My Redemption Story

Our love story is unusual, unlikely, and completely created by the Lord. God allowed something beautiful to come from my devastating reality of a love lost.

This is our story. Johnny & I both wanted to be apart of sharing our story. We bounce back & forth between the two of us in an attempt to share our own perspectives. Our prayer is that you enjoy our love story and hopefully in some way find encouragement.
This is me, Brit.
I think that every little girl dreams about her wedding day. The dress, hair, and her daddy giving her away to live happily ever after.

I am a Texas girl from a small coastal town. I grew up in a wonderful home with the sweetest parents in the world. Our home was filled with a whole lotta loving Jesus, laughing, nonstop silliness, and love. I always knew I wanted the same for my life. Around the age of 14 I started writing letters to my future husband and praying for him. Whoever he may be.

My freshman year of college I became friends with this very sweet guy. We were always together, hanging out, and eventually we started dating. He was everything I had dreamed of, for my love, to be. We had so much fun together. At the end of our sophomore year we got married to become husband and wife. We were so excited, very much in love, and we moved off to finish college together at Texas State University.
Hey! This is me, Johnny.
Meanwhile, you have me. An Iowa born & raised guy. My family moved to Texas right before my 18th birthday. We moved from a small town of 5,000 people to Houston 4,000,000 people! must say, a bit of a shock.

The fact that we didn't have to drive an hour anymore to go to the mall was nice. Although, I would later find out how much I missed a small town life but I have learned that home is where family is. Thank the Lord I have the best family in the world. our home was always filled with laughing, love, doing something outside, and of course the Willard interrupting. I had always dreamed about having a family, getting married, and growing old with my wife. I remember as a young boy I hated to hear people talking about the rapture because I was not yet married! HA! Silly, I know, but at the time it was a big thing to me. If only I would have known WHO (Brittany) God had for me, I would have relaxed and not have been so worried.

Back to Brit

Eight months into being married & living in San Marcos my loving husband became someone, on most days, that I did not recognize as the man I married. The lifestyle that he chose to live was not one that was ever us. I have decided to not talk about all aspects of this relationship but I will say that on the good days I felt like I knew my husband, but there were few good days at this point. My life was filled with nights of going to sleep feeling as if I did not know who was really sleeping next to me. Every evening was extremely overwhelming. I lived continually not knowing how the night was going to play out. Often I slept on the floor of our tiny bathroom apartment because for many unsaid reasons, I felt the safest. The man I married & loved had over time convinced me that I was not beautiful, unintelligent, and controlled every aspect of my life. At one point in time I secretly (from friends & family) dropped out of college to work full time because my husband had convinced me that college was never going to happen for me so I should just drop out and earn more money.

Let me say this; Marriage to me is something beautiful & sacred. When I married my husband I vowed to love, honor, and respect him for all the days of my life. Even in the good times & the hard times. I meant those promises. During this time, I just kept thinking that these were the really bad times. There were glimpses of good here and there that kept me believing it would be okay. I kept praying that this nightmare of life would soon be better if God could just get a hold of him again. I believed I could get passed everything that he had done to me at that point in time.

One good morning, my husband brought me flowers and asked me to lunch. After, I went home and he returned to work. Ten minutes later my husband walked through the door beat red, shaking, yelling, and explaining everything that I did wrong. (Rarely did I do much that was right, so this was not too out of the ordinary). The difference about this rant was that he looked me in the eyes to tell me he did not love me and did not want to be with me anymore. Followed by, get out of our apartment. Then he went into our room to lie down on the bed. I just remember repeating over and over, "What, what, what are you talking about?" After hearing his rant yet again, this time with my back pushed against the wall with him yelling directly into my face, I shakily walked into our living room, sat down on the floor, looked up, and said aloud, "I need you Lord".

God truly held me in that moment. I just sat there in shock after hearing the man that, at one time, I knew was going to love me forever, take care of me, have babies with me, and grow old with - tell me he did not love me. I just remember asking how can this be? Although on most days I did not feel loved, I really did love my husband. Regardless of everything he did to me I still wanted my marriage. The hell that I was living in had become my life. My world. It was all I knew in that moment. By Gods grace I left our apartment that day. A few days later he confirmed to me all the secrets he kept from me, but I had always known were going on in the back of my mid. Although I knew his secrets before he confessed them, I just continued to love and honor him regardless of the betrayals. I valued our covenant and held onto the hope that it wouldn't always be this way.

The next several weeks are nothing but a blur to me. I was a walking zombie just going through life taking one day at a time, because that is the only way I knew how to live. To make the story shorter I went back home to live with my parents & left college for a year. During that time I fought to get my husband to talk to me, because I didn't know what else to do. He was in such a dark place in life that was so unfathomable to most. He would not talk to me. The few times he did it was just as before, he continued to speak to me with so much hatred, anger, no respect, and zero regard for our marriage. After months of wanting him back and him once again manipulating me to believe it was entirely my fault and that I was to blame for his actions I had to make a choice. I had to stop choosing to continue to accept his abuse. It is interesting because before this relationship I could never understand why women chose to stay in abusive relationships. I always asked, "Why don't they just LEAVE him?" One day I had the most sickening realization that I had become, that woman. In that moment, I had the choice to choose to take him back or to say no to the abuse. Honestly I was torn. I vowed to love my husband forever. I started having feelings of should I let myself be treated like this forever? How many other woman, are too many? I had become the woman who wanted her abuser back. One day while driving through town, I remember staring at myself in the rear view mirror saying aloud, "How did I get here? How did I become this person? Who am I?"

Some time later, I was completely overwhelmed by emotion from finally accepting my husband had betrayed me with other women, hurt me deeply in so many ways, and now having the rude awakening that I had become that woman. It was too much to take. One morning around 6 am at my parents home I found my way to the small hall bathroom & laid myself on the floor. I began praying on the cold tile floor. Saying to the Lord, "I can not do this, I do not know what to do, I want my husband back - I do not care what has happened - but I can not keep fighting for someone who doesn't want me,  does not love me, and is so cruel, please take this out of my hands." After several hours of literally crying out to God, I heard him say, "It's going to be okay." I got up and began to feel like I could kinda breath again. I was able to eat without becoming sick and could carry on a conversation without crying. God completely took over.
 I am forever changed by that prayer time on the bathroom floor.

Let me give you an idea of what I looked like at this time. This was me. I don't know who took this picture of me, but I am thankful it was taken. This pictures means so much to me. It shows where I have come from & where I never will go again. It represents the abuse, denial, and the complete state of despair I was in but have overcome through Jesus Christ. He is truly my savior, my joy, my freedom! A scripture I hold dear to my heart is Psalm 51:8,

"You have broken me, now let me REJOICE!"

Over the course of a few months I slowly started to resemble a functioning human being. Shortly after making the decision to stop accepting the abuse I chose to start working hard to become whole again and allow Jesus Christ to be my guide. One day, my dad walked into the kitchen after golfing with the youth pastor from his church, this guy.

This stranger was all smiles, full of life, and seeped happiness from within. This was not someone that I wanted to be around.

The thought of being around anyone other than family scared me because I was very emotionally unstable. It was possible for me to burst into tears at any given moment while in conversation. This guy poured out happiness and my lifeless self was unable to absorb his energy.
 This is Johnny again

From the very moment I first met Brit all I wanted to do was be her happy. Although I had just found out what had happened in her life, I just wanted to bring her some joy. I remember a great Texas cold day when we were sitting on her parents trampoline just talking. I made the statement, "If the only reason I am in your life right now is to bring you happy then that is what I will do. 
Be your happy."

Even though I knew there was something about this girl! I wanted to be around her more than a little while. I called my mom and told her, "There is something about this girl that I LOVE!" We just began hanging out, getting coffee, going for walks, eating, and watching movies at her parents home. It seriously was awesome getting to know her. Then again, it still is :)

Yes, there were moments of breakdowns. Moments of crying. Many silent moments of just sitting still next to her. Moments of running in a park without ever saying a word to one another. Then there were moments of laughing out loud. And then there were moments 
of uncontrollable smiling.

And those moments for me were, truthfully, some of the most amazing times of my life. I saw her at her worst. I get to walk with her to her best.

Back to Brit

I remember asking my mom what man, that loves God & desires to serve the Lord is ever going to want to be with me. In my mind, my divorce meant I was like poison to any man that loved God & wanted to be in ministry. I truly believed there would not be a single man, who sincerely served the Lord, that would want anything to do with me. (That was the enemy lying to me)

I had been so broken. God truly restored my heart and mind so quickly from the loss of my marriage & the deep hurt that such a betrayal had taken. However, for a very long time my happy-go-lucky spirit was no where to be found. There are a lot of things that I do not feel I need to talk about that occurred during the time I was married to this individual. Basically I was emotionally beaten down to the point that I was unrecognizable to my friends & family. Physically I was me, but that was about it.

One day my dad said to me, "My baby girl is starting to come back, I have missed her. You will get there soon baby. It is all going to be okay." Those words broke my heart. I was determined to get back to the me that I loved being. Through much self therapy (a ton of jogging, drawing, writing, praying, dancing, singing, and drives in my car) the old me started to come around. For an extremely long time little things would make me burst into tears or flash backs of memories I wanted so badly to forget would come to mind. In time those became less frequent. I had become a newer version of me. I loved it!
Johnny became my happy. I had forgotten how to laugh. What it was like to smile uncontrollably to the point that you burst into laughter & then cry with joy!

I needed to be reminded on a daily basis that it was okay to be happy, to laugh, and to smile. Johnny let me know that it was okay to feel important and beautiful.
He took me back to the silly me that was stolen from me. His smiles are truly contagious. It is impossible to not forget your worries when you are around him.
I was not looking for anything when I met Johnny. Friendship was not even an idea at that time. Johnny is my gift from God. He is the man that I have been praying for & writing to since I was a young girl. I may not understand everything, as to why I went through what I have, but I do know that God makes all things beautiful.
I know that he is in control. 

God took such a broken girl and turned her life into one more precious than her imagination could ever have dreamed up. Johnny asked me this question the first week that we met, "All I want to be is your happy. If I am in your life for a few weeks or a few months. Then that is what I am. Just your happy for now. 
Would that be okay?" I said, "Yes."
A year & a half later Johnny asked me to marry him on Town Lake in Austin after a fairytale date that ended with him on one knee singing to me,

 "Can I always be your happy?" 
My answer again was, "Yes."
Six months later, on our wedding day my husband sang to me a sweet love song to let me know, 

"I will be your happy, through the good, the bad, the pretty, & the sad."

My sweet man saw me at my very worst and truly loved me as a friend through moments when I was unable to look at myself. The first few months of our friendship I would cry at least once a week in front of him. I am so thankful for the gift I have in my husband. I still have moments that I think to myself, "Is this guy for real? Is he really this patient, sweet, kind, gentle, and handsome?" He is such a wonderful best friend, husband, and father. God knew exactly the type of person I needed. He gave me my husband. Johnny truly loves me. I truly love him. This is just the beginning of our Love Story.

I hope that you enjoyed our story. In ways I hope that you are encouraged to know that God loves you. In every situation and circumstance he has you. He is still in control. 

My life is a testament of God's faithfulness. 

Please feel free to share your love story with me. Send me an email or a comment because I would love to hear it!



  1. I just read this at my office and when my boss walked in and asked me why I was crying I responded, "I am reading this most beautiful story ever". I had a very similar story. It is so re-assuring to hear your testimony. You have a beautiful family and I'm so glad that God has blessed you with a great husband!

    Jena Turner

  2. Thank you Jena! Thankful my testimony is able to re-assure you of God's faithfulness.

  3. Oh Brit, This story was shocking and amazing to see what the Lord brought you through and the redemption you received. I'm in tears! What a beautiful story! I'm so glad God brought you Johnny!

    1. I'm so glad the Lord is faithful & has brought me through so much. Thankful he gave me Johnny :)

  4. Brit!!! What a powerful testimony of God's goodness, mercy and perfect plan for your life! Thank you SO much for being willing to share and be vulnerable like that.
    Found your blog today and feel like we have a lot in common =)
    Much Love,

  5. It was difficult at first for me to share my testimony but God is so faithful. As soon as I began to share it he started blessing me in doing so. So glad you found my blog. Look forward to getting to know you.

  6. Girl, God is so unbelievably amazing and ever faithful. He always writes the best love stories:) oh and cool side note: my hubs is also a worship pastor! I'm so glad to meet you!

    1. Yes he does. Oh, how fun! Don't you just love watching your man worship the Lord? lol. It's the best! Looking forward to getting to know you.

  7. Loved reading your story. I went through something similar with an abusive and cheating-filled first marriage when I was 18. When we divorced, I was, like you, unrecognizable by the end. I felt like such a failure and that I would never be happy again. You put into words exactly how I felt during that time.

    So happy that God restored your happiness and mine. He gave me an amazing man of God and 4 kids that I couldn't love more!!!

    So thankful for God's love, restoration and faithfulness:)

  8. Oh, I'm so happy to hear that the Lord has restored your life & blessed you with a wonderful man & family. I am so thankful to serve a God that can restore our joy & happiness. Thanks for stopping by. Heading over to say hello at your blog.

  9. I love, love, love this. God was so gracious to seat me by you on Saturday morning at Influence. I wish we'd had time to talk more! Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hey Therese! I was thinking about you this past week. So glad you found me on here. It was so refreshing to sit next to you & talk with you that day. Thank you for your sweet comment.

  10. A true redeeming love story :) Thanks for sharing your love story! It's beautiful!

    1. thank you Sarah! I love that God is the one that can make all things beautiful.

  11. What a fantastic redeeming love story! Thanks for sharing your heart!

  12. "Johnny is my gift from God." You know that's what his name means don't you?:) Well Jonathan means gift from God, if that isn't his full name but still derived from it either way so that's pretty awesome!

    And you can tell by your husband's smile he's so full of joy. It amazes me how God restores things and how He is in the details that we may tell ourselves, or even more often others may tell us God won't do that well He tends to do "that" and more!! He knows you fully well and exactly what you needed in your husband.

    Thank you for sharing your story!

    1. Thats interesting. I didn't know that. His name is John, but that is neat to know. Thanks for sharing. Yes, he really is so full of joy. Its rare. You are so right, God is always in the details & I look back at those times when I was so broken and couldn't imagine ever finding anyone (let alone someone like my husband) but God knew. He had everything under control. Sometimes that is hard to understand, but I'm thankful I trusted in him & his timing. During times in our life now, when we need a reminder of God's perfect timing, we often return to the way we met & fell in love.

  13. I LOVED this and thank you so much for sharing!! There were many parts of your story I was able to really relate too. You are such an inspiration and encouragement!! I am so excited to have found your blog!!
    Be Blessed!
    Cat @ THis Little Life of Mine

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words! Glad you found my blog too :)

  14. I clicked over to your blog to offer some congratulations on expecting, and I don't think I had ever been to your blog before, except once to copy the URL to my feed reader.

    I read this whole story just now, and wow. You are so right, God is a redeeming God! How he reveals things to us in His timing, not ours, and it continues to make sense if we trust.

    I am so, so absolutely just beyond words HAPPY for you. The way you honored your first husband, despite his actions, is so selfless. What a sacrifice you made for a commitment! Thank you so much for sharing your story. :) It is beautiful in only the way the Lord can make it beautiful!!!

    Gayle | Grace for Gayle

    1. Oh thank you Gayle. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. Love how the Lord is so faithful & true in our lives.

  15. I am sitting her with tears streaming down after reading this-tears for joy that God redeemed you in such a big way. I too was in an abusive relationship in college-we were engaged and leaving was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life-besides getting myself back. Thanks you for being brave enough to share your story-I can't wait to talk over lots of coffee at Hopespoken!

  16. hi! i just found your blog and read your story. i'm blown away by how God works in the midst of our darkest storms. such a beautiful love story!

    1. Thank you Leah. God continues to blow me away with his goodness. his mercies!

  17. I love that he met you when you weren't at your best. It's like he loved you back to health. So often we women are told to get a man we have to be this and that - well you were at a pretty low point and he accepted you and saw something in you that you didn't. That is really amazing.

  18. What a beautiful story, and a wonderful testimony of God's love and faithfulness!
    Thank you for being so real and honest; as a former victim of verbal and emotional abuse, I appreciate you being willing to put yourself out there and tell your story. My abuse came from my parents, and God sent my husband along to rescue me and "be my happy" as you say (love that phrase!) Even though my circumstances were different from yours, I saw so many of my own emotions paralleled in your story--learning that you are strong and beautiful, and that it's okay. Praise God for His redemption, and for the good men he sends along to give us strength and be our happy.


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