Cathy Brown: IF:Central Jersey Leader
Cathy is a wife, mom, ministry director, friend, and writer
Story of Discipleship Week One
And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Watch Week One Day Five
Cathy Brown and Brogann
Cathy Brown: IF:Central Jersey Leader
How Did this Relationship Begin?
In 2008 Brogann’s husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Although I wasn’t Brogann’s friend, I heard the news through mutual friends in our small town.
A group of women meet in my home for “God Group.” It’s not exactly a Bible study. My goal is to help women take a step closer to Jesus. God began to nudge me that Brogann should be in our God Group. I have a journal entry about this, before ever knowing Brogann. I felt so uncomfortable about how to even approach it. How do you insert yourself into someone’s life when they’re living a nightmare? How would I make the connection? What if she said yes? What kinds of questions and issues might she bring into our midst? Could I handle that? I prayed and wrestled with God on it.
Then my friend Kate invited me to a dinner, and there was Brogann. God orchestrated it-I only had to obey. That evening she shared openly about her struggles raising two little girls while engaged in a war against her husband Chris’ cancer. At the end of the evening, I told her about our God Group. Brogann wanted so much to be a part of it- I think now of how awful it would have been if I had let my fears keep her from it. She wasn’t raised in a faith tradition. She was so hungry to learn about Jesus and find hope.
What were the qualities of the relationship that made it impactful?
Brogann is brave on so many levels but especially in her willingness to be vulnerable. She let me walk beside her through the valley of the shadow of death. Our friendship grew in our God Group, where we had very intentional conversations about the things that really matter.
Were there trials that you encountered or was your faithfulness tested? What did you learn?
God showed me that no matter where I live, I’m called to be a part of bringing His kingdom. I noticed how women I socialized with referenced questions of faith. I started asking them if they’d like to get together to talk more about these questions. Every single time I’d feel nervous. Every week in God Group, various questions and topics were raised. I’d do my best to navigate them, pointing women to truth while holding enough space for them to feel comfortable even if they still weren’t convinced.
After almost every group I’d feel discouraged, worried about the friendships. But I stayed faithful. Whenever I entertained the idea of letting the group go, someone would say it was making a difference.
What does discipleship mean to you?
I used to think discipleship looked kind of formulaic. Now, I think of it as co-journeying. In the case with Brogann, she didn’t know Jesus, and I’ve been trying to follow Him for almost forty years! Sharing with her what I know about Jesus was what discipleship really is.
How have you seen God change lives?
Last night, at Brogann’s fortieth birthday party, she took time to thank people for the various ways that they been there for her since Chris died in 2012. She said, “When you become friends with Cathy and Tucker (my husband) you get Jesus too! It’s a three-for-two deal.” She recounted the day she asked me to sit with Chris and her on his deathbed and read Scripture. The faith she has, she largely attributes to our friendship. I know it wasn’t because of me; it’s all God. But I am bearing witness to the ways God is moving in her life, weaving a beautiful tapestry.
What is one thing you learned this week? How are you going to put it into action?
If we allow our fears or insecurities to get in the way of discipleship then we are robbing someone of the chance to know God. Powerful story.
WE MUST BE CONSISTANTLY INTENTIONAL WITH REGARDS TO DISCIPLE MAKING
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