About Me

My name is Brian, which means honor, courage and strength. I believe being given that name was no ‘accident’, but like many, my early years would shape and lead my life in a direction that was anything but my name’s sake.

I was born in Los Angeles to a young bright-eyed teenage couple in late August 1967.  The relationship didn’t last, but my mom would soon meet the man who would adopt me as his own.  I was raised in a middle class family in northern California with a younger brother and two younger sisters.  My relationship with my ‘dad’ was rocky and not very close. He was a ‘disciplinarian’ and truthfully, I really didn’t feel loved much by him. Growing up, my mom would take us kids to church, but my dad didn’t go – so, little of what I was taught in church I remember being modeled at home. My mom did the best she could though to teach us kids and I accepted Jesus as my Savior and baptized at 12. On the cusp of graduating high school; the evening I visited the Navy recruiters office, my dad told me that he as not my biological father.  This left me shocked and confused. I soon joined the U.S. Navy and spent the next six years serving my country on the ‘high seas’.

However, as a young adult I struggled from issues of rejection and abandonment from both my biological father and adopted dad. I was married about half way thru my enlistment and honorably discharged in 1991. After moving to Eastern Washington for work, my son was born in July of 1995. I began to find success at work, had a growing family and circle of friends, but I continued to struggle internally. Over the next 12 1/2 years, I would struggle with many things – identity, value, purpose, self worth, fear and divorce. During that time, I made tons of mistakes that surely brought lots of regret, shame and guilt. Suicide had crossed my mind on more than one occasion. By the Fall of 1998, I had reached a very low point in my life and subsequently, my wife and I separated. My relationship with God had dwindled to the point where the only time I spoke the name of Jesus Christ was when I was swearing at someone (yep, I cussed like the sailor I used to be). But, it was there that God pursued me; getting my attention with what I call ‘The Holy Spirit 2×4’! I was driving home from work one day – feeling like my life was over – hopeless, depressed, overwhelmed, lost and confused. I began crying to the point I couldn’t see well enough to drive. Pulling over to the side of the road, I sat trying to get myself together. It was there that God met me one on one – like my own burning bush experience. Sitting in my car, wiping the stinging tears away, I felt the ‘touch’ of something on my shoulder. Startled, I looked in the mirror and then across my shoulder to an empty backseat. It was then that I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me – ‘Brian, all those things you learned about me growing up were all true. You just chose to walk away.’ I drove home to my empty house, knelt by my borrowed bed and wept. It was there I remembered seeing my mom praying, just talking to God from her heart. So, I did. ‘God, obviously I am not able to run my own life very well. I want to come back to you. I believe your son Jesus died so I can be forgiven Please forgive me for walking away. Help me to follow you.’ I rededicate my life to Jesus Christ – ending my prayer with words that totally surprised me, but I would realize later was a cry from deep within my heart – ‘Lord, teach me how to love.

This began my journey of hope and healing – emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.  I would learn that over the course of my life, I had collected a whole lot of emotional ‘junk’. It would be an on-going ‘fight’, with God’s help, to overcome the seemingly insurmountable mountains that lie ahead in my healing process.  But, God’s endless grace, encouragement and love would prove stronger than the many temptations to go back to my ‘old life’, no matter how familiar and strangely safe it seemed at times. God would teach me many things over these years about mercy, grace, persevering, hope, faith, joy, identify, value, purpose – but above all else, He would teach me about love.  Specifically, Godly love from a father.  He became the ‘father’ I never had and begin to fill the large empty caverns in my heart with His immense and un-matchable love. It was through this love that I learned that He had originally created me with value, worth, identity, hope and a purpose in mind, but the harshness of life, not feeling loved by my dad, my own wrong choices, living a life for myself and not for God, etc. would quickly send me down a very unhealthy, self centered and self destructive path.

In closing, I want to go back to the beginning… my name – Brian, which means honor, courage and strength. Part of the passion that burns within me is fueled from the knowledge that it is only God that can help me become what I was created and ‘named’ to be – a man of honor, courage and strength – not the man I was living before – valueless, purposeless and fearful. Just like my own fingerprint leaves a mark only I can create – God created me uniquely with a purpose to leave a mark on this world that only I can make.

Romans 11:29 says ‘Gods gifts and his call can never be withdrawn; he will never go back on His promises.’

Living daily by His grace,


Oh Lord, you are my lamp, turning my darkness into light. 2 Sam. 22:29

  1. Debra says:

    Very good story about yourself Brian! I don’t know how I missed the funny pic at the bottom. I can testify that you are certainly everything your ‘name’ describes. So blessed to be your wife and so thankful for God’s redeeming love.

  2. Blessings in your endeavors for our Lord Jesus Christ.

    ~Shalom 🙂

    • brian hetzer says:

      Thank you Jeanne! I browsed your blog site… great stuff for ladies!! May God continue to use you and write through you to touch many who are struggling, needing encouragement or just a ‘light’ to help guide their way through this life. May Jesus’ be lifted up!!

  3. Dee Harden says:

    Chris I stumbled onto your site asking permission to use the hope’s door on front on my website for educational purpose; but because I’m a Christian I read your testimony and was so moved. I love your ability to be transparent. I hope this message finds you still blessed and still running the race my brother. Much love. Please advise if the image is your original artwork and I can have permission and let me know how you’re doing. My brotha from anotha motha! May God continue to shine blessings upon you. Dee

    • brian hetzer says:

      Hi Dee – thank you for the kind words. Sometimes it’s a challenge being transparent, but I’ve found that it’s in being transparent that God’s grace shines the brightest. Images I use on my site are royalty free pix, so feel free to use. Thank you for asking! God bless you! Brian

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