I cannot believe that 17 years has gone by so quickly. I remember holding your sweet little self for the first time in complete awe of this beautiful creature God created and I got to call "daughter". We have been through a lot over the years. Many scary nights spent pacing the hospital corridors wondering if you would be able to come home with us. Doctors visits where they told us you would not survive the seizures. Therapy session after therapy session where we tried to help you as much as we could maximize every gift God blessed you with.
I have watched you touch the hearts of so many people year after year. Whenever they meet you they are in awe of your strength of will and purpose. They see Jesus in your face. They know that you carry your cross willingly and with great dignity and grace.
I have shed many tears as I have held your violently shaking body,limbs rigid and pulsing, fighting for breath, struggling not to choke during a seizure. I pray earnestly each and every time, for you to take just one more breath. I am not ready to let you go to God just yet. I don't think I ever will be.
I do know that that day will come and I pray with all my heart you are in my arms. I held you as you took your first breath, I ask God for the grace to be holding you when you take your last one. I hope that's a very long time from now. You have defied all the odds, my child. You are a fighter like your Grandpa Green. He would be so proud of you. I know that he is looking down upon you today cheering you on. Can't you him? I know I can.
I thought I would be sad that you could never marry or carry a child. What God has revealed to me over time is that you have done these things. You stood in Lourdes, France, wearing a white dress and veil, before hundreds of pilgrims in May of 2000, and received Your Beloved for the very first time. You have chosen Christ as your spouse. You have said "yes" to Him everyday of your life by walking the path He chose for you.
I watch you hold so many peoples hands in prayer. They come to you for comfort and peace. They whisper their needs into your ear because they trust you, like a mother, you will love them through whatever struggle they face and lift them up to our Heavenly Father through your suffering and prayers. These are your spiritual children. You have many more than you could have ever born of your body. God is using your life to speak to the hearts of so many broken and discouraged people.
You shine like the sun before us all my lovely Courtney. You are an example of what LOVE really looks like for it is all you know. LOVE CONQUERS ALL! I promise to never leave your side. I promise that no matter what comes your way, you will never be alone. I promise to walk with you until God calls you forth to be free with Him. I can see you now running across that field of blue bonnets straight into His outstretched hands. Until that day comes, thank you for letting your Daddy, Jonathan and I love you in our imperfect way. Thank you for showing us how to live life with dignity and grace, to embrace each breath as the gift that it is. You are a wonder and miracle.
You are my daughter...my heart...and I will be forever grateful to Our Lord and Saviour for choosing me for this high honor. Happy Birthday Courtney!! May it be your best year yet!!