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Brett and Jan Bruster

Both the products of broken families, Brett and Jan were stuck in the same cycles of arguments, anger, and depression that they grew up in. When they were willing to take the log out of their own eye first, the Brusters were able to fall more in love with Christ, and in turn, love each other well.

Brett & Jan BrusterMar 13, 2019

In This Series (304)
Mark and Julie Nicholson
Jun 22, 2022Dallas
Nate and Michelle Ball
Jun 15, 2022Dallas
Robbie and Teri Vedrenne
May 25, 2022Dallas
Paul and Kelly Rutherford
May 18, 2022Dallas
David and Tara Jensen
May 11, 2022Dallas
John and Jeanie Cox
May 4, 2022Dallas
Steve and Amie Bradley
Apr 27, 2022Dallas
Chris and Michelle Dishman
Apr 20, 2022Dallas
Kevin and Kelly Mainz
Apr 13, 2022Dallas
Jim and Judy Wimberley
Jim & Judy WimberleyApr 6, 2022Dallas
Dean and Tawney Macfarlan
Mar 30, 2022Dallas
Rob and Haley Thomas
Rob and Haley ThomasMar 23, 2022Dallas
Shane and Alissa Mauldin
Mar 16, 2022Dallas
David and Lauren Kinney
Mar 9, 2022Dallas
Markus and Mary Kay Jabek
Mar 2, 2022Dallas
Martha and Ivan Illarramendi
Feb 16, 2022Dallas
Ryan and Callie Nixon
Ryan & Callie NixonFeb 9, 2022Dallas
Alex and Jen Lesko
Jan 19, 2022Dallas
Jared and Leigh Anne Sullivan
Jan 12, 2022Dallas
Selena and Michael Thompson
Jan 5, 2022Dallas
Russ and Karen Fleig
Dec 15, 2021Dallas
Phil and Beth Brinkmeyer
Dec 8, 2021Dallas
Leonard and Mandy Bagdanov
Dec 1, 2021Dallas
Glenn and Desiree Newblom
Nov 17, 2021Dallas
Michael and Melinda Parisi
Nov 10, 2021Dallas
Bobby and Shari Johns
Nov 3, 2021Dallas
Brett and Jan Bruster
Oct 20, 2021Dallas
Wes and Angie Talley
Oct 13, 2021Dallas
Mac and Sophie Macfarlan
Oct 6, 2021Dallas
John and Debbie Wingfield
Sep 29, 2021
Brett and Chrisey Billman
Sep 15, 2021Dallas
Nate and Michelle Ball
Sep 8, 2021
Mark and Nancy Rovenstine
Aug 25, 2021Dallas
Divorce Panel
Jun 23, 2021
Trey and Shera O'Neal
Jun 16, 2021Dallas
LaDale and Cynthia Buggs
Jun 9, 2021Dallas
Shane and Alissa Mauldin
Jun 2, 2021Dallas
David and Tara Jensen
May 26, 2021Dallas
Jared and Leigh Anne Sullivan
May 19, 2021Dallas
Jim and Judy Wimberley
Jim & Judy WimberleyApr 28, 2021
Ivan and Martha Illarramendi
Apr 28, 2021Dallas
Billy and Amanda Porche
Apr 21, 2021Dallas
Steve and Amie Bradley
Apr 14, 2021Dallas
Griffin and Kami Stroope
Apr 7, 2021Dallas
David and Lauren Kinney
Mar 31, 2021Dallas
Rick and Michelle Howard
Mar 24, 2021Dallas
Glenn and Desiree Newblom
Mar 17, 2021Dallas
Markus and Mary Kay Jabek
Mar 3, 2021Dallas
David and Tara Jensen
Feb 24, 2021Dallas
Brett and Jan Bruster
Jan 20, 2021Dallas
Bobby and Shari Johns
Jan 13, 2021Dallas
Ryan and Callie Nixon
Aug 28, 2020
Steve and Amie Bradley
Jun 2, 2020
Testimony- Brian and Morgan Buchek
Mar 4, 2020Dallas
Testimony - David & Tara Jensen
Mar 2, 2020Plano
Blended Family Panel
Feb 26, 2020Dallas
Testimony - Greg & Jennifer Sutherland
Feb 24, 2020Plano
Testimony - Jacob & April Neely
Feb 17, 2020Plano
Troy and Julia Bussmeir
Feb 7, 2020
Russ and Katie Moyer
Feb 7, 2020
Nick and Rachel Klein
Feb 7, 2020
Mike and Shelly Ahlemeier
Feb 7, 2020
Matt and Andrea Walker
Feb 7, 2020
Luis and Kaylee Caceres
Feb 7, 2020
Graham and Stacey Robbins
Feb 7, 2020
Andy and Jenny Marsh
Feb 7, 2020
Jared and Leigh Anne Sullivan
Feb 5, 2020Dallas
Griffin and Kami Stroope Testimony
Jan 22, 2020
Testimony
Jan 8, 2020
Divorce Panel
Brett Bruster, Bobby Johns, Alissa MauldinNov 20, 2019
Testimony
LaDale & Cynthia BuggsNov 13, 2019
Testimony
Nov 6, 2019
Testimony- Glenn and Desiree Newblom
Oct 23, 2019
Michael and Selena Thompson
Oct 21, 2019
Testimony- Greg and Emily Goodin
Oct 16, 2019
Re|Engage Large Group Testimony
Sep 18, 2019
Re|Engage Large Group Testimony
Sep 11, 2019
Brandon and Brittani Travelstead
Sep 7, 2019
Re|Engage Large Group Testimony
Shane & Alissa MauldinAug 28, 2019
Re|Engage Large Group Testimony
Ryan & Callie Nixon, John & Pam McGeeAug 21, 2019
Re|Engage Large Group Testimony
Dru & Amanda GuillotAug 14, 2019Plano
Martin and Lenore Gao
Jul 24, 2019Dallas
Testimony - Shera and Trey O’Neal
Jul 10, 2019Dallas
John and Debbie Wingfield
Jun 12, 2019
Alex and Jen Lesko
Jun 12, 2019
Tim and Kalyn Gereg
Jun 5, 2019
Jimmy and Michelle Comeaux
May 29, 2019
Raeul and Susan Cox
May 15, 2019
Jason and Mandy Castro
May 15, 2019
David and Robin Howard
May 15, 2019
Ivan and Martha Illarramendi
May 1, 2019
Robert and Linda Green
Robert and Linda GreenApr 10, 2019
LaDale and Cynthia Buggs
Apr 10, 2019
Markus and Mary Kay Jabek
Apr 3, 2019
Billy and Amanda Porche
Mar 27, 2019
Brett and Jan Bruster
Brett & Jan BrusterMar 13, 2019
Greg and Emily Goodin
Mar 6, 2019
Charles and Karen Bundren
Charles & Karen BundrenFeb 6, 2019
Testimony
Nate & Michelle BallJan 30, 2019
Testimony - Jared and Leigh Anne Sullivan
Jared & Leigh Anne SullivanJan 23, 2019
Bobby and Shari Johns
Bobby & Shari JohnsJan 9, 2019
Testimony - LaDale and Cynthia Buggs
LaDale & Cynthia BuggsDec 5, 2018
Re|Engage Spanish Night Testimony - Manuel & Elvia Lemus
Nov 14, 2018
Re|Engage Spanish Night Testimony - Ivan & Martha Illarramendi
Ivan & Martha IllarramendiNov 14, 2018
Ivan and Martha Illarramendi
Ivan & Martha IllarramendiNov 14, 2018
Testimony - Alex and Jen Lesko
Nov 7, 2018
Testimony - Raeul and Susan Cox
Raeul & Susan CoxOct 31, 2018
Simon and Katrina Saugier
Katrina Saugier, Simon SaugierOct 10, 2018
David and Denise Renken
David & Denise RenkenSep 10, 2018Plano
Testimony - Robert & Linda Green
Robert and Linda GreenSep 5, 2018
Testimony - Martin and Lenore Gao
Aug 29, 2018
Shane and Alissa Mauldin
Aug 22, 2018
Testimony - Markus and Mary Kay Jabek
Aug 15, 2018
Testimony - Charles and Karen Bundren
Charles Bundren, Karen Bundren, Charles & Karen BundrenAug 1, 2018
Testimony - Bobby & Shari Johns
Bobby & Shari JohnsJul 18, 2018
Testimony - Ivan & Martha
Ivan & Martha IllarramendiJun 27, 2018
Testimony - Tim & Kalyn Gereg
Jun 20, 2018
Greg & Tonya Gilmer
Greg & Tonya GilmerMay 30, 2018
Testimony - Ryan & Callie Nixon
Ryan & Callie NixonMay 23, 2018
Paul and Kelly Rutherford
Paul & Kelly RutherfordMay 9, 2018
Nate and Michelle Ball
Nate & Michelle BallMay 2, 2018
Kevin and Kelli Mainz
Kevin & Kelly MainzApr 18, 2018
Testimony - Greg and Emily Goodin
Greg Goodin, Emily GoodinMar 28, 2018
Testimony - John and Debbie Wingfield
John Wingfield, Debbie WingfieldMar 14, 2018
Testimony - Shane & Alissa Mauldin
Shane & Alissa MauldinFeb 28, 2018
Brett and Chrisey Billman
Brett & Chrisey BillmanFeb 21, 2018
Todd and Alex Wagner
Todd & Alex WagnerFeb 7, 2018
Teaching - Community
Scott CoyJan 24, 2018
Teaching- Completion
John & Pam McGeeDec 6, 2017
Testimony - Markus & Mary Kay Jabek
Markus & Mary Kay JabekNov 29, 2017
Testimony - Dave & Denise Renken
Dave & Denise RenkenNov 15, 2017
Robert and Liz White
Robert & Liz WhiteNov 8, 2017
Testimony- John and Pam McGee
John & Pam McGeeNov 1, 2017
Testimony- Charles and Karen Bundren
Charles & Karen BundrenOct 25, 2017
Testimony - John & Debbie Wingfield
John & Debbie WingfieldOct 18, 2017
Testimony - Greg & Tonya Gilmer
Greg & Tonya GilmerOct 11, 2017
Testimony - Ryan & Callie Nixon
Ryan & Callie NixonSep 20, 2017
Kyle and Lucina Thompson
Kyle & Lucinda ThompsonSep 13, 2017
Testimony - Jared & Leigh Anne Sullivan
Jared & Leigh Anne SullivanAug 30, 2017
Testimony - Bobby & Shari Johns
Bobby & Shari JohnsAug 23, 2017
John Paul and Rena
Aug 16, 2017
Testimony - Paul & Kelly Rutherford
Paul and Kelly RutherfordJul 26, 2017
Trey and Shera O'Neal
Trey O'Neal , Shera O'NealJul 19, 2017
Testimony - Kevin & Kelli Mainz
Kelli Mainz, Kevin MainzJul 12, 2017
Erick and Gina Frank
Jun 28, 2017
Martin & Lenore Gao Testimony
May 31, 2017
Tyler and Jenny O'Neal
May 24, 2017
Mark and Kathy Thomas
May 17, 2017
Peter and Eleanor Boynton
May 10, 2017
Testimony - Shane & Alissa Mauldin
May 3, 2017
Eric and Catherine Couch
Eric Couch, Catherine CouchApr 19, 2017
Bill and Ann Daly
Mar 29, 2017
Testimony - LaDale & Cynthia Buggs
Mar 22, 2017
Testimony - Nate & Michelle Ball
Nate Ball, Michelle Ball Mar 15, 2017
Kyle and Caty Bilton
Caty Bilton, Kyle BiltonMar 8, 2017
Michael and Stefanie Santiago
Mar 6, 2017
Steve and Natalie Hamm
Re|EngageFeb 20, 2017
Testimony - Brett & Chrisey Billman
Brett Billman, Chrisey BillmanFeb 15, 2017
Chris and Charece Robbins
Feb 8, 2017
Testimony - Charles & Karen Bundren
Feb 1, 2017
Klein and Holly Swannie
Jan 18, 2017
Dean and Tawney Macfarlan
Jan 11, 2017
Mark and Nancy Rovenstine
Dec 21, 2016
Testimony - Kevin and Kelli Mainz
Nov 30, 2016
Testimony - Robert & Liz White
Liz White, Robert White Nov 9, 2016
Testimony - John & Debbie Wingfield
Oct 26, 2016
Testimony - Mark & Kathy Thomas
Oct 12, 2016
Testimony - Bobby and Shari Johns
Oct 5, 2016
Testimony - Simon & Katrina Saugier
Simon Saugier, Katrina SaugierSep 28, 2016
Testimony - Shane & Alissa Mauldin
Shane Mauldin, Alissa MauldinSep 21, 2016
Teaching - The Importance of Fun in Marriage
John & Pam McGeeSep 14, 2016
Testimony
Paul and Kelly RutherfordAug 24, 2016
Teaching - Sexual Intimacy
Robert and Linda GreenAug 17, 2016
Rick and Michele Howard
Re|EngageAug 10, 2016
Scott and Laura DeBow
Re|EngageJul 27, 2016
Zech and Kim Lumpkin
Re|EngageJul 20, 2016
Tyler and Jenny O'Neal Testimony
Re|EngageJul 13, 2016
Scott and Kristen Kedersha
Re|EngageJun 22, 2016
Bill and Ann Daly
Re|EngageJun 15, 2016
Bobby and Shari Johns
Re|EngageJun 8, 2016
Newly and Karen Spikes
Jun 2, 2016
Richard and Roxanna McCauley
Re|EngageMay 25, 2016
Jon and Kathy Flaming
Re|EngageMay 11, 2016
Brett and Jan Bruster
Re|EngageApr 27, 2016
Reid and Jenny Griffin
Re|EngageApr 20, 2016
Kyle and Lucina Thompson
Re|EngageApr 13, 2016
Chris and Charece Robbins
Re|EngageMar 23, 2016
Brett and Chrisey Billman
Re|EngageMar 9, 2016
Dee and Roddy Elliott
Re|EngageMar 2, 2016
Derek and Stacy Braziel
Re|EngageFeb 17, 2016
Greg and Tonya Gilmer
Re|EngageFeb 3, 2016
Adam and Brooke Fish
Re|EngageJan 27, 2016
Shane and Alissa Mauldin
Re|EngageJan 13, 2016
Everett and Emily Alexander
Re|EngageJan 6, 2016
Mark and Kathy Thomas
Re|EngageDec 16, 2015
Divorce Panel
Re|EngageDec 9, 2015
Matt and Amy Levy
Re|EngageNov 18, 2015
Robert and Liz White
Re|EngageNov 4, 2015
Bryce and Elizabeth Erickson
Re|EngageOct 21, 2015
Greg and Tonya Gilmer
Re|EngageOct 7, 2015
Chris and Charece Robbins
Re|EngageSep 30, 2015
Dru and Amanda Guillot
Re|EngageSep 23, 2015
Dee and Roddy Elliott
Re|EngageSep 16, 2015
Warren and Angie Wright
Re|EngageSep 9, 2015
Derek and Stacy Braziel
Re|EngageSep 2, 2015
Chris and Dana Adamson
Re|EngageJul 10, 2015
Jeremy and Mindi Patty
Re|EngageJul 8, 2015
Bobby and Shari Johns
Re|EngageJun 17, 2015
Jim and Judy Wimberley
Re|EngageJun 3, 2015
Kevin and Kelli Mainz
Re|EngageMay 20, 2015
Brett and Chrisey Billman
Re|EngageMay 11, 2015
Jason and Mandy Castro
Re|EngageMay 6, 2015
Kyle and Lucina Thompson
Re|EngageApr 29, 2015
Reid and Jenny Griffin
Re|EngageApr 22, 2015
Greg and Tonya Gilmer
Re|EngageApr 1, 2015
Raeul and Susan Cox
Re|EngageMar 18, 2015
Dee and Roddy Elliott
Re|EngageFeb 25, 2015
John and Meredith Hall
Re|EngageFeb 18, 2015
Ryan and Callie Nixon
Re|EngageFeb 11, 2015
Adam and Brooke Fish
Re|EngageJan 28, 2015
Shane and Alissa Mauldin
Re|EngageJan 14, 2015
Bobby and Shari Johns
Re|EngageDec 3, 2014
Bobby and Shari Johns
Re|EngageDec 3, 2014
Greg and Tonya Gilmer
Greg Gilmer, Re|Engage, Tanya GilmerNov 19, 2014
Robert and Liz White
Re|EngageNov 12, 2014
A.C. and Debi Ndindjock
Re|EngageNov 5, 2014
Mark and Nancy Rovenstine
Re|EngageOct 22, 2014
Reid and Jenny Griffin
Re|EngageOct 15, 2014
Bryce and Elizabeth Erickson
Re|EngageOct 13, 2014
Bill and Kathryn Buntyn
Re|EngageOct 1, 2014
Nate and Teresa Graybill
Re|EngageSep 24, 2014
Robert and Lou Ann McMillen
Re|EngageSep 17, 2014
Dee and Roddy Elliott
Re|EngageSep 17, 2014
Kirk and Cathy McJunkin
Re|EngageAug 27, 2014
Adam and Jackie Tarnow - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageAug 13, 2014
Kyle and Lucina Thompson - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageJul 30, 2014
Joey and Christian Rider - re|engage Testimony
Re|EngageJul 2, 2014
Jason and Mandy Castro - re|engage Testimony
Re|EngageJun 25, 2014
Jeff and Martha Sharrock - re|engage Testimony
Re|EngageJun 18, 2014
Scott and Kristen Kedersha - re|engage Testimony
Re|EngageJun 11, 2014
Zech and Kim Lumpkin - re|engage Testimony
Re|EngageJun 4, 2014
Chris and Charece Robbins - re|engage Testimony
Re|EngageMay 7, 2014
Robert and Linda Green
Re|EngageApr 30, 2014
Everett and Emily Alexander - re|engage Testimony
Re|EngageApr 23, 2014
Bobby and Shari Johns - re|engage Testimony
Re|EngageApr 16, 2014
Neal and Ann Holford - re|engage Testimony
Re|EngageApr 9, 2014
Les and Desi Brown - re|engage Testimony
Re|EngageMar 26, 2014
Simon and Katrina Saugier - re|engage Testimony
Re|EngageJan 22, 2014
Mark and Nancy Rovenstine - re|engage Testimony
Re|EngageJan 15, 2014
Chris and Dana Adamson - re|engage Testimony
Re|EngageJan 8, 2014
Rick and Michele Howard - re|engage Testimony
Re|EngageDec 18, 2013
Divorce Panel - re|engage Testimony
Re|EngageDec 11, 2013
Bryce and Elizabeth Erickson - re|engage Testimony
Re|EngageNov 20, 2013
Dee and Roddy Elliott - re|engage Testimony
Re|EngageNov 13, 2013
Mike and Laura Labunski
Re|EngageNov 6, 2013
Robert and Liz White - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageOct 30, 2013
Eddy and Rachel Badrina - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageOct 23, 2013
Shane and Alissa Mauldin - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageOct 16, 2013
David and Denise Renken - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageOct 9, 2013
Reid and Jenny Griffin - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageSep 25, 2013
A.C. and Debi Ndindjock - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageSep 18, 2013
Joey and Christian Rider - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageSep 11, 2013
Scott and Kristen Kedersha
Re|EngageAug 7, 2013
Jeff and Martha Sharrock
Re|EngageJul 31, 2013
Neal and Ann Holford - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageMay 29, 2013
Wes and Brandy Butler - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageApr 3, 2013
Andy and Jennifer Bailey - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageMar 27, 2013
Lance and Mandy Sisco - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageJan 16, 2013
Leonard and Mandy Bagdanov - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageDec 19, 2012
Blake and Rebecca Holmes - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageOct 10, 2012
Chris and Dana - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageAug 8, 2012
Catherine and Tom - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageApr 25, 2012
Angie and Warren Wright - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageMar 28, 2012
Teri and Robbie Vedrenne - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageMar 21, 2012
Tawney and Dean Macfarlan - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageMar 14, 2012
Brooke and Adam Fish - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageFeb 29, 2012
Judy and Jim Wimberly - Re|Engage Testiomony
Re|EngageFeb 22, 2012
Kim and Zech Lumpkin - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageFeb 8, 2012
Mary and Ted Randall - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageJan 11, 2012
Susan and Raeul - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageDec 21, 2011
Katie and Brandon Lokey - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageDec 14, 2011
Mindi and Jeremy - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageNov 30, 2011
Lisbeth and Hil Bowman - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageOct 19, 2011
Meredith and John Hall - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageSep 28, 2011
Tanna and Rick - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageSep 14, 2011
Cathy and Kirk McJunkin - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageAug 24, 2011
Crystal and Anthony Obey - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageJul 27, 2011
Rachel and Eddy
Re|EngageJun 29, 2011
Lucina and Kyle Thompson - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageJun 22, 2011
Adam and Aleks Stewart - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageJun 15, 2011
Linda and John Berry - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageMay 25, 2011
Lora and Jeff Strese - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageMay 11, 2011
Julie and Todd Anders - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageApr 27, 2011
Cheryl and Jeff Scruggs - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageApr 20, 2011
Jackie and Adam Tarnow - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageMar 23, 2011
Ann and Matt Piper - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageFeb 16, 2011
Cindy and Mike Homsher - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageNov 3, 2010
Julie and Scott Sedberry - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageOct 13, 2010
Rebecca and Chip Dickens - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageAug 25, 2010
Missy and David Leventhal - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageAug 18, 2010
Carrie and Troy Patterson - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageJun 30, 2010
Sheri and Brett Johnston - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageMay 19, 2010
Tanna and Rick Wisner - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageMay 12, 2010
Anna and Kavon Moradi - Re|Engage Testimony
Re|EngageMar 24, 2010

In This Series (359)

Brett My name is Brett Bruster and this is my wife, Jan. We have been married 38 years and have two sons. Garrett is 34, and married to Alex. They have a 2 year-old who is our first grandchild and are expecting a second soon. Our younger son is Travis. He is 30 and married to Robin. Jan and I are high school sweethearts who are today grateful for God’s grace in saving us and our marriage. In 2005, we were on the verge of divorce, but thanks be to God today we have a much stronger relationship now than we’ve ever had.

Jan and I both come from broken homes. My parents divorced when I was 9 years old. All I remember of those earliest years was the constant arguing of my parents. There was lots of yelling and my childhood was not one of peace at home. Though my mother was the daughter of a Baptist preacher and a believer, when she left home she found the world more enticing than following Christ and married my father who was an unbeliever. Her parents had tried to get her to see that it was a mistake to marry an unbeliever, but she wouldn't listen. So, when the worst of the turmoil at home was going on during the divorce, my sister and I spent lots of time with my grandparents. They were wonderful Christians and my grandfather led me to a profession of Christ.

However, my mother remarried within a year and a half. He was a very decent man but also was an unbeliever. My new stepfather’s job caused us to move, so I saw my grandparents only occasionally after that. I had no adults in my life who were discipling me and really had no examples in my life of anyone who lived an abiding relationship with the Lord.

Jan I grew up in a house in which my father was basically never at home. He was an alcoholic, as were his parents and didn’t become sober until long after I was an adult. He was constantly gone on the professional rodeo circuit or busy doing anything but being home with his wife and three daughters. When my parents separated, it took 3 weeks before any of us girls asked where our Dad was. That’s how unaccustomed we were to his involvement in our daily lives.

One of my most painful memories is when I was a young Girl Scout and my father failed to show up at a Father/Daughter dance. I was the only girl at the dance whose father didn’t show up. The father of another girl there felt sorry for me and offered to dance with me, but I didn’t want to. I can still feel that sharp sense of humiliation that overwhelmed me that night. When I compared myself with the other girls there, all I could think about was that they must be worthwhile because their fathers had shown up, and I, on the other hand, must not be worth much because mine didn’t.

My mother took my sisters and I to church occasionally when we were young, but she was not a believer and she found some imagined reason to get mad at the church and we quit going. After that, there was virtually no recognition of God in our house.

Brett As Jan and I began our married lives, we were both products of our environments. Neither one of us had any idea what a real marriage was supposed to look like. We got married while we were in college. We were young, in love, and just assumed we would make each other happy. And in many ways we did, but we were both broken and selfish, so problems began to manifest.

And though we didn’t really understand it, both of us were subject to depression and I, in particular, developed the habit of relying on alcohol as a way of coping with that depression. We would fight, and when I had been drinking, I would become very verbally abusive sometimes erupting in rage. I had grown up in an environment where all conflicts were engaged in with anger and yelling. I had never seen my parents resolve conflict in any kind of a constructive way. So when Jan and I had conflict, I would say terribly hurtful things and try to control the conversation with fits of rage. When this happened, I would later feel very ashamed and apologize. Jan was very forgiving, but in spite of my shame over my behavior, eventually the cycle would repeat itself.

Jan After our children were born, Brett and I began to attend church. During that period, I attended a “Walk to Emmaus”, a weekend Christian spiritual retreat. There. I accepted Christ as my Savior. However, we still had problems in our marriage.

I convinced myself that all the problems in our marriage were his fault. It was easy to blame him because I could point to his drinking, but the truth was that I too had lots of sin that was contributing to our problems. I would just hide behind the fact that his sin was more visible.

The truth was that I had been reared in an environment where no one ever admitted when they were wrong and where feelings and emotions reigned supreme and were never to be challenged. So, in retrospect, there were many times where Brett would be right in challenging me on my thinking or my actions, but I would not allow it. It was extremely rare for me ever ask for forgiveness. I would simply withdraw from a conversation if I didn’t see any way to blame him. Anything was preferable to admitting that I was wrong or that I needed to ask for forgiveness. That was something I just didn’t do.

Brett Jan and I have come to understand that we were created, not just to believe in Christ as our Savior, but to love Him supremely, to center our very lives on Him above anything else, and to build our identities on Him. When we build our lives on anything else, Jesus tells us that we are building on a foundation of sand and that the storms of life will destroy what we have built. God says, in the very first of His 10 commandments, “You shall have no other Gods before Me.” The Bible tells us that sin is not just the doing of bad things, but also the making of good things into ultimate things. It is seeking to establish a sense of self by making something or someone else more central to your significance, purpose, and happiness than our relationship to God. This is what happened to us. Jan and I had both entered our relationship very needy. We both had childhoods that left us feeling insecure and looking to others for our sense of value. As a result, we were both looking for someone to fill what we perceived was missing in our lives. But neither of us was even close to having the ability fulfill everything the other needed. We loved each other very deeply, but because we did not rely on Jesus for our respective identities, our relationship was crumbling.

Jan In Pastor Tim Keller’s book, “The Reason for God,” he quotes another author who says: No human relationship can bear this burden of godhood…. If your spouse is your “All” then any shortcoming in him or her becomes a major threat to you…. What is it that we want when we elevate our spouse to this position? We want to be rid of our feeling of nothingness… to know our existence has not been in vain. We want redemption – nothing less. Needless to say, humans cannot give this. This is exactly where we were as a couple. We wanted each other to fulfill our every need, and neither one of us could live up to that expectation. In fact, both us fell way short of that expectation.

Brett My reaction to this state of affairs was to abuse alcohol as a way of coping with my depression and frustration, and to rage in anger when Jan didn’t meet my every expectation. We had a very negative pattern of communication. If there were any kind of disagreement between us, I would escalate. Sometimes that escalation would take the form of anger and yelling. Sometimes, it was just me not letting go of a subject when it wasn’t anything to have conflict over. Meanwhile, Jan’s reaction to any conflict was to withdraw. So, when we had a disagreement, even a minor one, it could very quickly turn into terrible argument.

Jan As our marriage deteriorated, I began to suffer so badly from depression that I began to struggle with very dark thoughts, even contemplating what a relief death would be. I never actually had suicidal thoughts, but I was in a very dangerous place emotionally and spiritually. During that time, it never even occurred to me that any of our struggles were my fault. I considered it obvious that all our problems were due to his drinking. And when I went to see a psychiatrist to get help with my depression, he just basically reinforced my belief that none of this was my fault. His solution was to prescribe antidepressants and to tell me that the real source of my problems was twofold: first, brain chemistry, which the drugs were supposed to help, and second, that my husband was at fault because of his drinking and anger. He never even suggested that I look at my own shortcomings. For my part, I looked at the overt sin of Brett’s drinking and told myself that this was the sole source of my problems - that all of our marriage problems were entirely his fault.

Brett All of this led us to a point in 2005, that when I came home from a business trip Jan informed me that she wanted a divorce. I was devastated. I tried to get her to give us another chance but she said she had already talked with a divorce lawyer and that her decision was final. Our kids came home from school and we sat them down, and amidst many tears told them what was happening. It was a horrible day. That evening I gathered some clothes and went to my mother’s house who lived nearby. That night, I had a dream. I will tell you that I had never put any stock in dreams. In fact, I rarely remember my dreams and if I do, they definitely don’t seem to have any significance. But this dream was different. I was on a ship at sea. There was a terrible storm and the ship was being destroyed, and me with it. There was broken glass everywhere and I had shards of glass imbedded in me and I was bleeding profusely. It was very graphic. Suddenly, I heard God telling me that not only was I being destroyed by the storm, but that I was the storm. By living for myself with no regard for God’s will, I was destroying both myself and my family. I woke up aware of how broken I was and begging God to forgive me and to give me another chance.

Jan From that day forward, Brett began to change. I could see that he was different and we began anew. We both turned our lives over to God and decided to make Him our first priority. We recognized that if our lives and our marriage were going to be put back into order, Christ would have to be our King. It was not an immediate process. We both had to learn how to abide in Christ daily, and I had much yet to learn about my own sinful patterns. I had to work hard to humble myself and learn to admit when I was wrong. I had to learn to ask for forgiveness, because as Brett began to change, it became more and more obvious to me that not all of our problems were his fault. I saw that I too was broken and needed to submit myself to the transformation that only Christ could bring.

We now had real hope. We had belonged to a church for years, but as we began to search for God anew and to read the Bible daily, we realized that the church we were involved in did not treat God’s Word with the authority that it merits. We found a church that did see the Bible as the final authority over our lives and began to apply it.

Brett The process of learning to follow Christ and trust Him was not an immediate thing. It took time as we studied the Bible and applied it to our lives. But gradually, as we did, change took place. I entered a Bible-based twelve-step program, and with God’s help I am completely free today of any desire to escape difficulty with alcohol. As Christ began to work change in me, my anger began to subside. It is a weakness that I still, sometimes find myself battling.

Jan and I don’t want to pretend that we have a perfect marriage. We still have struggles. But there is such a difference in our lives and marriage. We each abide daily in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We have a community of believers who are as committed to God and His will for their lives as we want to be and they keep us from returning to the isolation that dominated our married lives for so long. We are both committed to our marriage in such a way that we cannot even imagine seeking to escape from it anymore. We are working on drawing the circle around ourselves and removing the board from our own eye before we seek to remove the speck from the other’s eye. I say we are working on it, because we both still fail. We know that God’s work in each of us will not be finished until He calls us home, but we trust His word which tells us that “He who began a good work in us will perfect it.” And thanks be to God, our marriage is the strongest it has ever been.

Jan Brett has become a servant leader in our household and because of His commitment to the will of God which can be seen in every aspect of His life. Our two sons have been transformed by the change they have seen in the lives of their parents. They and their wives are wholly committed to God. We are blessed so much at the mercy God has shown us. We want to close our testimony by encouraging you to trust God. We know that many of you here tonight are in great pain and feel completely hopeless. We want you to know that we understand how you feel. We have been there. The Bible makes it clear that God allows difficult circumstances in our lives in order to help us realize that He is our only hope. If you will respond to the painful period that you are going through with a decision to trust Jesus Christ to be both your Savior and your Lord, then everything can change. You can experience the same transformation that we have.

Brett I close our testimony tonight with one of my favorite passages in Scripture. God is speaking to us through His prophet Jeremiah. He contrasts the person who rejects God with the person who puts his trust in God. Jeremiah 17:5-8 reads this way:
This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans,
who rely on human strength
and turn their hearts away from the Lord.
6 They are like stunted shrubs in the desert,
with no hope for the future.
They will live in the barren wilderness,
in an uninhabited salty land.
7 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.

Thank you for letting us share our story with you tonight.


About 're|engage Testimonies'

This series contains teachings and testimonies of God's transforming power in marriages at re|engage. re|engage is designed specifically to address needs in marriage by helping couples move towards oneness in their marriage through stories of grace, teaching and small groups. Whether your marriage needs to be reignited, or is in need of a complete resurrection, re|engage is a safe place for couples to reconnect. It is a 16-week experience which includes a time of praise and worship, a teaching or a testimony by a couple who has experienced victory in the midst of hard times, and small group time which follows a specified curriculum. We meet every Wednesday night, 6:30-8:15 p.m. in The Loft (7540 LBJ Freeway @ Park Central, Dallas). Childcare is provided and registration is not required.