Adopt a "Bag of Hope"
Adopt a "Bag of Hope" and help a family of a complex child that is in the hospital.
When a child is taken to the hospital, a parent is only focusing on getting their child help and forget to think of themselves. "Bags of Hope" are full of the 'unforgotten' items for the parent that cannot leave the hospital for days.
You can help by making a donation under the donate tab and/or praying for these families that will be touched.
Founded in 2010, Planting Hope was a vision to reach the hearts of mothers with children with special needs. What started as a group of seven mothers in a small, meek living room has stretched and reached many families who have difficult circumstances surrounding their children. We are faith-based and driven by the irresistible love of Jesus. We support each other fully. We pray, laugh, cry, share, and love. We are a family. We are also very invested in reaching other mothers that need support and encouragement.
My personal story began in 2007, when my first-born son, Bronson, suffered a traumatic brain injury at birth. My entire world changed, harshly shaken the moment my son was born lifeless and rushed to the NICU. After the initial shock of Bronson’s diagnosis, I was blindly thrown into the world of being a mom to a very medically complex child. I felt scared, alone, and confused. The emotions that consumed me were authentic and life altering. Through the storm and dark years, my relationship with God stayed intact and strong. But, it didn’t stay the same. There were times that I couldn’t see Him or hear Him loudly, but I could sometimes hear Him whisper and I knew that He was still moving. I learned the hard way that sometimes He says yes, but sometimes He says no. I had to learn to be OK with the no’s. I didn’t get big miracles like some people do, but I did get small ones. And, that was enough.
Over time, God developed me. He taught me. He loved on me. He mourned with me. He rejoiced with me. He was patient with me. He slowly moved me to a place where I could see different facets of His character. Facets I may have never been able to see without the hard pressing challenges I faced as a mom to a special needs child. I believe He uses hardship in general to move us to those places. Would I change this life for Bronson if I could? Yes, I would love for him to walk and talk and run and play. Would I change it for myself? Probably not. I see things differently than I did before. I see God and His beautiful work with fresh eyes and an unguarded heart. I see people differently too. I see their pain more fully, and I am passion driven towards them. I see the tiny miracles, the ones that some people can easily miss. I have learned to sit still and look for them longer and with more intensity.
Planting Hope started in 2010 because God started speaking LOUDLY into my heart. He was persistent and unmoving. Resisting it would mean resisting the Holy Spirit and resisting a God that gave everything for me. I couldn’t resist. God saw this genuine need in our community. Our large community, that reaches from Fernandina all the way to Middleburg and every area in between. He understood something that I couldn’t fully see at that point; He understood the hurt and dark places that mothers across Jacksonville were stuck in. Mothers that had circumstances surrounding their children that most people can’t even wrap their mind around. He was intimately involved in their pain without their knowledge of it yet. He wanted to pursue them. He wanted them to have the hope and the love and the purpose that only He can offer. He wanted them to know that they are not alone in that place. He is kind and He is love. He wanted them to know that He sees them, and He will make beauty out of ashes. He wanted them to know that it’s OK to grieve. The world tries to put bandages on grief, but only God can heal a broken heart. And it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process and that’s OK. God saw the need these mothers had and He was calling me to action. He called me to reach them and tell them about His love. He wanted them to know that He wanted to sit with them in the middle of their darkest days. He wanted to go there with them and hold them.
Over the years, I have learned that when a child receives a diagnosis, parents actually go through the grieving process. They grieve the loss of a dream for their child. They grieve what should have been. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance flood their emotions. But, we just don’t go through these stages and then we are done with them. We are taking care of our child every day, so we bounce around to the different stages of grief all the time. Constantly bouncing. Planting Hope was founded so that mothers can meet and discuss our hurt and our grief. Our joy and our triumphs (because that actually happens too). It is my calling to show mothers the love of Christ through possibly one of the toughest challenges of their life. To sit with them in that place and to show them God’s kindness and love. To embrace purpose in the midst of suffering and hardship. To know that God is still there, even if it’s a faint whisper. He is moving.
Mom to Bronson
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Liberty University Alumni
Former Infant and Toddler Developmental Specialist
Founder of Brave Like Bronson, Inc.