Tired, broken, and on bended knee, I cradled my son in my arms and wept. I prayed through the sobs, “God, you have to tell me what to do!”  I had nowhere to go, was without a job or money, and at only sixteen I didn’t have a clue how to take care of my precious newborn.  I cried out, “God, please, give me peace if I’m supposed to give him up. Just tell me, somehow, someway, and give me the courage to do it – this hurts God, this hurts!”  

Suddenly, as if a cold wind blew into the room, my shuddering shoulders loosened and my tears stopped. I knew. I knew I had heard God. “Just don’t let this be for nothing God.  Just don’t let it be in vain.”

It was February 3rd, 1992 when the words, “Don’t let it be in vain,” were born, along with my first born whom I placed into adoption six weeks later.  I had no idea, at the time, what that really meant, but I put every bit of trust I had into the idea that losing my child would eventually count for something.  

Years later as I began the long healing process of surviving sexual abuse for twelve years I once again found myself saying the words, “It can’t be in vain. It just can’t” Having endured such trauma and trying to make some sense of it I believed that the pain I felt had to have some kind of purpose. A reason. A why.  It was the only way I could wrap my brain around it all.

Our stories, our journey’s, our lives and the things that happen to us all have one thing in common.  

Us. We are united in the truth that none of us is immune to hurt. The majority of us also feel that if we’re going to go through the fire we ought to at least make it count for something.

That’s where purpose steps in. Bold and powerful purpose. We have the power to speak to that pain and refuse to be victims to its backlash.  We can fight, not for mere survival, but for glory. When we do this – when we give ourselves permission to heal and utilize our experiences for a greater good – we become victorious.  We become united. We become powerful.

It’s Never In Vain.


Courtney Frey Speaks

Courtney speaks often on this topic, and many other challenges we face on life’s journey, catering her speech to each audience.