’t shared the details of this experience with many, and i hesitated to talk about it in such a public place as this, but it’s vital that i do. in the years that have passed, the fear and worry that once clouded my mind have been replaced by a healing grace and i am changed. so i’ve got to share it, i have to pass along the news that god is very much alive and real within us. listening to us. and from presidents in the oval office to little girls on their knees in the closet, he hears every prayer.

and his answers might not come on our time. but when they happen—when those answers are revealed in all their splendor—well my goodness, it’s simply out of this world. i don’t worry anymore about what the future holds, because i know who holds the future.


  1. Beautiful, Courtney...I have tears in my eyes.


  2. Your honesty and realness are so inspiring. :)

  3. so awesome and true. thanks for your honesty and bravery. it is so relieving to be able to talk about where we've come from. xx

  4. what a deep and beautiful story courtney. thank you so much for opening your heart so beautifully in my blog. i loved having you here!

  5. thank YOU, jen! it was truly my honor to come over to your beautiful space. and as hard as it is to tell that story, i'm so glad i did. safe travels xoxo

  6. That was such a heartfelt and warm story my friend. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I'm so glad that your prayers were eventually answered, because it must have been awful for you to go around feeling like that, and taking the weight of the world on your shoulders. I firmly believe in the power of prayer.

  7. pretty hair pretty smile pretty dress (^.^)

    sweetness xx
    hope to hear from you*!

  8. Hi Jennifer! I came over from Vintch blog, and I am so excited to read more about you & your journey!!

    Courtney: You amaze me ALWAYS with your open and honest heart, and your skill at conveying such personal and uplifting stories. I can relate to so many of your words in this post...I, too, often feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. I sometimes can't watch the news. One tragedy can have me in tears for an entire night. I sometimes can't read a blog about a sick baby or a spouse off at war...I worry so much I can make myself sick. Needless to say, you are such an inspiration to me....especially today. THANKS for sharing this story. xoxo


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