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When Mountains Crumble

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
August 27, 2022 1:00 am

When Mountains Crumble

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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August 27, 2022 1:00 am

How do you make sense of what feels senseless? On our final summer best-of Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, Danita Jenae details the tragic loss of her husband, Dan. Grief left her with empty arms and a lot of questions. How do you rebuild your life after you lose someone you love? Hear the hope of Danita’s story today on Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Featured Resource: When Mountains Crumble: Rebuilding Your Life After Losing Someone You Love

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Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The New York Times' Best Seller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Today, grief will leave you with empty arms and a heart full of questions. If you need permission to simply feel what you feel, you'll appreciate the perspective of today's guest. Her name is Danita Janae.

She joined us earlier this year. This is our final best of broadcast of Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. Danita wrote the book When Mountains Crumble, Rebuilding Life After Losing Someone You Love. And Gary, I know your heart is with military families who sacrifice so much. I know with your experience as a pastor, you've walked with a lot of grieving people who have experienced deep loss. Well, Chris, I think every pastor has walked that journey with a number of people through the years, and I certainly have. But you know, there's a real difference between a pastor walking with others through that journey and the pastor experiencing death in his own family. I think all of us want to empathize and we will learn some things today along those lines as well. How do we walk with people who are suffering?

But until you go through it, you don't really understand the depth of the pain and all of that. So I'm really looking forward to our conversation today. I am too. Let me introduce our guest. Danita Janae is a young mom and recent military widow learning to carry both joy and sorrow in the same breath. As an author, speaker, poet and artist, she walks alongside the brokenhearted, offering practical and creative ways to lead a spirit-led life. That's what we're going to hear about today.

You'll find a free brief guide to do that at whenmountainscrumble.com, or you can find more information at fivelovelanguages.com. Well, Danita, welcome to Building Relationships. Thank you, Dr. Gary. I'm honored to be here with you.

Actually, I have to tell you, when I told my mom that this interview was booked, I was a little nervous and she was like, Oh, honey, you'll be fine. He helped raise you. She's so right. The things that you've taught our family informed our marriage too. So thanks for all you do. Thank you.

We are really glad to have you today. My guess is that this is a book and a ministry that you didn't really ask for or even dream about, but you are trying to embrace it. Is that fair? Is that a fair assessment?

1000% yes. In fourth grade, I knew I was called to write. I never expected this would be my first book. But when I became a Christian, I mean, I was actually in the mountains of Colorado in the same range that I would years later lose my husband. And that was the day I surrendered it all. And I really just said, God, I trust you no matter what.

And I have, by His grace, been able to continue to say that and believe that. Well, tell us a little bit about your husband, Dan. How did you meet and fall in love? Give us the story. Thank you for asking about Dan and for saying his name too, because honestly, that's one of the best ways you can honor someone who has lost a loved one is just like, say their name and ask about them.

So thank you for asking. He was honestly more like Jesus than anyone I have ever met. He was jovial and adventurous and just really stable. He just really was a rock of our family. When I met him, I had actually been asking my small group to pray for me, a swing dancing partner. And I said, he doesn't have to be the one.

I just really need to go dancing and I need a partner. And so they were praying for me. And then when I met Dan, it was through a mutual friend. It was his first day in town.

He had just moved here to Colorado. And yeah, he asked me a few questions. We kind of hit it off a little and then he found out that I swing dance. And so he said, oh, will you teach me? And the girl in front of me that was walking, we were all walking together.

She turned around and slapped her side. She goes, we've been praying for her, a swing dance partner. And I like turned as pink as my little cashmere pink sweater. And yeah, it was a good day the day I met Dan. But that's truly, I mean, that's swing dancing. That's how we fell in love. That's how I learned to follow and he learned to lead. And it was just a really beautiful picture of our marriage too. Now, how long was it from the time you met until the time you got married?

It felt like a couple days, but we kind of knew right off the bat. Actually, on our very first date, there was a couple that we ended up meeting with and sitting with and they said, oh, you're such a sweet couple. How long have you been married? And that same mutual friend was there on our first date.

She goes, this is their first date, dad. So I think it was about a little over a year when we got married. Yeah. And how long were you married before Dan, this city was deceased?

Yeah, we were married for 11 years. Yeah. Now, I understand you made a lot of moves during that time.

What precipitated that? Yes. So as a military family, we go where the Air Force sent us. And he had actually been in the military for nine years before we met and got married. So he had had a lot of moves under his belt before I joined the club here. But we were in a lot of different states and also just had crazy situations everywhere we went.

So both of our first big moves, we'd had a newborn both times and postpartum depression and we're trying to make friends in that situation. And just a lot of change. He traveled a lot. He traveled internationally. He was gone a lot. And so we just always just learned that, I guess early in my marriage, I learned that truly at the end of the day, the Lord is still my husband and Dan's covering of prayer still covered me even when he wasn't physically in the home.

And learning that early really saved me now. Yeah, I think every military couple can identify with that, you know, the long times of deployment and that sort of thing. Now, you are just really getting ready to move again is my understanding. Just before that move, before you found the house, Dan passed away.

Tell us about that. We met in Colorado, moved around. And then our very last move was actually back to Colorado. So we had been here for six weeks.

We were in a temporary apartment and house hunting. And that's when we lost him when he was on a hike in the mountains. He had done a lot of 14ers, over 30 14ers. There's 50.

So he was over halfway of climbing them all. But that's when we lost him was shortly after we moved to town. So no church home yet. No, you know, school community around us. We were used to really having solid communities and digging in quickly and deeply with those around us. But we didn't have any of that network yet in place when we lost him.

So his death came while he was hiking. Is that it? Yes. And there's a lot of unknowns around it. So I've just had to learn to trust God with unanswered questions.

Yeah. Many times we don't understand not only what happens, but how it happened. And certainly not why it happened. I remember sitting around the table in Virginia with a group of military wives and just said, tell me what it's like. And one of the wives said this, she said, well, Dr. Chapman, she said, every time I hear a door slam, a car door slam outside of my apartment, I listen carefully to see if there's a second car door that slams. Because I know that if there's been a death, you know, there'll be two people coming to my door. And I thought, wow, those of us who are civilians just have no concept of that reality that when people are deployed, for example, you don't know what's going on or what happens. And of course, certainly you wouldn't be expecting this to happen when he's not deployed, he's home and just hiking a mountain. So we have to live with a lot of unknowns, right?

Yes. I think the military community, they do a lot of pre-grieving, if that makes sense. You're faced with the reality of the breath of life and how short that is.

Very quickly, it just seems to be in the forefront. However, when my husband did deploy, it was a long deployment and it was so interesting because people would ask, you know, well, where is he? Is he safe? And I was kind of like, why are you asking me that? I'm trying to hold it together.

I have a small child, postpartum depression. Like, why are you asking me that? And it was so cool because God just gave me this response. Like, where is he? Is he safe? I would say, you know, he is just as safe where he is across the world as he would be here driving home from work. And it's just that understanding that he is in the palm of God's hands no matter where he is or what he's doing. So that actually gave me a lot of comfort when I was home with my husband deployed, not knowing if he would come home because I just knew, like, God has him no matter what. Yeah.

That's the plus for the Christian who has a walk with God. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. Our guest today is author Danita Janae and our featured resource today is her moving book, When Mountains Crumble, Rebuilding Life After Losing Someone You Love.

You can find out more at our website, Five Love Languages dot com. I have to ask you about the title, Danita, and where that comes from. I read a book a long time ago, it was in the 80s, by Dr. C. Everett Koop. He wrote this, he and his wife wrote it about their son who died in a mountain climbing accident where the rock face sheared off and the title of that was Sometimes Mountains Move. Tell us about the title that you came up with. First, that's amazing. I hadn't heard of that book yet, so I will have to find that. For my book, When Mountains Crumble, it comes from two places.

Part of it is literally just my story. He died in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, which means the blood of Christ Mountains. Like I mentioned before, he was the rock of our family. Though, of course, Jesus is our rock. Dan was our earthly rock. We all depended on him. He was a picture of the cornerstone that we all leaned on. When he died, everything we knew to be stable crumbled and fell apart. I just knew that that was imagery that people could connect with. No matter how they lost their loved one, that experience of, okay, everything I just knew to be stable yesterday is now gone today.

That's the first part of it. The second part comes from Isaiah 54, verse 10, which says, The mountains might shake, the hills might be removed, but my faithful love for you will never be shaken. My covenant that promises peace to you will never be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you. That verse is just this picture that the mountains may shake, they may crumble, but God's love will never crumble.

It is our constant and stable. Now, how many children did you have when Dan died? We have two girls, two little girls. What are their ages now?

My youngest is seven and my oldest just yesterday turned 12. Here you were. You were in a new setting. Your family was not there, your extended family. You hadn't had time to make friends. You didn't yet have a church home. It was just you and the children. How did you get through that? That's a great question.

Part of me wants to tell you I have no idea. The other part of me wants to tell you that God's grace held us in ways that I cannot even, there's no words to explain. We had people praying for us all over the nation that couldn't be here to physically step in the gap for us, but they really were praying.

That's proof to me that prayer really does change things. We lost him, and then it was shortly after that. Let me say that trying to make friends when you're like, hi, we're new in town. My husband just died. I really need a friend.

Can we be friends? That's hard. It's a very rare person that will step into that and say, yeah, I'll walk alongside you. But then the pandemic hit, and so we were already isolated.

We were already not able to stock our own toilet paper because I didn't have the brains to remember to get it from the store. The world caved in, and in a way, it was a grace too because I learned that Jesus, sometimes he is your only friend, and he was that for me. So out of the comfort that he gave to me through the Holy Spirit during that time of just me and him, that's really where, out of that comfort, he called me to pass that to others through this book. So he knew what he was doing, didn't feel like it, but he did. Well, you know, I've found, Danita, through the years that sometimes when people go through an unexpected death like this, and at the age Dan was, they kind of turn away from God. You know, they say, God let me down.

If he loved me, he wouldn't let this happen. Did you struggle with any of those feelings? Oh, that's so good. I'm sure I did. I can't even tell you because so much of it feels like a blur, right?

Like so much of it feels like a fog. But I do know that I knew enough about God to know that his love for me didn't change according to my circumstance. We had faced my own death just years before we lost Dan, because we didn't know if I was going to make it. I had a bunch of chronic illnesses and autoimmune issues, and it was to the point where I was writing down my wishes. I was really facing my own mortality, and Dan and I learned to pray through that. We learned to fast and pray before God and cry out to him. And we walked through that trial together, which really strengthened me for this one because I just knew that I had come to this place where, God, you are faithful even if I am out of faith. If I am rock bottom, I have no faith left. I still saw that he was faithful. So that carried me. Yeah, yeah. For those who do question God after the loss of a loved one, is it okay to do that?

And are there biblical examples of that? Oh yeah. I mean, when I didn't know if I was going to make it, that's when I probably questioned God even more because it was like, God, like why? And of course when Dan died, it was also why? Why, why, why?

This is not okay. We were not created for death, right? And so, one of my favorite people ever is Jesus, and he is our example. He asked why right there on the cross. My God, my God, why did you forsake me? He was basically saying the same prayer that I've prayed so many times in the last few decade probably of my life, like, God, where are you? Why are you ditching me? Why are you leaving me?

Abandon me right now. And the fact that Jesus gives us that example, he didn't have to even say that out loud, right? Like he said that for our benefit so that we would know even Jesus himself, the son of God is saying why. And he gave us permission right there in that moment.

Right before he saved us, he gave us permission to also say, God, like I don't understand. Well, you know, losing a friend or loved one brings a lot of sudden changes. You alluded to this earlier, but what ways did you experience grief changing you, maybe your personality or your identity?

How did that affect you? I was probably very quiet spoken and very meek in many ways before losing my husband. And though I still am in some regards, I've honestly had to just become a little more feisty.

Like I've gotten a little scrappy. You have to learn to advocate for your family, for kids, for your needs in a very new way. This is the identity piece. Suddenly now I'm the head of the household in earthly means. And so I went from being the one that got to follow to now having to make all the shots, make all the decisions. But the identity piece was huge, like to go from military to civilian, to go from dependent to primary, happily married to widow. And that was a very quick blow, but I've learned that widow is truly, it's a temporary identity. You know, being a military family, it's a temporary identity. You won't be a military family forever. At some point someone will retire, but child of God is forever. And so that's just been a huge thing to have to honor the loss of my earthly identities, but to also say, you know what, at the end of the day, I'm still a citizen of heaven and I am still a daughter of God.

Yeah. Can I ask if, do you remember the first time after Dan died, the first time that you actually were able to laugh again, because humor is part of the, of the writing of your book. And I can tell it's part of your personality, but when you have, you know, the mountain crumbles and everything is, it has changed there. And the air gets sucked out of feel like it gets taken out of the whole world. And you're just kind of walking on shifting sand. You know, I'm using all the metaphors here, but was there a point where you remember laughing and did you feel guilty for laughing at the talk about that process?

Okay. So I can't tell you that I remember the first time that I laughed, but I can tell you that I remember thinking about the process. Like it surprised me like, Oh, we're still laughing. Having very young children, I think would really helped. Right? Like I had a four year old and a nine year old at the time. And so laughter with children, it still remains.

Right. And I just remember thinking, wow, we still laugh like, and the guilt part, I think that's so cool that you brought that up because for me, that was banana muffins. My husband was so amazing and he would cook and do all the things. And he baked these amazing banana nut muffins and he had some in the freezer cause he would make like double batches so that we could freeze some and have them for easy breakfasts.

He was amazing. And so we would you know, when, after he passed, I was looking in the freezer, you know, trying to figure out breakfast for my family a few weeks later. And I was like, these will be the last muffins that we ever have of his.

Right. And I knew that I could let those muffins sit in that freezer, get freezer burn, and we could end up throwing them away or we could actually partake in the things that he left for us to enjoy. And laughter was one of those things.

Dan made us laugh. He knew how, and I knew that he wanted us to keep living life even if he couldn't be there right by us. And so for me, those banana muffins was like a huge moment of, you know what, we are going to continue to enjoy life as much as we are able, even if he's not right here by us. So for me, that's a picture of the laughter too was just a great question because so many people struggle with guilt.

Like, you know, am I allowed to still be even laughing or happy or yeah. And you know that he would want you to, you know, and the other thing I think I would use tell that story is how do you find a guy who could swing dance and make banana nut muffins? He had everything, didn't he? I mean, you know, he did. He was, he was a rock star and his boss was like, I know that you guys don't know a lot about what your spouses do, but they are truly keeping the world safe. So like, yes, he really was a rock star.

Like, on all fronts, he really was. Yeah. Well, I have to admit, Danita, I heard you tell that story. Tears came to my eyes.

I can just see those banana muffins in the freezer. Wow. Wow. As you look back on all of this, and I know you're still in the process, you know, processing life, but was there one thing or anything stand out that you feel like you were the most unprepared for? Oh, yes. It was the physical pain.

I didn't realize. I mean, I remember the day after the funeral, I felt like I had whiplash. I've been in a car accident before, so I had experienced whiplash, but this was, this was like a truck hit me literally. And the way that grief would just kind of be this heat, like shooting across my chest or my shoulders or my hips, it would kind of, you know, show up in different places in my body, but it was that physical, like, oh, like you physically feel the death of your loved one in a way that I was not prepared for. Thanks for joining us today for Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Our guest is Danita Janay, and we're talking about her book, When Mountains Crumble, Rebuilding Life After Losing Someone You Love. You can find out more at FiveLoveLanguages.com.

That's FiveLoveLanguages.com. Danita, before we took our break, you were talking about the physical pain that you felt, you know, even in your body after you, after the funeral, you know, with Dan. And so in the book, you do talk about taking care of yourself, you know, being gracious to yourself, being kind to yourself when you're grieving. So what are some practical ways that our listeners who are going through this can take care of themselves? So for me, I needed to learn to create more margin in my schedule, in my expectations of myself.

I was raised in like hippie culture and I went to a hippie college and, you know, you recycle, reduce and reuse and paper plates are not a question, but I had to buy paper plates. So there were just some basic things I had to do to create margin and just give myself an out. And some of that was scheduling, right? Like, thank you so much for actually inviting me to an actual thing where there will be actual people. I am so excited. But hey, just in case like a grief bomb hits me, I may not be able to make it last minute. Just want you to know.

So stuff like that to create margin even ahead of time. Like, yes, I'd like to go to this event, but if I'm in tears on a total mess, I won't be there. But also, you know, this is going to be fun because I also really did learn that my love language changed just like my personality and my identity. My love language has changed. So, you know, my very like bottom of the bucket love language was physical touch.

So I thought, but Dan, you know, he just would just like to dance with me or, you know, hug me. And when that was completely gone, I realized, wow, like all of a sudden that's my number one love language need right now. And my kids don't even really want to hug me today.

They don't want to snuggle. So I had to, you know, I had to recognize first all, okay, this is a new need in my life. And two, how on earth am I going to try to fill that love language? And so I started getting massages, but it's just this, it's just this, even with my kids seeing their love languages change, we had to readjust, okay, how do we take care of each other in this family now? It's different.

Yeah, I can see that. Is grief something that you have to embrace rather than trying to run away from it? Or how would you respond to that? What I love about God is that he doesn't make us do anything. So you can run from grief if you want to. You can embrace grief if you need to. But I do believe that grief is not meant to be forever in his design. It is a season.

I think it's Isaiah, but definitely somewhere in the scriptures, it says that the days of our sorrow will be ended. And so it is healing if we embrace our grief and work through it. But there will be times where it's just like, you know what? I just need to completely check out and go play put put golf or watch a silly show because we can't be in a heavy state of grieving for so long before we just spiral down. So there is this push me, pull me effect that goes on. But I do love that he just says, you know what?

What do you need? Do you need a distraction right now? Or do you need to deal? Should we cry?

Should we talk it out? And he just is so present. And all that's part of the process, right? Sometimes you're crying, you're weeping and just feeling it so deeply. And there are other times you are playing put put or something that you're away from a moment from that intense stage of grief. I wonder if you experience that. You see something, a banana nut muffin, or you see a picture of the airplane, you know, the Air Force or somebody in uniform. Is there something that creeps up on you and is kind of a trigger for the grief for you, Danita? Oh, yes, I call those grief bombs.

They're when you don't expect them. And then all of a sudden you're like, you know, just bam, here's grief right in your face. I remember and definitely, yeah, when I see someone in uniform, I mean, it's like, like your heart. So I think because we've walked through deployment and it was a long deployment of almost seven months, you kind of get this like, oh, about seven month mark after he died, I was just looking out the window like, okay, he should be home now.

He should be home any day now. And I remember catching myself thinking that so many times. So yeah, you kind of, your brain is working on overtime when you're grieving because it's trying to figure out, you know, what just happened. And so those grief bombs, they show up. When you talk about healing from loss, you use the term grief work. What does grief work look like? I think understanding that it really is work. Like you kind of have to make yourself face it sometimes. There's such a grace of the denial.

And I actually think that that's a gift from God when we feel that fog and that denial. But I also, you know, then there's times where we have to really work it out and figure out, okay, you know, what is my life now? You know, even just figuring out, okay, how has my love language changed since I lost my husband? That's grief work because you're trying to put the pieces back together and you're trying to figure out in even just a small practical way, okay, how am I going to keep rebuilding life? How am I going to keep moving on even in the face of such loss? Just understanding that it is work, I think helps because you can take a break from your work, but you're going to have to work.

You're going to have to do it. When you say your love language changed, explain that to us a little bit more because what I heard you saying was that you turned to getting massages because that was physical touch. And so it certainly didn't take the place of Dan, but you did find that to be meaningful. If friends had been there, if you had friends, you know, close at hand geographically and they gave you hugs and that sort of thing, I'm assuming that would have been super, super meaningful to you.

Absolutely. A few months after my husband died, I ended up going to a writer's conference where these people knew me as online friends, but it was the first time I had seen people who knew me before Dan because everyone else I had met in town here, save a couple people, everyone else just knew us as this newly grieving family. They didn't know life before Dan, but this writer's conference, they knew me before and after. And so they hugged me and I remember like, oh, like I needed this hug. And I think I hugged every single person I saw. And it was just like, oh, because we're so made for relationships and community and especially in our grief, some people, they want to isolate, but they also still need to know that they have that safety net of people when they were ready for them. So yeah, it was, I remember probably every single one of my very first hugs in the whole first few months because they were so rare, but so powerful for me. Yeah, yeah. And I think for those of us who are trying to walk with people in grief, it's important for us to know what their love language is.

You know, it may be quality time and for those people, you know, having lunch with them and just sitting down or taking a walk with them would communicate, you know, deeply that you cared about them. So you use another word and that is you talk about grief brain. Tell us about that. When a woman has a baby and she's pregnant, there's this phenomenon called preggo brain or mommy brain.

And it's real. I remember putting my cereal away in the refrigerator and the milk away in the pantry. And it's just like grief brain is so similar, except that instead of your brain working overtime to process that you're creating a new life, now your brain is working overtime trying to process like death and what just happened and who did I just lose and how does that change everything? And so in a way, grief brain feels like this total, I started writing my words backwards, like switching letters around. And this is more from trauma, but I started stuttering. Your whole person is trying to understand this loss and just knowing that that's a thing is so helpful because otherwise you're like, I am going mad out of my mind. And when you know that other people and then there's an actual phrase for it because a fellow widow is the one who told me that phrase.

I was like, Oh good. Like, thank you for telling me about this because I just thought I was losing it completely. Yeah, I could, I could say that. So really you kind of had to come up with some new vocabulary. Grief work, grief bomb, grief brain, all of them very meaningful. Yeah.

Yeah. We, uh, our English language doesn't seem to talk a lot about grief so we got to make it up. We got to make up some ways to talk about it. Thanks for joining us today for Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Danita Janae is our guest and our featured resource is her book, When Mountains Crumble, Rebuilding Life After Losing Someone You Love. You can find that and more simple ways to strengthen relationships at fivelovelanguages.com.

Click resources and then Building Relationships when you go to fivelovelanguages.com. We've talked about some of the process of walking through grief, but you mentioned not only the things that we've talked about, but you talk about art and doodling with art instead of simply verbally processing things. How can art be helpful to a grieving person? So the cool thing about the way we are created is the fight or flight thing, right? So when we're in a state of trauma or when we are in a state of being threatened, kind of what happens is our left and our right brains, they kind of split and all the cortisol fills up down the middle. And so the problem is like just talking it through isn't always going to help those two sides of your brain reconnect.

And so things like riding horses can help like re-lace back together the left and the right brain. But it's the same with art. So kind of it's this, it's coming at healing in a totally different way that it just kind of jogs some things loose in a way that maybe, you know, if you do have grief brain, you probably are having trouble even just reading or writing. So sometimes just doodling allows you to process things in a way that you may not even actually be able to do if you can't even write a sentence.

I can see that. Talk about lament and how can it help those who are suffering from loss? So lament is very powerful. Lament is just getting honest with God about what is really hard. And honestly, this is what opens the door to let the comforter rush in. It's what opens the door to say, God, like, I'm going to open this up and let you know how I'm really doing.

And then he rushes in with his healing. For me, I'm learning that a lot of people have, even in the church, do not know the word lament. And so it's this ancient coping mechanism and suffering that our faith and culture has truly forgotten. And I think that if we can embrace lament and coming before the Lord with honesty, like gut honesty about how hard this is, I think that's what's missing and why a lot of people are turning to much more harmful coping mechanisms because we've forgotten this biblical tool of lament.

It's truly beautiful, but it's hard. Yeah. And many biblical examples of that. You know, there's another word from Jesus when he was talking on the Sermon on the Mount when he said, blessed are those who mourn. But it doesn't always seem like a blessing.

I mean, what do you think Jesus meant when he said that? Yeah. It doesn't always feel like a blessing to mourn. There's a difference between grieving and mourning. So grieving is what you do, you know, when you're trying to figure this out. And it's often what you do in your own.

It's an internal thing. Mourning is a public display that you are grieving inside. So, you know, in Victorian times, they would hang the black wreath on the door. There were all kinds of ways that a household would show that it was mourning and that would trigger to other people in the community. Oh, like we need to take a different way of approaching the family because they're mourning right now.

Today you see it in the bumper stickers that go on the car. Like we remember, you know, our soldier or the bands that people wear around their arms on a mud run or something in honor of someone they've lost. That's a public way of displaying their grief. And when we are bringing that mourning into public, then it becomes communal. And I really believe that that's what invites this blessing of healing because we really were made for the body of Christ. We really were made for community. And so if we don't mourn and we don't let other people know that we're even hurting, we totally miss the opportunity. Sure, we might avoid people saying some dumb things, but we also miss the blessing of the healing that comes in community.

Yeah, that makes sense. When we know someone who is mourning, what are some of the best ways for us to support them? The ministry of presence is more powerful than people understand. Even in the very beginning, showing up at the funeral, just your presence there, it means more than people understand. Some practical ways, put the date of death in your phone.

Even the first year, the second year, even 18 years later, text or call that friend on that day and say, Hey, I just want you to know you're not alone and I love you. Pray but don't just pray. So pray definitely, but also ask God for a practical idea. It's kind of this tension of like, Hey, I'm going to help you, but also can you give me permission? So if God gives you the idea of, I can help them get their oil changed, tell them, Hey, I'd like to get your oil changed the next time it comes up. So it's one thing off your mind and your plate.

When was the last day that it was serviced and I'll just keep that in my phone and I'll just take care of it. But it's a way of saying, can I do this, but not making them come up with all the things that maybe they could give you as options. So it's kind of this tricky, I want to honor you. I'm bringing you a meal, but if you want company, I'll stay.

And if you want me to just drop it off, I will. So it's kind of this like, what do you need in this hour? Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah. Well, I think most of us want to help, you know, but I think your book is going to help many, many couples and individuals to know how to effectively walk with people who are going through grief. Share with us just some last words of encouragement to those of our listeners who are grieving right now as they listen to this.

Yes. Grief is so disorienting and it turns everything upside down. And so I guess one of the last things I would want to leave with them is just this assurance that they are not alone in all of the big emotions and the heavy questions that they're facing. That's why I created that free resource that was mentioned in the very beginning. It's just a grief guide that helps people understand in a quick way that there's no timeline, that it's disorienting.

All these different things kind of puts it on paper in a visual way that's just like, oh, I'm not crazy and I'm not alone. Would you just take a moment and pray for those who are listening now who may be grieving? Oh, I'd be honored to. Father, I thank You that You draw near to the brokenhearted. I thank You that You don't avoid the brokenhearted. You draw near to them. And whether we can feel it or perceive it, we know that You are near today. I pray that You would open their eyes to be able to see, open their ears to be able to hear the ways that You are showing up for them.

It is probably in a new way. It's probably in a way that they need more than they've ever needed, but in a way that is not what they're used to expecting from You. So God, I just pray that You would help them to see how You are stepping in and so present and loving on them so beautifully in Your kind ways. Bring healing and comfort and peace.

In Jesus' name, Amen. Well, Danita, thanks for being with us today, and thanks for investing time and energy to write this book, because I believe it's going to help a lot of people who are walking through grief. Thank you for having me. This has just been an honor.

I appreciate you. Our guest today has been Danita Janae, author of When Mountains Crumble. You can find out more at FiveLoveLanguages.com. The subtitle is Rebuilding Life After Losing Someone You Love.

Just go to FiveLoveLanguages.com. And for the free Grief Guide Danita mentioned, go to WhenMountainsCrumble.com. Next week, our brand-new season begins, and what a first guest here on Building Relationships. Colleen Chow was given a terminal diagnosis. How do you face the darkest days of your life with hope and joy and purpose? Don't miss it in one week. A big thank you to our production team, Steve Wick and Janice Backing. Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is a production of Moody Radio in association with Moody Publishers, a ministry of Moody Bible Institute. Thanks a lot for listening.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-05 06:25:59 / 2023-03-05 06:42:18 / 16

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