“I’ve got good news!” posted Brooklyn Salisbury on February 9, months into her hospice journey, to her 248,000 followers across Facebook and Instagram. Less than a month later, she had died.
The good news Brooklyn was talking about? Her assurance of eternal life with Jesus.
In the months leading up to her death at the age of 25, Brooklyn built a platform to share her love of Jesus and her journey back home. She dedicated her final months to sharing the gospel and the hope we can have in Jesus. She reached thousands with her reflections on sickness, suffering, the gospel and hope.
“I’m sick. Soon to die. But so are you. I’m just doing it faster… My goal is to highlight God’s strength in our weakness (2 Cor 12:10-12, 11:30). His faithfulness in the midst of suffering. Our future hope in Jesus beyond death (1 Pet 1:3-9). He alone is eternally worthy, and I am only temporarily sick.”
Aside from medical TV shows and true crime episodes, we don’t often think about the reality of death. Sure, we talk about eternal life and the gift Jesus has given us. But for many of us - myself included - it can seem far away and sanitised. When you grow up knowing that “Jesus died for me so I can have eternal life” it can be easy to miss the significance. Until you are faced with the heartbreaking reality of death.
Brooklyn faced that reality daily. After many years of struggling against chronic illness, she was put in a hospice last December. Brooklyn spent her final months sharing her confidence in Jesus and trying to share that faith with as many people as possible. Her short posts not only explained what she was experiencing, they pointed to God’s wider purpose and love.
Join me on the journey of dying. More importantly, join me in running the race of the Christian faith. Joy awaits (Psalm 16:11).
One particularly powerful reflection was Brooklyn sharing how her experience was making her more aware of the brutality of Jesus’ death. “Jesus didn’t JUST die… I’m dying in a bougie adjustable pillow top bed. He died naked and exposed amongst criminals. I get kind notes and cards from friends and strangers alike. He was hurled insults and abuse.”
“It leaves me in awe of a God who was born into flesh, willing to die in brutality (and rise again) for the sin of humanity.”
Focus on what really matters
Brooklyn reached thousands of people, believers and non-believers alike, across the world with her testimony about the love of Jesus. Her greatest desire was for people to hear about Jesus and to know without a shadow of a doubt where they will go when they die.
Reading through her story is a powerful reminder of what really matters. A powerful reminder not to treat Jesus as a footnote in our own stories, but to spend every moment we can pointing people to his love and eternal life with him.
Ultimately, as Brooklyn wrote, we are all dying. It’s what we do with that knowledge that counts.
Thank you for being a living testimony, and a dying one, too. I can’t wait to meet you in heaven and watch you, strong and whole, throwing your crowns at His feet. Praying for you and those who love you dearly. - Brin N.
“I’m learning so much from you. I was born and raised Roman Catholic but became agnostic in my 20s. Over the last year I’ve felt a pull towards learning more about Jesus.” - Joanne A.
“You’re heading to paradise but yet the transition is the thing we are all so afraid of. You are helping US! God is using every bit of you to be an example and testimony.” - Susan N.