Juli Wilson, widow of the late Harvest Christian Church Associate Pastor Jarrid Wilson, who took his life just over two weeks ago, urged the church to “get serious about mental health” at his memorial service on Tuesday.
At the service, Wilson vowed to continue advocating for suicide prevention through the Anthem of Hope organization they launched together in 2016.
“It’s time for the church to get serious about mental health,” Wilson said to the crowd of family, friends and well-wishers who gathered at the Greg Laurie-led megachurch in Riverside, California, to celebrate her late husband’s life.
“In honor of Jarrid, I’m going to ask all of you guys to join me in making our church home, our lives, everywhere we go, a little bit safer for people. Let them know it’s OK for them to tell you what they’re going through. Tell them what you’re going through first. It’s the gift of going second. Tell them your mess and let them pour theirs on you after. And I’m telling you, we will see a change not only in our church [but] in the city, in our state, and beyond. And I can’t wait to see how God’s gonna shake the Earth with this,” she said.
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I am blown away by the goodness of God that just flooded through today during Jarrid’s memorial service. For once, I have no words…so I’ll just leave it there for now. Thank you to everyone that came out to honor his life. We are so very grateful for each and every one of you. And to the people pictured here, thank you for loving us like you do. Y’all mean the world to me. Oh, and shoutout to @vitalymanzuk for always capturing everything so beautifully. ♥️
Wilson, who shared a quirky behind the scenes look into the life she had with her “beautiful husband,” said they got married three months after meeting in person and that Jarrid had shared his mental health struggles with her on their first date.
“When Jarrid and I met it was about seven years ago, and I had sworn off all dating of any kind because I decided I was gonna pursue everything God had for me and there was no stopping it. It was just me against the world and I got a little DM in my Facebook inbox. And I was just thinking, ‘who is this pastor guy and why does he think that he can talk to me?’ And so I cut it off really quickly and said, thanks but no thanks; we’re not gonna talk today,” she said.
But Jarrid never gave up and eventually convinced her to meet in Memphis where he had a speaking engagement and convinced her to pick him up at the airport even though they had never previously met in person.
“Our first time meeting ever was at the airport and he comes up in true Jarrid fashion overly excited and gives me a huge hug and says, ‘Gosh, I’m so glad to see you today. I’ve been missing you. Miss talking to you,’ which was very minimal talking at that point, so I don’t know how that came about,” she said.
Wilson then explained how they quickly bonded over their mutual love for Coke and enjoyed the drink together at a local Chick-fil-A.
“He was so excited to meet and the first thing he said, this is when he finally got me, he got me right in this moment, he said, ‘Before we do anything else, can we please go get a Coke before we adventure around town?’ That was words to my heart. I needed a diet coke so bad. So he came up and we went to a Chick-fil-A and we just sat and we talked and I quickly realized that this was someone I wanted to have in my life for the long run,” she said.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair