For the first time since the tragic passing of her husband, Jarrid Wilson, Juli Wilson will be speaking publicly at an Anthem of Hope event. She is collaborating with Adam Weber, who pastors Embrace Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and who has been a friend of the Wilsons for some time. Juli says her primary goal for the evening is simply to give people hope.
“We might not be able to tell people exactly what’s gonna happen in their lives or what’s next,” Juli told Faithwire, “but we can give them assurance that good is coming because we know that’s what God says is gonna happen. Hope is reassuring them that what God says is true.”
Juli Wilson Speaks at Anthem of Hope Event
The event is called “Depression & Suicide Awareness: A Night with Juli Wilson” and will be “a night of honest and open discussion about depression, suicide, and mental health.”
For those in the Sioux Falls area, the event will take place tonight, November 14th, from 6:30-7:45 PM CST at Embrace Church. For those who cannot be there in person, Juli’s talk will be streamed live on the church’s website, as well as on Facebook and YouTube.
Jarrid Wilson was a pastor and outspoken mental health advocate who died by suicide on September 9th, 2019. His widow, Juli Wilson, has been open about her heartbreak while still boldly maintaining her confidence in God’s faithfulness and her determination to continue her husband’s legacy.
Jarrid and Juli co-founded the ministry, Anthem of Hope, in 2016 with the goal of resourcing and educating the church about mental health challenges. They used to travel and speak together on behalf of the ministry, “equipping Christian leaders to reach the next generation in a relevant and authentic way.”
In an Instagram post a couple weeks ago, Juli reflected on what it was like speaking with Jarrid as she anticipated speaking again on her own. “He was such an electrifying person,” she wrote. “He made it a priority to do the behind the scenes work on his own heart before he ever stepped up on a stage. He was the real deal and it was obvious to everyone he encountered. I miss being around him…He made me better. He made everyone better.”
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Jarrid and I spent a lot of time traveling/speaking together during our marriage, especially during the early years. We always joked that airplanes and rental cars were our first home. I had the honor time after time again to watch him boldly, passionately and energetically share His love for God to people all across the world. My heart swelled up with pride every single time, because it was just so undeniable that God was working through Him. He was such an electrifying person. He made it a priority to do the behind the scenes work on his own heart before he ever stepped up on a stage. He was the real deal and it was obvious to everyone he encountered. I miss being around him. His energy is unmatched. The way he cared for people? Unreal. He made me better. He made everyone better. I’m about to hit the road again soon, but for the 1st time in 7 years it’ll be without this guy by my side. One thing I know for sure: this race is not over. I’m going to complete the task God set before us, the task of telling everyone we meet about Jesus. Weaved into that story is a lot of heartbreak, but without it where would our need for redemption be? That’s where the savior steps in and scoops us up. I’ve heard it said before that anything that makes us more like Jesus is a blessing, not a curse. I’m clinging to that. I want to be more like Him, and we all know his path included the ultimate suffering. The road to glory is paved with brokenness, but I’m not getting off or backing down. My gaze is fixed. Wherever he leads, I will go. Always. Please join me in praying as I step into this next season. I appreciate y’all more than you could ever know!
She continued, “I’m about to hit the road again soon, but for the 1st time in 7 years it’ll be without this guy by my side. One thing I know for sure: this race is not over. I’m going to complete the task God set before us, the task of telling everyone we meet about Jesus.”
In a comment on the event page, Adam wrote, “Blown away by the response so far. Wow… Please be praying for Juli and all the people who will come. I’ve already heard from multiple families who recently have lost a loved one to suicide who are driving over an hour to come. Lord, please bring healing to all of us who gather.”
Giving People an Anthem of Hope
One of the purposes Juli and Adam have for the evening is to remove the stigma in the church around discussing mental health, particularly the shame pastors often feel about admitting they struggle with depression or anxiety. Juli wants to see churches love others in the same way the church has loved her since Jarrid’s passing, and she emphasized the importance of not feeling the need to provide an immediate answer to someone’s problems.
“For so long, it was so easy to just say, ‘Well, have you seen a counselor?’” she said. “I still encourage that…But at the end of the day, I’m learning now to pause and listen, too, because as much as people need a counselor, they need a friend—they need a brother and sister in Christ, and they need someone to listen without the intent of giving advice. Until I’d gone through this with Jarrid, I didn’t understand the need that people had just to be heard.”
Whether or not you are planning to watch the event live, Juli and Adam have asked that people would be praying for those who attend and anyone who has been touched by the pain of mental health struggles. Juli also asked for prayer for the Anthem of Hope team, as well as for her sons, Finch and Denham.
At the end of her Instagram post, she said, “The road to glory is paved with brokenness, but I’m not getting off or backing down. My gaze is fixed. Wherever he leads, I will go. Always. Please join me in praying as I step into this next season. I appreciate y’all more than you could ever know!”