Saturday, February 11, 2012

Blessings Along The Way: God's Mercies for a Broken Mother's Heart

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
—Isaiah 43:18&19 ESV

I had a dream. I dreamed the nightmare never happened. Our son Joshua never passed on to the Hereafter. He married and had children. Then I woke, and knew the dream was only that—a dream. We live with our reality.
I’ve written this book of devotions for those of you who have shared the deep heartache of a child’s suicide. Through my writing, I believe God wanted me to share from my heart to yours, by giving you ways to cope and encouraging you. There can be hope and peace after a suicide. God has helped me and He wants to help you. The loss is horrific, but God is faithful. He brought me through this dark time, and He wants to do the same for you.
A yearning to write this story came five years, five months, and two weeks into my grieving journey. I sensed a dawn of courage within myself. I haven’t come this far in a blink, nor on my own. I’ll lose my nerve, only to gain it back, time and again, before I complete my story. Although, I do have the help from Lord God, and the folks He sends my way.
Am I full of courage? 
Yes! Yes, I shout, with God’s hand upon me.

God, when I falter, I pray You will renew my strength. In Jesus' name. Amen.

My faithful readers, imagine you've picked up a devotional book with the title, "Blessings Along the Way: God's Mercies for a Broken Mother's Heart." You've read the first page of the excerpt above. Would you take this book home? 

As a mother, would you expect the pages within the book to give you hope and courage through a horrific tragedy: the loss of your child from suicide?

I am a mother who suffered through the first year of raw agony of losing my son. There are still seasons in my life when the ache of child-loss brings me to my knees. But the love of Christ has brought me to this place, right here. I am currently writing BLESSINGS ALONG THE WAY: God's Mercies For A Broken Mother's Heart to share the pivotal moments of that first year of loss, and show how God blessed through each one.

God has given me a passion to help other mothers, as I've been helped by mothers before me. In spite of their loss, these mothers carried on the torch of love, hope, and joy, and have given me a snapshot of courage.

As I research devotional books that aim to help mother's who've lost children to suicide, I haven't found anything like what I envision for my book. And, I am open to suggestions from my readers. Truly, I am. I want this book to meet a need for others, otherwise there's no reason to write it.

Joshua's life had meaning.

Your child's life had meaning.

Our children left their imprint on Earth.

Until next time . . . let me hear from you.

Joshua's Senior Photo


  1. Hi Jean . . . I just discovered that you had left a message on the Ruby for Women blog a few months ago, and wondered if anyone had replied to your comment. We would love to have you share your story with us in the Ruby for Women community, on our blog, or in an upcoming issue of the Ruby for Women magazine. I apologize if you did not receive a reply sooner - I've been working with a few volunteers to help us keep things moving around the Ruby community, and I did not see your comment before now. Please let me know how we can promote your writing (and, yes, I would see your devotional as a gift and inspiration from God!) as we would love to promote your work to our readers and members. Although I have not lost a child to suicide, I have "lost" a couple of children to broken relationships, so my grief is not nearly as deep as yours, I too walk through life with a broken heart . . . . and God can use our words to bring hope, courage, and inspiration to other mothers. I look forward to hearing from you and sharing your story and your wisdom with the other mothers in the Ruby for Women community. Sincerely, Nina Newton @ Ruby for Women and mamas*little*treasures

  2. Oh, my, Nina, I'm a bit speechless right at the moment by your kind words and generosity to help me promote my writing.

    My heart hurts for you, with broken relationships with children. I too have had that journey after our son died. Suicide can create waves of loss we can never imagine.

    I'll be getting in contact with you again real soon.

    God bless you, Nina Newton!

  3. Jean, Joshua looks so much like you. I had not noticed that before. I'm grateful to be an encourager for a book that will help many. I imagine hurting moms curling up in the corner of a chair late at night and losing themselves in your book. There, they will meet one who walked their journey and found the sunshine again, and it will give them the hope they are seeking. God bless you.

  4. What a nice compliment, Pat. I sort of thought we favored and noticed that when I changed my photo to the new one.

    I pray that prayer that mothers will find hope and comfort within the pages of my book.

    Thank you, my dear friend!

  5. For those of you wishing to leave a comment, please click on the word "comments" and this empty comment box will open. At least it does for me. Please send me an E-mail if you aren't able to open the comment box at your end.

    Blessings to all!

  6. Hi Jean Ann,
    Yes, after I read your preface, I would buy the book. Having lost my beautiful daughter, Christianne, to suicide a little over a year ago, I am still looking for connection with others who have also suffered this profound loss. There is a fellowship of sufferers who understand one another and I find that kind of contact very nurturing.
    God bless you with your book!

  7. Jean,

    What a beautiful tribute to your son Joshua. Writing a book to honor him and help other families is a wonderful endeavor. God bless you as you continue to write and bring healing to yourself through your comforting words. Welcome to Ruby for Women. I look forward to getting to know you more soon. Thank you for your willingness to share your story with us.

  8. So glad you stopped by and commented, Susan and D L.

    I am hard at work on BLESSINGS ALONG THE WAY, and as I pray over this project daily, God blesses me with the words. I don't believe any of my writing projects have come together this swiftly for me.

    Susan, if you wish me to recommend a few books that helped me, I can. Just let me know.

    D L, I do look forward to being a regular contributor to Ruby for Women.

    God bless you both,
    Jean Ann

  9. This verse you shared is very precious to me. I'm new to Ruby for Women and have just read your blog and story. Thank you for sharing such a difficult experience and allowing God to use this in your life.

  10. Amy, it's been a very long time since I've read this verse. It's meaning is precious to me, also. It was the Lord's doing that I stumbled across it and is the theme for my book BLESSINGS ALONG THE WAY. God is wonderful and worthy of all praise.

    Thank you for stopping by, Amy, and encouraging me!