Most people know Brenda Warner as the outspoken wife of NFL Quarterback Kurt Warner. What they may not know is that Brenda was actually married once before. She was a Marine when her first husband, also in the military, accidentally dropped their new baby Zack while giving him a bath. Doctors told Brenda she’d be lucky if her son ever sat up or walked again. Two-and-a-half years later, eight-months pregnant with their second child, Brenda found out her husband was cheating. She packed up, moved in with her parents, divorced the man, ended up on food stamps, and started putting herself through nursing school. She met Kurt a year later, in an Iowa country and western bar, thanks to her mother, who thought Brenda needed a well-deserved night out. Kurt showed up the next day wanting to meet her children. They’ve been together ever since, sharing more than twenty years of marriage and adding five more children to their family. We interviewed Warner in 2018 and talked about her divorce, meeting Kurt and her faith.
Warner shared about her divorce from her first marriage and the night that she met Kurt.
“I think she was seeing this young mom of two, struggling to just take care of her kids, and trying to find some good in her world when everything fell to pieces. That included my heart. I was going to nursing school, trying to better myself so I could get a job. I wanted to know more about taking care of Zack and I was trying to get back on my feet. I think she just saw that I was lonely and not willing to give the world another chance to show me the good. She just said, “Let’s go out and take some lessons.” We all love country music. I was raised on it. If you remember, country line dancing had just started and they would show music videos on TV, so it just seemed like something fun. I didn’t want anyone to hurt me again. That’s how she was able to get me back into the world and put myself back out there.”
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12
Warner reflects on her relationship to God and conversations about religion when she and Kurt first met.
Well, it depends on what your idea of faith is. Kurt was religious. I wasn’t religious necessarily. I was more a believer of God and Jesus, not really of religion. So, it kind of bothered me that he was so ‘religious’, because that stuff doesn’t make sense to me. I thought, “I’ve got to burn that out of him. I’ve got to show him what a relationship with God looks like.” So that’s how we started dating, arguing about religion from day one, and me trying to convince him that there was so much more to God then what his religion told him.
Persevere. It may seem like you are in a helpless situation. Whether it is a health battle, financial crisis or family drama, know that God is there in the midst of it with you. Cry out to Him in your fear and frustration. It can be helpful to meet with a trusted friend, small group leader or pastor to ask them for their wisdom and to pray with you. Ask God to connect you with someone who has gone through something similar who can share with you how they got through it too. Take a step back from the situation and pray. Ask God to show you to give you His strength to get through the situation.
Know that you are not alone. God has given us the Holy Spirit to help us get through life. If you are feeling like you have been abandoned by stranded by God, cry out to Him. God has also given us the power of fellowship through friends, family and the church body. It can be humbling to reach out to others during a trial, but ask God to give you the boldness to do so. Many churches and ministries have support set up for almost every kind of need. There are also lots of great resources available online.
Support someone in need. Ask God to show you someone in your life that could use some help or encouragement. It could be someone that lost a loved one, someone that is going through divorce or someone in financial crisis. Pray and ask them if there is something you can do to help them. Remember receiving help or assistance can be just as difficult as mustering up the strength to ask them. It could be something as simple as grabbing an extra bag of groceries, giving a gift card, babysitting or making a car payment. Take time to commit to pray for them as they go through their difficult situation.
To read our entire interview with Brenda Warner, click here.