By, Pat Cocuzza
Director of Women’s Special Events
My journey to finding out about having an intimate relationship with the Lord started in the 1990s. I worked for a Christian chiropractor and met patients and their children who had a special peace and joy about them. I have been a Christian all my life but never experienced the peace that seem to fill these people. I was invited to join a bible study and that is when my journey really began. Prior to that I was going through the motions. As a child, I studied the Old Testament and it left me feeling not being worthy in the site of the Lord. I never felt that my childhood sins were wiped away. They always haunted me and left me feeling guilty. While at the bible studies, I sat with women who loved the Lord. They prayed openly. It was a new time in my life.
During this time, I realized that Jesus had died for our sins and that guilt was not from God. I was a new woman. (Isaiah 61:7 Instead and shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor… and everlasting joy will be yours.)
God has a wonderful and amazing plan. My eyes were opened. God loves me for who I am. I faced trials, my mom became terminally ill. It was bittersweet. I was grateful for all the blessings she provided for us throughout her life. She was a mother of four children and widowed when I was 6 years old. She worked hard and put us children first throughout our childhood. Her Catholic faith never changed and she never complained about her life. As an adult, I look back on all the sacrifices and the burdens she carried alone but not alone. I know God was with her always throughout her life. God gave me the strength to care for her. I knew she was going home to be with the Lord and that gave me peace. I was diagnosed with cancer a year after she passed. I prayed that God would let me live to see my grandchildren. I felt that God was with me and his plan for me wasn’t over. I had many earth angels caring for me.
By the grace of God, I am cancer free for15 years. (Psalm 103:3-4 He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.)
It was after that time that my best friend, Mari, who I feel is a sister to me asked me to come to an Oasis retreat where she was going to share her testimony. Would I come for her? I was amazed to feel the love and acceptance when I walked through the doors of the retreat.
I started attending the Oasis Bible studies. The love and peace was always there. I shared my testimony at the following retreat. How surprised I was that I could sit down and write my testimony and stand in front of a room full of women to listen to my story. I never felt so much joy, love, and peace in my heart. I have volunteered to serve God on all the retreats that followed. God guided me through the different positions/jobs starting with administration which was not my forte. God made this easy especially because He guided other dedicated women to serve with me. I then served the retreat by heading the decorating team. I thoroughly enjoyed serving Him in this capacity.
This past year I was asked to head up the hospitality committee. It took my breath away to realize that we would be hosting about 250 women. (1Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gifts you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace.) God guided loving women to join me on the team. I was overwhelmed when I looked across the room to see all the women God had called to attend. The day was so joyful. The retreat was another success. It was amazing to feel the Holy Spirit fill the room at every retreat blessing the women.
Thank you, Jesus! I look forward to serving God in any way He directs me. Thank you for bringing me to Oasis, dear Father.
(John 12:26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.)
Her Life Speaks is all about Her testimony, Her life, and who God is in Her story. Here we write our stories in hopes of helping other women find their relationship with Jesus Christ.