It took a new spin on my depression in my eyes that my depression is actually a way that I need my doctor, Jesus, and it's become something that's gone from feeling shameful to actually feeling very powerful as a catalyst in my life for my spiritual growth. Welcome to Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Author and counselor, Janita Pace will talk about her personal journey to find that kind of healing in her life. Our featured resource is Janita's book.
It's titled The Healing Names of Jesus. It's our featured resource at a new site, ding, ding, ding, buildingrelationships.us. We've come up with this new site to link you to resources that we feature here each week on the program as well as let you see the quiz that you can take to discover your love language or someone else's. We have a way for you to download the podcast each week, get the Love Nudge app and a whole lot more. If you want to see what we have for you, just go to buildingrelationships.us. Now you can still use fivelovelanguages.com, but we thought this might make it a little bit easier to navigate all things Building Relationships. Again, go to the website, the new one, buildingrelationships.us. Now before we start the program today, I want to tell you a little note about the conversation content that is straight ahead.
Part of Janita Pace's story contains a suicide attempt. So I want to prepare you for that part of the conversation that is coming up. And Gary, I know that through the years you have dealt with a lot of couples and individuals who have walked this same road of depression and anxiety. What's been your experience from a pastor's perspective? Chris, I think there are far more people that struggle with these issues than most people recognize. You know, we don't typically walk around and just share where we are in our emotional, mental, spiritual journey with people if we're struggling in these areas. But I think the reality is that many people sitting in our churches Sunday by Sunday are struggling with these areas. And I think the more we can learn both as leaders and also laypeople about this issue, it's going to help us learn how to help others. So I'm excited about our conversation today on this topic.
Yeah, I am too. And maybe as you listen today, you're hiding something. You are not fully telling others what's going on inside the storm that you're feeling. Would you listen to Janita's story and ask God for the courage to share your heart with somebody you can trust? It may feel like you're all alone and that nobody understands.
That is understandable. But what good thing might happen if you open your heart to someone else who will listen? Our guest is Janita Pace. She began her pursuit in 2001 to help people who battled depression after overcoming her own battle. And she now runs a private practice in Minnesota. She's a pastor's wife, a licensed professional counselor in Minnesota, and a member of the National Board of Certified Counselors. She's an adjunct professor at Northwestern and holds a BA in biblical studies from Columbia International University and an MAED in school counseling from Western Carolina University. Janita and her husband Tim have two sons, and she's joining us today from Minnesota. Our featured resource is her book, The Healing Names of Jesus, Find Freedom from Depression and Anxiety. You can find out more again at our new website, buildingrelationships.us. It's buildingrelationships.us. Well, Janita, welcome to Building Relationships.
Oh, thank you for having me, Gary. Let's go back 20 years or so when you began this journey. What kind of symptoms did you experience? For me, the symptoms really came out of nowhere. And I began noticing that it was hard to get out of bed. I felt fatigued a lot. I started to have trouble concentrating, started having confusion. But the most alarming symptom and the toughest for me was just a deep emotional pain. I found myself crying a lot. I found myself feeling worthless, a lot of thoughts about how I wasn't eligible to be a Christian because I had all this fear and doubt.
And so for me, a lot of these symptoms came on very suddenly and very quickly. Your husband was a pastor. Did he seem to understand what you were going through or how did he respond? You know, not at the time. I mean, he's worked hard now to understand, but I think being in Bible college, we had learned about depression and anxiety, but that always sounded like something other people go through.
You know, maybe other people that don't know God or maybe people that are struggling and are weak. And so it was really hard to comprehend how I could be going through that since we were in ministry and I had gone through Bible college. And so at the time, unfortunately, he put a lot of pressure on me to just kind of pray about it and move forward.
And so unfortunately at that point, he really didn't understand what I was going through. Yeah. Did you feel pressure, you know, like being a pastor's wife and what people expect of you? How did you handle those thoughts?
Yeah, absolutely. You know, as a Christian, I felt like I should have, quote, the joy of the Lord. I hear that a lot. And then as a pastor's wife, I felt like I should be modeling this.
Uh, I should be the one that everyone looks to and says, wow, look at how incredible it is to follow Jesus. And then there were also the pressures to be at events and to be present all the time. The more I felt this unspoken disappointment from the church and sometimes actually a spoken disappointment with the pastor mentioning to Tim, Hey, Janita's not here or, you know, Janita really needs to be present. And so sometimes, you know, that disappointment from the church wasn't just even imagined in my mind. It was actually happening.
Yeah. Now, Chris mentioned that there was a juncture at which you actually attempted suicide. On that day when things were so bad, what were your thoughts? What were you feeling?
What's going through your mind? Yeah, I go back to that time and I just think, wow, I was just heartbroken. I started to believe a really powerful lie that I was not worth anything anymore and that actually Tim would be better off without me, that he could do his job better if he had a wife who could actually participate.
And so I came to the conclusion that I would actually be a more loving if I took my life, which is so upside down, but it made sense to me at the time. And so I had planned that when he went to a youth group on a Wednesday night that I would overdose. And I had prepared everything.
And as God would have it, Tim forgot something. And he came back home and he actually walked in on me attempting. And it was the most broken moment of our marriage. I was crying, he was crying. And so he forced me to go to the hospital and I did not want to go. And when I got there, you know, I was admitted against my will.
And it was so heartbreaking for Tim to leave without me. But what was so incredible is they did let me have my Bible. And it was one of those times in my life when I'm just flipping through the pages.
I don't even know what to read. Maybe, you know, maybe everyone's had that where you're just so desperate, you don't even know where to go. And I stumbled on Psalm 121 where it talks about that we can look to the hills and God is our hope and that He doesn't sleep and He watches over us. And so I read that Psalm every day for, you know, multiple times a day. And after 10 days, I got out of the hospital and I came home and I had voicemails from so many people. And one of them really caught my attention.
It was from one of my professors, Steve Bradley at Columbia International. And he just said, Hey, Janita, I know you're in the hospital right now, but I just want you to know that I felt called to read Psalm 121 to you on your voicemail. And man, you talk about a moment where it just seemed like God was reminding me He hadn't left. And so Steve wanted me to meet his wife, Pat, and I didn't want to meet anybody, but Pat was insistent because she had had depression on the mission field. And she started mentoring me and she would tell me things like, you know, I know you don't have hope, but I'll carry hope for you. And she would defend me when other people would judge me. And so she started ministering to me.
But about a month and a half after we started working together, she died suddenly. And Tim had called me and told me, and I was so angry with God, you know, saying like, you took my one person and I was crying and I got my shoes on and I just decided I'm going to walk to our mailbox, which was down the road. And when I got there, there was a card that Pat had mailed the day she died. And it just said, you know, yeah. And it just said, God's going to use this, like, you're going to see. And I thought, oh my gosh, you know, and Pat was just such a feisty little person that I could imagine, you know, she just put her heart and soul into me. And so I've been carrying that message in my heart that, okay, God, I don't know where you're going with this, but I'll have to keep walking and see what happens. So it's been a 20-year journey, but I'm sure Pat is not surprised. If she was here, she would say, I told you so.
But that's been my, yeah, but that's been my journey, journey through suicide and attempting and coming out on the other side. Yeah. Did you know at the time that Pat was near death or had she been sick or was it a total shock to you? No, she died from sepsis. It was really fast. She, I mean, no one saw it coming. And Steve Bradley and I actually connected just a few months ago and we were just talking about the shock of that and how much she has been missed, but how much she did before she died and the legacy that she left.
Yeah, yeah. Well, you can certainly see, as I listen to all of that, you can see God's hand both in bringing Tim back home that day and also in your getting in contact with Pat. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. Our guest today is author Janita Pace and our featured resource today is her book, The Healing Names of Jesus, Find Freedom from Depression and Anxiety.
You can find out more at the website, FiveLoveLanguages.com. Janita, as you look back on your life and the times before you began to experience these feelings of depression and anxiety, were there things in your life, looking back, that may have contributed to your coming to that point of depression? You know, it's so great to ask that question because I've looked back and tried to figure out what was the trigger. And I think, for me, there was a lot of change in my life very quickly. I was starting a new job that was a little above my understanding, so a lot of learning went into that. And then I got married really young. And I have to clarify, it's not my husband that was difficult, but I got married.
And that was, yeah, I always want to make sure people know it's not Tim. It's a change. And I was married, I was 20. And then I had some shifting friendships and moved away from my home. And so I think a lot of shifting, a lot of change.
And then again, I think a lot of it was biological. So between that, you know, the biological changes and the life changes, I think it was a perfect storm for depression. You know, when you talk about the marriage part, you don't have to convince me that when you get married, there's a lot of stress and change that takes place. Carolyn and I went through a horrible time in the early years of our marriage.
I don't know that I got depressed, but I did get frustrated a lot. Yeah, I always tell Tim, I'm not going to paint you as the problem, you know, if you laugh about it. But yes, yes, huge changes when you get married.
Yeah. Now, I talked to other pastors' wives. I'm sure there's some pastors' wives that are listening out there.
What would you say to them at this juncture? Well, first of all, I just want to thank them for their ministry, because being a pastor's wife, you are in ministry, even if you're not hired by the church. And as I look back, one thing I wish I would have known is that Paul in 2 Corinthians 12, 9, I think he talks about how he's actually made perfect in his weakness, which we talk about that first. But if you really think about it, any pain or trials or hurt we're going through, that we actually have the power then to understand the gospel better. And so I would just encourage them that your weakness or your pain or your suffering doesn't make you ineligible to be in your ministry. It actually makes you more eligible, because you have a unique understanding of things that people in your church are going through, and I guarantee there are people in your church that are going through depression and anxiety. And so I would tell them to not be afraid, to not be ashamed. And, you know, even Jesus exhibited fear and anxiety before he died.
And so I'm so grateful for his transparency. And so I would just want them to be assured and to know that you have nothing to be ashamed of. And if your church doesn't support you in that, then that church isn't the place to be for your own mental safety and your own mental health and growth. You mentioned earlier that you felt pressure yourself, you know, to kind of hide your mental health struggle, because you were a pastor's wife. And I think many pastor's wives do feel that. Where might a pastor's wife turn?
Now, obviously, in your situation, you know, you had a former professor that reached out to you and introduced you to his wife. But where might the normal pastor's wife turn if she's struggling with things with this? You know, I had problems in that church then when I first came out.
And it can't, you know, when you're in the hospital, then everybody knows you have depression. And unfortunately, the elders and the pastor actually came and confronted me about maybe a sin that had caused my depression. And at that point, Tim and I knew we had to leave the church, we couldn't function, we couldn't be healthy under that. And so if the church that you're in is not working with you in that, then my first suggestion would be, find a group of believers who embrace mental health, and have support groups and have opportunities to get help, because that's the kind of community that you need. I would also say that it's so important to look at group counseling. I joined a group counseling program after I came out with depression. And group counseling is so powerful, even if it's not a Christian group counseling experience, just the fact that you have other people normalizing that this is not something unique to you is just so important.
And it's so powerful. So I would definitely encourage talking to a therapist about opportunities for group counseling. Like I said, even if it's not in your church, and it's in a professional setting. And I would just say a word to pastors themselves, because I think, you know, pastors often kind of feel like, well, we don't want to let this get out now, because this will hurt our ministry, you know, and they tend to kind of cover it up. So, you know, guys, we have to be open and honest about where we're going in our journey.
And if our wife is struggling in this area, we need to be open and honest with her and obviously discussing, you know, with whom do we share this first and take those steps. So let me ask you this. Do depression and anxiety typically manifest themselves together, those two things? They can definitely manifest together. I kind of think of it like a teeter totter, where one can come out of the gate really strong, and then as that gets better, the other one comes out of the gate. So I have people who are going through a deep depression, and then as they start to find motivation to get through it, suddenly they're, you know, struggling with extreme anxiety. So they can definitely be partners that are really hard to go through, because they do show some opposing symptoms. But like I said, typically, when one starts to get better, the other starts to take over. So helping people realize that they're not exclusive, they can actually kind of hold hands with each other and make it difficult because then you're fighting two diagnoses and not just one.
Yeah. Now, all of us have days in which we are emotionally down, you know, but that's not necessarily depression. How can you know if depression or anxiety is really at a problem stage in your life? Well, I would tell your listeners that if you find that it's really impacting your daily life, then that's a sign that this goes beyond just maybe a day or two of having sadness. You know, it is hard because I do have clients who come in panicking that they have depression. When we look at their life, they're going through a lot of things that maybe they feel sad about. But regardless of whether it's clinical depression or it's situational, I'm a big proponent of people getting therapy regardless, because I think it's just important to have that resource available. So I would encourage anyone who is even unsure the level of the depth of their suffering to contact someone and let someone kind of help navigate life.
It's something that you need long-term support for, and maybe you just need a few sessions to kind of get your emotions under control. Yeah. The fact is, life was designed by God not to be lived alone, right?
Yes, absolutely. But to be lived together. The husband's wives are not always adequate to help the other.
They may be at a stage in which the husband or the wife doesn't quite have the skills there. So somebody outside of ourselves, and especially someone who's been trained in counseling, can be very helpful. Well, let's talk about some of the healing steps to take for someone who's suffering from depression and anxiety.
Well, you really touched on what I would say is one of the main steps, and that is getting help from others. One of the stories that I talk about in my book is from Luke 5, where a man who's paralyzed is lowered by four friends in front of Jesus. And it took four friends to get him in front of Jesus. He couldn't do it just by himself. And it's not that we can't pray and come to Jesus ourself, but wow, the power of having four friends who are that committed to be part of the process. And so what a powerful example of how we need people to help us lower before Jesus. And we are not meant to do that alone. And so I think the first step is to really get what I call a care team.
I ask all my clients, you know, who could we ask to help you as you're on this journey? Because we're meant to have a community. When you watch National Geographic, the predators always pick off the animal who is off on its own. They try to isolate one animal from the crowd.
And what a picture of how the enemy works, where he wants us isolated. And so I would say the first step is get a therapist and start talking about who could be in your care team right now who could help lower you before Jesus every day. You know, I think in some areas, lay people especially who may be struggling with depression and anxiety may not know how to find a counselor.
What might be a first step in processing that? A lot of the churches that I work with right now offer lists of counselors that they would recommend that are available. And so what's really great too is that if you look at a website from a church and they have that in, you know, in their website, in their resources, you can be pretty sure that they're very open to talking about mental health. So you could contact local churches and see, hey, do you have a list of resources you'd recommend? And many churches do, which is so great. And so if you're not even sure where to start, I would definitely begin by asking your church or even if you don't go to church but you know of a church, start looking at their website and see what they recommend because hopefully they're working with local counselors that they would trust. And that's so important that you have those options.
Yeah. Typically, counselors relate to pastors because they know that many times people turn to the pastor first in search of a counselor. So yeah, that's great advice. You know, most of us have somebody in our circles that we would call friends to a greater or lesser degree. How do you know if a friend or a family member is a safe person to talk with about these kind of issues? That's a great question, Gary, because I try to, you know, I want my clients to know that there are well many people who are not good choices for a care team. And I would pay attention to how do they talk about the gospel? You know, when they see somebody who is struggling, do they see that as a lack of faith?
Or do they see that as something that is a part of being in this world and they need support? So I would pay attention to how do they approach others who are suffering and struggling? And then if you talk to someone and they're not understanding, you know, don't be afraid to start over with someone else just to know that there are people who mean well, but they're really not good choices.
So I would definitely begin to pay attention. Who do you feel has that unconditional acceptance? Who's a good listener?
And who is willing to make you a priority when you need to be cared for? So if they have someone in their circle of friendship that they think this might be the person I should share with, what might that first sentence or two look like when they try to open up to a friend? You know, thankfully, I will say this, I feel like mental health has become more and more of an open topic. And so I've asked people sometimes, you know, what did you think about what happened to Naomi Judd?
Or what are your thoughts on depression? So sometimes I ask the questions first. And if I feel like their answers kind of mirror what I need, or what I feel is the grace-filled response from the gospel, then I'll share. You know, for me that that was really personal, or for me, I really do struggle.
And like I said, I've kind of already vetted the person by asking questions on what their viewpoints are on mental illness and on depression. And so usually I start with questions before I begin talking about my story. Janita, you mentioned the pressure on a pastor's wife and that you felt on the inside. Looking back on that now, was there also pressure for you to figure this out so that God would get the glory and that you would figure out why you had depression and anxiety and suicidal ideation and all of that, that you could figure out why God was doing this so that you could make all the puzzle pieces come together?
Does that make sense? Absolutely. I feel like unfortunately, the idea that you have to have a testimony means that you have to have a happy ending. I almost feel like when people get up and share a testimony, they, you know, everyone's waiting for the ending and how it all got resolved. And wouldn't it be powerful if we welcome people to share testimonies that don't have an ending yet, or don't have an answer yet? So absolutely, I think that I was hoping that if I do have depression that I'm going to have this amazing finish that's going to happen soon so that I can go ahead and share with people.
Yes, absolutely. Thanks for joining us today for Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . You can find more simple ways to strengthen relationships at fivelovelanguages.com. Our guest is Janita Pace, and we're talking about her book, The Healing Names of Jesus, Find Freedom from Depression and Anxiety. You can find out more at fivelovelanguages.com. That's fivelovelanguages.com. Janita, the title of your devotional is called Healing Names of Jesus. Can you walk us through a few of those names and how they can aid a person who is struggling in this area?
Oh, sure. I love talking about the names of God because it's just so inspiring. Probably my favorite from the book is the Lion of Judah.
So for this book, I took different metaphors and really dove in to see what are they about. And when I read about lions, what I learned is that male lions, their whole job is to guard the territory of their family. And so they spend their whole life just keeping the pride safe.
And they have specially designed eyes so that even in the darkest nights, they can actually see really well. And so what a picture of our Lion of Judah, our God, who walks the borders of our mind. And so oftentimes I'll ask the Lion of Judah, walk the borders of my mind and drive out any lies that are coming in and trying to convince me that I'm not loved or I'm not worthy and I'm not part of the gospel story. And so that's probably my favorite name. And that's the one that has most impacted me from the book. Yeah. Yeah. I just love that picture. So I hear you saying that from time to time, you would say, and maybe still say, Lord, walk the borders of my mind. You're the lion. I like that.
I like that picture. What's another name that just kind of jumps to your mind of God that you find helpful? Yeah, gosh, there's so many. I mean, one of them that is simple, but actually powerful for me is physician or doctor. I think that my husband has a medical condition and we spend a lot of time at Mayo Clinic. And so we've become really good friends with Dr. Fleming.
She knows us personally. And realizing that my depression, weirdly enough, keeps me in Jesus's presence all the time. I have to visit him as my doctor. And what's so great about a doctor is they don't say, well, if you hurt yourself or if you've done something that's injured you, then I'm not treating you.
They never ask that. They treat you no matter what. And so how great that I get to know my physician, my Jesus so well, because I'm in his doctor's office every day. So it took a new spin on my depression in my eyes that my depression is actually a way that I need my doctor, Jesus.
And it's become something that's gone from feeling shameful to actually feeling very powerful as a catalyst in my life for my spiritual growth. Yeah. Now, you know, in today's world, many folks, when they have a problem and they call the doctor's office and they say it'll be three weeks or three months before you can get an appointment. I wonder if there's sometimes a depression that you call on God and it seems like, you know, he's not ready to answer you. But that's really not true, is it?
No. I mean, one of the names that also came to life for me was the Spirit being called a counselor, because how beautiful that when the Holy Spirit comes and lives in us, he agrees to live life with us. So knowing that God isn't just watching you, but the Spirit is actually experiencing your depression with you and choosing to suffer alongside you and pray on your behalf because he intimately understands what you're going through. So it's so great to know that, no, we don't have to, he's right there waiting to talk to us, wanting to talk to us. And when we don't know what to say, the Spirit is already speaking on our behalf.
And I just love that picture. Yeah. And as you illustrated earlier in your life, one of God's clearest voices is in the Bible.
And you mentioned, was it Psalm 121, and how God used that in your life. Yeah. For sure. For sure. Yes, absolutely. What would you say to those who have tried and they found some measure of healing, but they're still struggling and wondering, why can't this just be gone?
I get that question a lot. And I just want to clarify for anyone listening that I still struggle with depression. My story is not just over. And for a long time, I waited and thought, you know, I can finally tell my story once I'm over depression. But I've realized that there's a strange comfort in the idea that I will probably struggle with depression my entire life. But that doesn't mean that I've lost the battle. It just means that I'll be in the battle, probably for my whole life.
And that's where I go back to the picture of the doctor that because of this depression, I have an opportunity to grow in ways that maybe other people don't. And so I would tell people who continue to suffer, please don't look at it as you haven't won the battle. It might just be that this is your battle, but don't do it alone. Do it with people like me. Do it with others who fully understand that, okay, we're in this, but it doesn't mean that we're weak. And actually, according to Corinthians, it means that we're specially designed to reach other people that sometimes, you know, maybe Christians who don't struggle, don't understand. And so turning that struggle from something that's a loss to something that's actually a victory. Yeah. Now earlier, you mentioned clinical depression and situational depression.
Explain those two. Yeah, so you know, for some people, situational depression happens when there's a huge impact, an event in their life. And it's actually something that brings grief, and the symptoms of depression come alive because of what's happened. Clinical kind of goes beyond that, where even after the situation is over and people have kind of continually moved forward and the situation is becoming less traumatic, that they get stuck and the symptoms are not going away. And it can also happen like in my case, I mean, I had some changes in my life, but nothing that would necessarily warrant the symptoms that I had. And so I definitely think that for clinical, there is a biological component where you need to see someone to get medications and get your biology working okay. And clinical can involve, you know, much more than just kind of moving forward in a grief situation where it actually involves learning how to think with your new struggles and the new way that your mind might be working. So clinical tends to go even deeper than situational. I like the point you made that often with any disease where there is a biological thing, a person struggles sometimes for years with that particular thing, you know.
It's not that they can't function because they do. Maybe leukemia, for example. I've known people who've had leukemia for years. It didn't go away. It's just that, you know, there's seasons in which it's easier and better and other seasons that it's more difficult. And so in a sense, clinical depression, because it does have that biological element to it, will continue to be with you probably over the long haul. So I appreciate you making that point.
Can I ask a question, Danita, about you and your husband. You mentioned that the church said there's a sin in your life and that at that point you knew you had to leave. That had to have been just a really hard season.
The very people that should be walking beside you are accusing you. That has to be such a deep wound. How'd you get over that? Oh gosh, it was heartbreaking, especially for my husband. The elders and the pastor told us they were coming to our house and we were both hoping that that would be a time of fellowship and encouragement. And when it didn't go that way, it was just devastating.
I still remember how that felt. And we didn't really start healing until we found other believers and other pastors who confirmed that that was not true. And one of our closest friends, Mike Richards, is a pastor who openly shares about his struggles with depression. And so other church leaders modeling that, yes, you can be in ministry and you can struggle, that was a huge part of the healing process for us. So a big part of it was having other believers confirm that that's not true.
But it was definitely heartbreaking for us. Yeah. Yeah, I think laypeople sometimes think that pastors don't have problems. Pastors and pastors' wives are human.
Exactly, exactly. Now, you also work a lot with teenagers and college students. What are you seeing in this age group as far as mental and emotional issues in our day? I think that the more I talk to teens and college students, the amount of pressure they're under is just extreme.
There are times when I'll have them write out their schedule for me and when I look at it, I tell them, I'm having an anxiety attack just looking at your schedule. I mean, between working and getting good grades and being on the National Honor Society and trying to be a good daughter or a good son or a good child. By the time we get to the end of it, there's nothing left.
There's no room for any grace or the gospel. And so I think a lot of times we don't realize how much pressure the teens and the college students are under in this current world. I think social media gets a bad rap.
I think there are components of social media that can contribute to mental health. But I think a large part of what's happening is being overlooked and understated. And I think the bottom line is a lot of the teens that I talk to, their parents and the adults in their life are just not listening. They're trying to share what's going on and they're trying to advocate. And oftentimes I hear Christian parents say, oh, they're just saying that because their friends have a counselor or, oh, they're just saying that, but they just need to pray more.
Or they're saying that, but if they just change their mindset, they'll be fine. And having parents and adults realize, no, teen and college mental health is actually a national epidemic that we need to address. So the stats show that the majority of teens that are struggling are not getting services, which is alarming to me. I hope the parents who are listening are hearing what you're saying, because I think you're exactly right that many times a teenager will share things and the parent ignores them or comes back and says, well, that's not a problem or whatever. And consequently, the teens stop sharing.
They go on struggling, but they stop sharing with the parents. Absolutely, for sure. Thanks for joining us today for Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, "The 5 Love Languages" . Janita Pace is our guest and our featured resource is her book, The Healing Names of Jesus. Find freedom from depression and anxiety.
You can find out more at fivelovelanguages.com. Janita, many people live with regrets about mistakes that they made in their past, and they live with that sense of guilt. What would you say to a person who's struggling with that? I think that for me, growing up in the church, I always knew John 3.16, you know, God loved the world, gave his son, and now we are forgiven. But that is the math of the gospel. I want people to understand the art of the gospel and the beauty of the gospel is that you have no idea how deeply you are loved and wanted by your God. I mean, truthfully, God is so in love with you. You know, it talks about that you are a masterpiece in Ephesians 2.10. And we don't go to, you know, art galleries to see the art do something, you know.
We go to art galleries just to stand in the presence of something that was created by an artist. And so you don't understand that God is excited to be in your presence. I mean, Zephaniah talks about how God sings, and what he sings about is you.
I mean, you inspire the God of the universe to sing. And so I want people to understand that there is literally nothing you could do that would change that deep of a commitment. And when I tell believers that, it's something that they've never really thought about a lot of times. You know, they know that Jesus loved the world, but the idea that there's nothing, literally nothing you could do that would change that level of commitment and passion for you is kind of a new thought and something they haven't really considered before.
Yeah, yeah. You know, when we live with that guilt, sometimes we allow the memory to control our behavior rather than acknowledging to God, Lord, you know what I'm remembering today, and you know what I'm feeling today, but thank you that that's been forgiven. Just verbally affirming to God and being honest to God about what's going on in your mind, but also acknowledging that if we've confessed that it has been forgiven. Yeah, and God loves forgiveness. He paid such a big price for it. He's excited to use it and so again, I pray to the line of Judah, you know, drive that out because that's not the gospel. That's a lie. Yeah.
Yeah. Looking back on your own life, Janita, obviously the pressure that you were under and the pressure your husband was under as you were going through all of this was hard. You have a measure of healing and you've been walking a long time with that measure of healing. How did God restore as you look back on how did he restore your mental health and your marital relationship with Tim? I think that it's been a journey, but Tim incredibly jumped right into wanting to learn how to help me and he's never had depression, but he was determined to find out what did he need to do to help and he got his own counselor. So he would always tell anyone who's supporting someone else, make sure you have your own counselor and your own care team because you can't help someone alone. So he got his own care team to help him and in that process we've actually learned how to live together with my depression being that kind of continual challenge and it's been incredible and we actually have done some work with life support resources to talk to couples about how you can, you know, go forward in your marriage when one person struggles with depression and the other person is struggling to help. And so I would definitely say that we've both grown spiritually in that process and, you know, there's still days that are hard, but we've become a great team at taking on this challenge and with God's help really growing for, you know, both of us spiritually in overcoming that challenge.
Yeah. Janee, the Bible talks a lot about adoption. In fact, it said we are adopted. God has adopted us and I know that you have adopted a child, you and Tim. Talk about what we learn about God through that whole concept of adoption. Oh man, I love adoption. My brother, Carl, is adopted and then four years ago we met Matthew who was in the foster care system and we just felt called to adopt him.
And I have one other son, Carter, who is three years older. And so when Matthew came into our family, Carter had to sacrifice so much for that adoption from sharing everything he had to learning how to mentor and help a child who's coming from a really broken background. And there was a moment we were traveling to High Falls in DuPont State Forest.
And if you've been there, there's this beautiful waterfall. And Matthew had never been to a waterfall before and he was kind of scared. And Carter decided to help him and I was sitting a little ways away. So I got this picture and it's just always stuck in my mind where I saw Carter holding Matthew's hand and helping him.
I saw them turn around and Carter talked to Matthew and then I saw Carter take off his shoes and get in the water so he could hold Matthew and Matthew wouldn't have to and they kept going. And what a picture of Jesus who gives up half of, you know, he gives up what he has, he pays a price and then he's willing to take his shoes off, you know, and guide us through life in a very humble way. And so it's just been incredible to understand the depth of Jesus's sacrifice because he loves you and you were worth it. And so, I mean, if someone had said you're gonna have to give up Carter and watch Carter, you know, die a terrible death to have Matthew, I would have said no. But God said yes to that question. And Jesus said yes. And so what a powerful, powerful story of redemption.
I don't think people realize that they are in the middle of the greatest love story of all time. DeNita, our time is almost gone, but is there one other thing you'd just like to say to our listeners today about this whole topic? You know, I wish I could meet each of you and have coffee with you, hear your story, pray with you. I just want every listener to know that, you know, my prayer is that this has been an encouragement and that you will be able to find comfort and peace and know that you're not alone. That there are millions of us all over the globe just struggling as Christians.
And there's no shame in that. And Jesus understands it. When the Bible says don't be afraid, it's not in a tone of judgment. But it's like God talking to a child, like I would to my own kids, saying don't be afraid and don't be anxious. And so my prayer is don't let other people judge that in you. But please, please find a care team, get support and just know that I'm praying for you as a listener and I will continue to. Well, DeNita, thanks for being with us today.
I think this book is going to help anyone who's struggling at all in this area. So I hope our listeners will get a copy of it because it reminds us that God is with us and walking with us through the journey. So thanks for being with us and may God continue to guide you as you seek to use all that you've been through to help others. Thanks so much, Gary.
Our guest today has been Janita Pace. And if you want to find out more about our featured resource, go to FiveLoveLanguages.com. We have our book link there. It's titled The Healing Names of Jesus. Find freedom from depression and anxiety.
Again, go to FiveLoveLanguages.com. And next week, why the Bible's plan for sexuality isn't outdated, irrelevant or oppressive. Don't miss that conversation in one week. Our thanks 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 for listening.
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