I find suicide so tragically sad.
I simply cannot imagine the pain and hopelessness one must feel to think they’re better off dead. It goes against our very human nature.
Many think of suicide as a ‘selfish’ act, and while I understand that perspective, recent conversations have gotten me to understand that oftentimes, suicide victims feel so incredibly worthless, they legitimately believe their loved ones are better off without them.
It’s hard to wrap your head around, and terribly, terribly sad.
Jarrid Wilson, a Southern California megachurch pastor and well-known mental health advocate, took his own life on Monday.
According to Fox News:
Wilson, 30, was associate pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, under Pastor Greg Laurie. He co-founded Anthem of Hope, a mental health nonprofit helping people dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts. He is survived by his wife, Julianne, and two sons, Finch and Denham.
Clearly, mental health issues and suicidal thoughts are something he’s been dealing with for a very long time.
Greg Laurie posted the following:
View this post on Instagram
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.
But it’s his wife’s post that truly moved me:
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My loving, giving, kind-hearted, encouraging, handsome, hilarious, give the shirt of his back husband went to be with Jesus late last night . No more pain, my jerry, no more struggle. You are made complete and you are finally free. Suicide and depression fed you the worst lies, but you knew the truth of Jesus and I know you’re by his side right this very second . I love you forever, Thomas jarrid Wilson, but I have to say that you being gone has completely ripped my heart out of my chest. You loved me and our boys relentlessly and I am forever grateful that i had YOU as a husband and a father to our boys . You are my forever and I will continue to let other people know of the hope in Jesus you found and spoke so boldly about . Suicide doesn’t get the last word. I won’t let it. You always said “Hope Gets the last word. Jesus gets the last word”. Your life’s work has lead thousands to the feet of Jesus and your boldness to tell other about your struggle with anxiety and depression has helped so many other people feel like they weren’t alone. YOU WERE an ANTHEM OF HOPE to everyone, baby, and I’ll do my best to continue your legacy of love until my last breath . I need you, jare, but you needed Jesus to hold you and I have to be okay with that. You are everything to me. Since the day we met. J & J. Love you more . These are photos of him in his happy place – fishing the day away . I’ll teach our boys all your tricks, babe. Promise. You are my #anthemofhope
It’s so heartbreaking. My heart truly hurts for this family.
Jarrid had tweeted this only hours before his passing:
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure suicidal thoughts.
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure depression.
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure PTSD.
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure anxiety.
But that doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t offer us companionship and comfort.
He ALWAYS does that.
— Jarrid Wilson (@JarridWilson) September 9, 2019
I pray for his family, and I pray he’s at peace.