Yesterday, we quickly headed to the ER, per a recommendation from our oncologist with added concerns over Josh’s heavy breathing and even more weakness when trying to walk or move even a small distance. The afternoon and evening were a whirlwind of activity with tests of all kinds ordered and more.
This morning when thinking about it all, I popped open the Bible app for some reading. Following the previous RPT:Repeat post, my Bible app offered up some related verses that might be equally encouraging. After swiping past a few and nodding in agreement, I ultimately stopped at Philippians 4:5, which states, “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
Reading this was both an encouragement and a challenge, but yet again, so timely.
When shifting in and out of high-stress environments, like the sudden need to go ER, showing gentleness with ALL isn’t ALWAYS the first reaction.
It’s hard to not want to pull out the fighter instinct especially when answers seem to shift. For example, when four different doctors and nurses give us four different answers in less than two hours about whether to start or not start a medicine? Or when you have to rewrite the same list of meds over and over for the same facility and they still miss up the dosages. Or better still, when another medical professional directs questions only at Josh that he can’t answer, then they look confused and announce they haven’t read his chart which clearly states he has a brain tumor – Sheesh!!
And there it is. The slip from gentleness. The moment when I want to and even need to defend but forget momentarily to live out gentleness. In this same moment, I also might forget that the Lord is also oh so near.
Now don’t read this wrong. A strong patient advocate is needed especially in these situations and it’s totally okay to ask ALL the questions of doctors, nurses, etc. and to ensure that Josh (or whoever you might be caring for) is getting the best care. But here in these moments is also an opportunity to be light and love. To really show Christ in a time and place when it is least expected. To show gratitude or listen to a story of someone cleaning the room who really needs to share.
The great thing, as a friend reminded me today, is that whether I am living out gentleness or not. The Lord is still near.
Anticipating the day, and on edge about what is going on internally with Josh, I already feel my anxiety increasing and gentleness seeming less than interesting. But I rejoice in the fact that the Lord is near. Through his strength, I hope to also keep finding moments to live out gentleness, self-control and loving kindness in this season.
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. – Psalm 36:7
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,
self-control; against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5:22-23
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.
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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.