Grief sometimes comes with questions, anger, and quiet thoughts.
Over the past few days, I’ve felt that and I feel like I need to take some time to write out my feelings and thoughts as I’m in this season.
Earlier this week, I got the news that a friend had taken his own life. I was shocked, disturbed and instantly in denial as I had just spoken with this individual the day before his death.
Tragically, this individual was a pastor, influencer, founder of a suicide prevention non-profit… and most importantly, a husband to a beautiful wife and a father to two beautiful boys.
My heart instantly sunk thinking about his family and the thought of his boys growing up without a father and the pain that I’m feeling is nothing compared to what I know they are feeling now.
I’m writing this to tell you that no matter how big your problems are and no matter how large your platform and faith may seem… We all struggle and sometimes we need help getting through life.
There is no shame in struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts. There is only hope when you reach out for help getting through these thoughts.
We aren’t built to walk through our shadows alone, friends.
Suicide is a liar, depression is a liar and your FEAR is a liar.
You are made with a purpose and I promise you that there are reasons to keep fighting.
Jesus offers peace, love and strength for you to keep moving, no matter what issues you may be facing. You are loved, you have purpose and you are meant to be an anthem of HOPE.
So I urge you whether you are a pastor, father, mother, cook, therapist, policeman, fireman, delivery driver or garbage man… Know that you are NEVER alone and if you are struggling today, PLEASE ask for help.
No one’s life is worth ending early.
Grace covers you completely and your story is NOT over, friend.
We all have a reason and a purpose to live and I promise you- Hope is to be found.
You are never alone, friend.
Below are open letters that I have put together for Jarrid, Juli, Finch, Denham and anyone else struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts or hardships today.
It’s been a little over 24 hours since we’ve last spoken.
I just got the news that you’ve passed and I am still trying to process it.
Less than 2 days ago we discussed anxiety, depression, suicide and how your nonprofit, Anthem of Hope, was going to be the first to offer free suicide prevention training… Never in a million years did I ever think it would be you.
I love you, Jarrid.
I know that you weren’t in the right state of mind when this happened.
I know that you love your beautiful family and your job, your friends on social media and most of all, Jesus.
Anthem of hope isn’t finished, your message hasn’t become irrelevant and your light will continue on.
I know your family will miss you as will I but I rejoice as you’re in Heaven with Jesus now.
Your life was, is and always will be an encouragement to me and an anthem of hope for millions.
Your light won’t fade.
Suicide isn’t your identity and it won’t be how I remember you.
I remember you as the warrior, father, husband and prayer warrior you were.
To Juli, Finch and Denham,
You are loved.
You are not forgotten.
We will support you and God will continue to provide for you.
I am here with you and so is the community at Harvest who will continue to champion you and lead you on your journey.
More importantly, Jesus is near and Jarrid is healed.
Friends, check in on one another and ask the hard questions.
Suicide hotline- 1-800-273-8255