Today I have the pleasure of introducing you all to my sweet friend Amy from Cosentino Living. Amy and I connected on Instagram awhile back, but only recently discovered how similar our paths have been! I hope you will be greatly encouraged today as Amy shares her story of God’s faithfulness in her life. Plus, when you’re finished, you can head on over to her blog to read a guest post from me! -Jen
One Sunday back in 2014, I had the incredible opportunity of sharing my testimony before my church family. To this day I’m not entirely sure how the Lord made that happen; it’s not as though I have some drastically crazy testimony. (Although for the record, I think any testimony of the Lord changing someone’s life is a testimony worth sharing! And if you have Jesus in your life, then you have a testimony, my friend). Somehow, God found a way to have our pastor hear my testimony, and decide it would be meaningful for our church body to do the same. Crazy, I know!
As I prepared to share my life story in a whopping 45 minute long service, I had the task of coming up with a title. How do you give a short title to your entire life story? I didn’t know either, so I prayed about it. And through prayer, a phrase came to me that hasn’t left my mind since: Victory starts with surrender.
Surrender changed my life at the age of 22 on New Year’s Day when I found myself with a broken heart and a serious hangover in a sea of people worshipping the Lord. How did that combination come about, you ask? Well, my New Year’s Eve festivities included copious amounts of alcohol and tears upon the discovery that my recent ex-boyfriend had already moved on with his coworker. It would be nice to say I had my suspicions, but the truth is I was as blindsided as could be. Through out my life, I had developed a habit of turning to God when my heart ached, and this New Year’s Day was no exception. In the wee hours of that Sunday morning, I promptly made plans to attend church with a friend.
Nothing about this situation should have been unique for me. I had been to church more times than I could count, and had also been brokenhearted my fair share of times as well. But for whatever reason, God chose to make this day a monumental occasion that has since completely changed the trajectory of my life.
As the worship music played that morning, the first set before any words were exchanged, one phrase kept repeating itself in my mind: “I’m desperate for You.” It was as though being in the presence of people worshiping the Lord gave me permission to worship Him in a way I never had before, in total submission. My arms shot up towards the ceiling, and in an intimate moment that is difficult to describe with words, I proclaimed my desperation for Jesus to truly be my Lord and Savior.
It was that New Year’s Day that I truly learned what surrender means. And it was also that New Year’s Day that I truly learned what victory feels like. All of my life I had been searching for my worth and value in things that never seemed to satisfy or last, and it was on this day that I tasted of the victory of the cross through the surrender of my life to Jesus. I walked into church feeling replaceable and hopeless, and I walked out with a peace and joy that can only be a result of the Holy Spirit. It was on this day that I began to see myself as the Lord sees me, and I started to willingly give Him control of my life knowing that He is oh so trustworthy, and oh so worth it. That is what I would call the victory of the cross, my friends.
5 years down the road, and life has never been the same. I’ve seen victory in areas of my life that I thought would always serve as a struggle for me. An 8+ year battle with an eating disorder? Completely gone. An up and down relationship with alcohol? I’ve been sober for 3 and a half years. Years and years of relationships with men that so did not glorify God or benefit me? Last year, I married my wonderful husband, and my dating relationship with him was 100% different than the relationships of my past.
I share all of those things to say that our God is a God who transforms lives. Each of those things has only transpired because of the faithful hand of a loving God. Let me tell you friend, if you are struggling in an area of your life, then you don’t need to work harder to reach victory. You need to lay it down. Our world tells us success comes when we work for it, and while there’s some truth to that statement, He can do infinitely more than we can even imagine. So surrender it to Him, give Him control, and just see the incredible things He can do with your heart. I would never have even dreamed of the things He’s done with mine.
Amy Cosentino is a wife to an incredible man, a shamelessly obsessed fur mama, a financial analyst by day, a California girl who now finds herself in Arizona, and above all other things, a beloved daughter of a living God. She can be found sharing her heart over on Instagram or on her blog, Cosentino Living.