Life can disappoint
Cancer can disappoint
People can disappoint
but LOVE poured out simply cannot disappoint.
I talked about Romans 5:5 before but found myself drawn back to it today. It started with erasing the words “and HOPE” from my kitchen wall this morning. In the process, I paused and decided to keep “does not disappoint.” In thinking about all that is happening right now, I realized that so many things can disappoint us but never God’s love nor the act of showing God's love to another person.
I took a moment to reread Romans 5, because, really, can you ever read Romans enough times? It’s one of those core books to the Christian faith and a cornerstone book for the Gospel. (Check out Swindoll’s synopsis)
Erasing the word HOPE written the largest on our blackboard backsplash seemed a little weird and I wondered if I was giving up little hope just by erasing the words. The answer is, “no.” I am simply refocusing.
Last Friday, we had a hospital bed delivered. This was and continues to be a hard change as it is a large focus point in middle of the room. While it does allow Josh to rest easier, it also means not sitting beside him on the couch or sleeping next to him.
I would say this change is disappointing and goes along with the growing list of disappointments that have occurred during the past several months – Josh having cancer, being on hospice, Josh needing more rest each week, having a hospital bed in the living room, etc. I even had what I refer to as a "Sulking Sunday" yesterday as I walked around Josh multiple times sleeping in the hospital bed.
In the middle of these disappointments, three things (and probably more) are clearly not.
1) Being able to spend more special moments together with Josh.
2) The love of God being poured out on us through so many people – friends, family and our church community.
3) Being completely wrapped in God’s love and the gentle reminders each day that he is with us.
So, while I am erasing the word HOPE today, I am adding in the word LOVE even larger. Ultimately the two are linked in the most incredible way in the gospel message beautifully captured in Romans 5:7-8.
“For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
– Romans 5:7-8
Because of this, I am able to hold on to hope and love a little deeper today.
And on a more lighthearted note, all these changes have allowed me to rearrange my living room, which I love doing, like eight times in the past month and Josh only had to watch. :)
In April of 2019, we learned that Josh had a large brain tumor, a glioblastoma, in the middle of his brain. At the age of 41, this was quite the surprise. Josh sadly passed away after a short battle on September 30, 2019.
View his obituary
These past months, we've navigated the complexities of treatment, and hospice care and learned that there wasn't really treatment and that in Josh's case, the tumor was inoperable.
We're sharing our hearts and experience as we navigate this unexpected turn and God's goodness in the middle of it. We hope to encourage others by sharing our story.
Thank you for following along with our journey even in grief.
Feel free to message us.
If you'd like to donate to medical expenses, here's a link or you can email us questions
More about Josh & Jenn
Jenn Brown is the author of this site, a loving wife and communications guru.
Josh Brown most recently served on staff at Fellowship Bible Church in NWA as a Springdale Community Pastor. We've served in ministry in Missouri, Texas, Virginia and Nevada.
Cancer has been big part of our story. Josh has battled cancer three times already with the first to being non-Hodgkins lymphoma at ages 15 and 25 and the third thyroid cancer last year and a GBM, brain tumor this year.
Jenn's mom, Carol passed away from breast cancer 21 years ago and her father also went through treatments for Chronic Leukemia (CLL) in 2017 and is doing well now.
Friends & Family
We have been so encouraged by friends and family. Thank you for the practical ways you are caring for us! We love you all! This is just few photo highlights of some meaningful moments.