“Want to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.”

Courtney PicHi! My name is Courtney McKinney. I am currently at first grade teacher at a wonderful, small school outside of Boone, NC. I graduated from Appalachian in 2014 with my undergraduate degree and now I am a part time graduate student in the Reading Education department!

From the moment I was born the Lord has been working in my life. Through each phase of my life I can see His mighty handprint. As a young girl, I was raised in a home that feared and worshipped God. At seven, I accepted the Lord as my savior. Though I know that I was saved then, it took me many years to grow and understand what that relationship should look like. One major way I learned about this relationship was through Collegians for Christ. My church is very small and we never had the opportunity to have a youth group. I always felt that I was missing a piece by not having a group of believers that were my age to connect with. I started my freshman year at App in search of a small group to attend each week, but I never found one that felt right in my heart. I kept attending my home church but still prayed for a group of people to learn about God with that were in the same stage of life as myself.

One day I got a strange call from a number I didn’t recognize. I let it go to voicemail so I could see who the person was. This lady left a short message about a bible study that was starting at App State and she invited me to their first meeting. Truthfully, I was half terrified and half ecstatic. I was a little nervous to just show up at a random bible study but this is exactly what I had been praying for! God had heard my prayers and at a vital time in my life I was introduced to CFC. I was able to help CFC become established on campus and was the first president of CFC! I was extremely proud as our bible study grew from a small building on King Street to a full room in the student union! Through this bible study I gained so much knowledge about the Bible and about my personal walk with God.

“Want to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.” If you know me you know that I am a planner. I plan out my days to the hour most of the time. Part of this is because of a busy schedule, the other part is that I am beyond organized. I had plans to be married as soon as I graduated from App, buy a perfect little house, get the perfect teaching job, start a family within four years, and…you get the picture. I was engaged to someone who I had dated for six years. We had many discussions about our beliefs and I was under the impression that we believed the same things. One night my fiancé decided to be completely honest with me, he opened up about not being a believer and was very confused about his belief in God. When I was brought to this life altering decision, many of the lessons I had been studying at CFC came back to mind. I was to stand tall in my faith and to not back down because the Lord was on my side. During this decision, we also called on Kyle and Amanda Austin (the CFC leaders) to help us through this discussion. We decided that this was not what either of us wanted in a marriage. I never thought that I would be asked to stand for my faith in this situation. I am so thankful that I had Kyle and Amanda to help me through this part of life. Through this I have had the opportunity to share my testimony with so many different people. I feel like the Lord has used this situation to deepen my faith and help me understand that no matter what I have planned, He has a greater plan for my life.

The Lord knew what he was doing when He brought the Austin family into my life along with CFC. Matthew 7:7-8 says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” I will never be able to put into words what CFC and the people involved have meant to me and my walk with my Savior. I am also thankful that the Lord has showed me to wait on HIS plan not my own!

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