Have you ever wished you could sit down in a casual coffee shop with one of our authors and speakers and chat? We are so thankful for the amazing women of God we have the privilege of working with regularly. And while we can’t all gather in our favorite downtown coffee shop, we want to give you the opportunity to know them a little more personally.
Every other month we’re sharing a fresh “coffee chat” with a member of the Lifeway Women family to give you the opportunity to get to know her a little better.
This month, get to know Courtney Doctor!
Tell us about your writing process. Any favorite pens, locales, teas to drink, music to listen to?
I am in awe of anyone who can write in a public place—a coffee shop, the library, a park. The extreme extrovert in me demands that I look up to see each person walking by. So I must be somewhere alone, usually my home office with my back to the door and the door shut. And I don’t listen to music when I write (again, I’m in awe of people who can), but I do mutter constantly to myself and whisper the words I’m typing—which is its own kind of soundtrack.
What is one of your favorite travel destinations? Is there somewhere you haven’t been that is on your wish list?
Favorite Destination: That’s such a hard question! Possibly Alaska. My oldest daughter and I went there to celebrate her college graduation and, early one morning, our cruise ship navigated slowly down a fjord. Wrapped in blankets, clutching coffees, we viewed what had to be one of the most beautiful spots on earth. But this earth has so many incredible places that it is impossible to pick just one!
Wish list: Of all the places I’ve not been, my dream destination is Bora Bora. I want to stay in one of those huts over the water with a glass floor!
What is the best advice you have ever received?
I don’t remember when I first heard this, but many have said it: “Turn your ‘what ifs’ into ‘even ifs.’” When my fears run wild and the “what ifs”—what if I fail at this; what if my children suffer; what if I lose this relationship—occupy my mind, this advice tells me to turn my questions into statements: even if I fail, God still loves me; even if my children suffer, God holds them secure; even if I lose that relationship, my heavenly Father will never leave or forsake me. This one piece of advice gives me a better, more biblical way to think rightly about my fears.
What’s something God has been teaching you lately?
Oh, it’s a lesson I have had to learn over and over—rest! The Lord continues to show me how my ability to rest in Him is a direct result of my trust in Him. It can be as simple and as obvious as taking a day for Sabbath rest—which demands that I trust Him with my list of all that is in front of me. Or it can be as difficult as my need to rest in His plan and His ways. I can fight against both. But the Lord longs for us to trust Him with both what He’s doing and how He’s doing it.
You have a new Bible study with Lifeway called In View of God’s Mercies. Tell us a little about it.
It’s a nine-session study on the book of Romans! In it, we move through the entire letter to see that the gospel is meant to do more than change our eternal futures; it’s meant to change our present realities.
Like the church in Rome, we desperately need the gospel to unite us and transform us more into the image of Jesus—both individually and corporately. And we need the gospel to compel us to join God on His mission to seek and save the lost in our families, neighborhoods, cities, nations, and throughout the world.
My hope is that this study will do what Paul hoped his letter would do: help us know the gospel, believe the gospel, and be equipped to share the gospel to the ends of the earth.
As you studied for this Bible study, what were some new things you learned along the way?
So much! For instance, in Romans 8:32 Paul wrote, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (ESV). This continues to take on deeper and deeper meaning as I let it soak further into my soul. God is telling us that He has already given the greatest, most costly, most valuable thing He could—His Son. And since He’s already given us the greatest thing, He will, of course, give us all the lesser things we need. He’s not going to hold out on us. If there is something I think God is withholding, this verse reminds me that, in His sovereign goodness, I must not really need it, or He would have already given it.
Courtney is an author and Bible teacher. She received an MDiv from Covenant Theological Seminary in 2013 and is the author of From Garden to Glory: A Bible Study on the Bible’s Story, Steadfast: A Devotional Bible Study on the Book of James, and co-author of Remember Your Joy: A Bible Study of Salvation Stories in the Old Testament. She currently serves as the Coordinator of Women’s Initiatives for The Gospel Coalition. Her greatest desire in all of this is to be able to faithfully study, apply, and teach the Word of God and help others to do the same.
God has blessed Courtney and her husband, Craig, with four wonderful children, two amazing daughters-in-law, five precious grandchildren, and a spunky Bernedoodle named Walter. Find her online at courtneydoctor.org.