Today Courtney of is sharing her testimony.

It is well with my soul.

This is my testimony story. Can I let you in on a little secret, reader? I dreaded writing my story. I have written and rewritten the first paragraph about half a dozen times, deleted it and then rewrote it, took it from a different angle and then deleted it again. I have gone to God, lamented to God and spent time in His word.

But this isn’t easy for me and here’s why. A lot of people in my life, in my family don’t know these parts of me, and if you’re one of those people it’s not because I don’t trust or love you but because, in my own mind, I was protecting you. So, dear reader, I am baring my soul to you, I am opening up parts of myself that many people don’t know. May it all be to the glory of God.

When I first wrote it, it was about what Satan has done to me and the second time it was about what God has walked me through. I mapped it all out but somehow it just didn’t want to work. So lets organically give this a go.

This is a tragic story of grace and redemption.

My walk with God hasn’t been easy, but it has been tangible. I have constantly felt His soft hands against my fragile wings of belief, and He has always held me, comforted me and encouraged me. He is very solid to me, not just as a “spirit” but as a Father and as a Saviour who has walked me daily in this journey, running beside me in the race, being my strength and purpose.

But this is not a story of sunshine and rainbows, because frankly, that’s not what my walk with God is. My walk is valleys and storms and late nights crying out to God and His Spirit interceding on my behalf. This is the story of a perfect God meeting His broken and imperfect daughter at the cross.

Satan’s first attempt on my life was when I was 16. Throughout that year that the world promises is “sweet”, Satan dug his nails deep into my life. In the middle of my 16th year, I got into a car accident, and praise God, we all survived. The first responders said we shouldn’t have been alive, let alone be walking away from the accident. Unfortunately, my brain wasn’t as lucky. Three months of my memory was wiped out and for the next three months my memories would not be stored. There’s 6 months of nothingness in my past, and then the time after that, even to this day is a bit of a muddy, blurry mess. It’s gotten so much better, but there are times where I have to tell myself, I will remember this.

During the three months after my accident, I entered a relationship with an older non-believer. To this day I don’t quite know where I met him, why we dated or what the heck was going on in my head. But when I came back, I trusted that I was still the level-headed Courtney that I knew and that there was some reason for this relationship. I had many people tell me to run, and fast, but being the stubborn person I am, I didn’t listen.

This relationship was at the very least, toxic. He was hyper-sexual and didn’t care about my beliefs. He sold and smoked marijuana and was a very controlling person. Satan blinded me to the warnings, and he sought to use this young man to try to devour me whole and he nearly did. At the tender age of 16, as a virgin, this boyfriend of mine, the first boy I had ever kissed raped me. He came into my parents home when I was alone and refused to leave, and he raped me on my parents couch. He said awful, vile words to me and Satan took those lies and stored them in my heart.

I was devastated, and the next day, broke up with him and buried the incident. Because, in my eyes, it was all my fault. I became invested in a relationship with a boy I wasn’t even interested in to feel safe, and not long after, my rapist began assaulting me in class. I was humiliated. I didn’t run to my Father, because of the shame, because I thought I wasn’t worth it,  and thoughts that He would never accept me back into His arms. In this time, post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression entered my life.

I didn’t deal with this incident for years, and it became a silent plague in my life, a dark struggle that very few knew about. I came back to God but I never gave Him that night. I kept the lies stored in my heart.

At the age of 19, what I was running from caught up to me. I sat in my room, broken and alone, and I cried out to God. All I desired was to cry over this loss I experienced. But I didn’t give God my pain, and Satan jumped in. I took a bottle of pills and downed it. I didn’t truly want to die, but Satan for sure wanted me to.

A friend received a text I sent him as I lay in my bed, numb and high from overdosing, and God told him what I had done. He called me and then called poison control and they told him to get me to the hospital as soon as possible. At the hospital we got the devastating news: there was no antidote to counteract the drug, and there was nothing they could do. So we waited to see what would happen. Either I could pull through, or my heart would stop and they would try to resuscitate me. Many people prayed and 38 hours later, I walked out of the hospital. Not long after, I called off the relationship that I entered into after the assault.

Two months later, I started dating the man I would come to marry. We had dated, and we did life together, and 7 months into our relationship we felt God calling us to move to Ottawa. I got a job as a live-in nanny and he had multiple interviews in his field. We moved to Belleville, my hometown for what was meant to be a week, living with my parents until I moved in with my nannying family. My mom and Ian moved me to Ottawa, and not 24 hours later, I got a call that changed my life.

“There’s been an accident, your mom’s really hurt.”

I drove to Kingston hospital, expecting my young mom of 41 years to be sitting up, joking painfully about tubes and recklessness. I arrived at the hospital and got the news that my best friend was dead. Dead. I went into the emergency room and saw my mom’s body, once so full of life, swollen and empty of spirit. Sounds and cries came from my body that I’ve never heard before.

Pure devastation.

But what I’ve learned through sexual assault, suicidal attempts and the most tragic loss in my life is this:

The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me;
I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“Lord, save me!”
The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return to your rest, my soul,for the Lord has been good to you.
For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
// Psalm 116:3-9

This Psalm is my truth. I sometimes have painful flashbacks of my assault, the valleys I’ve walked through and every day I endure the various stages of grief of losing my mom. But our God is good, and He is there for me. He has already overcome. And no matter what Satan has done, He has already declared victory. This is a messy story of grace, and redemption. Yes, all of this happened, but through His grace, I am redeemed.

“They triumphed over him (satan) by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony.”
// Revelation 12:11

Even so, it is well with my soul.
Courtney Szeto

image1My name is Courtney Szeto, I’m a 20 year old wife and follower of Jesus and seeker of His truth. I am an enhanced worker at a Daycare, and will soon be pursuing my ECE. I am a motherless daughter working through the stages of grief in His loving care.
My blog is:
Find me on Instagram: mrscourtneyszeto

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