The End of the Rope

The End of the Rope

When my husband and I lost our son, Joshua, to suicide, we searched scriptures to answer the questions created by Joshua’s death.

Attending church services was no longer enough to sustain us each week. We had come to the end of our rope. This was where our faith in Jesus, such as it was at the time, could carry us or we would get in the way, sink, and die spiritually. Maybe even physically.

This loss of our son has been the most painful, and yet the most spiritual joyous lesson we’ve ever learned. I know, this sounds warped, but there is more truth in this than I can express. And, God reminded us through His Word, in life’s sorrows, He is here with us.

Why would God allow such horrific actions like the death of a child? What if the answer was: God wants us to come to the end of our rope in order for us to learn we cannot trust our own capabilities in order to walk in Jesus’ footsteps?

As a creation example, take the snowflake. As snow falls from the clouds, they travel along air currents down and up. This exposes them to different humidity’s and temperatures. Now each snowflake grows, which is transparent ice crystals formed around dust or other tiny particles in the atmosphere. These crystals cling together and form snowflakes.

God takes ugly dust and stuff in the air and creates the beautiful snowflake. He takes us in our sin nature and fashions us over time into a beautiful spirit. But, we have to allow Him to mold us in the different humidity’s and temperatures of life.

Think about what happened to Peter when he denied Jesus. Did Jesus do for my husband and I what He did for Peter? “I have prayed for you [Peter], that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:32 ESV)

Because Jesus is the mediator between us and God, the answer is yes! And since Jesus prayed for Peter before Peter denied Jesus, then Jesus knew ahead of time Joshua would die by suicide and He prayed for my husband and I.

I don’t believe I’ll ever feel cozy when I get to the end of my rope. For sure, though, I don’t have to feel terror or believe for one second it is evidence God has abandoned me.

My goal is to act in whatever way I need to trust in God’s love, which then leads me to snub the rantings of my fretfulness.

Lord . . . , I long to be perfectly whole; I want Thee forever to live in my soul; break down ev’ry idol, cast out ev’ry foe: now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. ~by James Nicholson (from the Companions‘ Sunday school take-home paper Part 3, December 18, 2016, Vol. 44, No. 4)

Jean Ann Williams About Jean Ann Williams

Jean Ann Williams lives in Southern Oregon with her husband Jim. Although one of their children has passed on to the Great Beyond, their two remaining children have blessed them with thirteen grandchildren, their Baker’s Dozen. Jean Ann keeps up two blogs: the first is about the writing life Jean Ann Williams: Author, and Love Truth where she writes of how God continues to encourage and bless her after her son’s suicide in 2004.


  1. Jean, your post touched my heart. I admire your and your husband’s holding onto God even when you could not see the way. I am thankful, that with God’s help, you’ve embraced your pain and loss and are still able to see God in your life. A mega thing!

  2. Hi Jude. I’m glad my story touched you. Isn’t our God the very best?

  3. Ahh, Cherie, you are such an encourager. God bless you!

  4. Thanks for sharing the encouraging post for so many people. You’ve helped a lady in my church. She plans on getting another of your books to help her Griefshare students especially that struggle with family suicide. Her computer is broken, so she’ll get back with it soon.

  5. Thank you, also, Janet, for your comment. I did write her and wondered if she received my email, but you’ve cleared up the mystery. :))

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