Meet Divina Bruss, wife of Pastor Brian Bruss of our 27th Life.Church in Norman, Oklahoma (Opening August 2017)!
Divina grew up in Albuquerque, NM. She began her relationship with Jesus Christ in 2005 soon after a boyfriend had cheated on her multiple times, with multiple women. “I discovered an extensive stash of porn on his computer one day while we were visiting his parents. I was devastated.” Divina recalled.
This man’s father was a Baptist pastor, and took the opportunity to share the gospel with her. “While I didn’t grasp it at the time, I was completely broken and knew I needed something, so I began attending a church they recommended. After attending that church for a couple of months, and finding out more devastating news about my boyfriend, I found myself desperately crying out to God one night. My prayer was simply ‘I can’t do this alone anymore.’ With that, I fell asleep, and when I woke the next morning, I had a hope and peace that was inexplicable. The most amazing thing to me is that I had no idea that hope and peace were things God offered.”
“I didn’t grow up in church, and honestly wasn’t expecting any “transformation.” But I experienced it.”
Divina met her husband, Brian, through Brian’s friend (an Oklahoma gal) in her small group while living in Washington, DC. They soon began long-distance dating (at this time Brian was a worship pastor at Life.Church.)
Brian and Divina have now been married 9 years and have 4 sweet babes: Caleb is 7, Adalyn is 5, Elijah is 4, and Jeremiah is 2.
Divina admires Brian’s ability to engage in a meaningful conversation with someone, regardless of the social setting. She shares, “Brian has so much wisdom to give. It just effortlessly flows out of him.”
Divina enjoys homeschooling her four children. She was the women’s community leader at the New Mexico campus and loves serving on the Host Team. She is very passionate about the need to be surrounded by other women who can encourage, inspire, and challenge us in our faith.
She recently took up running and loves it. Living a healthy lifestyle, both through exercise and healthy diet, is important to her. She love to read – and reads at least a book a week.
Philippians 1:9-10 is one of Divina’s favorite Scripture passages:
“I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.”
She explains, “I love this verse because it starts with reminding us that our mark as children of God is that we love. It also tells us that love overflows, which requires that we be filled first. I also love that it reminds us that we grow in knowledge and understanding (that it is a lifelong process). And why do we want to grow in knowledge and understanding? So that we understand what really matters! We must have an eternal perspective, living our lives for what really matters, and when we do, we will be walking on the path the Lord illuminates for us (living pure and blameless lives).”
Divina leads a LifeGroup of women, many of which, are being introduced to the Bible for the first time. Reflecting back, she said, “It is such a gift to watch them learn Bible stories for the first time. My absolute favorite thing is when I get a phone text from one of them telling me how God used something we just learned about in their life.”
Moving to Rio Rancho, New Mexico to launch Life.Church was far more challenging than she ever imagined. For years she prayed that her family would live a sacrificial life for God. When the opportunity came, she had no doubt that she would choose obedience over comfort. But the truth was, she didn’t fully realize the cost of obedience. It was hard to be alone without her spiritual support system. She faced conflict nearly every week.
She recalls, “During those times I found myself in my closet (the place where I can be alone with God) more often than ever before in my life. As hard as those months were, they were also when I heard the most clearly and most frequently from the Lord. I would cling to what I know about God’s character and promises. I truly believe that God is good, loving, wise, and sovereign. If I look at my circumstances through that lens, focusing on the promise that these are momentary troubles, I can make it one day at a time. You just have to take step after step in the darkness, trusting even when you can’t see, but at some point, you round a corner and there is a pinprick of light. As you continue moving toward that light, step by step (day by day) it gets bigger and brighter, until one day you are immersed in light and the darkness is but a memory.”
Divina’s mentor and Bible teacher, Paula Homsey Vawter, has made the biggest impact on her life. She began attending her Precept Bible study shortly after moving to Oklahoma City in 2008. Over the years, not only did she teach her how to study the Bible and share endless wisdom, but she walked alongside her through some of the hardest seasons of life.
One of the many blessings of Divina calling Life.Church her home is that she has the opportunity to walk alongside so many women who are new in their faith.
She shares, “As someone who came to know the Lord later in life, without a church background, it is always a blessing to be able to relate to others who are experiencing the same uncertainties. Finding myself in a leadership role and answering difficult questions, continually keeps me aware of the need to cling to the Lord and grow in my own knowledge and understanding, living a life worthy of the calling He has given me.”