Karisa’s son is no longer here with us today and his birthday is on Mother’s Day. At this very moment her heart is aching and I want to honor her during this really difficult time by sharing her story.
She will never stop missing Jonathan. This will be her first Mother’s Day without him. Yet in her pain, she chooses to serve love to all those who are grieving. She knows God is with her and Karisa want’s other to know this too.
She is one of the most encouraging people I have met.
Even though this post is not about me, I feel led to share the things about her story that’s helping me give my anxious heart to God.
I can’t even begin to imagine what this must be like for Karisa. Her son would be turning nineteen this weekend.
How many of us Moms with younger kids have visions of our sons growing up to be young men?
Everyday I pray – let me grow old with my kids and let my kids grow old with me. And everyday I have to release my kids into my Fathers hands, and say Lord not my will, but your will be done in our lives.
The hardest part about being a mom, is realizing that these little people in my life are not meant for me to keep as my own, but to raise them for God to do with them what He wills. God gives and takes all at the same time. This makes me think of Mary the mother of Jesus. Did she know her son would one day be crucified?
My guest writer today helps me realize that God ultimately is in control and our stories don’t stop when tragedy knocks us down. He will help us get back up when we fall to the hard ground and crack.
God has the best plan in hand even if we don’t understand it or like it. I realize that I must daily give my children to God and trust Him. There is no need to worry. God loves them more then I ever could.
It’s an honor to introduce you today to Karisa.
“Do we stop the story here or turn the page? This question motivated me to speak to the church filled with mourners at my eighteen year old son’s funeral. He stopped writing his own, but did my story stop when I put him in the ground? I realized that I wanted to offer hope in the midst of my grief, so I started blogging my journey. Every story is worth writing! I look forward to reading yours.” Karisa
You can find Karisa at
Do we stop the story here or turn the page? My blog title stems from a question that I asked my oldest son Jonathan throughout his growing up when he got stuck on a problem he thought insurmountable. Each time he chose to turn the page and work through his problems. He stopped turning the page July 1st, 2014. As I faced the crowd of mourners, many of them young and struggling, just as much as Jonathan I asked the question again. Do we stop the story here or turn the page?
I chose to turn my page and write through grief, first on Facebook, and now on this blog. Jonathan’s death has made me bolder in sharing hope. Today, as I share my story with you, I looked back through some of my earliest posts. I haven’t reviewed my original Turn the Page posts on Facebook in months. Like a reader coming to to the blog for the first time, I saw I woman deeply wounded by the loss of her son to suicide. Her heart poured out before God and her readers, her bones broken, and yet she clung to the truth of scripture, her personal experience with her Savior, and fellowshiping with believers even when she didn’t feel like. I see her offering hope as a witness to God’s love in the midst of her deepest sorrow.
Yesterday was a lots of tears day. My son’s birthday is on Mother’s Day and my heartache has deepened as the day approaches. I know that grief will be a lifetime experience because I will never stop missing Jonathan. Many of us have lost loved ones, death and grief come in so many forms. So how do any of us not get sucked into despair as we grieve?
Grief literally means “injustice” or “calamity”. I see a scale and the weight of my son’s death is on one side and I cannot balance that scale with understanding, regret, anger, or blame. But God can remedy the injustice of my son’s death. Isaiah 61:1-4 are my life verses; the message in these verses the mission God has been preparing me for from the first moment I met him and his plan did not change when my son died. I am shaken with grief. But, I know that God will replace my ashes with beauty, turns my mourning into gladness and DESPAIR into praise.
Praise is the remedy to despair and it retrains my focus on what is possible, rather than what is impossible. When Isaiah spoke these words to Israel they were in despair because they had made a mess of things and had been taken captive. Now newly freed they are disoriented and mourning all they have lost. They needed hope that their circumstances would change.
The Prophet not only gives them hope, but hints at the Messiah to come. Jesus was going to give us the ultimate freedom! I can keep going because God has given me the gift of his love. Nothing is impossible for him!
I have confidence that God will bring life out of my son’s death. I praise you Lord! I have confidence that he’s not through with me yet. I praise you Lord! I have confidence that His love and comfort will encourage and equip me in my darkest hours. I praise you Lord!
Despair is no match for God.
To share your story please visit Karisa at Stories of Hope Page ,http://turningthepageonsuicide.org/about/your-suicide-story-sharing-hope-in-the-midst-of-loss/
Karisa also leaves us with the following links:
Resource for those effected by suicide. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Cincinnati Out of the Darkness Walk Turning the Page on Suicide Team Site (these walks are sponsored by AFSP, you can donate to my team, create your own, or find one to join in your area)