So you might find yourself thinking.... "How in the world did the Bradshaw's come to this place in their lives?!"
Honestly, I can tell you its not as hard as you think.
We experienced the worst year of our life last year. We were so fed up with life continuously giving us "lemons" and everybody trying to tell us how they make THEIR lemonade. It was just too cliche.
The heartache we experienced from wanting to be a mom and a dad had become unbearable. Accepting that I was almost four years barren was devastating, but it was fact.
I was hopeless. I believed so many lies about myself, our struggle, and more importantly the goodness of our God. I often felt unequipped to live the life I had been given because I felt unworthy of being trusted with a baby. I had put not only my identity in being a mommy, but I had put my hope there too.
The bible has much to say about hope. The beginning of this year the Lord told me to "Get up". It was a stern, yet loving, redirection of my behavior and thought patterns. God had no intention of letting me continue to sulk and pout in that state of despair. Often times I refer my preschoolers to the phrase, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit..." God was reminding me He has plans and ways that are not mine; His, in fact, are higher. God orchestrated the bible study I am now doing where I spend time each month focusing on one word. Of course this started January 1st and my first word was HOPE. God had a lot to teach me and is relentlessly pursuing my hope and my dreams. One of the key verses God used to teach me about hope was this:
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick but when dreams come true there is life and joy." Proverbs 13:12.
I was literally heartsick- a condition in which hopelessness has full control of every aspect of your life.
God also reminded me time and time again through my study that my hope must be in Him. He is never fading, He is full of abiding love, and He is the constant one. Every circumstance and person will wither so when scripture also tells us "hope is the anchor to our soul" we must be diligent to only have our anchor firmly grounded in God. For me, I had my hope in becoming a parent and when God was trying to get me to move forward in His plans, I became stuck and my hope died. I was anchored to a dead dream.
But God is in the restoration business. He didn't leave me behind, rather, He came back for me and revived my dream in a whole new way. He has blessed us with EXCEEDINGLY AND ABUNDANTLY MORE THAN WE DARE TO ASK, THINK, OR IMAGINE (Ephesians 3:20). We went from never being able to imagine being a mom or a dad to having twelve kids of our own. God had left His fingerprints all over this situation and is firmly establishing the roots we need.
When we arrive in Haiti we will be reunited with children ages four to eighteen, all who have a need that only Love can fulfill. When we arrive in Haiti we get to Abide in Love and in turn get to be Love to twelve children who have needed us this whole time.
God is good my friends. God has plans for you. Wherever you're at in this life, put your hope in Him. Be anchored in Him. Abide in Him, Abide in Love.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
Kristen & Alex Bradshaw