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Submitted by Douglas Newsom on 23 March 2024

The Bonfire with Jesse Bradley

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Are you ready for an inspiring story today? Let's look at Acts 9 and Acts 16. Did you know God can help you if you trapped in sin? He can restore you no matter the journey you've walked. If you lean in and say, "God, I'm ready," he will redirect your steps and bring you into his presence. > If this resonates with you, please rate, review, and subscribe where you listen to podcasts. For updates follow me @jessejbradley on all socials and for the latest videos check out my YouTube channel Jesse Bradley. The best is yet to come!

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Jesse Bradley
Professional athlete, pastor (Grace Community Church in Seattle), speaker, and author

I didn't find hope until I lost it.

After graduating from Dartmouth College, my childhood dream to be a professional athlete came true. I played as a soccer goalkeeper overseas until a tragic illness suddenly ended my career. In Africa, I took a prescribed medication to prevent malaria which built up toxic levels in my system. Fighting for my life for a year, it took ten years to fully recover. Life was going one way, then with a jolt and out of my control, it would never go that way again. It was brutal and tested me to the core. The symptoms were physical and psychological, and I was scrambling to figure out my identity with so much loss and grieving.

I believe God does His greatest work in the darkest times. The pain in my life fueled and forged a new passion and purpose. I was in survival mode and needed more effective coping strategies. I learned to cultivate hope habits. I discovered a vibrant hope that is greater than my challenges.

Hope is available to everyone. Hope is relational and habitual. I found a secure identity. I began to drop my walls and let people into the pain and receive comfort. Pouring out my heart in prayer and giving God my burdens was new.

A gritty gratitude, giving thanks intentionally even when I didn't feel like it, became a daily choice. A shift into a career I never anticipated was an unplanned blessing. Stepping out of performance traps and landing in God's grace transformed me. It was humbling, after several years, to regain the ability to drive a car again.

My battle with negative thoughts was fierce. I began to replace the destructive first thoughts and intentionally replace them with inspiring and true thoughts. Charting my progress and celebrating being able to walk a few more minutes over the course of the year was necessary. Abiding with Jesus became my greatest joy. I have experienced a gradual and deep healing journey on many levels. That is what I want to share with you and add value to your life.

God moves on many levels at the same time. The emotional, relational, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of your life are connected. The healing I experienced was gradual, powerful, and practical in many ways. At the lowest point of my life, I discovered a vibrant and indestructible hope.

My calling is to encourage and empower people with hope. This includes both daily one-on-one conversations and digitally connecting with over a billion people, providing content and resources. My roles include pastor (Grace Community Church in Seattle), speaker, evangelist, and author. I desire to go to where people are and bring authentic stories and love. Collaboration and partnerships are vital and inspiring because we are better together. I appear on a wide range of television networks (liberal and conservative), shows, and media platforms because I enjoy people and want to have conversations and grow together. I am energized by diversity, including various beliefs, ages, and ethnicities. Life is truly a gift and is vibrant when we receive and bring hope to where we live, work, learn, and play.