Saturday, July 7, 2018
Praise our Heavenly Father for the opportunity to share all that God has done for me in my life through Remnant Fellowship Church!! I have learned how to let God lead every part of my life, not just in eating but in every aspect allowing God to be God and to rule my life!! I was exposed to Remnant Fellowship through Weigh Down, which my mother, Dana Cohen, found in 2015.
I grew up all my life in another ministry -- learning Scripture but not living it out. I was taught not to participate in the “big sins” but I was always going to struggle with the “small sins.” I was a big guy all my life and thought that’s just who I was. I thought spiritual pride was good and that if you knew what not to do through the Bible you were good, so I thought poorly of those who didn’t follow those rules. I was the most selfish of the family looking for what I could get out of others and not what I could give. Furthermore, I was depressed and had no hope for my future. I had no car, no job, and no clear path to college. I was at a low and prayed to God that if He wanted me to change, He would show me a way. This was when my mother found Weigh Down through an email that she had gotten after praying for weight loss. I saw my mother and brother, Damani Cohen, putting the message of obedience and love into practice and was inspired. I was inspired by my mother but was jealous of my brother and joined out of pride. Around the same time my father, Terrell Cohen, started participating and putting Weigh Down into practice. I got to learn what a true relationship with God looked like.
As a result of putting the principles of Weigh Down into practice I lost 56 lbs. of not only physical weight but also the weight of many sins in my heart. I learned I was depressed because I wasn’t relying on God but on myself. I was trying to be God and I was failing. I was robbing God of His selfless, wonderful purpose of loving and taking care of me. My family realized that Weigh Down Ministries was connected to Remnant Fellowship Church. They left the church that we had been attending as a family since 1994, and shortly thereafter I did as well. Since joining Remnant, I am truly in love with God for the first time! All praise to God, I am now known for being joyful! I have a job, a car, and I attend Tennessee College of Applied Technology for HVAC!
"What an honor it is to be able to live this life of servitude to God with my best friend!!" - Damian
On top of all of those wonderful blessings, God has blessed me with the most beautiful, joyous, encouraging, caring, patient, humble, loving, and selfless godly woman who fills my heart with inexplicable joy! I could not have asked for a bigger blessing!! I met Brittany when I visited for The Feast of Tabernacles in 2015. We were instantly friends at first but then I really noticed her when she moved to Franklin. At this time, I was taking a break from girls and just focusing on God. Before that I was trying to make the relationships I wanted work. I had a pride that I knew who I needed and who God wanted for me. My mother had told me of a few girls and I wouldn't give my heart or even try.
Then God led me through my authorities to take time to truly let God lead and fall in love with His leading. At the end of this break I realized that I should be looking for the someone who helps keep me focused up. A helpmate; someone to build God's kingdom with. A woman who I could talk about God with unendingly! Someone who would put God before me. Although I noticed Brittany, I didn't want to move without God’s leading! I didn't want to move until God made it clear. One night I came home from work and my mother said she had a suggestion for me and it was Brittany! God made it clear through my authorities! God showed me through my relationship that when you put Him first God gives back way more than you could ever ask for! I found all I wanted for a woman in Britt, plus more importantly what God wanted! She was the perfect gift I couldn't find unless I gave up my pride. What an honor it is to be able to live this life of servitude to God with my bestfriend!! I can't wait to serve God forever with the beginning of this beautiful subunit of God's kingdom!
If you told me two years ago that I would be living with my family in a beautiful home in Franklin, Tennessee, graduating college, engaged to the love of my life, and getting married this summer all before my 21st birthday, I would have laughed and told you, you were nuts! As I write this, however, I can say with complete disbelief yet inexpressible gratitude that this is truly my reality. The generosity and graciousness of God is undeniable when I look at where He has brought me and all that He has done.
Though beyond these most amazing milestones that God has so thoughtfully orchestrated, I can sincerely say that the changes He has helped me make in my heart spiritually over the last two years of my life have been even more breathtakingly extraordinary. God has invested an incredible amount of time into patiently guiding me down this narrow path to a wholehearted love relationship with Him, and through this journey He has profoundly transformed the person I am now and the person I am aspiring to be.
Though my journey has truly been going on my entire life, it definitely dramatically began picking up speed after my family decided to become members at Remnant Fellowship Church almost three-and-a-half years ago. We were following in the wake of my dearest mother who had found Weigh Down and eventually the Church on her own, and it was seeing my mom’s life transform before our eyes as well as meeting a sea of other people whose lives were completely reborn which led me, my father, and brothers to take the leap of faith in joining Remnant Fellowship in November 2014, a month after my mom had chosen to join.
"Damian has been a rock that I can rely on to be steadfast in his loyalty to God, me, our families, and this Church..." - Brittany
From that point on, God began pricking my heart in ways He never had before, and I started wanting the relationship with God that I saw my new friends possessing and the selfless life they were running after; however, I was definitely a slow, stubborn learner. In part due to the busyness and excitement of me finishing up my senior year of high school and then preparing for and starting my freshman year of college, it wasn’t until after my first year of being at Remnant that I began getting serious about going all in for God and making the changes in my life I knew He was calling me to make.
I approached the second semester of my freshman year of college with a renewed sense of determination to seek God, yet shortly after a groundbreaking period in our relationship of me feeling so close and in love with Him, my spiritual progress took a sharp, scary U-turn. It ultimately came from a culmination of years of pride, self-centeredness, and being my own god, which led me to make a series of bad choices that sent me on an accelerated spiral downward into a pit further away from God than I had ever been before in my life. Because of being so void of God’s Spirit during this time due to my continual deliberate disobedience, all the love, joy, peace, self-control, and other Fruits of the Spirit were completely robbed from my personality, and I became increasingly empty, depressed, reclusive, and unpleasant to be around. I was running to all my go-to vices more than I ever had before to try to fill up on from overeating to seeking attention from boys to a variety of other lazy, self-indulgent behaviors, basically seeking everything out I thought would give me that joy and full feeling I was so desperately craving, everything that is but what my heart was really aching for — a relationship with God. It took me hitting my rock bottom point and God allowing me to get found out by my parents, for me to finally get humbled and broken enough to cry out to Him again and repent for all that I had done as well as the person I had become without His Spirit. Through me moving back home with my family and weeks of building up that trust in my relationship with my parents and God again, I steadily felt my joy, fulfillment, and purpose come back, and by determining to lay down my old idols and make Him my everything, my love for God grew greater than it ever had before in my life! God had rescued me from myself and showed me that when I transferred all my energy and desires to loving and obeying Him with all my heart, HE could fill me up unlike any food, boy, or self-indulgence ever could!
It was during these months of closeness with God when I made the decision that I was going to stop my old pursuit of chasing after boys and only chase after this most selfless, thoughtful, giving, attractive, genius GOD of ours who adores me and has invested infinitely more time and love into my life than any boy ever could. I got to the place where I was totally satisfied with it being just me and God, and I would wake up each day and feel like I was flying with my renewed adoration for Him! However, it was precisely at this point that God decided I was ready for Him to shake things up and add a new special somebody to the mix...
Damian had caught my attention several months before as someone I was interested in getting to know; however, with my plummet spiritually and then just now finally being on the right path again, I didn’t want anything or anyone to get in the way of this passion, focus, and love for God I had found. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help myself from noticing whenever he would arrive at church or being excited when we’d end up at the same gathering together. What drew me most to Damian was truly his devoted heart for God and how every conversation we would have with one another was about what God was showing us and how we wanted to be better for Him. I saw him and his family running after God with such faithfulness and focus, and they inspired me to want to do the same. Despite my reasons for liking Damian being so much more godly than they were for any of the other guys I had liked, I still was uncertain as to what God wanted and desperately did not want this relationship if it wasn’t what God was leading. I determined not grab for him and even prayed that if I wasn’t supposed to like Damian that He would take him out of my heart and my mind. God definitely had a sense of humor in all of this though, and it was within less than a month of me praying that prayer that God put it on our parents’ hearts to let us know that they were totally unified and in support of Damian and me getting to know each other better and eventually dating if God led it. When my parents first told this to me, I was absolutely stunned and completely overwhelmed with such awe of what God had done! HE, through my parents, had given His blessing for Damian and I to be in a relationship, bringing the most indescribable sense of peace to my heart which I know only comes from having the priceless approval of our precious Heavenly Father and His Son.
This peace has been a constant throughout our relationship, for I have known that Damian was undoubtedly the one who God had handpicked for me to point me to Him and to walk through this life of wholehearted obedience and sacrificial love with. From the first days of our friendship, I saw how remarkable Damian was, and with each passing day God only reveals more and more what a gem of a man He has given me to marry.
Damian has been a rock that I can rely on to be steadfast in his loyalty to God, me, our families, and this Church and who is renewed each day in his commitment to imitating the righteous life of Jesus Christ. If that weren’t enough, he is also the most loving, thoughtful, encouraging, considerate man I could have ever imagined having as my husband, and I know that he would do anything to make sure my needs are met and that our relationship is strong, fruitful, and glorifying to God. I can speak on his behalf in saying that we are united in wanting nothing more than to be used to point others to our Glorious Heavenly Father and to build up His Kingdom of Sacrificial Love through our marriage. God has given us the dream life that we never would have thought existed, and it’s all come from making the daily decision to surrender our wills to what God wants and making Him our everything.
When Damian and I choose to put God first and ourselves last, God gives back immeasurably with the sweetest, most personal answered prayers and desires of our hearts as well as with themost invaluable gift He could possibly give, the Fruits of His Spirit. The love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in our hearts grow and become more deeply rooted as we seek this dependent, love relationship with God hour by hour. I praise God for the excitement and hope Damian and I have for our future as well as the love and profound appreciation we feel for one another! Our Magnificent God of Love has poured out an unfathomable amount of time, energy, and selfless love into our lives, and Damian and I are beyond eager and honored to get to faithfully give back to Him and His Kingdom as soon-to-be husband and wife all the days of our lives on this earth together.