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.

Jarrid,

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

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It is with the deepest sadness and shock that I have to report that @jarridwilson went to be with the Lord last night. At a time like this, there are just no words. The Bible says, “There is a time to mourn.” This is certainly that time. Jarrid is survived by his wife, @itsjuliwilson his two sons, Finch and Denham, his mother, father, and siblings. Jarrid loved the Lord and had a servant’s heart. He was vibrant, positive, and was always serving and helping others. Jarrid also repeatedly dealt with depression and was very open about his ongoing struggles. He wanted to especially help those who were dealing with suicidal thoughts. Tragically, Jarrid took his own life. Jarrid joined us as an associate pastor at Harvest 18 months ago and had spoken out many times on this very issue of mental health. Jarrid and his wife, Juli, founded an outreach to help people dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts called “Anthem of Hope.” Sometimes people may think that as pastors or spiritual leaders we are somehow above the pain and struggles of everyday people. We are the ones who are supposed to have all the answers. But we do not. At the end of the day, pastors are just people who need to reach out to God for His help and strength, each and every day. Over the years, I have found that people speak out about what they struggle with the most. One dark moment in a Christian’s life cannot undo what Christ did for us on the cross. Romans reminds us that “nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:39). At times like this, we must remember that as Christians, we do not live on explanations but on promises. We fall back on what we do know, not on what we don’t know. We do know that Jarrid put his faith in Jesus Christ and we also know that he is in Heaven now. We stand on the promise of Revelation 21:4 that reminds us that in Heaven there is no more sorrow, suffering, or death. Please keep Juli and Jarrid’s family in prayer. The Harvest family has lost a bright light. Pray for us as we grieve together. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help.

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About The Author

Contributor

Trevor is a 22-year-old from Social Circle, Georgia. Trevor is living his life with a mission set on helping people empower themselves and overcome the hardships in their life. At the age of 17, Trevor went through a season of depression and anxiety and it changed his perspective. The fact that someone's mind can actually affect their everyday life in such a negative way changed his outlook on mental health and started his journey to recovery. After receiving therapy and going deep into his faith He finally found his voice and his message, which is, Fear doesn't own you, anxiety doesn't hold you and that you CAN overcome your hardships with the right mindset and a set path to follow. Trevor shares his message through blogging, making motivational videos, speaking at events and lives his message out as his lifestyle.

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