A Pastor, His Dying Wife, and Their Church—A Group Text

"Would you know what I am doing? I see God; I see Him as He is; not as through a glass darkly, but face to face."

I belong to a What’sApp messaging group with scores (or more) of Brad and Megan’s family, friends, and fellow church members. Brad offers updates, which alternate between the grieving and the inspiring. His friends offer encouragements and prayers. On Wednesday morning—five days after normal ended—Brad shared the following (lightly edited, including removing children and church’s names).

 

My friend Brad is a pastor in England. His wife, Megan, is lying in a hospital bed, unconscious, a few days or even hours from death.

The story began last Friday, when she, almost nine months pregnant and healthy, got a small cut, leading to a Group A Strep infection. Her brain swelled, causing catastrophic damage. She declined precipitously on Saturday, and the doctors determined to immediately remove the child by C-section. Beautiful E. was born, the seventh child God gave to Brad and Megan in the last thirteen years. Praise God! Yet her decline continued. On Sunday, doctors declared Megan brain dead and placed her on life support. They give her a few days before her heart stops beating.

Oh, Lord—what?!

I belong to a What’sApp messaging group with scores (or more) of Brad and Megan’s family, friends, and fellow church members. Brad offers updates, which alternate between the grieving and the inspiring. His friends offer encouragements and prayers.

On Wednesday morning—five days after normal ended—Brad shared the following (lightly edited, including removing children and church’s names):

Another morning, another 4 or so hours of sleep. Another morning waking up crying. Another morning of [son] grabbing my hand. This is so hard. I’ve tried to say this to you over the last few days. I profoundly love Megan. We had 14 years of marriage, and we crammed a lot into those 14 years. Our lives are so interwoven. I can’t even begin to separate how intertwined our lives have been. What’s Megan’s is mine. What’s mine is Megan’s. Every aspect of our lives and ministry. How do I deal with that? Not a question to be answered today.

Then these encouraging words about their marriage: “There’s no unresolved conflict between us. None. I sinned against Megan, she sinned against me. But, by God’s grace, we asked for and forgave each other. Truly. What a gift from God.”

And these comments about her:

Megan has, under God, had a profound impact on the lives of people. Many of you have said this over this group. I appreciate that right now more than ever. She unwaveringly loves Jesus Christ, his Word, and other people. The children and I all know this. How many of us have profited either from food Megan has prepared in love or a conversation she had with us about God’s Word? Who of us hasn’t watched her life and seen a reflection of Christ (imperfect, yes; but clear nonetheless)? You saw it out there, the children and I saw it at home.

On Thursday morning, Brad put on his preacher hat and talked about the church, which is what prompted my desire to share it on the 9Marks platform. Naturally, I asked Brad for permission to share them with you. He’s always been an open-book kind of guy, happy to live in this fallen world by God’s grace in view of others. He writes,

Megan, the only love of my life, is fading. We pray for a miracle, yes. And I have not given up. But God hasn’t done it yet. To prolong this by keeping her on life support (waiting for that miracle) or to pretend Megan’s getting better when she’s not; this may be selfish. I don’t want to keep Megan from Jesus.

I feel more numb surrounding all of this today. The situation has grown graver. Hear me clearly though: I am/we are struck down, but we are not destroyed. Christ lives, and this changes everything.

I went to bed telling myself I wasn’t going to write one of these again. I know my own sinful heart. I’ve asked my brothers in Christ to help me in this. Can I be honest? I’m doing this for myself as much as anybody else. I’ve always been this way. I figure out what I’m thinking by talking to others.

God has made all his people, in part, to be a “group project.” God made his people for the local church, hasn’t he? I need my family (especially my children) and Megan’s family now, of course, but please understand me: I need the folks from [name of church] just as much, if not more. I think the Bible bears this reality out.

Read More