a well-watered woman
Fernie Cosgrove is an active member of our online community and recently completed the Walk in Grace: Ephesians study with us. We know you will enjoy reading what this fellow well-watered woman has shared about her life and her walk with Jesus!
Introduce yourself as if we were on a coffee date! Tell us about yourself. Would you be drinking coffee or tea?
Hello there! I’m Fernie Cosgrove. I am 22 years old and I am most definitely a coffee drinker. I have tried teas a couple of times, but they just don’t do it.
Fun fact about me: I was raised in Mexico until I turned 15. I am a social worker and love working with children. I am super excited as I will be starting my Master’s degree this July (which is something that wasn’t quite my plan, but His). My husband and I have been married for four years and are currently living in Connecticut. We moved to Connecticut from Texas a year ago for him to pursue dental school, which has been both challenging as we are out here on our own, but also beautiful as we have seen God’s provision in our lives over and over. His grace has been overabundant, and it has been amazing to see God working His will in our lives through this season—plus it has brought us closer together.
I love reading, writing, biking, running, and lately have been practicing photography, drawing, and painting. I have also discovered a new passion for being outdoors and traveling, I will take any chance to travel anywhere. It’s hard for me to stand still or to get bored—there is always something I can be doing.
At this point in life I see the hand of God moving in so many ways, but I have no idea where He will take us. I am excited to see how He continues to grow in us a desire for His will and work, and see Him empower us to leave everything behind for Him.
When did you start following Jesus?
I began my journey following Jesus at an early age—I believe I was around 14. At least, this is the point where I can really recall being intentional in seeking Him, leaving my old self behind, and being baptized. I had the privilege of being raised and instructed in the Word of God by my parents, school, and church, and I am grateful for God’s provision in those times and for his continual pursuit of me in spite of my heart’s rebellion and sin. During my teen years, God began working in my heart to show me my need of Him and the reality of where my sin could lead me. Years later, during family trials, I began to understand how firm my foundation in Christ is in spite of the instability brought by my parents’ divorce. Later, when my husband and I got married, we did three years long-distance; those have probably been the hardest years of my life. But God used them to show me a glimpse of what it truly looks like to wait for His coming and live in the reality of the “already but not yet.” Now, God continues to guide me and grow me into living a life that truly reflects that “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). I would say that in my life I am continually learning to follow Jesus into uncharted waters—many times this is scary and hard. But so far, every step of the way has been worth it.
What is your definition of a well-watered woman?
To me a “well-watered woman” is one whose life is plugged in to the fountain of living water, Jesus Christ. A woman who dwells in the Word of God, allows the Holy Spirit to lead her, and is faithful in walking in obedience wherever God leads her.
How do you give Jesus the first moments of your day?
Lately, I am trying to build the discipline of waking up around 5:30 a.m. (not that it always works) to spend time reading, meditating on, and writing the Word of God. I listen to worship music and pray on my bike ride to work. In the season we are in, it seems that time just flies by, and I have realized that unless I am intentional in waking up early to spend time feeding my soul, it just won’t happen. I have learned that matters of the soul are of first importance, and I need to make them a priority! But honesty is necessary: sometimes I am too tired to wake up, and sometimes it feels like I am playing catch-up, but it’s important to not become discouraged. Depending on the season we are in, sometimes it’s hard to keep a routine, but I try finding any moment in the day to pause and spend some minutes nourishing my soul in the Word of God and in prayer.
Currently, my job can be very emotionally demanding and the environment sometimes toxic; there are times I must turn off the computer screen and go to a closed room or outside and hit “pause.” I sit down and read the living and holy inspired Word of God so it may inform my heart, my perspective, and my emotions before returning to a task. Time may be of essence in our jobs, schools, or lives, but we must feed our souls with the only source of life; otherwise we may risk running on empty, without hope or direction.
What sort of spiritual season do you find yourself in now? What verses are you clinging to in this season?
This has been one of the most beautiful yet challenging seasons in my spiritual walk with the Lord. For the last two years the Lord has been stirring in my heart a desire to know Him and love Him more than ever before. More and more I want, with Paul, to have the anthem of my life be: “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” But to really have Christ be my life, I need to have died to myself. These last months and years have been a continual process of learning to surrender my own ideals for my life, dreams for my family, and especially my personal professional goals to be able to fully embrace the plans God has for me. So far, even though surrendering has been hard, embracing His will has proven to be beautiful and full of life and peace. Right now, the passage I am clinging to is Philippians 3:10–14:
“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (NIV, emphasis mine)
In this life, what I want the most is to live a life that is pleasing and glorifying to the One that saved my soul, and it’s the most beautiful and rewarding journey—to be able to know Christ and make Him known!
What intentional daily habits help you remain rooted deeply in the Word of God?
Discipline is something that tends to be a little hard for me, but that I think is crucial in this stage of my life. Lately, I try to wake up early, make my cup of coffee, and sit in silence reading the Bible and working on what I call “manuscripts”—which is literally copying word by word, verse by verse, chapter by chapter, the book that I am reading in the Word of God. So far, I have copied down the books of Ephesians, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 Timothy, and I am about to start Romans. Usually, I try to read the whole letter in one sitting and identify themes. Then, I take smaller chunks of verses (based on Well-Watered Women and/or She Reads Truth reading plans), read and meditate through them, and then copy them down in my notebook.
I know this sounds a little crazy, but it has been one of the most beneficial habits in my spiritual walk with the Lord. You see, my brain is always buzzing, always planning, always thinking, and it’s hard for me to slow down and really focus on what I am reading in the Word of God. Although I can say that the time I spend in the Word of God is more consistent and frequent than ever before, I still tend to read too quickly, and I find myself getting distracted sometimes.
Last October, I began to wonder how it would have looked for individuals in the Old and New Testament as they sought intentionally and with great care to understand the mysteries of the promised Savior (1 Peter 1:10). Then I remembered the hand-written scrolls passed on by generations. Scrolls copied repeatedly, to ensure the new generations could know what the Lord had spoken. I remembered that the letters in the New Testament were read in the church's gatherings and that they were most likely read over and over. I imagine that even today, in the parts of the world where the Word of God is forbidden, Christians memorize Scripture and repeat it to themselves and others, letting each word sink in and impact their daily lives. I forget (and I forget very often) how precious the Word of God is. I am often ungrateful for the access I have to the Bible. And most of the time I do not desire the Word of God, but I want to. I want the Word of God to impact my life. I want to rest securely in my Salvation. And more than anything, I want to love the Lord my God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my strength (Deut. 6:5). To love him, I must know him; and to know him, I must spend time in Scripture. This has really helped me slow down in my time in the Word of God. The repetition allows me to meditate on what I read longer, and when I read passages again they echo with new life in my mind and heart.
Who is a "well-watered mentor" or example in your life, and how has she helped you become a well-watered woman?
A well-watered woman who has really impacted my walk with the Lord is Kathy, our young marrieds pastor’s wife. I deeply admire her devotion to and love for our Lord and Savior, and her continuous pursuit in knowing and loving Christ. As a young wife, she is truly an example of submission, respect, and love toward her husband. I am always so encouraged by the way she follows her husband faithfully as he leads her in the will of our Lord. She truly has a heart for serving others, especially woman and young married couples. During our time in home group you would never see her sitting down, but always serving. She is also one of the best listeners I have encountered, and her counsel always points me to Christ. I am very grateful for her love and her example in leading a godly life.
What books are you currently reading, or have recently read, and would recommend to our community?
Some of the books that have really impacted my heart and my walk with the Lord have been:
- Crazy Love by Francis Chan. This book has really impacted my understanding of the response the Gospels asks of us. It is a challenging read as it really pushes you to love God with all your heart and live a life that truly wants to love, serve, proclaim, and glorify Jesus Christ.
- You + Me Forever, also by Francis Chan, is one of the best marriage books I have ever read. It really covers the purpose of God’s design for our marriages, the importance of maintaining a Christ-centered focus, and a reminder that our lives and marriages are for His glory.
- Hungry: Learning to Feed your Soul with Christ by Rondi Lauterbach. I would really recommend this book if you are struggling to spend time in the Word of God. Rondi uses an amazing analogy of our spiritual thirst for God and our physical hunger that is easy to understand, and it makes it easy to understand the importance of seeking to abide in the Word of God and become well-watered women.
- Knowing God by J.I. Packer
If you could tell every woman on this blog one piece of wisdom, what would it be?
Sisters, our life is not our own. We were bought with the precious blood of Christ. Freed from our slavery to sin and given new life. We have been made new and have been adopted as daughters in Christ! We have a new hope—a hope that is firm, steady, unchangeable, and glorious in our solid foundation, Jesus Christ. This amazing news should affect every aspect of our lives, so let’s live with joy, peace, and constant awareness that we have a Savior that deserves all our love and obedience. Now, let’s not just read these truths and sit comfortably and continue doing what we have been, but forgetting what’s behind, with our eyes set on Christ, let’s run together to grow in faithfulness and sanctification, being bold to share the Gospel, follow where God leads, and be obedient until the end. Sisters, we will only live on this earth for a little while; let’s focus on what matters most, our eternity with Christ.