Today was a good day. Not because Josh suddenly felt better or because we found out great news, but because in the simplest of ways, we were reminded once again that God is with us.
For the first time in a few months, Josh’s immediate family – his mom, sister, brother, their spouses, and our niece and nephews – spent the day together in our home.
We hung out, watched the Chiefs, grilled, enjoyed ice cream cake, played games, cruised in my new car, played with puppies, organized closets and enjoyed simply being together.
Once everyone left, I felt a bit of sadness creeping in, but the more I thought about our day, I realized how good it truly was. God gave us this day – a treasured day filled with love and shouts of joy.
When staring straight at a big obstacle, day in and day out, it can be hard to see the beauty that pops up. Is there still beauty in the smallest crack or lowest valley? Can God still be seen as your spouse declines in health because of a brain tumor. The answer is, of course, “yes,” – even if it doesn’t feel like it all the time.
Reflecting on the day, I found God’s description in Zephaniah 3:17, which paints such a hopeful picture of life - even in doubtful times.
“The Lord your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy."
- Zephaniah 3:17
Today, our home was filled with shouts of joy as we cheered on our favorite team, played games and laughed at each other. As the day ended, our home became quiet with just the sound of Josh and the dogs sleeping soundly. I can't help but see the parallel to this passage, seeing how God rejoices over us with shouts of joy and is still quiet in his love. In the extremes, God’s presence remains constant. And in fact, the contrast in the noise places a spotlight on God's truth which reminds us even more that in every single moment, God is with us.
My heart is full as the night comes to a close and I can't help but thank God for our family that is both quiet and loud, and encouraging and present. God is good.
5 Minutes Later . . .
While not necessary, but with hopes of added transparency, I decided to add some thoughts.
No less than five minutes after sharing this nice thankful post above. I started thinking about how many amazing days together Josh and I have had. At some point in many long-lasting relationships you realized you have been together more than half your life. We are at that point - having been in a relationship for 24 years. We know each other well and have talked about everything possible - life, work, family, feelings, grief etc.
So as I celebrate the good memories made today, I am still sad. I can't really talk it out with Josh. My mind reflects back on the many great days Josh and I shared together on adventures big and small. We have had great moments with family, of course, but some of our best and most favorite times have been just the two of us. It's a tricky thing, again, striving to acknowledge the good of today yet not forget the wonderful days gone by while still trusting God for more good in the future. Yep - super complicated. For your benefit, or mine, I wanted to share.
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.