At least once on the first of May, I proclaim the familiar phrase, “mayday …mayday…mayday” but often in jest rather than distress. This year feels quite different.
Distress is in the air.
Honestly, I didn’t fully know the history of the mayday expression but knew it typically went along with a stressful, needy situation. In case you don’t know, “mayday” was first used in 1923 by senior radio officer, Frederick Stanley Mockford who was asked to develop a phrase to indicate distress. He opted for “mayday." The expression was a modified version of the French phrase "venez m'aider" meaning “come and help me.”
Here we are on May Day (May 1), in a real sticky situation. Calling out for help from God, doctors, family, friends, coworkers and our community. The amazing part is that many are rushing to our aid. The hard part is, we are still waiting for answers. And this part of the aid seems delayed.
In the midst of waiting I begin to wonder, is it easier to have hope in the in-between or when an answer is known? Is it easier to trust God in the valley or the mountaintop? I think Josh would say the answer is "yes" – that sounds like something he would say to my riddle.
Throughout my life, God has been the consistent rock to lean on in the good and bad. Even with this assurance, this doesn’t mean I’m less frustrated about the whole mess or that I can easily set aside the anxious thoughts for long. Trust me, I'm a bit stressed.
Even still, I find comfort in knowing that I can sit with God in this and call out in distress much like David in the Old Testament. In Psalm 86:7, David states. “When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.”
As I say these words today, it's hard to feel that confident but I cling to them still.
For now, we wait and say a prayer of thanksgiving for the people who are sitting with us in the rescue boat, that is still stuck in the water waiting for the bigger ship to arrive.
You have been a refuge for the poor,
a refuge for the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the storm
and a shade from the heat.
– Isaiah 25:4 (NIV)
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.