Have you ever tried to hold a wriggling fish? Straight out of the water? Maybe it’s a bit slimy making it all the more slippery. That’s how life feels right now as I try with all my might to hang on to this thing called HOPE.
Holding on to hope is necessary but often is so very hard – and even more so when you've been disappointed in the past. Often, I feel like the very word is slipping right through my fingers.
At the two-week mark of treatments, I had hoped to see more of a difference. To more clearly see signs that the chemo pills, radiation treatments and meds are working, but unfortunately it’s not that simple or obvious. Of course, Josh does not seem any worse, and is about the same. He is tired, he still doesn’t talk much and is weak on his right side – which is especially noticeable when he walks or holds something. His memory is still cloudy and he isn't good at responding to calls or texts.
As I sit here today striving to hold onto a hope that is bigger than me, I reflect on Romans 5:5 which states, “and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Even in following the verse back (to vs 3), it is even harder to “exult” in this particular challenge. It’s hard for me, for Josh and for so many of you. Nevertheless, I still wrote verse 5 on our blackboard wall as a reminder.
Focusing on HOPE means taking things day by day and remembering to enjoy each moment. As I start the day, I try to remember that if all we do is watch old episodes of our favorite shows and nap, that's great. If we have a chance to enjoy a dinner out or a picnic at a local state park, amazing. Whatever the today brings, we embrace it. It's a good day.
In the middle of these good and hard moments, I trust that God is shaping us in new ways. Not every moment is great and I might be disappointed at times but what I’m beginning to understand more and more is that having hope and being disappointed can still happen at the same time.
This is possible because Christ-centered hope is about much more than my daily circumstances. I can be disappointed and still have hope. This hope is about more than fighting cancer and brain tumors or figuring out what's next. It is a hope that outlast each season and circumstance.
This HOPE is the net that makes it possible to hold that slimy, gross fish at all.
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.