by, Jean Ann Williams
A Mother’s Heart – Part Two
I will never know what life would be like if Joshua had lived.
At one point, my life became a pit of darkness that only a merciful God could rescue me from. I got as low as I could go; I no longer wanted to live. Instead of dying, though, I submitted myself to God and His plan for my life.
God helps me through my grieving journey. At the perfect time, the Lord sends people who are willing to listen to me talk about my son. I learned early on that I should plow right through the middle of my grief and not deny it. A mother who had lost her son ten years before I lost mine said, “Don’t deny your grief. Fully experience it, and you will come through the other end obtaining the gift of compassion for others.” She then encouraged me to stay connected to The Compassion Friends, a bereavement organization she belonged to.
God continually makes me feel safe, and He increases my faith. His Holy Spirit comforts my shattered heart.
Many parents ask, “How long will I feel miserable? When will I be through the worst of my grieving?” The answer is simple: It takes as long as it takes.
God has a plan for each of us to increase the fruits of His kingdom. He can use us right where we are, especially in our sorrows.
The one thing I did that helped me the most was to talk to God and read His Word. I would lie in bed for a few moments in the mornings and be still. I asked God, “What do you want me to do today that brings You glory?”
I made sure to take time outs. When my nerves felt they would shatter from too much stimulation, I’d go to a quiet place, knee down and pray. Often during my early grieving, my prayer consisted of one word, “Help!”
In early grief, even though I didn’t feel like it, I played with my grandchildren. Before I knew it, I wanted to hug Joshua’s kitty and play with his dog. Many times, I kissed Joshua’s photo and told him I loved and missed him. I did something else that I had not done in a long while: I sang along to my favorite Christian songs. Soon, I sought opportunities to become active with my family and friends, once again.
What happened when I stretched out in faith? One day, I woke up and asked God, “Lord, who may I help today?” I began to accept my life in a “new normal” without my son. I had allowed Jesus to begin healing me, and in turn, He could use my pain of loss to help other parents with theirs.
Four years ago, I started a blog and titled it Love Truth: Hope After Suicide. I’ve written and posted one hundred articles to help parents who’ve lost a child to suicide. Open to Hope has published several of my articles about my bereavement journey. I am currently writing a book of devotions titled God’s Mercies After Suicide: Blessings Woven Through a Mother’s Heart. I pray over this project and hope it can bless others, as well.
If you have lost a loved one to suicide or have lost a child, please do not lose hope. Seek help and allow grief to process.
Jean Ann Williams is a multi-published author. Her writing is featured in three anthologies, including Love Is A Verb: 365 Daily Inspirations to Keep Love Alive by Gary Chapman. Jean Ann lost her twenty-five-year-old son Joshua to suicide in March 2004. She lives with her husband of forty-two years, Jim, in a quaint valley of Southern Oregon where they maintain what Jean Ann calls “Nana’s Goat Farm.” She and Jim have a son and daughter remaining, and between them they have been blessed with thirteen grandchildren. Jean blogs at Love Truth: Hope After Suicide.