Dec. 7, 2021

Finding the light in the darkness. Jesse Bradley's story on finding his real identity during the hardest journey of his life.


Jesse Bradley graduated from Dartmouth College with a major in Psychology. Then he played soccer overseas in Scotland and Zimbabwe. He took a prescribed medication to prevent malaria and it built up toxic levels in his system. He was fighting for my life for a year and it took ten years to recover. Healing came in a variety of ways. New habits, mindset, direction in his life and prayers. He enjoys talking about what he has learned and brings hope to other people. He also have a passion for adoption and helping people with marriage. He serves as a pastor now in Seattle.
 
In this episode Jesse shares about having his identity taken away from him, and what he chose to do about it. He had to ask himself the hard question, "who am I?" He also shares about important coping mechanisms that we can use when the unhealthy ones are no longer working. He shares what he now knows about faith and how we can also lean on God for help and guidance.
________________________________________________________________
Thank you to our sponsors:
BetterHelp - Visit https://betterhelp.com/brightsideoflife to join the over 500,000 people talking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional.

Special offer for The Bright Side of Life listeners... get 10% off your first month at https://betterhelp.com/brightsideoflife

Visit our website:  https://www.thebrightsideoflifepodcast.com/




Support the show (https://www.thebrightsideoflifepodcast.com/support/)

Transcript

Jesse Bradley: 

I believe that some of the greatest experiences in life come in the worst circumstances. You know, with faith. I think God does His greatest work and the most difficult times. It was a brutal journey. And it was something I didn't want didn't expect. And yet some of the very best things in my life have come out of that.

Melissa Bright: 

Welcome to The Bright Side of Life, a podcast where people share their personal stories of struggles, pain and grief. But through all of that, they are still able to find the joys in life. Hello, everyone, and welcome to this week's episode of the bright side of life. I am your host, Melissa bright. And just a quick reminder, before we get started to be sure to hit the subscribe or follow button if you haven't already. And if you'd like to support the podcast, you can do so at the bright side of life podcast.com/donate I am an independent podcaster and do all of this on my own. And I spend a lot of time and creativity and resources and trying to create valuable content for you. So if you'd like to show your support, it would be greatly appreciated. Today I am talking to Jesse Bradley, Jesse he graduated from Dartmouth College with a major in psychology. And then he went on and played soccer overseas in Scotland. And in Zimbabwe, he took a prescribed medication to prevent malaria and it built up toxic levels in his system. He was fighting for his life for a year and it took 10 years to recover. Healing became healing came in a variety of ways for Jessie new habits mindset direction, in his life and prayers. So now Jesse wants to talk about what he learned and he wants to bring hope to other people. He also has a passion for adoption and helping other people with their marriage. He serves as a pastor in Seattle, and he is married with four children. And a new hamster. Isn't the hamsters named kiwi?

Jesse Bradley: 

That's correct. Yeah, QE is very active, especially at night.

Melissa Bright: 

Oh, my gosh, I love it. Well, Jessie, welcome to the show. Thank you for being here. How are you doing today?

Jesse Bradley: 

Thank you, Melissa, I appreciate the heart of your podcast to The Bright Side of Life. Let's talk about that. Let's talk about hope and restoration. And, you know, we're all going through different challenges. And in some ways, I feel like there's always 99 challenges. But those challenges can become opportunities. And like we were just sharing with our stories, great opportunities for growth, as well. And so I love it here in Seattle. I'm grateful for where I am in life right now. And just this conversation too.

Melissa Bright: 

Awesome. Well, thank you for sharing that. And of course, as we know, how it usually goes, is there is a little bit of darkness before we actually see the light. So that's kind of why I wanted to have you on here you are a former professional soccer goalie. And I have not ever had an athlete. I mean, I've had athletes but not that have the story that you do. And it's all about what you have went through recovery, and then now bringing hope to people. So I'm going to bring it all the way back to your soccer years. And really tell me what that story is about, about being prescribed that medication in what happened and transformed.

Jesse Bradley: 

Yeah, I think we all have different areas of life that we really enjoy. And sports were a pure joy for me. I grew up in University of Minnesota campus watching, you know, big 10 sports and told my parents at age three like that, that I want to do. And I grew up professional sports. And, you know, my parents got divorced when I was seven, which was one of the hardest things in my life. And of course, as a child, you don't have control over that. And watching that play out. I realized one of my ways to cope was to play more sports to do well in school and just enjoy friends. And that was, you know, basically my life in a nutshell, those three things. And then in college, I went to Dartmouth in New Hampshire and, you know, in high school played three sports but soccer was the one I had the most potential basketball was my first love, but sometimes you don't get to go with your first pick. You know, soccer was a good backup and I played in college. We had a great coach, great team. We won the Ivy League a couple of times made the NCAA final eight, and I continued that dream and played overseas. And as I was in Zimbabwe, I was taking a prescribed medication. So I was kind of naive, wasn't aware of side effects. Doctors didn't mention it. I thought it was just following a prescription like what could go wrong, and I'm in great shape at that point. You know, being a professional athlete, so it wasn't really a concern. I kept taking it every week as prescribed and eventually at the end of the season. It built up toxic level I was on my system. And maybe people are watching and listening can relate where life is going one way, and you think it's just going to continue that way. But something happens. And all sudden, it isn't going that way. It can't go that way. And now it's going a new direction. And when that includes, you know, your childhood dream being crushed, there's a lot of mourning, there's a lot of change. I believe that some of the greatest experiences in life come in the worst circumstances. And you know, with faith, I think God does His greatest work and the most difficult times. But I'll tell you, it was a brutal journey. And it was something I didn't want didn't expect. And yet some of the very best things in my life have come out of that. And so I'm just want to encourage someone today, if you're going through a time that you didn't see coming in, it feels like there's no way out no hope. There's actually a hope that's greater than your challenges. And there's a rebuilding of both what has been lost, but also a rebuilding in new directions that can be even greater than anything you anticipated. And it is a longer journey, you meant to 10 years to fully recover. This is no microwave. There's no shortcut, the coping mechanisms I had as a kid to cope with things they didn't suffice when when this came along, but that's kind of a quick introduction to some of the challenges I faced with the end of my soccer. But now you know, I'm still involved on playing as a goalkeeper because you don't get much exercise. You know, they usually put the person in net who doesn't want to run right? Like they can run so they put them in in goals. But now I play you know the field and involved with Seattle Sounders, faith and family. Just enjoy soccer. I've my good friend is coach at University of Washington, and they're in the final eight right now to bring my kids my kids play just having fun. So a lot of backyard soccer is still a big part of my life today.

Melissa Bright: 

Yeah, that's amazing. So something that you you said that that struck me that I wanted to ask you about, you said that the coping mechanisms that you had, when a child just weren't going to cut it for what you're going through? Can you kind of explain what those coping mechanisms were? And when you were in the middle of being in that year of fighting for your life for you bedridden? What did that looked like? And what were you trying to do to cope at that time?

Jesse Bradley: 

Yeah, great, great questions. You know, all of us have a natural place, we just tend to go when stress comes and pain comes and disappointment comes like we run to something we try to figure out how to navigate through it. And if you take my parents divorced, for example, my way of coping was just to do better and try harder. So there weren't a lot of tears, I went to a counselor, but I just didn't have a lot of restoration through that. And I just applied myself and I thought, well, if I'm doing better in school, I'm doing better, you know, a sports and I'm making good friends, like I'll just keep trying harder in life and doing better, because those are things I can control or perceived to have control. And that that you know, had some value because I mean, of all the options, it's not a bad option, right? things better, really has the ceiling. And it can only take you so far. And you know, for me one thing was I just didn't forgive my dad. And that was a deeper work when faith became part of my life. I didn't believe in God growing up, but in college, and I knew God forgave me him my sins and wrongs and things, like I was able to forgive my dad. And that was a new way of coping is to actually forgive the people who hurt you instead of holding on to resentment. But then also, when I got sick in Africa, I was really kind of going through denial, and just trying to be tough, and it's no big deal. Like, even though it's a massive deal, right? I didn't, I didn't convince many people. And I don't, it's not that bad. It's not that bad. But um, you know, I had to learn to let people in, and we need each other. And when you let the right people and people are loving, they bring out the best in you. They're safe, you can trust them. I can open up and really let them in to some of my pain and loss. And I found that although it's kind of scary and vulnerable, that's where a lot of healing happened. And similar with my relationship with God, I thought God's initially only interested in the things I do well, and then I realized, no, actually, he wants to come in to those parts of my life where I'm trying to keep him out. And he brings tenderness and care and healing and so that was a scary step for me and just a new thing to learn how to go there. Let people come in and even kind of give in prayer some of my burdens away instead of carrying them all myself and the the challenge was just so massive. If anyone here has ever had like an ongoing challenge where You know that one year fine for like 10 years full recovery, it was so massive, there was no way to just try harder white knuckle or just push through it because there just wasn't progress. I even know soccer to jump in, there's no school to jump into, there was no job to jump into like, and sometimes the shattering of some of your coping mechanisms is actually opening the door for some new ones that have a higher ceiling and are healthier. And you're not going to learn those by just reading the book, like you've actually got to go through buy into them yourself. And just because your friend doesn't doesn't mean you're going to do and so to discover those sometimes there's some scars and some headaches and some stubbornness along the way. But I'll tell you, when you do find what works and you do find what's better, then you kind of think, Oh, how did I not see this before? Like this would have been really good earlier in life. But I'm grateful for that journey, and what those hard times teach us. And, you know, the scariest. The other part of the question there, the scariest physical symptom I had was with my heart because the medication actually inhibits the inhibitors, which means there's no regulation of heart rhythm. And tachycardia is 160 beats a minute sitting still, atrial flutter is another abnormality, skip beats, heart murmur, pain, the left side of my chest, day and night. And so the cardiologist did all the testing, they saw the problems with my heart, but there was no medication they could prescribe. So it was really endurance. And you know, what I made it what I not make it with my heart hold up with these eventually go away or get better. They didn't have answers, because they hadn't seen a lot of patients with this kind of drug toxicity. And I had other symptoms like double vision and sweats and chills and migraine headaches and all the physical symptoms, I had emotional symptoms of, you know, strange dreams, panic attacks, depression, it was like a full takeover in my body and mind. And I was just in during one storm after another. And they did, you know, gradually improve. But it was so gradual, I literally charted my walking progress from month to month that I could walk a couple more minutes, you know, without my heart accelerating too fast. And then I had to celebrate that progress. Because in a chronic condition, you feel like you're stuck. And you're not going anywhere. I had to actually mark the progress. So there was something to celebrate that, yes, after a couple of months, I am able to walk a little more. And that's important for perspective, too. So those are just some more an glimpses into my recovery and some of the good things that came out of it.

Melissa Bright: 

Yeah. So something that you just said about reaching out to people being vulnerable, not having the Oh, everything's fine, I'll be fine. I am currently reading Brene Brown's book, the gift of imperfections. And she talks about what it means to have a wholehearted life and some of the things that you have to have. And one of them is compassion, connection. There's a couple others, I'm only like on page 23. But she really talks about being vulnerable and picking the right people to be vulnerable with and how they're going to help you in these dark times. You really got to pick the right people, because some people can make you feel worse, or there's It runs the gamut in terms of that. But you are so right about what you had to do, you had to kind of get a little bit humble and be vulnerable, which is not, first of all easy for anybody, then you add being amant. On top of that. It's not easy. But once you do it, it's a different coping mechanism. And it can really change things. I can definitely attest to that because I have some not so great coping mechanisms still today and compassion. I'm really, really working on it. I have a lot but then again, I don't. So it's just amazing that you said that because I literally just read about that last night and like, what that means. So I love that you said that. And then what else were we talking about? I just lost my train of thought. That's okay.

Jesse Bradley: 

Yeah. Because, you know, this is why I think people resonate with you and your podcast is because you've overcome a lot, you're real. And you're also on this journey. And that inspires people like this is what I'm learning this I'm growing. This is what I'd like to change and none of us have it all together. We're lifelong learners. You know. I mean, every time I get on a podcast, I was like, oh, Lord, please help me with the words. You know, conversations gonna go but but it's real. It's authentic, and we're just sharing our lives. with each other, and so, yeah, I appreciate your heart, your journey and how you have the desire and are reaching out to so many other people who are in our situations too.

Melissa Bright: 

Yeah. And it's not like I was just going through something a couple days ago when people know on social media, like I was struggling really hard, I felt alone. You know, it's the holidays. Not only do I like miss my mom, I don't have both of my parents with me. But my mom was who whom I was most close, close with. She's been gone for 10 years. And just going through a couple of things. And man, it's like, during that time, I lost all of my tools. And I was like, looking in this thing. But at the same time, I didn't want to even look at for any of my tools. It was like, I just had to sit and just be sad and cry and do all this stuff. And sometimes that can be really scary, because it's like you lose all your coping mechanisms. Yes. Or you don't even want to do it. I don't know which one. I know which one it is.

Jesse Bradley: 

That's right, is grieving. It's like, who teaches you how to grieve? How do you know how to grieve? And if you don't grieve at all, and you just try to stuff everything, that's not going to work out? Well. And yet, it is scary to start to experience and go there with some of the pain and I think I've I tried to control the pain and just keep it compartmentalized. And to open up and go there a little bit. It's needed, but then it can feel like you just dove in and now there's no place it's over your head as you can't swim in this area. And, and so yeah, that's, that's very real, and, and we all need healing. None of us are self sufficient. We need each other. You know, from my perspective, I would say I need God because I know what life was like without God for so long. And, and we we just need encouragement. I mean, that's daily, we need to inspire each other. We need to hear each other's stories. Yeah. Safe people. And I think the people who listen, well, that's a lost art. It's undervalued, you really compassionately, listen, they care. And when you're around someone like that, that, you know, they're there with compassion, they have your best interest in mind, they become part of that healing process, and what a gift when those people are in your life. And then also you can be one of those people and I, I really think the ability to listen and listen well with your heart with your mind, you know, with your ears. Listening is it's full. It's not. What was the information? Okay, now, what's the solution? But it's a white long side of, and that's something I was teaching in school. But what a gift in relationships, you know, people who listen well,

Melissa Bright: 

yeah, and I'm not. I've gotten a lot better at it now with my podcast, because when I first started my podcast, I knew one of my biggest challenges was going to be thinking of what am I going to ask next? What am I going to say next without intentionally listening? Yeah. And I went into my first episode, and I actually did the exact opposite of what I thought I actually listened. I didn't freak out what my next question was going to be. And I was just like, whoa, okay. And so, now I really try to intently listen to people, I have my questions here. But if they don't get asked, or if it doesn't go the right way, I don't freak out. I really tried to like listen what to what people are saying. And moreover, with that, I have a friend who, who her and I have just became a lot closer over the past, like two or three months, she was a guest on my podcast. Her name is Alex, I love her. She's probably again, I know, she's gonna listen to this episode. And she thanked me yesterday. She's like, you know, there's really special kind of people that just listen to you don't necessarily try to fix things. They just listen, sometimes you just need ears, you don't need a solution. You just need a listener to just say, I hear you and I see you and I understand what you're going through. And sometimes, that's, that's hard to find, especially in the days that we're in now of not being able to be so connected or we are connected, but are we really it's so important to find those great listeners.

Jesse Bradley: 

Yes. And entering in you know, not just kind of listening but then thinking about something else. So often we're on our phones these days, or, you know, like you say we just want to jump to the solution. I know that's been a struggle for me as a listener. I just think I know what the solution is. And I want to say it Yeah. Yeah. Like you just need to listen and people need to discover themselves sometimes and that's why I thought I could never be a counselor it because I I'm just I'm Got that patient enough to listen, to ask questions so that people discover things like, I just want to talk and write extroverts to slow that down. So

Melissa Bright: 

I totally understand I'm the same, I'm the exact same way. Okay. So when you say like the 10 years recovery process, what really did that look like for you? Were these those doctor's appointments? Was this the issues with your heart and getting up? Like being able to walk? Is that the recovery that you're talking about? And if so, what else? I mean, 10 years? I cannot even imagine I know.

Jesse Bradley: 

Yes. You know, it's, um, if growth in our lives was just linear life would be so much neat and clean. And you know, it wouldn't be messy and similar with healing, if it was just this steady improvement, like, wow, how simple that would be. But growth and learning and healing, it is like two steps forward, one step back, and then you think you make a lot of progress. And then all of a sudden, there's this regression, or you go back, and that's what was happening with my body. And as an athlete, I knew what my mind, you know, as typically doing are capable of doing and do what my body was capable of doing. I'm in touch with my body. But when you don't know, like, what's gonna come today, like, what's going to be the mood today? Or what's going to be the physical condition today? How much can I handle that makes life so challenging? In for example, I as I was gaining physical strength. I was there in a job. And I wasn't sure like, Would I be able to handle it or not? Well, you know, I got strep throat. And so I had to step back, and then I went back, and then I got strep throat again. And then I went back, I got it literally, my body just kept shutting down. It was like, No, I can't handle that job. So that's a glimpse, again, into the healing process. But it's frustrating because, like, I want to be back, I want to have relationships, I want to have that job. And I just can't do it. My body can't do it yet. So along that journey, I decided I'm going to go back to school, because I for graduate school, I thought my mind is in the best condition out of everything. You know, that's, that's what I'll focus on. I didn't do a job and then have to, you know, be finished with the job cuz my body couldn't handle it. So I'll just take the long path four years of school. And that's what I'll focus on. That was a big part of those those years. But I'll tell you, with my heart, it was just still scary. It was still challenging, because my heart would have that a rismedia. So frequently, and I think, wow, I had two weeks isn't gone, like in my in the clear now? Is it finally better? And then I'd have another week, where it's like, oh, no, it's in bad shape? Or, you know, I'd have episodes and I would go back to the cardiologist, they would check again, you know, any permanent damage? Are we doing? No, you just got to keep in during this, but I know it's brutal, but you're going to be okay. So that was kind of like a yo, yo, the ups and downs the well, how much help do I have? What can I handle? I just don't know, my limits, How challenging is it going to be in one of the symptoms finally going to go away? And, and I became a college pastor at the University of Iowa. And even going for that job interview, I was thinking, can I handle this or not? Even weekend, and something happened, about three months into that job, where it was like, my strength came back, and I just felt more myself than I had in the last nine years. You know, like, all of a sudden, it was like, I'm back. And it's on and I can do this. And wow, that that just brought so much joy when you long for something for nine years. And then finally, you get a taste of it. It tastes so good. It tastes so good. And then I just felt like a kid in a candy store. Because all of a sudden, I still had to choose and set limits and you know, be realistic. But all of a sudden, I felt like wow, I'm doing something I enjoy. I've got energy. I don't have to just figure out how I'm going to spend these two, you know, energy tokens during the day like I've actually got 10 to spend, you know, and so there was a lot of joy in Iowa.

Melissa Bright: 

Yeah, that is that is absolutely amazing. So, can I ask you during these 10 years, like I'm still trying to like, wrap my head around 10 years, I'm like 10 years ago, I was 2526. That is just an insanely long time. So did you ever have moments of giving up of just pure hopelessness during those times like your Just like, this is never going to go away, I'm never going to be healthy, I'm always going to be struggling. Did you have those kind of moments?

Jesse Bradley: 

Right? You know, I was constantly dealing with the uncertainty in the unknown, because no doctor could guarantee I'm going to get any better. And when it lasts so many years, and here I am, you know, in my 20s, still my 20s for a lot of that thinking, um, you know, this isn't how you spend your 20s. Like, if you ask me what my 20s Were gonna look like, you know, I would have thought, oh, maybe I'll get married? No, I was thinking I'd have this great job. No, I didn't have a great job, you know, I'd have that in all my lists of things that I thought my 20s would look like, they didn't look like that at all. And that can be crushing in life, when you have expectations. And sometimes they're unspoken, and then those expectations don't get met. And you can either go into despair, or sometimes you just get really angry at certain people and you start to you know, some people get just they go down a path that's destructive. Right? And so how do you adjust with that? What do you do with that, and, and where's the hope. So, during those years, though, I would say some of the biggest shifts in my life happened. And one of them was with my identity, because without even realizing it, it really was linked to performance. And that's a trap. Now, if you're doing well, in your job, or, you know, whatever that looks like, if you're doing well, it can kind of pacify you. But the danger with performance as your identity is that if it's going well, you can be inflated, if it's not going well, you can be deflated. And it's really another roller coaster ride that you don't need. And what you do is not who you are. And so that shift happened, I believe identity is like an anchor, you choose where to land it. And that shift for me happened because I lost soccer because I lost my health, I didn't have friends or out in my career and all those things I lost, I realized, my identity can't be in those because I could lose those. So for me, I landed it in God and His love. And that's where I really felt secure. And then also habits, like my thinking was so important during those 10 years, and the battles between our ears, the battles in the mind, when you have victory there, it pours out in every part of life. And I would have first thoughts that were terrible first thoughts that I'm never going to get better, I'm never gonna have a career, or I'm not never going to get married, or, you know, sometimes they were even in the initial thought on self harm, or, you know, I just had any initial thoughts that were so negative. And what I realized is, I can't control that first thought that comes in, it just comes. But I can decide not to harbor it, believe it or entertain it. And then here's the power of the second thought I can replace it with something that's good and true. So I started to have intentional things that I would choose during the day to keep my mind out of the ditch. And I would write down 10 things every day, I'm thankful for I would have intentional thoughts, because that renewing of the mind. And I even I didn't grow up ever read the Bible, but I took some Bible verses and those became some of them and just, I had some in my pocket that I would just go to. And it's like, Nope, I'm not just gonna sit on the negative destructive thoughts and just let it take over. Like, I'm gonna, I'm gonna replace it with a second thought. So some of those habits like as a goalkeeper, I kept the ball out of the net. And all of a sudden, it wasn't a physical goalkeeping. It was, in my mind, I'm gonna learn from those darts that are coming, and I don't want them nothing good is gonna come from them. And that became kind of tenacious, you know, the battle bit in the mind. And so all that to say, there was a lot of significant growth during those 10 years. And I would say that the greatest growth in the fruit comes in the valley, not the mountaintop. And when things are going well, you can just kind of hit cruise control, enjoy it, absolutely. But really grow and you really figure out what works in life and transformation happens at those low points. And looking back, it's like, oh, and I wanted all over kids like, I guess so. Because growing up was was so valuable. And I just wasn't on that path. I also became a pastor. I never saw that coming. So there was a lot of things that came out of that time that were very good. Yeah, but it was brutal. And sometimes in life, it's just both and it's like road tracks. You can't separate it and you know, they're tied to each other. And I believe pain leads to purpose so often in pain leads to passion, and that deep pain has led to a passion and purpose in my life. That if it wasn't there, I don't think I'd have the compassion for some people. I don't think I'd be doing what I'm doing. Like that pain. CS Lewis says pain is like a megaphone to rouse a deaf world. And it it really was and awakening in my life, but wouldn't want email staff to go through to

Melissa Bright: 

write that? Oh my gosh, that's amazing. So I have a question for you just because I know that we met, like on the same app. Do you know who Joe della grave is?

Jesse Bradley: 

I'm trying to picture Joe's face right now. Tell me a little more.

Melissa Bright: 

Yeah. So he is, well, he actually just retired but he was on in the Paralympics on that team USA for 10 or something years. And he was on my podcast. And he had a very similar story in terms of well, he was in a tragic, like boating accident when he was 19. He was playing college football live in the dream that was taken away from him. Yeah. But then he wound up becoming like playing professional. Not rugby. Oh, wheelchair rugby. Yes. But he like the I forgot what year 2016 Olympics or something. He got cut from the team. And he was like, devastated. Yeah. And he said, Because, or they didn't win gold or something like that. And he said, I placed all of my worth every ounce of my worth. Yeah, on a piece of metal. Hmm. And he's like, so when I didn't get that I was lost. Yeah. And that was at a pivotal moment for his life, because he realized that, yeah, when things are going good, and you're performing well, and thing, but when you don't have that, and all, you lose your identity, it's like, wow, maybe we can't be putting our value and our worth in these gold medals. If they don't happen.

Jesse Bradley: 

What a powerful story. I mean, that is profound and vulnerable, again, for him to share that too. And yeah, we can all relate. And for so many athletes, I mean, the path of an athlete, it's not going to last that long. Because even if you play professionally, you're still gonna probably be finished by like age 30. And then you've got a lot of years left. And it's just hard to find a replacement. When you play sports you have, a lot of times people respect you, just because you're an athlete, or socially, they, you know, appreciate you there's the applause from the crowds. There's the awards of the championships, there's, there's the locker room and the bond and the team, I mean, there's just so many parts to it that you do not find somewhere else. And when that ends, it's it's very alluring to put you're just like you're saying your identity and your performance, your achievement or in your goal. And it's hard for an athlete sometimes to separate identity from those things, or when it's gone to then say, Wait, who am I? And that was the question that was revealed. For me going through this tragedy for the 10 years is Who Am I? Who am I? That was the question identity, because I'm no longer ABC and D. So who am I? And when you do discover that identity, though, it's just it's like that foundation is is there and it's solid. And there was one thing I read, where Jesus said Your house will be like a house on the rock and not the sand. And that was one of those that just stood out to me. Right when I was going through the beginning of that in I read that and he was just like, just trust Him and walk with Him in your house like the house and the rock, not the sand and I was just like, that's what I want because right now my house is saying that I've no idea what a rock looks and feels like. And it is kind of scary to in there's probably so many different people listening with different faith backgrounds and beliefs. And you know, my family I say it's like Baskin Robbins 31 flavors, we got a little bit of everything. My family we love each other. We laugh we but so but but it is for me stepping out of like me calling all the shots, you know, me, centered on me to looking up in faith to this God that I can't see. That was a big step and is based on a lot of evidence but still is a faith step. And in there's a lot of faith steps. There's faith steps in relationships where you get vulnerable. I mean, yeah, I just think the healing comes so often not when we retreat, not when we just try to play it safe or go back to old coping mechanisms that really aren't going to move us forward. But there's some real faith steps and involved in the journey and you need that discernment. But then you need that courage. Take those two.

Melissa Bright: 

Yeah. You had said something about? You said something about weighing on you and your identity. Oh my gosh, what was I gonna say? Oh, thank you to better health for being our sponsor, guys, I am going to tell you the truth. I actually had quit therapy a couple months back, because I thought I was doing good in my healing journey, I thought everything was fine. I thought, at least that I had the correct tools in my toolkit from therapy to handle everything. And this week just proved differently. A lot of things happened, I have really still not honed in my fear of disappointment, my abandonment issues, my attachment issues, and things like that. And that stuff that I hadn't dived in with my therapist yet. So on Saturday, I reached back out to my therapist, and here we are not even 24 hours later, coming off a holiday weekend. I'm getting back in touch with her and I'm starting therapy again, it just shows that I really, really need that support. And that's exactly why better help is my sponsor, if you guys think you might need to see a therapist better help is amazing. They are online, you can do it from the comfort of your own home, you have the options to message them, you can do a phone call, you can do a video chat, whatever you feel comfortable with doing, they have several different types of therapists, if you need couples, or for marriage and family therapy, it's also available to individuals worldwide, better help is a monthly subscription. So you're not paying per session and financial aid is available for those who qualify. So visit better help.com/bright side of life, that's better help.com/bright side of life, join over 500,000 people taking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. And for your first month, you're going to receive 10% off by being a listener of the bright side of life. So let them know that I sent you by using the link better help.com forward slash Bright Side of Life, the link will also be in the description section of this episode. So I haven't like been to church in a really long time. But I was actually saved about three or four years ago, I found God again, when I was once again in the trenches at a pivotal time in my life, really. It's a long story, but I have not been practicing faith as much as I should. And it's one of those things that when you say when you just let things go to God, and you don't have to take on all of this burden, and what am I going to do? And how am I going to find that solution? That sounds like literally magical. Yeah. Because I don't want to deal with these problems every day of my life of whatever we have going on. Yeah. And that's something that I want to remember that I don't have to do it alone, even though so much I think I do because I've been felt so alone in my life, because I've lost lost my parents in life. And that is huge abandonment issues. Huge. Yeah. Right. So then you get in that coping mechanism of I'll just do everything myself, I write. I don't need anybody else. Because well, this is what my life is now. Yes. And I need to remember that as well.

Jesse Bradley: 

Yes, that makes sense. It makes a lot of sense. And, you know, I believe that it's a relationship is I didn't choose it because it was rules or rituals or religion like I in for that. And I knew I'm never going to be perfect. So I'm not going to pretend or fake that into like, well, what's the other option, this relationship and, you know, I is a goalkeeper, I carried a lot of pressure. Because in soccer, there's not a lot of scoring. So if you mess up as a goalie, that usually means you lose the game and I carried that pressure and so that was one context where faith started to make a difference because I would pray before the game or during the game and now soccer wasn't you know, an idol and didn't define me, but now I can enjoy it. It's a sport and it just freed me up and then the burden I had going through the tragedy to the illness in Africa that was so massive that i That's right knew like this is too much for me to carry in it doesn't mean that you just go into victim mentality and passive and you know, all those other misperceptions I liken it to this isn't the perfect metaphor but not an excellent in when it comes to fishing. I'm not finding the bass fishing pro shows or anything, but you know, taking my kids out in seeing them put a little bit on on the bait on the hook and then starting to cast it right. So when they start to learn how to cast I'm ducking like hooks are flying, you know, it's like spread out. It's a wild scene. It's not like oh, great cast, but some of them hit the dock, some barely make it over. Actually, they start to learn how to cast. And it's, again, it's not the perfect metaphor, but the Bible verses stood out to me cast your anxiety on the Lord because He cares for you. Well, there's two parts, there's caring and casting, you got to believe that he cares, he's not going to abandon, He's faithful, he's good. And then because of that, he actually wants to carry this, like, who wants to carry my stuff? I don't think right? People do. And in so Alright, I'm going to give you this. When I forgave my dad, it was like all that resentment and bitterness that I was holding. Like, I'm meant to let go of it. It was like a poison in my body. It was a jail that I just kept myself in, I'm gonna let go of revenge, I'm gonna let go the bitterness, and letting go of like that. The stress and I still have stress every day. It's in sometimes for me that daily practice of God, I can't carry this, will you take it? And you have to be in a church to have that, like God, right, wherever you're at. So traveling light, I mean, it just feels so good. You know, and great. I just know, if I tried to grab control of life or other people or, you know, I tried to do stress on my own. It's, it just get weighed down. And that's not that's not the picture. That's not the goal. And it is a It's a humbling use of the word humbling before, which probably nails it. It's all very pride. And it's like, okay, it's just humbling to say, I need your God I need other people I can't just isn't working, you know, all those things like, their home. Yeah.

Melissa Bright: 

Yeah. And, and one of the good things like about God and talking to God is, nobody has to know like, if it's hard for you, as a person to admit your faults, maybe you have realized, like, I do have some faults, but I don't want to go tell my friend or my mom or my dad, or the person that I hurt, or whatever it is, yeah, you don't have to, but you can talk to God and nobody has to know and you can so good. Give that to him, you know,

Jesse Bradley: 

becomes the safest place in between refuge. And it's not like you're ever going to surprise God's like you say, Well, you know, this isn't working for me. And God's gonna go really no way. Tell me more. I didn't know. You know, it's like, whatever the junk is, whatever the hardships are, whatever the burdens are, like, there's freedom. There's safety. There's love. Like you're you can bring those out. And yeah, it's refreshing.

Melissa Bright: 

Yeah, absolutely. Okay, so I just wrote down a question. And now I can't even read my handwriting.

Jesse Bradley: 

I have that too.

Melissa Bright: 

What did I put

Jesse Bradley: 

I've sticky notes during the day, and I write things down. And then like, what, what was I? What was I write?

Melissa Bright: 

I put What does something look like? And I'm trying to think of what it was. Oh, okay. So you have been talking about, I mean, this very long journey of all these realizations and changing your mindset. And sometimes people, especially for me, we're like, what does that look like? What the heck does that look like? Did you just sit down and these real realization started coming into how do you? How do you start getting these things? I know it's different for everybody. But what was it like for you to start making these realizations about forgiving your dad and, and changing your mindset and creating new habits? Yeah,

Jesse Bradley: 

habits are powerful. I mean, small, intentional actions don't despise small beginnings, but they have massive results. I mean, it's faith again. But one habit for me I started during that time was read three chapters of the Bible a day, like knocks on my pastor, but just that feeds my soul. I knew I needed some soul food. Like that could be something for anybody here. It's like, well, with your soul, like what feeds your soul, and then guard that time or your body, you know, your exercise. I knew at that point that any health was a gift, if I'm able to help anyone, if I'm in my right mind, if I have physical energy, it's a gift. So every morsel of health was so valuable that I'm going to do whatever I can do. I couldn't exercise that much, but I'll do what I can. I'm going to get a good night's sleep or I'm going to eat healthy, you know, I'm going to so you need to have a desire in then you need to be intentional. And, you know, if you talk to someone who let's say is alcoholic and I've tried to counsel people, my family, you know, just tried to help Help people, if they say, Oh, you kind of be nice, you know, to to not be drinking all the time and hangover. I mean, you know, it can be nice. It's like, kind of be nice, that's probably not gonna happen, right? Because like, no, no, I want this, you know. And so it's this combination of this deep desire. And then also I found reliance, because I just need I've helped to, so I'm fully invested in I'm also relying in it's both and, and those habits can produce, like I said, massive results. And with so many habits, you know, I could sound, there's four phases, there's, let me do the four phases with their technical names. And I'll just make it real simple. Let's do it. Okay, here we go. unconscious incompetence, that basically means you don't know what you don't know. And then the next one, you've got a conscious incompetence, like you're trying, but it's still it's not there, then you go to conscious competence, which you can now do it, but you really having to focus on it. And then the final stage is unconscious competence, where it's just happening. So you think going back to like tying your shoe, you know, you didn't know you didn't know. And then all of a sudden, you learn, oh, people tie their shoes, but you can't do it. And then you get help. And you really have to focus. And then now like, you just tie your shoe without even thinking. And that's true, so many habits. So don't be discouraged on that journey. And just choose a habit this life giving choose a habit that's positive. And then as you start to incorporate that you're gonna look back, like three years, you're gonna look back in eight years. And now that's going to be a big part of your life. But initially, it felt strange, a little awkward, didn't know how to do it, that's okay. It just takes time and find some other people that are doing it, lock arms with them. I like to you know, go with that metaphor of a race where it's like you run that lane and find some of the people who have a shared commitment, shared passion, shared habits, and then you choose those people, you might have to shift some friendships, you might have to shift, you know who your go to people are or people that you maybe are in your phone, it's just time to step back a little bit. So choosing those friends, that's a big part, in terms of walking in, to health, stepping into health, and those five closest people around you, like you showed me, those five people, I'll show you probably what your like are going to become and also what your future is, you know, that's just how we're wired is those relationships. So habits are important in all different parts of life. And I would say when the morning you know, choose a couple that are really key for you in the morning. That's made a difference for me, and, and then guard those in your schedule and your priorities, guard those habits that are so important. This is a silly one. But like as a goalkeeper, I just have a sore back from all those years of diving. And so I literally have this vol, it's bigger than a tennis ball. It's not a basketball, it's under my bed. And I wake up every day in a role on that ball. Like it's kinda nerdy, it's right. Bring the ball when I travel and people like, what are you doing with the ball? You bring a ball? Like, are you open to play all, you know? All game like, No, it's for my back and like, Oh, you got to do that every day. Like I got to do it every day. But you know, that's just part of being realistic about my back and what it needs.

Melissa Bright: 

Yeah. Oh, my gosh. So the four phases were huge. I definitely have been going through them. And I just want to touch on them. Because I was not aware of a lot of my bad qualities, my issues until I got into my relationship with my boyfriend, whom I've been together with for five years now prior to that I had dated but nothing super serious. So the things that come out when you're in a long term relationship will really start to show. Yeah, and I have had major coping mechanisms, along with my attachment issues and abandonment issues. Trying to deal with me is not fun. But I have learned, like people hear me talk about this all the time. If I feel I have disappointed somebody, I'm usually gonna like overreact and double down and explain why my action was okay. And I should have done it. And I should have gotten angry and all this stuff. So that's where it's kind of like, I'm probably I'm in phase three on some in some scenarios, and then I'm phased for in some scenarios. Awesome. And I've definitely have said it before, like the first thing like when taking care of your mental health or anything is you have to become aware that there's even I don't even want to say an issue but you want to become better. Whatever that means for you. You have to become aware because if you don't and you're just going along in life, you you don't know. So I absolutely love that you talk about those four phases because they are crucial to making those habits Now, go ahead.

Jesse Bradley: 

No, no, go ahead. I'll let you.

Melissa Bright: 

I was going to say this. And I know that you're not a counselor, and I know that you're like, you're a pastor. But what I struggle with sometimes, and I'm just going to be completely vulnerable. Like, what if I don't even feel like worth it to even take these little investments? In our in ourselves? We have just been struggling for so long. Right? What do you do then?

Jesse Bradley: 

Yeah, great point. Good question. And I appreciate your honesty, too. And like what you said that, you know, when we're single, sometimes when I was single, I thought, I'm not that selfish. Like, Nelson's like I get in a relationship. It's like, oh, it goes from, you know, well, the camera goes from there to there. Because there's no way to hide it. And so yeah, and that's the humbling part about, you know, dating long term and marriage, and it's like, someone really sees you and knows you. And what also is humbling, is not only when they see your flaws, but they also still love you, in that combination, where you just start to feel like, I just don't feel worthy, you know, and that can happen with God can't with other people, it's like, wait, you know, me fully. I've done this to you, and you still love me, like, you're still here, you still want to be with me, you still love me. And, you know, I just I, I saw two people just coming, oh Lord, and baptize them. And both of them had the phrases in their story, I just, I just didn't feel worthy. And there's a lot of us, we're so aware of our flaws. And then we're actually harder on ourselves than the other person is, or that God is. And how do we step out of I mean, so many for so many people, it's kind of that guilt and that shame. And then that low self esteem, and it can be that that downward cycle. But when you have someone who reminds you, in, really, if it was someone else, you might be very kind and gracious to them, you might be encouraging them be like, Look how much you grow. And like with rain, oh, you know, but when it's ourselves, we just feel like, Oh, I'm not worthy. So love is the most important thing in life. And to receive that love, that I didn't want to receive a love from God, you know, and so it's like, oh, to receive it was new. You know, I didn't think anyone would want to hear my pain and disappointment in the ugliness and the questions I have and the doubts I have, and then still want to be there and love me, but they did. And right. My encouragement is to keep receiving love. Because love is what's gonna heal. It often comes through a person in a relationship. When there's negative self talk, you know, sure some new habits are good. If we've been hurt by someone, it'll be someone else that comes along. And it's so often a person that is going to be the healing instrument. And for that, you know, your boyfriend to love you well, right, then you just gotta let go of some of that shame and guilt. Because you don't want it ultimately, you want it to carry it. It doesn't have your name on it. It's It's not you. It's it's good to let go.

Melissa Bright: 

Yeah. Okay, so now I'm going to ask a real tough question. All right. It's probably not a tough question for you. But I am probably assuming that there are maybe some listeners that just might not believe in God, that their problems seem way too great. What is me praying going to do? What is me talking to some man, I can't see what is that going to do? So I guess the question is, how can you explain to somebody after maybe they start accepting God into their life? Is life just perfect after that once God is in your life? Or what happens?

Jesse Bradley: 

Yeah, good question. So so many people are right there, I think to just what you're saying. My journey was with my mind and my heart and my mind, I really kick the tires. I want to know like, alright, is this text reliable? How many copies? How accurate are the copies? You know, I looked into that, okay, resurrection, like, how many witnesses All right, what's the evidence? I started to read some books, you know, I, I had all those questions. I just couldn't do a faith that didn't have facts and evidence, you know, it's like, I got to start there. So that was my journey with my mind. And for some people, they might lead with their mind. And that's, that's going to be key in those resources are there I think some of the people have written the best stuff like Lee Strobel. It came out of a place where he was a journalist in Chicago and had all didn't believe in it, just like I'm going to prove it's false and then got all the evidence out. So you know, that's interesting. We start looking at actual evidence. But then, for the heart, I would just say for For me, I couldn't figure out why. In when I really chose faith, this relationship with God is a time of my life look like a success. And I think so often there's an outside story and an Inside Story, two stories in our lives. And like on social media, people have to present one way. But what's the inside story, the outside stories, but people see the inside threads what they don't know. And I couldn't figure out why if I've got, you know, an championship soccer team, I'm getting good grades, great school, you know, friends, parties, like all these things I thought would bring this feeling of fulfillment, how come there's still an emptiness in there? And then, you know, what does that look like in that relationship? Relationships are built on trust, or relationship with God. So often people have a false view of God, oh, he hates me, you know, or oh, he's this way or that way. And they reject the false view. And it's important to identify what that false view is. Because like, I don't want to worship a cool God, like, I don't want to follow God like that, you know, it's like, of course, yeah, reject that false notion of God reject. And when you taste and see that the Lord is good in and we've all got favorite foods, you know, that's ice cream, you know, whatever that is, like, when you taste in, something's good, like, you want more, and it just slowly, no one forced me, there's no pressure on anyone listening. But, um, when you taste and see that that desire grows, but all of us have doubts, all of us have questions. And I think a lot of times it just comes down to are we even open? You know, and that's where I had, when I started learning about Jesus, CS Lewis said, like, when someone claims to be the Messiah of the world, you can't just say they're a good teacher and a nice guy. Now, some Exactly. Jones made that claim it was a call. Like, you got to choose, or they liar, lunatic or Lord, so I had to make some intellectual decisions on the journey of faith. Sure. Evidence. And it was a combination of head and heart. Yeah, but yeah, everyone's if anyone wants to connect to, I mean, some of these topics we just doing COVID made some marriage videos, and, you know, dating relationship to all those videos are on a new website, we would go to Jesse bradley.org. There's some hope, resources, and questions about faith, if anyone wants to process or talk about any of it, all my social media links are there. And we'd love to connect with anybody to

Melissa Bright: 

Yeah, I love that. And as I've said before, on the podcast, because I forgot to mention this for a while. But if everybody goes to The Bright Side of Life podcast.com and go to Jesse's individual episode, you click on it, it's going to have his guest profile, and that's going to take you to hit right to his website and everything. So it's just as simple as as that. Okay, thank you. Um, that was a great answer about the mind and the heart. Because people do have, you know, their doubts, and they want to figure out, they just want to make sense of it. You know, so many people, and I feel like some people want to believe, but they're, they're scared. Or they think it's silly, or whatever it is. And I guess my advice kind of as well, the reason why I say it's my advice is because when I was literally like, had nothing, nowhere else to turn, yes. Guides to God. Yeah. Why not? What do you have to lose?

Jesse Bradley: 

That's perfect. And I like to say when it when it starts to feel like, Wait, this is too good. Then I'm like, now you're getting it. Because grace was massive. For me. It's an undeserved gift. And so much of religion I was reading about was striving and achieving and trying to be good enough to eventually earn God's love or keep this law. And I'm like, no, like, that just doesn't work. Sense. And like, Grace, like that you're already loved and pursued and known. And like, it's a relationship, like that's inviting. And the more I learned, I was like, Wait, this seems too good. Like, all my forgiving God loves me that much. And it's like, yeah, he does. It's like, wow, okay, that's humbling, again, kind of a theme, I guess, today, but you know, that it's gonna be a face step. And you might get mocked for it too. Like in my family. I know, some people threw some shade. There are some people who really pushed it down. But at least like someone else, if they throw negative stuff at you, you can't give that too much power. And when you know, like, you're healing and they're, you're on the right track. Like, you just keep going. Just yeah,

Melissa Bright: 

yeah. And it's your journey and you don't have to explain that to anyone else. Or they might have their own stuff. They might. I mean, they could be jealous. I want to believe like that. I was there for a really long time with wanting to believe i i had to see my friend pass away of cancer at the age of 26 and He was very, like, you know, he had a priest come in to say prayers and everything because he knew he was passing away soon. And at that time, I didn't believe he was not aware of that. And I was like, but I want that. I really want that. Like, how do I get that? And that was just kind of like a reoccurring theme around that time. And then my boyfriend, he is the reason why I found God. He didn't push, I want to say found God again. Um, I took this evolutionary psychology class in college that made me not believe in God. So it was nothing like, I just want to explain that to people. Because a lot of people think that because I lost my mom that I'm like, Oh, I hate God, because He did this to me. Okay, that's not what it was about. Like, I wasn't angry at God. And he, you know, stuff like that. It was just literally a class that I saw these facts. And I'm like, Well, is there one? Yeah,

Jesse Bradley: 

that's right. And that's common. A lot of people get to, I don't know, some setting classroom, something academically they hear. And then they're trying to process it until they step back from God. And the opposite. For me, I took this introduction, religion class, I'm like, reading the Bible, he assigned it, you know, so it can go either way. But you're right. Sometimes you hear something, and you kind of step back. And then later on, it's beautiful. How your friend inspired you. I mean, that something that it's incredible how in his pain, and then the most challenging time of his life, he had such a profound impact on your life. And I'm sure like in heaven, he's just thrilled to see, you know, right. Kind of redemptive peace. Yeah,

Melissa Bright: 

yeah, absolutely. Okay. So we are almost done. But you have such an amazing story and such a great message, what is your best piece of advice that you can give to somebody that may be struggling with whatever they're struggling with today, whether that is a drug addiction, whether that is they're not feeling loved, whether they're going through a divorce, any anything where they're at? Yeah,

Jesse Bradley: 

you know, 48% of Americans during the pandemic, when the Census Bureau said they feel hopeless. And when I read that, I, it just hit me, it struck me sometimes, I mean, a statistic tells a story in that one hit my heart, and hope, I want to say is so much more than a feeling that just comes and goes randomly. But I believe hope is more of a foundation. And I also want to say there's a hope greater than the most difficult challenge you're facing right now, too. And I've had a couple family members commit suicide. And so I would just like to express to you that there's an incredible hope there's a solid hope, you know, we've been talking about, you know, faith and that step of faith, but it's not a blind faith, like there's a solid faith, there's a solid hope. And also, in any situation you're in, I was in a situation in my life, where I literally felt like, if it's a table, the four legs were kicked out, and I'm at the bottom, and now it's like, it's gonna happen in my life, and what is rebuilding look like, and over those 10 years, and I just say, to anyone listening, like there's a way out, if you feel trapped, there's a hope that's greater than the darkness like this, this bright side of life we're talking about. It's, in one sense, it is kind of mysterious, and a little bit magical. But it's also very real, and very practical, and it's daily, and it's eternal. And it's both and it's abundant. And there's an abundant hope, but just be open, I would say, to receive, to receive love from God and from people. Because love is what's going to make the difference. And it's not going to be a standard or a self help book or just doing a little more, it's going to be loved, it's going to make the difference. And ultimately, we've got to be open and are teachable or willing to receive that love because those walls around our heart. Sometimes we choose that because of pain and disappointment in life or loss. But those walls can actually block what's gonna bring the healing. So be open to that love because that love is what's gonna heal.

Melissa Bright: 

Great advice. Like you're talking right to me. Oh, okay.

Jesse Bradley: 

I feel like we're just Yeah, hang out today and having that conversation. You just made it really comfortable. And that doesn't always happen on podcasts and relational. You're not just like you have an agenda. You've got these. No, we're just talking about our lives and

Melissa Bright: 

yep, that's a week. Yeah. Well, thank you very much. I appreciate it. So surprise, you don't know this, but I asked every single one of my guests this question. In your own words, Jesse, what does the bright side have? Life I mean to you,

Jesse Bradley: 

you know, the the phrase that popped in my mind right then is making the most of the opportunities. And for me, it's like what starts at home. And then I serve here in Seattle, we've got about 100, churches united, but then just to nations, like, I just want to spread hope to more people, and not just a personal Wow, I'm experiencing hope. But when no one's forced, you know, to go down any road of hope. That would be terrible. But, but but to bring maybe a fresh vision of hope for people that are feeling stuck, or feeling like, there just isn't that option of hope anymore, because something's changed or has been lost. I just love it when people discover that hope, and then they come alive. And so that's what it means to me is that just starts to spread, kind of organically relationally. And it just, it's part of a most of movement. I mean, that would be just a dream come true. And that that fills my tank, I wake up excited every day, because I see lives changed. I see people come alive. And I see people experience hope. And sometimes the cost is high. Like I just did my hair today, Melissa, it's like you knew your balance cold, like, you know, crazy not feeling well. But like you still like, Let's go for it. You know, it's not gonna be just this really simple, easy path all the time. It just isn't. But when you have something that's worth going for, that all of a sudden, like a chord looks smaller. It's still there. Not right now. But there's something so much greater to chase. And I feel like spreading hope to people is my soul comes alive in is when I get to do that.

Melissa Bright: 

That is such a great answer. This cold See, we're just talking about this cold,

Jesse Bradley: 

right? Look at overcoming that.

Melissa Bright: 

Jessie, thank you so, so much for coming on here to share your story and to share. Just giving hope to people, I greatly appreciate it more than you possibly know. I've taken some of your bytes for myself, too.

Jesse Bradley: 

All right, you are going to compassionately spread hope to people for many years and in many ways. I just I'm grateful for your perspective, your heart and not just a podcast, but but also just your life and how you live I just hear it in all your questions and all your stories and your answers like I just hear it. And I just am excited to see what's gonna happen years to come.

Melissa Bright: 

Thank you very much. And guys, like I said, we can check out anything that Jesse's doing, either on his woods website, and it's j e ss. He

Jesse Bradley: 

just correct. That's right. No need for an I know.

Melissa Bright: 

I love it. And then Bradley is B ra di ley. So you can go to Jesse bradley.com. Right. that.org yeah.org I'm sorry.org Yeah, perfect. Yep. All right. Thank you, Jesse very much.

Jesse Bradley: 

Thanks, Melissa. Great to be with you today.

Melissa Bright: 

Thank you guys so much for listening to this week's episode eight. Oh, my gosh, it was one of my favorite ones, because it was so so very inspiring to hear Jesse talk about everything that he has been through. And then ways that he had to learn because he pretty much didn't have any choice of these new coping mechanisms, which were much more healthier than what he was doing now. And, you know, one of the biggest part of our conversations was talking about our identity and what that sometimes can get wrapped up in. And then when we lose that, we feel like we're not worth anything. And it's something that we really need to reflect on and figure out who it is that we really are in is our identity attached to our performances or our status, our wealth, our, our looks, all this stuff, because these things unfortunately, can be taken away. And then we're just feel left feeling like we're not worth these things, and we don't know who we are. So it's just an important reminder for all of us to remember that. And there was just so many great takeaways, like I said, I hope you guys enjoyed this episode. Please be sure don't forget, if you have not subscribed to The Bright Side of Life podcast, do that. And then also, if you have not signed up for emails, you guys can also do that while you're on the website. And guys, lastly, if you know anyone that needs to hear Jesse's inspiring story, please please share this episode with them. Because you never know if this is the one that puts hope back in their heart.

jesse bradley

Author speaker pastor

Jesse is a former professional soccer player who overcame a tragic illness. He was fighting for his life for a year, and it took ten years to fully recover. He graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in Psychology and now serves as a pastor in Seattle. His passion is to spread hope around the world and see people experience abundant life. He is the author of several books. Jesse and Laurie have four children a dog and a new hamster.