I woke this morning – on what is my last morning waking up alone* in my Arkansas house – with a heart full of thanksgiving.
This feeling is what I see often find in the writings of Psalms - the progression of emotions of hope, fear, doubt, that so often centers back on praise and thanksgiving for our creator and life source.
Today, I am thankful for the provision of this home. I'm thankful that God allowed Josh and I to move back close to family in 2017 and for the opportunity to live in Northwest Arkansas. Here, we met an incredible group of people and served at church that also showed much care and love for our family in the final stretch. I had the opportunity to work with an amazing group of people at the University of Arkansas while also providing care for my spouse in a way that not everyone can.
I am thankful for the days and nights on the back porch, listening to maybe even the same Cardinal that loudly sings its own song of praise to the morning sky today.
And I am thankful for forest Fridays, various hikes and new adventures I had even since last fall. I've been able to see so much beauty within the people I’ve met here and within the natural beauty that is abundant.
There is lingering sorrow that comes with my last few hours here, yet there is even greater praise for God’s faithfulness, provision, strength and guidance as I navigated a wild journey since last April.
In searching for a verse that echoes my thankful heart this morning, I landed in Psalm 29. I can relate to the transitional feeling in the words. There is continued joy arising from my mourning, especially this morning. There are times when my life circumstances still don't quite seem real, yet they are. I can't fathom walking through grief without people - friends and family - who have been with me but my true source of strength comes from Christ - my rock and comforter, now and always.
How I hope to never stop taking time to stop and praise God for each piece of my story.
“Here, O Lord, and be gracious to me.
*Note: My friend Alicia is staying with me on my last night here for some final moving prep and fun of course! How amazing it is to have friends who stay with you in the trenches and on the mountain tops too. Love you Alicia!!!
Hi! It's Jenn Brown, writing my story that is now slightly different as we enter a season of new grief. On September 30, 2019, my dear husband Josh passed away after battling brain cancer.