This is my worst nightmare. No wait. That already happened. This is a new problem. Integrating back into life. Realizing that our storyline, my storyline, has been altered.
Tonight, I went to a church event where some pastors introduced themselves, their families, wives, etc. They shared about the importance of small groups and the importance of the big C - Church. I agreed with what they shared completely, but couldn’t focus on it. All I could think was, “This should be Josh.” I should be the supportive wife watching it happen, smiling at seeing him in his element, meeting and greeting people, helping clean up, etc.
But that wasn’t the night's view. Instead, I was a participant with a new perspective. And I am crushed.
We were suppose to do life and ministry together for many more years.
While I held it together during the event, I cried the whole way home. Attending maybe wasn’t the best idea? It was step though. I thought I’d be okay — it was just information, right? (Fooled myself, again).
I didn’t expect that I would be so reminded of the life that isn’t reality. I don’t get to walk alongside Pastor Josh as he loves and cares for people and invites them to be part of community. I am a stranger in space. I'm in new role - which is weird.
You see, I've lived life as a ministry wife for over a decade. I've experienced the joys and heartaches of that role. And even today, I still longed for it to be part of my story. Of course, ministry still is part of my story, but it looks way different.
There much grief and emotion in walking through this realization, in recognizing the different path God now has me on. It’s another part of the layers and layers of grief work that I am continuing to do. And I don’t have answers.
I strive to cling to God’s hope for the future and know that there is more ahead; more ministry to be part of but I can’t say I am “all in.” Because I don't know what I am all in for or what is next. I am all in for trusting God as he walks with me but that's about it (which still is a lot).
All of this makes me very sad though. I’m sad because the life I imagined with Josh is different. We aren’t growing old with our friends around us and spending years in ministry as a couple. We are planning church events, messages or next steps.
Accepting the different is heavy and hard. Lord, help me.
For those of you with the opportunity to still serve in ministry - maybe even alongside your husband - Cherish it. It's a special role. It's not always easy, but it is place where you can make such a difference. Keep praying for your husband as he leads – even on the hardest days.
A few more recent ministry photos including hosting events, preaching and encouraging other young couples through counseling and marriage.
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.