How do you go from writing about true love’s kiss to trashcan maggots? Well, you don’t. I’ve just given you two images that are wholly juxtaposed. (I think Josh would be proud of my word choice here.) However, both are part of my current reality.
Last night, we shared goodnight kisses and this morning, on trash day, I went to pull back the trashcan and it was covered in the grossest things . . . maggots. I kind went a little nuts over it, and while Josh took his morning nap, I grabbed the hose, soap and rinsed the can over and over until it was completely clear of every single disgusting creepy-crawly creature.
You see, in our current situation, a portable commode has become more common (for Josh not everyone else) and this means a lot of bags of "you-know-what" have to be tossed away. Over the past couple weeks, our trashcan has started attracting flies in a whole new way and they are growing their evil fly army. (I know dramatic). But alas, no more!!*
As I stood in the driveway this morning using as much soap as possible to rid the can of this grossness, white soap suds flowed from the can and down the street. Eventually, the trashcan became as clean as a trashcan like this can become. During the process, I began to think about how God cleanses us, making us as white as snow. It seemed a bit abstract at the time but also made sense. This was the verse in my mind.
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” – Isaiah 1:18
While a soapy trashcan is not really like snow or wool (or even remotely as cute) the idea of cleansing still fits. I still find it entertaining how God's truth shows up in the most unexpected places and times.
Much like this project, God is in the process of clearing out the gross garbage and extra "yuck" in our lives. To us, the things in life we struggle with (or sins) may not look like nasty maggots, but to a Holy God it probably does, and He has much better things in mind for our lives.
The really great news is that through God’s abundant grace we are made whole and clean. Through Christ's forgiveness, we find hope and through the cross there is renewal.
In this ridiculous task of cleaning the trashcan, I am once again grateful that God loves me in my messiness. And offers so much more for our lives if we are willing to take that step.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." - 1 John 1:9
*As for an update, the clean trashcan is now inside the garage where I hope it doesn’t royally stink and also remains clear of flies and their grossness.
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.