Meet the Author: Guest Interview with Courtney Lawlor
Join Interview Captain Brittany MacLeod as she goes behind the scenes with this week's guest author, Courtney Lawlor.
Based on the experiences you’ve shared with us, it seems like you’d say that your life has been changed for the better (YES that was A Wicked reference). Is there a particular experience or event in the past year that you can think of that was particularly eye opening and/or life changing?
In February, the seven other Windy Gap yearlongs and I, along with yearlong interns from three other Young Life camps in the United States, went on a mission trip to Nicaragua for a week, and the experience I had there was so life-changing. It was the first time I had ever been on a mission trip, and we spent five days working at a Young Life camp in Nicaragua called La Finca. While we were there, we helped pick coffee beans that grow on the property, and we watched the entire process of turning those beans into ground coffee to sell and ship to raise money for local kids to go to camp! It was in this week, as I was working on rebuilding fences at the boundaries of the camp property, alongside property staff members that didn’t speak any English, that I learned that I love the version of myself that is at the end of myself. I was completely out of my comfort zone and I saw myself try new things, take risks, put myself out there, and be myself, which is so freeing. I learned that laughter is the same in every language, and I was showing my true self to those around me, while I was loving who that is. When we came back to North Carolina from that trip, I wanted to continue to live in that way, and push myself to live a little uncomfortably. It is in this discomfort that we see ourselves grow. My experience in Nicaragua definitely changed me for good (another Wicked reference, of course!).
As a fellow Book of Mormon [musical] lover, I know you’ll do something incredible! You mentioned that since graduating from college, you have watched your fellow classmates land jobs and find their niches all across the country and around the world. What do you think your niche is at this point in your life?
I have such a passion and a heart for the mission of Young Life, how it introduces kids to Jesus and His Gospel in such an exciting, approachable way, that I would love to stay involved with Young Life in whatever way I can. I think for now, I want to do that by continuing to be a Young Life leader wherever I end up, meeting middle school or high school kids, or even college-age friends and showing up in their lives and showing them love, just by doing life with them. I want to get some administrative experience in a company or at a university to become familiar with and gain knowledge of management from an administrative standpoint. I eventually would like to work full-time at a Young Life camp property as an administrative manager, and use what I will learn along my journey to get there. I want my niche to be doing something that I love and genuinely enjoy getting up every day to do.
You are someone that always has a song on your mind and in your heart. I know this is going to be wicked hard for you, but if you could only pick ONE SONG to listen to for the rest of your life, which one would it be any why?
This is a very difficult question, but I think I would listen to “Rise Up” by Andra Day if I had to listen to one song for the rest of my life! I’ve started listening to it every morning as I get ready to motivate me for the day. That song speaks to me in how I know that whatever life throws at me, I will be able to get up and overcome challenges. With the help of the people I love and trust, I will be able to conquer whatever is in front of me, and I will be a better person because of it.