Juli Wilson is seeking comfort in her faith following the death of her husband, popular megachurch pastor and mental health advocate Jarrid Wilson.
Juli has been using social media to express her grief following Jarrid’s death by suicide on Sept. 9. On Sunday, she shared a Bible verse Jarrid sent her months ago that has since taken on new meaning.
“Jarrid sent me this photo of this bible verse a few months ago while he was at work,” she captioned the post. “It’s speaking to my heart tonight. ♥️”
Juli, who shares two sons with Jarrid, accompanied the caption with a photo of her opened Bible, with a short passage from Philippians 4:7 highlighted in yellow.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done,” the verse read. “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Juli announced her husband’s death on Instagram last week with a slideshow of photos that featured Jarrid, 30, smiling widely as he fished, hiked and spent time with his children, sons Finch and Denham.
One day later, she shared video of him playing with their son on the day he died, which Juli said was the last memory she had of him.
“Can’t sleep, so I’m watching this video over and over again,” she wrote. “I took this Monday evening around 7:30 p.m. at our son’s baseball practice. By 11:45 that night, my sweet husband was in the presence of Jesus.”
“I love you, Jarrid. I miss you beyond what my heart can stand. Thank you for loving our boys and I with the greatest passion and selflessness I’ve ever seen or felt in my entire life,” Juli continued.
Jarrid, a pastor at the Harvest Christian Fellowship Church in California, had long been public about his struggles with depression and mental illness. In 2016, he founded Anthem of Hope, a Christian organization dedicated to “amplifying hope for those battling brokenness, depression, anxiety, self-harm, addiction and suicide,” its website states.
One of his final tweets, sent the day he died, addressed his battles, but praised his faith for offering respite.
“Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure suicidal thoughts. Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure depression. Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure PTSD,” Jarrid wrote. “Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure anxiety. But that doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t offer us companionship and comfort. He ALWAYS does that.”
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure suicidal thoughts.— Jarrid Wilson (@JarridWilson) September 9, 2019
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure depression.
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure PTSD.
Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure anxiety.
But that doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t offer us companionship and comfort.
He ALWAYS does that.
While Juli remains devastated over her husband’s death, she wrote on Instagram that she knows Jarrid is no longer in “pain.”
“No more struggle,” she said. “You are made complete and you are finally free. Suicide and depression fed you the worst lies, but you knew the truth of Jesus and I know you’re by his side right this very second.”
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She also insisted that she could not allow suicide to “get the last word.”
“I won’t let it,” she wrote. “You always said, ‘Hope gets the last word. Jesus gets the last word.’ Your life’s work has led thousands to the feet of Jesus and your boldness to tell others about your struggle with anxiety and depression has helped so many other people feel like they weren’t alone.”
“YOU WERE an ANTHEM OF HOPE to everyone, baby, and I’ll do my best to continue your legacy of love until my last breath,” Juli added.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “home” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.