A Message to the Rick Warren Family Whose Son Died by Suicide

Hope for suicideThis is a heartfelt message to Pastor Rick Warren and his family – a family who has been crushed by the weight of their adult child’s death by suicide. It is what I would want someone to say to me if I was in their place. I have come close, numerous times. My daughter, 26, battles the same issues their son did – mental illness and suicidal thoughts.

Your son’s suicide wasn’t your fault.

You can’t always know everything your child is thinking, read every signal accurately. Sometimes there just aren’t any.

God made no mistake when he chose you and Kay to be Matthew’s parents. But it wasn’t just so that you could help him and pour into his life – it was also because of what God wanted to pour into your lives through Matthew’s struggles. It was just as much, if not more, what your son would give to you.

You loved your son well through his dark battles. The Father is pleased with you.

Thank you for not hiding the truth, for choosing to be real and vulnerable, publicly sharing that his death was a suicide and that he struggled with depression. You’re affirming that it’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay for our families not to be perfect.

Your willingness to be open about Matthew’s battle with mental illness and how he died will open the door for many people who have kept their situations a secret. You will inspire them to also be vulnerable. If you can do it, then they can, too.

Because of your honesty, you will encourage untold thousands to follow your lead – they will now choose to be honest because of you. They will stop hiding. They will seek the support and help they need.

Multitudes worldwide are lifting you up to the Father in prayer, bringing you to the throne of grace, laying you and your family at the feet of Jesus, praying for deep comfort, supernatural strength and moment by moment courage to face each day. Especially those of us, like myself, who have also walked this long, rough road of having a child who struggles with these issues. We know it could be us in your shoes needing the prayers of many.

May the peace of Christ fill you full to overflowing as you trust Him with this grievous, unthinkable tragedy.

Hear your Heavenly Father whisper these words of Scripture to your hearts:

“I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel… (Isaiah 45:3)

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