The Word of our Testimony: Brenda Simmons

In tandem with our sermon series on the Book of Acts, we thought it would be helpful if the leadership of the church each shared their testimony. Testimonies are powerful. They’re personal stories of what God has done in our lives. Along with the blood of Jesus, Revelation 12:11 says that we overcome the Enemy by the “word of our testimony.” Our hope is that through this series of articles, your faith will be strengthened, you’ll get to know all of us better, and you’ll see that Jesus can and does redeem all kinds of people in all kinds of ways.

My childhood was full of so many changes and uncertainties that I always dreamed that my adult life would be more stable. As the oldest of five children, I assumed a mother role at very young age. We were a military family moving about every 4 years. None of our moves included a church. Religion or God was never discussed in our house. It was much later and a broken heart that lead me to Jesus.

I was introduced to church through my first husband John’s family who were Catholic. I converted to Catholicism after we were married. I went through the motions but did not have a relationship with Jesus. John and I were married for 8 years and were thrilled to have three sons Sean, Ryan and Stephen. We were devastated when our son, Ryan, died when he was 3 months old of SIDS. Just three years later, John was killed instantly in a car accident. I was so angry at God. I felt I was being punished for something but couldn’t possibly imagine what I might have done to deserve all this.

I learned to hide my pain and fake happiness. I could smile and look “normal”, but inside I was just a mess. I was still faking happiness when I met my future and current husband Keith. Keith was loving, patient, and kind to me and my boys and loved Jesus. His love for Jesus didn’t matter to me at the time, but it became the thing I admired most about him. We started going to church and attending a home group. I started wanting what I saw in my husband and church family and longing for a relationship with Jesus. I knew I was missing something in my life that no other person, amount of money, or stuff could fill. It was at home group in our neighbor’s living room that I finally accepted Jesus as my Savior. I felt such a rush of adrenaline in that living room, it was amazing. I was baptized in the southern California Pacific Ocean a few months later. Keith and I were married in our church. Our family grew with the birth of our son, Joshua, a week before our 1st anniversary and our daughter, Haley, 22 months later. Those outside our church family said it would never last, but we will be married 30 years next March.

It has taken time and an army of strangers, co-workers, friends, church family and prayer warriors walking alongside me to help me see who Jesus really is and the extent of his love for me. I had no problem believing Jesus could love everyone else but struggled with him loving me. Developing a personal relationship with him has truly saved my life as well has my soul. My heart had been shattered into so many pieces. I couldn’t imagine it ever being whole again. Now, I see my heart as pieces of stained glass, broken, then forged together and made more beautiful. Life hasn’t been any easier as a Christian, but it always has HOPE! When faced with challenges, I may take day trips to the dark place I came from in my life before Jesus, but I don’t live there. The heaviness I felt is gone and replaced by light. I have a God that continues to amaze me with a life I could have never imaged. He continues to give me the tools and gifts to equip me to handle the trials of being human. People mistakenly say, “God doesn’t give us more then we can handle”, but I believe he equips us to handle the times in our lives that we feel we can’t handle.

Brenda Simmons
Children’s Ministry PreK, Director

I love this song. I listen to it and think about the army Jesus sent to rescue me and continues to send for all of us. - Brenda