I had had no intention of making this post, which I posted in my private Facebook group this past Monday, a public one.
Then I got news last night that a pastor who positively impacted my life through his writing, Jarrid Wilson, has committed suicide late Monday night. One of the co-founders of Anthem of Hope, which supports those struggling with mental wellness, Jarrid was only 30, leaving two young children, a devoted wife, a congregation and numerous friends all reeling from his sudden loss. Jarrid has openly struggled with depression for much of his life, yet had a great love for leading people to God and offering Hope to those who battle with mental illness.
Jarrid’s suicide falls just over a year from the loss of another young pastor, Andrew Stoecklein, who also committed suicide, leaving his three young children, loving wife and congregation behind to grapple with his departure from this world. His widow, Kayla, blogs and speaks about this on Instagram @kaylasteck and www.Godsgotthis.com
Holy Spirit prompted me early this morning to post this content today, so in obedience, here it is!
September 10th is WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY.
As some one who…
- Had a close friend try to overdose in high school that I helped get to the hospital in time, but my boyfriend at the time’s close friend successfully used his father’s shotgun at home in the same year.
- Had a sister in law who battled with mental wellness, and lost the fight several years ago. Her husband found her at home. My husband and I helped deal with the immediate fallout afterwards.
- Another family member more recently unsuccessfully tried to overdose in a cry to end their pain, but took the wrong medication to do so, for which we are so very thankful.
I know the intimate pain from their choices, the fallout which results, and the loss of their unique place in our world.
If you are struggling with feelings of depression, are not coping well after the loss of a loved one, your home, a job, or a long term health concern?
PLEASE SPEAK UP. Tell someone you are hurting and needing their support. Ask them to check in on your regularly. Allow them to come alongside you and help wherever they can. A phone call, a meal, a shoulder to cry on – be specific in how they can best help you. We are all better together.
PLEASE GET A CHECK UP. Go see a medical professional to see if there is something medically off, or a way that they can support you through medication or counseling. There is no shame in needing medical support for a genuine need. Mental illness is a disease, and as such the whole person needs to be treated – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
PLEASE STAY TOPPED UP. Spend time in the Bible, pray every day, listen to Christian music, join a small group, go to church, ask God to give you enough strength to face today. Leave yesterday in the past as much as you can, where you can’t – give it to Him to help you cope with it in healthy ways. Leave tomorrow in the future, coz there is no point wasting time today worrying about what hasn’t happened yet.
PLEASE SPEAK HOPE OVER YOURSELF. Speak a favorite bible verse out loud (I like Psalm 23 or 84 for this) and put your name in it where appropriate. Make it your daily mediation and prayer to bless yourself every day. When you catch yourself speaking unkind things to yourself (as in ‘I am stupid’) speak out the opposite over yourself (“I am made in God’s image, and He didn’t create any junk.”) and remove the negative word’s ability to take root and depress you.
PLEASE DO NOT FOLLOW THROUGH ON YOUR LIFE ALTERING THOUGHTS My sister-in-law was not on the best medication for her depression, and despite calling the hospital for help, she didn’t stress enough that she was thinking about acting on the suicidal thoughts she was battling. There are times where you need to get into a taxi and go to the nearest emergency room. If you are battling life ending thoughts, please hear this – suicide is the final act of your battle from which you cannot return to this world. Please think about those you will leave behind. You are loved even if you feel unworthy of it. You will be missed dreadfully, grieved over, and your place in this world will never be replaced or filled by another. There is only one of you, so please do not take yourself out of the equation.
PLEASE KEEP AT IT. You are worth doing all of the above, friend, each and every day. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not speaking for God, because He not only created you with loving intention, He made you like Him, and regardless of what you have done, Jesus died on the cross to bring you back to Him, forever, in a once and done unlike any other, ever!
PLEASE KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN. If you have been through a suicide of any kind, in your family, work place or neighborhood, or have gone through a mental illness battle yourself – keep your eyes open to see the signs that someone you know may be struggling. Many people hide these thoughts, but as a believer you know the One who knows all things. So follow His prompts if He urges you to connect with someone by putting them on your mind or heart. You may just be the helping hand or boost of Hope they need to keep them with us.
#worldsuicidepreventionday #yourlifematters #selfcare