To the Faithbox Community,
I’m not even sure how to begin this letter. Usually, words come easily to me but in this case, I’m struggling to find them. I don’t think you can begin to understand the impact that this community, that each of you, have had on me through the hardest days of my life.
For those that have been Faithbox members for a little while and been able to follow our story, you know that we’ve been pretty open about our cancer battle. I’ve shared videos about it with you. Rachel would pop in occasionally to talk to y’all. I’ve posted about it often on my social media. I’ve written a few blog posts. And the main reason we were so open during our journey is that we believe so much in the power of prayer.
The biggest fear that Rachel had was never dying, it was that by her dying, people would turn from Jesus. People all over the world were following our story. We never expected our posts and our blogs to go viral and have the impact that they did on so many people. That was never our intention. But when these things happened, when all these new people began to follow our story, Rachel feared, even more than before, that people would turn from Him if a miracle didn’t happen.
I’m just here to tell you that miracles happened every single day in that hospital and even around the globe! People turned to Him. Not from Him. It was one of the most beautiful things that I’ve ever witnessed. It should have been so ugly, but Rachel had a way of creating beauty in the brokenness. And she was able to help us all heal throughout this entire process.
One of the things she said about a week before she passed away was, “I know that I’m going to die. I’m at peace with that. And at this point, all I have left to give is Jesus.”
As I sit here in my office, tears running down my face, trying to write this note to each of you, I realize that He’s all I have to give as well.
Jesus is all any of us have to give.
I hate that it took my wife dying to realize what matters most but I hope that we can all learn from her story and understand that Jesus is all we have to give. His love. His compassion. His forgiveness. His generosity. His loyalty. His grace. He’s all we have to give.
On March 1st at 4:34 PM, Rachel beat cancer! She has no more pain. She has no more tears. No more doctors’ appointments and no more treatment plans. She can worry no more. And I don’t know what you feel about dancing where you’re from, but I’m certain that Rachel is dancing with Jesus.
I’ll wrap this up by thanking each and every one of you for loving us so well. Not just me and Rachel. But our children as well. Thank you for the notes and the cards and the messages and the gifts. I want to thank you for giving me so much grace during this time. For allowing me to unplug from “real life” and to be able to be where I was needed most. Thank you for allowing the days that should have been the most stressful of my life, seem much less stressful than they should have.
To all of you, to my Faithbox family (because that’s exactly what y’all have become to me), thank you for being an example of God’s love. Thank you for lifting me up when I was down. Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for praying the prayers that you prayed. None of this went unnoticed or unheard.
I’m doing my best to figure out what life looks like without Rachel. I’m doing my best to find some sense of normal in a world that has very little “normal” right now. I’m trying to slowly work my way back into a routine. And sooner than later you’ll start to hear more from me and maybe even see my face occasionally. If nothing else, through all of this, I’m sure you all enjoyed the break from seeing my face in your inbox each morning!
I love y’all. I appreciate y’all. And as we say often in the Faithbox community, “We are all in this together,” and I’m so thankful I get to be in this with you.
– Brandon Janous
*Brandon and his family have been a part of the Team at Faithbox since the Summer of 2017. He and his wife, Rachel, were married for 10 years and share 3 children together. If you’d like to support their family, you can participate in the “Love Like Rachel” fundraiser.