My name is Brianna Bolender let me tell you my story…
I grew up in the church and going to revivals. I learned all of the bible stories, went to a Christian school for a time, and saw my parents relationship with God. And although I dedicated my life to Jesus when I was young, I never really understood what it meant for me to have a relationship with God.
I got married shortly after high school and left my parents behind and at the same time left Jesus behind. My husband was in the military and I quickly submersed myself in to the "young military partying life style", drinking every weekend and there were drugs too.
When we moved from Jacksonville to Virginia Beach, I steadily grew further and further from everything I was taught growing up. I felt empty, completely unloved, and absolutely hopeless and I used alcohol to cope with all of unhappiness in my life. My marriage was on the rocks and I was at a loss of what to do. I went out drinking for my 22nd birthday and woke up the next morning on my bedroom floor not knowing how I got there or when. That was a huge wake up call for me. My mom had been talking to me for a long time about these discipleship books, Jesus, and relationship with him. So I told her I would start going through the books with her.
A few days later the most powerful earth quake to hit the east coast in years stuck the D.C. area. The epicenter of this quake was just an hour from where we lived and worked. As I sat at my computer in the middle of my work day the ground under my feet, my desk, and the 12 foot window right in front of me, all began to shake! While it only lasted a few minutes it seemed like a life time. When I got home, pictures had fallen off of the walls and I was just grateful that our old rickety apartment was still standing. Needless to say God go my attention... I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins and to be the Lord of my life again. I signed up to be a Virtual Member of VFN that night.
Since then there have been some rocky roads in my life of course; I went through a rough divorce 7 months after having my son. God called me to move to Pensacola Florida, which was 8 hours away from my mom and dad (the comfort zone). I've learned how important abiding with Jesus every day has been and through everything, in spite of my own short comings, I've watched in awe of how God has taken care of me and provided for me. A job with benefits and raises, a day care that was open the odd hours that I worked, He blessed me with my own house. He's kept my car running great these last 5 years. And God's shown me so much grace that I never once deserved and shown me the call He's placed on my life. God is so good!