Courtney

The last character I’ll discuss from Soul Conquest is Courtney. She was older when she was abducted and comes to the gym as terrified as the rest of the slaves had been, but her age and personality help her navigate her trial differently. She is sure of her faith. She doesn’t blame God for her circumstances but is able to continue to trust and believe in Him, which gives her peace and a different kind of strength.

She loves Devin and sees in him the desire to do what’s right. She values the depth of his ability to care for others. Their differences are what help them be the strength the other one needs. Devin comes to respect Courtney’s faith even as he struggles with his own. Courtney is likewise patient with Devin in his personal journey of belief. This is one of the reasons their love grows stronger over the years.

Courtney is determined to survive and Devin helps to give her those skills. There isn’t much written in the book about how Courtney deals with the repercussions of killing in the ring, so I’ll tell you here. She does have nightmares and is haunted by the images that she can’t erase from her mind, but unlike Devin she doesn’t internalize them the same way. She recognizes the right she has to survive, the right someone else has to refuse to kill and those that are really responsible for the wickedness of her dilemma.

Courtney is an optimist like Bailey was. She doesn’t have to work as hard to see the good amidst the bad. Devin needs to be surrounded by people like that. The weight he makes himself carry is a load impossible to bear on his own. If he were alone the weight would crush him. This is why Courtney had to be a part of the story. She was the only person that could save him from the blackness he had chosen to walk in. At the moment Courtney comes into the picture, Devin had lost his will to survive. His body may have still been alive but in every other way he was dying.

The only way to save Devin was through love, and Devin had shut everyone else out, ensuring his own demise. So in comes Courtney, the imperfect girl that held the key to reopen his heart.

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What Motivates

I had a conversation with my son this last year that was intriguing. He told me that he wasn’t motivated to do anything. He’s in scouting, sports and school but felt no real drive to excel at any of it. He wanted to know what he could do to be motivated to do something…anything.

It was a great question. One that I think a lot of people struggle with. I’ve struggled with a lack of drive for short periods of time in my own life. So what do we do when that happens? How do we get up off our butts and get going? I’m certain there are as many answers to that question as there are people. For me, however, it’s been my faith. So that is the answer I gave to my son.

I told him that if he had no desire to excel then he could start by praying for desire. We aren’t meant to flounder. Each person is an amazing miracle that is meant to explore their creativity and possibilities. Each of us has so much potential. We shouldn’t let the possibilities of what we can accomplish, create, lives that we can touch, things that we can learn and explore go to waste in this life.

…So pray for the desire to accomplish great things and then get up and do it.