Suicide and Child Loss: Christ’s Blood is Sufficient

I try hard not to imply that MY child loss experience is representative of EVERY child loss experience.  

Because, as we all know, every parent’s journey (even parents of the same child) is utterly, incontrovertibly unique. 

My son was killed suddenly in an accident.  Other parents I know have stories of prolonged illness.  Some feared it coming as his or her child struggled with addiction and dangerous choices.  And still others bear the added burden of suicide in child loss.

I have always, always felt a special duty to tread lightly with respect to those parents in particular.  I want to honor them and never suggest I speak for them.  I’ve started and discarded at least a dozen posts on child loss and suicide.

So when a mom who lost a child to suicide shared this in one of our closed groups, I messaged her and asked permission to publish her comment here. 

Sheri Yancy Brown graciously agreed.  

So here are HER words, precisely as she shared them:  

“The Lord showed me this on Friday [Good Friday, 2019].  I hope it is a comfort to those of you who have lost a child to suicide.

“Two of the hardest things to come to terms with regarding Tyrel’s suicide for me (a Christian) have been:

  1. I don’t know why he did it and
  2. The religious stigma from other Christians regarding his salvation.

“There’s a very common scripture in the book of Isaiah that has been on my mind this morning because it is Good Friday.  It was written long before Christ died on the cross.

“The scripture is:

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭53:5‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“The main questions I ask myself after reading numerous books, attending many support groups, and meeting many people with this type of loss are:

“Was Tyrel’s suicide:

  1. An intentional sin?
  2. a premeditated personal choice?
  3. an impulsive act due to short term mental anguish?
  4. an act due to long term chemically based mental illness?

“Look how this scripture literally covers all four situations!

  1.  To transgress is to choose to intentionally disobey (Is suicide an intentional sin?)
  2. Iniquity refers to a premeditated choice (Is suicide a premeditated personal choice?)
  3. Chastisement of our peace means He took the punishment so that we may have peace  (Is suicide an impulsive act due to short term mental anguish?)
  4. With his stripes we are healed (Is suicide the result of some long term chemically based mental illness)

“According to this scripture, the whys don’t really matter and Tyrel’s salvation is not in question.  As a believer for all of his short life, he is covered no matter which way you look at it.  Tyrel’s unimaginable actions are exactly why Jesus went to the cross.

“The Bible says so.”

coffee and journal morning

Repost: He Will Hold Me Fast

I need to remind myself of this every few days.

I’ve mentioned it before.

I’ve encouraged others not to resist.

But I want to be absolutely clear:  Losing my son made me doubt EVERYTHING.

Read the rest here:  He Will Hold Me Fast

How Can I Trust My Child Is With Jesus?

There are many burdens bereaved parents bear in addition to the heaviness of living with child loss.

Some had unfinished business,

some were estranged,

some had harsh words

or no words at all before their child left them.

And some are oh, so afraid that the child that made a sincere profession of faith in Christ might not be in heaven because he or she was living outside the will of God when they died.

I can’t offer words to undo or soothe some of the other burdens, but I can offer hope from the Word of God to assure any parent afraid for the eternal salvation of their child that he or she is safely Home.

If your child made a genuine profession of faith in Christ, then no single impulsive decision or even a series of bad choices, can undo what God has done for him or her through the blood of Jesus.

If Satan is not strong enough to snatch us from God’s hand, our feeble human choices are certainly not strong enough!

Jesus declared those whom the Father had given Him could in no way be snatched from His hand:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

30 I and my Father are one.

John 10:28-30 KJV

The circumstances of a child’s death do not negate his or her profession of faith in the blood of Christ Jesus!

42 Then he [the repentent thief on the cross] said, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom.”

43 He said, “Don’t worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise.”

Luke 22: 42-43 MSG

I realize that various denominational traditions teach different things, but I am utterly convinced that it is God Himself Who calls, Who saves, Who keeps and Who is keeping at this moment our precious children who put their trust in Jesus:

For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God;

Ephesians 2:8 AMP

I also rest satisfied that He Who began a good work in our children is faithful to complete it. If salvation depended on our good works, or our own faithfulness-ALL of us would be lost.

began a good work

We are hid in Christ. His righteousness (and HIS alone) is our righteousness.

For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:3 KJV

Our sins are flung as far as the east is from the west. They are hid behind God’s back-unviewable (have you ever tried to see something on the small of your back-without a mirror?):

AS-far-as-the-east-is-1024x651

Dominic was not at the height of his Bible-toting, church-going, praise-song-singing days when he left us.  He was an adult student in law school, living in his own apartment and making his own choices.  He made some I didn’t like.  But that doesn’t change the FACT that he belonged (and STILL belongs)  to Jesus.

Your child who trusted Jesus is safe, dear parent.

He is in his really, truly Home.

One day there will be great joy when we are reunited. Until then, we rely on the promises of God in Christ to see us through.

wipe every tear 2

I pray for every parent reading that God overwhelms your hurting heart with His love, grace and mercy and assures you of His faithfulness.

And may He give you strength for each new day.

❤ Melanie

The Lifter of My Head

When I taught a young women’s Sunday School class, we were exploring the third Psalm.

David wrote this Psalm when fleeing from his son, Absalom.  He not only feared for his life, but his heart was broken by the shattered family relationships that led to this power struggle.

It wasn’t the first time he had to rely on God to intervene.

Psalm 3

A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.

Jehovah, how many are they that trouble me, many they that rise up against me!

Many say of my soul, There is no salvation for him in God. Selah.

But thou, Jehovah, art a shield about me; my glory, and the lifter up of my head.

With my voice will I call to Jehovah, and he will answer me from the hill of his holiness. Selah.

I laid me down and slept; I awaked, for Jehovah sustaineth me.

I will not fear for myriads of the people that have set themselves against me round about.

Arise, Jehovah; save me, my God! For thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheekbone, thou hast broken the teeth of the wicked.

Salvation is of Jehovah; thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

DARBY translation

I will do almost anything to make a lesson come alive.

So I lay down on the carpet, forehead to the floor, arms outstretched and asked, “Can I defend myself in any way in this position?”

Of course the answer was a resounding, “NO!” because it was obvious that I could not.

I was at the mercy of whoever may intend me harm.  I could neither see them nor stop them.  It was a position of absolute vulnerability-the way prisoners knelt for execution in ancient times.

It was the position Esther assumed when she embraced very real danger to gain the opportunity to plead for the safety of her people.

And it reflects the inner truth that I am not in control and utterly reliant on the God Who made me to save me.

save-me-o-god-hand-christian-wallpaper-hd_1366x768

A friend posted this on her timeline and I really like it.

lift-up-your-head-it-aint-overI would change only a single thing: Instead of “lift your head” I would say, “let God lift your head”.

Because I am unable to lift it myself.

I don’t have the strength, I don’t have the power, I don’t have the energy to raise my head above my current circumstances.  I am bent under the weight of sorrow and grief.  If left to myself, I will stay here and simply wait for the end to come-it sometimes sounds easier and more inviting.

But the truth is, it AIN’T over yet.

I don’t get to make that choice.  God does.  And as long as He keeps me here I want to rely on Him to lift my head and make my life a living testimony to His power, grace, mercy and love.

There IS salvation from God-not only eternal salvation but also salvation from the pit of despair and despondency that threatens to swallow my soul.  

When He lifts my head, I can see it.

no pit