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Pastor's Widow Says Son Is Asking Lots of Questions About Heaven in Wake of Father's Suicide

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It has been less than a month since 30-year-old Jarrid Wilson took his own life.

Although he struggled deeply with his own mental health, the former pastor and mental health advocate provided support and encouragement for thousands of people.

Wilson’s sudden death impacted not only his family and friends but also the thousands of people that he and his wife, Juli, reached through their Christian nonprofit, Anthem of Hope.

Both Jarrid and Juli were passionate about helping others who struggled with mental health and Jarrid was open about his own battle with depression and anxiety on social media and in person.

The day after his death, Juli wrote a heartbreaking tribute to her late husband and promised to continue his legacy, promising that hope, not suicide, would get “the last word.”

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Since his death, the conversation of how the church should approach mental health in light of the Gospel has intensified. But while others debate, Juli and her two young sons, Finch and Denham, have tried to wrap their minds around the unimaginable grief of Jarrid’s sudden death.

On Sept. 18, Juli celebrated her husband’s first birthday after his death with a heartbreaking and hopeful post on Instagram.

“I can’t help but think of everything we could be doing together today, how we should be celebrating all the wonderful things that made you, you…but I am so thankful that through Christ, I am not limited to an earthly perspective,” she wrote.

“Our hearts are broken here. We miss you beyond what words can convey. The pain is so deep, raw and surreal, but we hold on to hope as an anchor for our souls. It is firm and secure.”

View this post on Instagram

Happy 1st birthday in heaven, baby ♥️ Today, you would’ve been 31. You lived more in those years than most could in 100. I’m blown away by all God did in and through your life! We planned to go to a cabin with friends this weekend. We planned on burritos and your favorite funfetti cake. And of course, we planned on lots and lots of fishing. When I asked what you wanted for a gift you’d say, “nothing” and finally go on to shut me up by saying that “fishing line or some tackle would be just fine”. You were simple like that. I loved it. I can’t help but think of everything we could be doing together today, how we should be celebrating all the wonderful things that made you, you…but I am so thankful that through Christ, I am not limited to an earthly perspective. Today, you are doing what you were CREATED to do. You are worshiping the king of kings face-to-face. You are complete and whole, not lacking a thing. How could I not find peace in that? Our hearts are broken here. We miss you beyond what words can convey. The pain is so deep, raw and surreal, but we hold on to hope as an anchor for our souls. It is firm and secure. We WILL see you again. I love you, jare. ⚓️🎈

A post shared by Juli Wilson (@itsjuliwilson) on

Juli has also been helping her two sons grieve their dad’s death, but in a recent Instagram post, she shared that her son Finch’s faith is inspiring her.

“This little dude has been asking so many questions about heaven and I have to say, it has been beyond beautiful to watch him try to wrap his mind around it all,” Juli wrote on Sunday.

“He believes heaven is real, even though he says he can’t see it past the clouds.”

Juli wrote that Finch even asked if it was possible to visit heaven via airplane — but doesn’t want to miss school.

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The amazed mother said that Finch’s blind faith has made her understand Jesus’ call to have “faith like a child” in Matthew 18 more than ever.

“It’s pure and unmatched. It’s the kind of faith that doesn’t require proof, just a bunch of trust, just like the kind Finch has,” she continued.

“I want a faith like that. One that isn’t shaken when I don’t know what’s next. One that is okay with knowing goodness is waiting right around the corner, just beyond the clouds…even when I can’t see it.”

View this post on Instagram

This little dude has been asking so many questions about heaven and I have to say, it has been beyond beautiful to watch him try to wrap his mind around it all . He knows it’s a happy place, where no one is sick or sad, and he told me it sounds like a really nice place to play at. He often asks when we can take an airplane to visit but insists we come back home in time for school . He believes heaven is real, even though he says he can’t see it past the clouds . Jesus was on to something when he said to have faith like a child. It’s pure and unmatched. It’s the kind of faith that doesn’t require proof, just a bunch of trust, just like the kind Finch has . I want a faith like that. One that isn’t shaken when I don’t know what’s next. One that is okay with knowing goodness is waiting right around the corner, just beyond the clouds…even when I can’t see it . And thankfully, I serve a God that says, “come to me” and is willing to give me a faith just like that. I’m asking, God. Show your glory! I am ready ♥️ .

A post shared by Juli Wilson (@itsjuliwilson) on

We are continuing to pray for Wilson’s family as they grieve his death and wade through what it means for him to be gone.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
Birthplace
Tennessee
Honors/Awards
Lifetime Member of the Girl Scouts
Location
Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
News, Crime, Lifestyle & Human Interest




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