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It’s all lies in your mind. Sometimes those lies get the best of our best on this earth, and that’s something we have to live with. Suicide doesn’t have the last word, though. Jesus does.
Hope is to be found, friends. You are not finished.
“Depression can’t make me do anything that I wouldn’t want to do” — that’s what millions of struggling people tell themselves every day.
Suicide happens daily, and it isn’t just among teenagers and kids. It’s plaguing pastors, celebrities, and parents, too. It happens all too often and we have to start talking openly about our mental health.
This week, I lost a friend, mentor, and brother in Christ.
The last text I sent Jarrid Wilson, a mental health advocate and associate pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, who died late Monday night, was about my anxiety and panic attacks, asking him to pray for me. Less than 24 hours later, he took his own life.
I look at that text now and wonder what pain he was in and what his mindset was.
Could I have prevented this? That is a question we ask ourselves when a loved one takes his or her own life. A lot of the time, there are no signs, just like there was no clear sign in this situation.
I thought everything was fine and never saw this coming. My heart instantly sank thinking about Jarrid’s family and the thought of his boys growing up without a father and husband. The pain I’m feeling is nothing compared to what I know they are feeling now.
If you’re struggling and you’re a leader, tell someone. You aren’t superhuman. We all need somebody to talk to sometimes. There’s no shame in asking for help.
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. As believers, we need to start talking about our thoughts, mental health, and find a balance in doing so.
We aren’t built to walk through our shadows alone, friends. If you are struggling, tell someone. Don’t isolate yourself. You have purpose, value, and a reason to live.
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 because 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 partner you were.
Jarrid is survived by his wife, Juli, and their two sons, Finch and Denham. To them, I say: 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, whose pastors will continue to champion you and lead you on your journey.
No one’s life is worth ending early. We all have a reason and a purpose to live. And I promise you — hope is to be found.
If you would like to donate to a Go Fund Me campaign set up by a family friend to help the Wilsons in this time, you can do so by clicking here.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts, or you just need someone to talk to, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If you’re looking for counseling services in your area, consult the Christian Counselors Network.
Trevor Tyson is a 22-year-old writer and speaker from Social Circle, Georgia. After enduring a season of deep depression and anxiety at just 17 years old, he has made it his mission to empower people to overcome the hardships they face by pointing them to the Gospel and mental health resources.