Saturday, March 4, 2017

God's Mercies After Suicide - Interview with Jean Williams

I am so excited for today's interview. I have been waiting a couple of weeks to be able to share this with you all, and it's finally time! Allow me to introduce Jean Ann Williams. This is an incredible woman who has a heart to share her struggles and triumphs with hurting people. I interviewed Jean Ann over chat and since then it has been hard to wait to share it. I think ya'll will enjoy meeting her.

Jean Ann, thank you so much for joining us today! I’m so excited to introduce you to our Stitches Thru Time readers. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm 63, and published my first book after 20 years of learning the craft of writing. Just Claire is for the upper middle-grade audience.

I'm also an avid archer and love to big game hunt here in the mountains of Oregon. I got to call in a five by five antlered bull elk on my first bow hunt, but he was too far away to shoot.

I have a husband of 46 years, and we married when I was 16. We have three children, one has passed on. And 13 grandchildren. My husband and I have one acre and we raise goats, chickens, and two dogs.

That’s amazing. I come from a family of 12, so I always like to see large families.
Oh, how amazing, Amber. I come from a family of nine and I'm the eldest and bossiest. Our son has eight and our daughter has five children.

Love it. Your email signature quotes Phil 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” It certainly sounds true for you! I was amazed to see that you write on a large spectrum. Can you tell us about your work?
I originally wrote for children, but my first published article was about my husband's work as a school campus police officer. The title was Don't Call Him Cop.

This was 20 years ago, and I was hooked on publishing. I sold crossword puzzles for Sunday school take home papers. I had a column in the Seventh Day Adventist Listen magazine for teens.

Ha! I love the title. I mean, adult nonfiction to YA fiction, how do you do it?
I'm ADAD???

I don't know. I guess I have always had many projects in the works even when my children were little and I was a stay-at-home mom sewing and babysitting to earn vacation money.

I enjoy having many projects going at once. And, I have had such an interesting life even as a child that I have 11 more books to write. Let's just say I get bored easily.

Quite a talent if you ask me. Now, your upcoming release focuses on one of the most heartbreaking issues I’ve seen. How did you get into this ministry?

My son, Joshua, died by suicide coming up 13 years ago in March. He was 25. I had to write about how God blessed me, held me, kept me safe after Joshua's death. The story is incredible, even to me.

Within the hour after Joshua shot himself, after I held him in my arms and felt the last heartbeat, Satan spoke in my ear: Now where is your God?

Oh wow. You are a brave woman, Jean Ann. Do you find it difficult to open up about what you went through?
No, I do not. What was hard is doing the last edits of the book and reliving the hardest parts. My editor and I did a dozen edits that last few months before the book published.

I found myself sobbing more and more and prayed the book would be done.

I cannot imagine how hard that would be for a mother. What advice do you offer to people who know a mother that is going through this?
Please, do talk about the child to the mother. We want to hear our child's name. If you know this mother well, do something to ease her horror. Even if it's a card in the mail each week to show you care.

I highly recommend my book only because it shows what God can do for us.

That sounds like great advice. When will your book become available?
My book has been out since September and is available at Create Space and Amazon.

In paper back and Kindle.

It sounds like you've poured your whole heart into God's Mercies. I hope readers will check it out. Jean Ann, I want to thank you again for being with us today. Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Yes, for those of you listening, please do not put God in a box. I found out through the first four years after Joshua's death that God is capable and will do anything to ease our sorrows.

I greatly admire you for the strength that you display, your desire to share and help others, and the way you lean on the Everlasting Arms, even in such a horrific circumstance.

Thank you for our chat, Amber. I've enjoyed our time together. God bless you!

Readers, do you have any questions for Jean Ann? I hope you'll introduce yourselves and leave Jean Ann a comment to get your name in the drawing for our weekly giveaway.


  1. Dear Jean Ann, my heart goes out to you and your incredible courage. I pray your book helps teens to deal with suicide thoughts and struggles. I'm glad you didn't listen to satan, for God was there and is there for you and your son. I'm sure he is ministering to your child and has healed him completely on the other side of Heaven. When I was a child I got through the abuse I endured by keeping a suicide stash (Started when I was eight and kept it until I was 48). One day I made a serious attempt and fully believe an angel came to me telling me to breathe in and breathe out for an entire night, disappearing in the morning. It took years to finally relinquish my suicide stash. And I too wondered where was God in the midst of the abuse I received. I believed God to be the great abandoner. As I learned of His love, grew to be able to accept Him as the Father and Mother I needed, I began to see He was there, just not the way I expected Him to be. Sometimes what He does is apparent, other times He's there in what did not happen. You did not let your son's death deter you from ministering to other hurting souls. You took what satan meant for harm and turned it into something good that will help many. I pray God continues to use you through your writings and the encouragement that you share through your stories.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Heather! I'm so glad you got the chance to meet Jean Ann.

    2. Thank you, Amber, for having me. I truly enjoyed our chat!

    3. Ah, Heather, I don't know your story, but we both understand how God loves us so very much. Thank you for reading and replying here at Amber's site.

  2. Thank for sharing of yourself and using your pain for good by writing about the situation. Blessings!

    1. Hi Linda! Thank you for commenting. :)

  3. Jean Ann hugs as you come upon the anniversary of Joshua's death this month. What an amazing testimony of God's great love, joy, peace and grace He has given you since that horrific day in your life. I'm a firm believer that God never fails His children even in the midst of great trauma like you experienced. I've worked with suicidal survivors and it's not easy, but God's amazing love reaching down families are able to move on. That is true no matter the trauma as my research showed when I was doing research for my grad school proposal in counseling. Survivors of sexual abuse can come to accept our Heavenly Father's love when Christian principles are implemented in counseling even when the abuse occurred within a church setting. God's blessings as your continue to minister to others through your writing, Jean Ann.

    Amber, thank you so much for sharing this great interview with STT readers. God bless you!

    1. It was my pleasure, Marilyn! So glad you enjoyed the interview. I know I did!

    2. I'm glad to hear you are a counselor, Marilyn. Thank you for stopping by.

  4. This book is such a wonderful resource for troubled souls and their families. You have allowed others to witness both your pain and the healing and strength that came through your faith. May God bless you!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Connie. I hope we can spread the word about this book and Jean Ann.

    2. It sounds like you may have read God's Mercies after Suicide, Connie. If so, I hope it blessed you!