Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wednesday, August 5th~God's Mercies after Suicide:Blessings Woven through a Mother's Heart~Conclusion



Me and Jim in a rare happy moment a year after Joshua's death
“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”
-Psalm 91:4

Dear Reader,
     
It has been over a decade since Joshua died by suicide. What I have learned so far is that God will never leave me. Horrific things happen, but that does not mean God forsakes us in the difficulty. As I’ve shown you through the true account after the loss of my son, the Lord has weaved blessings through my heart to ease the sorrow.

Living in the house for four more years after Joshua’s death was the hardest part next to the loss of my son. I truly believed I would not survive. I had many serious talks with God, asking Him why He was making me stay in the home where Joshua died. It’s a true saying that God’s timing is always perfect, and the day came when our house sold and we could move.

God allowed me to teeter on the edge before our house sold, and one bleak night I almost joined Joshua in death. But something stopped me from ending my life. That something is called LOVE, God’s love. And afterward, as I lay in my bed sobbing the rest of that night, the stubborn part of me was emptied out with every teardrop.

I surrendered my spirit to God.
     
I understood later that He could then begin to reshape me. The woman God has wanted to me to be—me needing Him for everything. A new me: A not-so-capable, not such a know-it-all Jean, but a simple Jean.

I’m now a woman who prays without ceasing—meaning, off and on throughout my days.

What has gotten easier over the years is the grieving. Now I don’t cry all the time, even though my heart still aches for Joshua. Often, I can even talk about him without sobbing. What is still the same is my heart knows when I wake each morning that someone special is missing in my life. That my world still doesn’t feel right.

Even that pain gets less and less, dear readers, for each morning before I rise, I count the blessings God has given to me while I meet Him with a prayer on my lips.

God bless each of you who took the time to read parts of this book. My hope is that these words have blessed you and helped you to grow in our Lord.

In the near future, at God’s timing, this book will be published. Please join me in prayer for this story’s upcoming project.

Thank you, holy Father. In Jesus’s name, I’m grateful.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt though trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.”
—Psalm 91:4

***

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Monday, August 3rd~God's Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother's Heart~Joshua's Third Grade "I Would Like to Have the Gift of"~ A Mother's Memories



Joshua, age nine~first baseman


Within weeks after Joshua’s memorial, a mother of one of Joshua’s friend’s sent me a paper. It was a writing that Joshua and his third-grade class had contributed to.

This mother knew I would need this paper titled “I Would Like to Have the Gift of . . .”

She thought maybe I already had it, but sent it just in case. Joshua had never shared it with me, so it was indeed a surprise and a precious gift of affirmation that what I had taught my son had soaked into his young life.

Here are a few examples of what Joshua’s classmates wrote (names withheld for privacy):

“I would like to have the gift of a whole bunch of people knowing I care about them. If I had this gift, I’d feel really happy. I would feel wonderful.” —girl student

“I would like to have the gift of courage. If I had this gift I’d jump. I would feel terrific.”—boy student

“I would like to have the gift of love, happiness, and the gift of the Holy Bible, Jesus, God. If I had this gift, I would spread it. I would feel wonderful.” —Joshua Williams

When I read Joshua’s words, I doubled over and wept. Oh, Lord God, I hate this! What happened to that boy?

I understand now, that life caved in on my son. 

People have said to me about Joshua, “He bore more pain and sorrow than many people do in their lifetime.” Yes, that’s true. At the age of twenty-five, Joshua could no longer endure, and the lie grew larger than life could hold him.

Father God, I appreciate the thoughtfulness of this mother. I needed to see my innocent son’s words, showing me Joshua had been listening to our Bible stories oh so long ago. In Jesus’s name, I thank You for another blessed gift. Amen.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday, July 31st~God's Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother's Heart~I Miss Joshua 24/7~Devotion



photo by Jean Ann Williams

“Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.”
—Philippians 3:15 KJV

My husband got called into work, and I couldn’t sleep though it was midnight. I went into the living room, put on a Jesus movie, and lay on the sofa. For a moment I forgot my loss, forgot my pain, and focused on Jesus Christ. My heart swooned with love for Him and His willingness to die for us.

When the movie ended, I clicked it off and the screen went blank. Then, I remembered. No Joshua. No reason to live. When will my tears stop? When will my heart stop hurting—stop beating? Can you mend my shattered soul, Lord?

Even in my present wretched state of mind, I knew Jesus loved me.

I opened my eyes and turned my face to gaze at a wrought-iron plaque Scripture on the opposite wall. I had recently bought it at a Bible bookstore. It read: “Joshua 24:15: But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Out loud, I said to my Lord, “I miss Joshua 24/7.” The moment I spoke those words, a stirring moved within my spirit. I waited. Listened. It was a prompting of the Holy Spirit for me to look up the verse Joshua 24:7.

I leaped off the sofa and got my Bible off my bedside table. I flipped the pages to Joshua 24:7. I read and nothing caught my attention—until the very last part: “And ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season.” What? What’s this?

Then a knowing came to my mind. I said aloud, “Oh, Lord, no! Please, not this.” Not me suffering this agonizing pain for a longer time. Not me still in this house for how much longer? I hate this house. Please God, no!

I reread the verse and I knew. God was showing me I had to live in the house where Joshua died for a while yet. God was showing me I would dwell in the wilderness of the valley of the shadow for a longer time.

I lay there on the sofa, and tears rolled down the sides of my face and dripped, dripped into my ears.

I allowed what I read to soak over my mind, and I began to accept it. A growing sense of awe replaced my disappointment. I rejoiced for God gave me a message. And He weaved that blessing through this mother’s heart.

Holy Lord, I do not like the thought of a longer season of staying in this house. But You are God, and I am not. In Jesus’s precious name. Amen.