Juli Wilson, the wife of Pastor Jarrid Wilson, the mental health advocate who tragically took his own life late Monday evening, shared a beautiful yet haunting video on Instagram that shows how cruelly hidden mental illness often remains.
Her posts provide a glimpse into the wonderful man Jarrid was, and the grief suicide leaves in its wake. They also provide the answer as to how someone seemingly so in tune with a particular issue could fall victim to it.
“Can’t sleep, so I’m watching this video over and over again,” she said about the adorable clip taken just hours before her young husband’s death, in which he joyfully played with one of his two young sons at a baseball field.
Seeing his outward joy is a stark reminder that no matter what you see on the outside, what’s beneath the surface can never be truly and fully known.
This is Jarrid Wilson baptizing someone last Saturday. Look at the joy on both his and the young lady’s face that he…Posted by Greg Laurie on Wednesday, September 11, 2019
The news has shocked the Christian community. While the outpouring of prayer and financial support — a GoFundMe set up by writer Jonathan Merritt has already raised more than $30,000 — has been an encouragement for Jarrid’s family and church community, people are also pondering tough questions.
There is also quite a bit of struggle to understand. Many are baffled by the fact an outspoken proponent of mental health issues with such awareness and embrace of Christ’s love could possibly meet such a tragic end.
In a tribute posted yesterday, Juli — perhaps unwittingly — provided the answer. Her tribute post contained the answer to how even someone like Jarrid — a beloved pastor, a mental health advocate, a successful author, a husband, and a father with a beautiful and loving family — could be susceptible to such a horrific fate.
She said “suicide and depression fed you the worst lies” before adding “but you knew the truth of Jesus and I know you’re right by His side this very second.”
He was fed lies. Sadly, apparently in a weak moment, he believed those lies told by the enemy about suicide and depression.
Some have been quick to judge online, which is sad in and of itself because we should just be grieving with Juli and her family. But isn’t that what we all do anytime we sin? We believe the lie.
When we look at pornography or cheat on our spouses, we believe the lie that this momentary pleasure will be worth the price paid.
When we get angry or yell or otherwise abuse our spouses — or anyone in our lives — we believe the lie that lashing out will somehow change, improve, or fix things.
When we worry and fuel our anxieties, we believe the lie that God will not keep his myriad promises.
When we get drunk or high, we believe the lie that our pain will go away, or that these substances will lead to happiness.
These are just a few of the countless ways in which we believe the lie. It’s the same old trick the enemy has been using since the beginning of time — Adam and Eve believed the lie that eating the apple would make them just like God.
They believed the lie that God was holding out on them.
Unfortunately, when it comes to suicide, it is an irrevocable act that can’t be undone. But it is otherwise no different from any other of the multitude of sins we commit on a daily basis.
If we were to die in the midst of, say, watching pornography or cheating on a spouse or getting high on drugs — is that person unforgiven by God because they happened to perish in the midst of sin?
I fully believe, as both Pastor Greg Laurie and Juli do, that Jarrid is in the loving arms of his Savior Jesus. I’m deeply saddened he believed — if only for a moment — the lie that the world was better off without him, or that he couldn’t do it anymore, or whatever lie Satan fed him. I hope and pray not one more single solitary soul believes the same lie.
We have to remember we are in a spiritual battle against “forces of wickedness.” There is no neutral ground. If you’re not running to Jesus every second of every day, you are leaving your guard down. And the enemy “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
Be on high alert at all times. Don’t ever believe the lies, not even for a second. And may God’s mercy, as it ever is, be on us when we fall short.
Continue to pray for Juli and her family, and for all of those who struggle to defeat the lie. Put on the armor of God, and stand firm in the faith.