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Sobering Truth

Patrick Bruin knows ‘I should be dead’ after alcohol controlled his life—until God intervened to rescue him, including through support from Moody Radio

by Anneliese Rider  /  March 15, 2024

Moody Radio Listener Patrick Bruin and his wife, Andrea

Ask Patrick Bruin about his decades-long battle with alcohol, and the Grand Rapids, Michigan, native doesn’t mince words.

“I should be dead,” Patrick says. “It got kind of out of control, but I still thought I was in control.”

Patrick grew up in a churchgoing family, and he knew the difference between right and wrong—he just didn’t care. He started drinking at parties in high school, long before he’d even reached legal drinking age. In his twenties, it became an everyday part of his life.

“I thought I could kind of keep it at bay, but through my mid-twenties into my thirties, it turned into a case of beer a day,” Patrick says. Doing some quick math, he clarifies, “I drank Budweiser brand, so that’s 15 cans a day.”

Drive, drink, sleep, repeat

Patrick would go to work every day—he drove for a delivery company—then come home and begin drinking by 5:00 p.m. “There was a time where I’d justify it, and be like, ‘Oh, I’m just having some to relax,’” Patrick says. “But it turned into, ‘Oh, I need this.’”

In 2015, he married his wife, Andrea. In 2016, they welcomed a baby girl into their family, but even parenthood didn’t put the brakes on the toxic habit. “I considered myself a porch drinker,” Patrick says. “I would sit on my porch while my daughter would be inside with my wife, who was also drinking.” 

Moody Radio Listener Patrick Bruin and his family


Patrick and Andrea would drink until bedtime, wake up the next morning, and repeat the routine all over again. In the early days, Patrick learned to live with a daily hangover. But eventually the hangovers stopped, and his only tell was the constant smell of alcohol on his breath. In his words, he was a “functional drunk.”

Caught by the wrong lie

In October 2020, everything ground to a screeching halt. Patrick knew he couldn’t admit to his alcoholism at his annual physical required by the Michigan Department of Transportation.

“The Lord gave me the gun to shoot myself in the foot by lying,” he says.

While filling out the pre-exam evaluation, meaning to say he only drank five beers a week, he accidentally marked that he drank five beers a day—which still fell far short of the truth.

When the nurse came in, she said that since he drank five beers a day, Patrick wasn’t allowed to drive again until he’d sought help. Sitting in the office, caught by a lie that he’d inadvertently gotten wrong, Patrick realized just how much trouble he was in.

‘He pulled the taste right out’

“I got down on my knees in the physician’s room, and I just prayed, ‘Lord, get me out of this. I don’t know what to do,’” Patrick says.

As he kneeled there, God answered his prayer. “It was like the Lord just reached down into my mouth and just pulled the taste right out,” Patrick says. “I didn’t have any cravings for it. It was repulsive to me. I haven’t had a drink since.”

When the nurse returned, Patrick told her he was done drinking. She gave him 30 days to see a counselor and start rehab and sent him home.

When Patrick told Andrea what he’d done, she couldn’t believe it. “I was in shock with what happened. I was worried he would lose his job,” Andrea says. “However, I supported him through everything. I knew if we gave this problem to Jesus we would be okay.”

That turned out to be true.

Moody Radio Listener Patrick Bruin and his family


Patrick went to counseling and was cleared to work again. As the days without alcohol turned into weeks, and the weeks into months, God continued to make even the idea of drinking alcohol disgusting to him. Patrick held his conviction.

Soon, his resolve rubbed off on Andrea. “After I quit, it was a couple weeks until she said, ‘I can’t do this anymore. I can’t sit here and drink by myself.’” Thanks to Patrick’s influence and her desire to support him, she also quit drinking.

On-air support

Patrick was always in search of something good to listen to on the radio while driving for work. One day, before October 2020, he hitched a ride with a friend who had tuned in to Moody Radio. Patrick was hooked. He developed a friendship with Perry LaHaie and Shawna Beyer, the hosts from Moody Radio’s Perry and Shawna Mornings program out of Grand Rapids. Over time, he’d call them to share prayer requests, both before and after the moment in the doctor’s office when God took away his desire to drink alcohol.

When he realized they truly cared for him, he revealed more details of his story. “They would pray for me on air,” he says. “They really helped solidify me on my road to sobriety.”

Perry recommended Celebrate Recovery, an organization that helps people defeat their addictions. Perry and Shawna encouraged Patrick in his journey and his commitment and even interviewed him on air so he could share his story with their listeners.

You’re 100-percent different’

As word spread that Patrick had stopped drinking, he received mixed reactions. Coworkers thought he was crazy for giving up a coping mechanism right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, but friends and family were supportive.

Patrick’s cousin, Eric, who had won his own battle against addiction, was one of his biggest cheerleaders. “I had already been freed from my bondage to alcohol and drugs for roughly three years when he stopped,” Eric says. “It made me hopeful for him and that I would get my cousin and friend back in my life.” 

Patrick and Andrea found a church family that they love, and now Patrick serves on the worship team and leads the men’s group. “I spend more time with my family and building relationships. I definitely focus on my words and how I speak to people,” Patrick says, taking a moment out of the conversation to stop his dog from eating a Christmas tree ornament. “It’s more fun hanging out. I don’t have to worry about how I’m getting home or how I’m gonna feel the next day.”

Patrick has even started producing Christian heavy metal music. But this time, instead of pushing him toward influences that praise alcohol and drugs like it did 20 years ago, his music glorifies Christ and talks about the gospel.

Four years in, Patrick sometimes still can’t believe how radically God changed his life—but it’s true. “I asked my wife recently, ‘Have you noticed anything different about me?’” Patrick says. “She said, ‘You’re 100-percent different.’”