Transformation: God & Me After the Loss of My Child
When my son died within my embrace and in our home, I was certain the world had gone insane. Utter disbelief coupled with harsh reality ravished my broken heart.
Over the weeks and months after Joshua’s death, I didn’t know one could cry so many tears. Nor feel this lonely and misplaced from Joshua’s absence. My presence in the house caved in around me, and I believed I would go crazy and join him.
As the months became three years, and I still lived in the house where Joshua died, I told God it was too much. What did He expect from me as I walked the hall and past the door of my son’s room? What was the purpose of me in this home?
Wasn’t the loss of Joshua a teachable enough experience?
I cried unto Lord God and my spirit wrestled with His. I demanded a blessing from Him. Good had to come from this wreck of my life. Didn’t it? And, I hounded my Lord for relief from the pain and agony of losing my youngest child.
My prayer became simple: Make me stronger or allow me to die.
Joshua was a unique individual, and I’m not saying this because he was mine. He helped a friend choose life for her unborn child and spent time with her, sharing the gospel of Christ. He defied a high school teacher to his face, who, after class, offhandedly encouraged a student to get an abortion.
There were no gray areas in my son’s life. He stood strong in his beliefs. At Joshua’s grave side service, one of his friends said it best, “Joshua knew how to help others, but he couldn’t help himself.”
At the three and a half year mark after Joshua’s passing, I almost took my own life. At the last moment, though, weary and humbled within my spirit, I reached for the love of my Father in heaven.
Throughout the night after my near suicide attempt, I sobbed hours of tears until I was an empty shell. As dawn peeked through the curtained window above me, I gave my whole being to God. “You win, Lord,” I prayed, “do with me as You will.” It was not a joyous moment. I didn’t feel victorious.
It was a profound shift of surrender in my shattered spirit.
From the dawn of this new morning and the ten years since, I will never regret God kept me in the home where my son died. God broke me and remolds me into someone who can be used by Him to help others who suffer.
Within three months after my near suicide attempt, we had a buyer for our house. Weeks later, we signed the papers and handed over the keys to the new owners. At the seventh month point, my husband and I moved to Oregon on one acre of land where we raise a garden, chickens, and goats.
After our move here, I told a seasoned Christian my story. That God saw fit to keep me in the home after Joshua’s death, and this drew me closer to Him. “This was hard on me,” I told the man, “and I almost didn’t make it. God knew best, and I received His blessing.”
I thought the gentleman would agree with me, and what he said left me speechless and sad. “I wouldn’t have done it. I would have left the house.”
If I had escaped the home like I wanted, and I did make plans to do so, I would never have tasted the deep love and steadfast presence of God and His Son.
Jean Ann Williams published a book on suicide loss after her youngest son Joshua took his own life in 2004. “God’s Mercies after Suicide: Blessings Woven through a Mother’s Heart” is a devotional style memoir showing how God walked alongside her in the most difficult grief journey of her life.
Where to purchase God’s Mercies After Suicide: Blessings Woven Through a Mother’s Heart: Create Space
Julie’s note: Jean Ann Williams is my guest blogger today sharing her surrender story. I think you will be encouraged and inspired. I was!
So many of my struggles with insecurity stem from my childhood when my mother began the decent into mental illness. As the eldest child and only ten years old, it fell to me to raise my six brothers and sisters. The youngest was a baby brother and newly born. I became more overwhelmed as the months and years passed, but as I look back, and it wasn’t lost on me then either, God provided mentors. The mentors helped me on my journey of me being a child raising children.
You may wonder what happened to my dad. Dad was an alcoholic who chose to not deal with my mother’s problems. Actually, he only made them worse. But, to give him credit, my dad did recognize my hard work. He gave me my own room, where the other children had to share a huge bedroom upstairs. Then, when I became a teenager, my dad knocked out walls and made my room three times bigger.
It was something, but still not enough. I remember calling my neighbors more than once to help me with a sick or hurt child when my parents were gone or Mom locked herself in her room and Dad at work.
Fear, incompetence, guilt, they have been my battle. And now, at sixty-two, and with my debut book Just Claire, which released 1/7/16, I feel a bit of hope. Hope for others who read this book.
In writing Just Claire, I set out to tell a story to show young readers they are not alone with their sorrows. In the process of writing Just Claire, though, I was surprised when one day I no longer felt angry and shamed with my mother. This hole in my heart I felt Mom had left there was mending. How did this happen? Several critique partners told me Just Claire was my healing book. How neat is this? A double blessing.
ClaireLee’s life changes when she must take charge of her siblings after her mother becomes depressed from a difficult childbirth. Frightened by the way Mama sleeps too much and her crying spells during waking hours, ClaireLee just knows she’ll catch her illness like a cold or flu that hangs on through winter. ClaireLee finds comfort in the lies she tells herself and others in order to hide the truth about her erratic mother. Deciding she needs to re-invent herself, she sets out to impress a group of popular girls.
With her deception, ClaireLee weaves her way into the Lavender Girls Club, the most sophisticated girls in school. Though, her best friend Belinda will not be caught with the likes of such shallow puddles, ClaireLee ignores Belinda’s warnings the Lavenders cannot be trusted. ClaireLee drifts further from honesty, her friend, and a broken mother’s love, until one very public night at the yearly school awards ceremony. The spotlight is on her, and she finds her courage and faces the truth and then ClaireLee saves her mother’s life.
Downloads available at Amazon: http://ow.ly/XmCJ5
See the trailer: https://youtu.be/s8x5lJKZFHU
Jean’s blog: http://jeanannwilliams.blogspot.com/
Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Jean-Ann-Williams-848295125269670/?ref=hl
Author Jean Ann Williams, the eldest in a large family, enjoys digging into her fascinating childhood to create stories for children. Having written over one hundred articles for children and adults, this is her first book. Jean Ann and her husband live on one acre where they raise a garden, goats, and chickens. Her favorite hobbies are hiking through the woods and practicing archery with her bow.
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