Interview with Janey Dalrymple: Thoughts & Advice from Brian’s Wife

The past couple of weeks, we have been interviewing various people who played a role in Brian Dalrymple’s journey. One of those individuals was his wife Janey, and rightfully so. We took some time to get to know Janey and her thoughts on her husband’s evident change.

What do you do for a living?

I am a homeschool mom of two girls, age 14 and 11. Brian and I have homeschooled them since day one – since preschool. It’s been a joy, it’s been a challenge, but it’s something we’re committed to. That’s what takes the bulk of my time right now.

How long have you been going to church at Next Step?

Since January of 2017.

In what ways do you serve at your church?

I work in the Women’s Ministry. I teach Bible studies and try to get women involved in a closer relationship with the Lord and with each other. It’s kind of a partner to the Men’s Ministry. Up to this point, it’s been a one girl show, but I’m so excited this year in that God has brought a couple of other ladies in who are working with me on an event which I hope will develop into a teach. It’s been such a blessing. I love to teach God’s word and I’ve just been privileged to have that opportunity there.

When did you start leading in Adult and Women’s ministry?

Well, I guess I’ve taught children’s Sunday School for years. The church we went to before was kind of an older community. Brian and I really wanted people our own age with young children. I just got the sense that God was telling me that if I wanted that kind of community that I needed to start a Sunday School class for that age group… I kind of battled with the Lord because I felt like “I’ve only taught children,” “I wouldn’t even know how to begin to teach adults my age!” My knowledge of the Bible was at “Bible story level.” So the Lord and me battled about that. I just prayed one night “Lord, if this is really what you want me to do, then wake me up with a compulsion of ‘I have to do this,’” and I woke up the next day on fire to do it. I started calling all the parents who had come to VBS at our church… I taught adult Sunday School class. It was couples and some single people for about 3 years and it grew and God taught me so much. It was a wonderful experience. We ended up leaving that church and came to Next Step. The worship director at the time had gotten the idea that she wanted to start a women’s ministry and just in talking with her, God just laid on my heart that this is where I wanted to focus and where He wanted me to be for a while. I just started teaching Women’s studies and really love it. I love that ministry. I had some difficult times in my life and think God has used those to give me a heart for women and their struggles.  That’s where we are now and it just been fun to watch Brian come into his own at this church and to be given so many opportunities and I just love seeing that.

You stated in your testimony that Brian was always very supportive in your Women’s Ministry.  What are some of the ways he encouraged you as you were leading out in those areas?

It took a lot of time, because I didn’t have the background. I didn’t go to seminary or anything like that. I didn’t have the knowledge that maybe some teachers start with. I had to spend a lot of time in the Word. I felt like I didn’t want to use someone else’s curriculum. I felt like I just wanted to use the word of God and teach my lessons from that. One of my passions is writing and I think God just used that because I was able to write my own lessons and my own series but that took a lot of effort. And so, a lot of it was late night hours after they went to sleep. Some of it was on weekends and in preparing for the lessons. He was always supportive. He never made me feel guilty for taking time away to study. With Women’s [Studies] he was always helpful with setting up and encouraging, and lately he’s been doing security for all of my women’s events. He’s just always been my biggest fan. I absolutely would never have been able to do that had he not supported me and encouraged me. You know, all those time I felt like “I can’t do this” “I’m not trained to do this”, he was always supportive and encouraging.  I could never have done it if he had been against it or felt that I was putting too much time into it.

Moving to Brian’s testimony, he felt that he wasn’t the leader type at least in the way you were leading. All the while he’s feeling this, you all go to a Casting Crowns Concert. Can you describe that night?

Well, it was with our church…  We’ve always enjoyed Casting Crowns. Great music. Great time of worship. He [Brian] talked about “the very next thing” on the way home. I think God just used that message to impact him over the next series of days. And I know that he prayed that God would reveal to him the very next thing that He wanted him to do. I think it was a very important part in his whole journey. And I know he says he’s not a leader, but he’s such a humble man! I’ve seen in him wonderful leadership, but not the kind that’s showy. Just the kind that leads and serves. I mean, he would never speak of it himself. In the fire service when he had groups and teams working with him, he always brought them together. It was because of his character and the way that he treats people. There are different kind of leaders. He’s not brash or showy. He’s just too humble for that. He absolutely has great leadership qualities.

When Brian came back from the Iron Sharpens Iron Conference did he talk to you at all about wanting to start the men’s Bible study?

Well, it was really neat. He came back and I can always tell by his face what’s going on. We sat out on the deck and he told me about the conference. He told me about Joe [Harvey]. It was just so awesome because I had been praying up to that point that God would use him and that God would show him that special place where He wanted Brian to be. When I was teaching, we had so many conversations and he was always saying “I think I’m always just going to be your biggest fan.” and I was saying, “God is going to use you. It’s just not His timing yet.” I just prayed for him for so long that God would just reveal that perfect place and bring it to him in His point of life… it was just a neat thing to see God work like that.

What are some ways you’ve seen Brian step out of his comfort zone in his new leadership?

In a lot of ways physically and intellectually. For example, he is the investigator for the city or Richmond so he’s on call rotation. One night he got a call just shortly after we went to bed. He got up and was out all night on this call. But that Tuesday, he went to his Men’s Bible study that morning. He said he was so tempted to go in and go to sleep and text the guys to reschedule but he had made that commitment to them and he keeps his commitments…  In that way, he puts them first. Intellectually, I see him studying his Bible in new ways and some days we have the opportunity to study together. Even if Brian isn’t sure how Tuesday mornings are going to go, he always trusts God to bring it together and He always does.

I know as his wife you must be very proud of him. What are some ways you have been encouraged personally through Brian’s growth?

I think what I’m really loving is that when I was teaching and I knew that he wanted to serve in some capacity and God hadn’t revealed that yet, I wanted that for him. Now that God is using him in this way to teach other men, it just feels really good that God is using us both at the same time. We can talk about our ministries and it feels like a partnership in that way – it’s always been a partnership of life – but now I feel like we have a partnership in ministry. We can encourage each other when we get an attack from Satan and attacks our confidence. We’re there. It’s been a really great partnership in that way now too.

Do you have any advice for wives who may be helping their husbands discern what the  “very next thing” is for them?

I think the most important thing that any wife can do is pray for her husband. A lot of times people say, ‘well the least you can do is pray,’ but I think it’s the most you can do. Pray for them. Pray for their protection. You know, the world attacks them in so many ways. Pray that God would give them opportunities to use their skills and reveal to them what He wants them to do. I think that’s the most important thing. Also, encouraging them and allowing the time to do these things. Any ministry that you do takes away from your family in some way and I think you can’t be stingy with time. You have to be willing to share them with others instead of making them feel bad about time they spend away from home. So, I think prayer is so important, and that willingness to share them and to let God use them.

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Mike Young
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