Friday, December 19, 2014

Finding Triumph After Tragedy - Janie Urbano's Story of Losing Her Son to Suicide

A Mother's Journey Through Grief

In this moving interview, I spoke with Janie Urbano, author of the book "Rise Again." Janie vulnerably shares about the devastating loss of her son Jeff to suicide 23 years ago. 

Getting the phone call that her son had died by suicide was a moment that turned Janie's life "inside out and upside down." In a state of shock and disbelief, Janie had to face the heartbreaking reality that Jeff was gone. 

While the pain was indescribable, Janie shares how God's grace carried her through planning the funeral and the early days of grief. "God's grace was so was just amazing," she recalls. Friends and church members rallied around her.

However, after the funeral, the support dwindled and Janie felt desperately alone in her grief at times. She vulnerably shares how she wished more people had consistently reached out to listen, sit with her, and share memories of Jeff. Advice like "call me if you need anything" felt hollow. 

One night when Janie was feeling extremely depressed, she called the Oral Roberts Prayer Tower, asking to speak to Evelyn Roberts. Miraculously, Evelyn herself answered and ministered to Janie, as she had also lost a son to suicide. It was a divine appointment that lifted a huge burden.

While the holidays and anniversaries were extremely difficult, Janie made the choice to grow closer to God and keep living for Him, as Jeff would have wanted. She clung to God's Word and returned to church, even when she didn't feel like it. 

Now, Janie uses her painful experience to minister to other hurting people. Her book "Rise Again" concludes with 31 days of encouraging thoughts to help people find hope and healing.

If you are struggling, especially with thoughts of suicide, please know that God loves you and has a good plan for your life. Reach out for help. You are not alone and there is hope.

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