When I got news that my husband of 28 years and father of our three children had taken his own life, my personal internal house as well, as that of my family, got blown apart.
My trials would have overwhelmed my children, and me too, had I not heard God’s word and believed in my heart in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection. James 1:12 NASB says, “Blessed is a man [or woman] who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” His love is the footing for our faith—mine, yours, and everyone’s—which is exactly where we start to rebuild our internal house after it’s been blown apart from a dear one’s life being taken by suicide.
Driving the stakes of footings for a solid, new foundation only hap- pens when we hold firmly to God’s promises, promises that even come with a guarantee. Don’t we all love a guarantee? That’s what you get: “In Him [Christ], you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also having believed, you are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13–14 NSFL).
In this book, my message for you, dear reader, carries a heart that is mentoring, coaching, and teaching. My purpose is to point you out of the negative spiral that you find yourself in when someone dear has taken their own life and to move you upward and forward to feel the value and treasure you are to God, the Creator of the universe. I’ve had many years to implement and grow in the promises of God’s word, starting when I was young, and I am delighted to share my many expe- riential and sustaining God moments and hugs through what I refer to as modern-day “parables of His Seed.”
To remove the sting of suicide and move beyond to a place of redemption is to believe, without a doubt, that death is defeated because of Christ’s resurrection: “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” The sting of death is sin, [the enemy’s lies], and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55–56 NASB). Christ’s perfect love has produced a salve for relieving wounds that may otherwise linger and hinder your healing. His spirit and character are trustworthy, and His plans and purposes for you are not for calamity. This is very comforting and sheds light to help you dis- cern what’s been tampered with by the enemy of the soul, satan, whose scheming tactics only bring you misery in his attempt to steal your peace, joy, and life. The poison venom of fault finding will be drawn away, bringing you relief as you apply the salve of God’s wisdom where needed. This is how you won’t get tossed in the waves of pain that you must endure to move through and beyond the sting of suicide. Believe it and speak it as a proclamation over all remnants of your painful loss. This is, in part, why I share my story. And I’ll be going into detail about how to remove the sting of suicide to move beyond to redemption, a place we all yearn for.
My aim with this book is for you to understand and come to a place where the eyes of your heart are able to see, hear, and experience Jesus more up close and personal. Because this will bring transformation to your life in spite of your circumstances of extreme pain, grief, bewilder- ment, and despair. This book will guide you to living outside of regrets, so you can feel the WORTH of your SOUL!
Journeying Vessels Caught in a Storm
I’ve clearly heard my assignment from above: “I am to steward the storm that God brought me through.” What resonates with me is that we are all moving vessels in this life, vessels moving on unique journeys. When a sudden storm is upon us, it is in our best interest to seek out safe har- bors. What harbor are you running to that is safe, reliable, and sustainable?Envision a harbor full of big and little vessels that are anchored down, so they won’t be damaged as they’re tossed to and fro’; so they won’t lose the precious cargo they are carrying.
I remember a phrase that captured my attention years ago: “You never know the strength of an anchor until you use it.” That anchor was, and is, God, Himself. Had I not in my younger years intentionally looked for role models that spoke about and reflected the significance of a relationship with our Creator, the author and perfecter of our faith, then the vessel of my soul would have sunk. God knows what we need before we have a clue, and He even puts an appetite in us to start search- ing for it.
When I look back to my time as a child when my father was dying of cancer, God was there with me. In 2008, in the loss of my husband of 28 years to suicide, God was with me. And He still is. My safe harbor is the love of God. The living and active word, referred to as the “seed” in the Bible, was received in my heart when I put my trust in Jesus as my Savior and Lord. That seed of Jesus started germinating as I began investing in my spiritual growth, attending church, reading my Bible, attending studies, and being discipled and mentored every chance I could get.
A simple seed principle to remember, even if you’ve never gardened before, is this: what we plant is what we get. Not to mention there are many weeds that spring up around that seed that have to be dealt with. James 1:21 NSFL explains it so well: “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your soul.”
The seed of Jesus that dwells in me has blessed me and rescued me, carrying me through thick and thin, hills and valleys, storms and tran- quil waters. By choice, I submit my mind, will, and emotions, ASK-ing for God’s wisdom, SEEK-ing His peace and will for my circumstances, and KNOCK-ing on the door of His heart through prayer, all the while expecting a download of comfort and listening for guidance and direc- tion. My spirit is refreshed, and my thoughts are submitted and renewed every single day.
What God loves to do and offers everyone is the eternal seed of LIFE that comes through Jesus who died for all the sins of the world, yours and mine—including the act of suicide.
Prior to the seed breaking the ground, His death on the cross and our surrender to trust Him for all things becomes a fellowship of suffer- ing that transforms our lives. Just like the seed germinates in the soil and begins to break ground in the soil of our soul, our heart begins to beat again and bear fruit for His glory.
The aim of my book may serve as a reminder for some readers, and for others, it may be your first-time hearing about the importance of this necessary foundation in God’s love. It truly is a matter of life and death that secures your destiny and reveals the pathway for you to traverse life, experiencing Heaven fighting for you and your loved ones. Romans 10:9 NIV states, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him [Jesus], from the dead, you will be saved.” This foundation will set the trajectory of your life and propel you forward in receiving redemption and restoration for your life. Jesus came to restore what was lost. You are His beloved, and His heart is on your side. Let Him hold you. Receive His embrace and peace for your soul today and for all eternity.
The faith of a seed is all it takes to activate the greatest gift we can receive—a personal relationship with our Savior, Jesus. If you find that you are needing help in processing the loss you’ve experienced and you are wanting to plant new seeds of faith to reframe your circumstances, I would love to offer you a complimentary coach- ing strategy session. You can reach me through email by clicking the link provided: Hello@sandrajoforlife.com. or become Facebook friends at https://fb.me/seeded2serve.
I hope and pray your heart is ready to step into more of my story to hear where I’ve encountered deep waters and where growth is nev- er-ending for everyone, starting with you. This is where the blessings are and where many moments with God’s presence brought restoration and transformation to my life. May they leave a lasting imprint of His love on your heart. May my words not act as information or behavioral management for you, but bring lasting transformational change to you!
In the next chapter, I share what was happening in my and Scott’s life around the time of his passing, and I discuss the hope line that I grabbed ahold of when tragedy struck me and my family, a hope line that you too can grab ahold of as well.