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"Suffering and the Heart of God" - A Conversation With Dr.Diane Langberg

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
August 10, 2020 12:02 am

"Suffering and the Heart of God" - A Conversation With Dr.Diane Langberg

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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August 10, 2020 12:02 am

If you or someone you love has experienced trauma, this show will connect in a powerful way.  After listening to this, my wife, Gracie wept and stated, "This was your best show, ever!"

My guest for the entire show is Dr. Diane Langberg. We discussed her book: "Suffering and the Heart of God ...How Trauma Destroys and Christ Restores."

A counselor for nearly 50 years, she has works extensively with trauma and abuse victims.www.dianelangberg.com

 

Peter Rosenberger is the host of HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER .

The nation's #1 broadcast and podcast show for family caregivers, Peter draws upon his 34+ year journey as a caregiver for his wife, Gracie, through a medical nightmare that includes 80+ surgeries, multiple amputations, and treatment by 100+ physicians. 

Learn more at www.HopefortheCaregiver.com

Hope for the Caregiver is the family caregiver outreach of:

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Call 866-WINASIA. Or to see chickens and other animals to donate, go to crittercampaign.org. Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver. I am Peter Rosenberg, and I'm so glad that you're with us. This is the nation's number one show for you as a family caregiver. For those of you who are pushing the wheelchair, staying up late at night, doing laundry, back and forth to the doctor's office, or all the other types of medical things we got to do, helping a child with special needs learn, dealing with an alcoholic or an addict, all kinds of drama that goes on in the caregiver's life.

Who is speaking to the family caregiver? Well, I am. And I'm bringing three and a half decades of experience to help you stay strong and healthy as you take care of someone who is not. And I'm so glad that you're with us. Some time ago, I have a very, very close pastor friend of mine who has served as a mentor to me for many years. We've been friends for over 20 years. And he's been there in the hospital with Gracie and I.

Just name it, he's been there. He has shepherded us through some very, very painful things. And I've told him, I said, look, you have no idea how much I hang on what you say. And he called me up and he said, you tell me that I have a measure of influence in your life, Peter.

And I'm going to I'm going to play that chip right now. He said, I want you to read a book. I'm not asking you have to read this book. And it's called Suffering in the Heart of God.

How Trauma Destroys Christ Restores by Diane Langberg. Well, because I meant what I said about my relationship with him, I ordered that book immediately. I also got the audio version of it and I started listening to it. And I got to tell you, I ran out of highlighter. You know, at some point you just have to highlight the whole book.

I have never read such a book in my life and it has profoundly affected me. And I reached out to Dr. Langberg and I said, would you come on the shoulder? I talked to her people.

Would you come on the show? And we've been able to work this out. And she's here with us today. So, Dr. Langberg, thank you so much for taking the time on this today and just for for this extraordinary book that you've written. And I know that you've done so many more that you've had. I don't want to give a quick bio to you. You've been more than 40 years a psychologist training with people. I've been dealing with people with trauma and abuse and and all types of things from overseas stuff with Rwanda, with with sexual abuse.

Just name it. You've done it. I really do appreciate you. You had me at the beginning of this book when you talked about the slave castle in Ghana. My wife and I started a prosthetic limb outreach where we work in Ghana. We've done this for 15 years and I've been to that castle.

I've taken teams over there. And would you start there just in that place? And then let's go from there, because it's such a powerful story of what the church is to look like. And I'm just jumping into the deep end of the pool. My audience can keep up. My audience understands that we speak all the same language here.

So we're just jumping deep in the pool. But thank you so much for being here. And take us to that moment in Ghana where the book starts. I went to Ghana some years ago to speak at a conference there on violence against women and children. And the woman who is a dear friend who asked me to come took me to the Cape Coast castle before speaking. And it is an old outpost where Africans were taken and then put through the door of no return and put on slave ships for this side of the world for the most part. And so they walked us through the dungeons. There are five dungeons for men, three for women. We stood in the one that held 200 men in utter darkness for at least three months shackled together. And they turned off all the lights and just let us sort of soak in the horror of it. And then our guide asked us if we knew what was above that dungeon.

And of course we said no. And his answer was the chapel. So there was a chapel on the floor above this dungeon for 200 men. And on Sundays, all of the soldiers and whoever else was involved in the slave trade would go up the steps to the chapel to, quote, worship God while the slaves were shackled below them.

And, you know, there were guards down there to make sure they didn't scream or yell and disturb the service and all of those things. And he stood there and he used his finger and he pointed up and he said, heaven above and hell below. And I stood there weeping and I was with a very dear friend of mine, a psychiatrist who is African-American and has roots in Ghana. And I was weeping and he commented in his droll way, uh oh, this is going to show up in a talk someday. Which it has and it's in a book, too. But what struck me about his comment was that there wasn't heaven above and hell below because heaven doesn't look like that. Heaven leaves heaven and goes into the dungeon. And it goes into the dungeon in order to unshackle human beings and restore them to dignity and love them and be with them and help them heal. And that was when the picture for the church today in that is just stunning to me and how we want to avoid the dungeons. Or sometimes we actually create them just like they did then and still climb the stairs to our chapels and give our offerings and sing our songs and think we're doing all the right things. But we're ignoring the dungeons that God came into in our hearts first and now calls us to go to the ones that are in the world around us. Well, there's a saying, a quote from the book that says that, you know, what you said, the church goes into the dungeon and the dungeon becomes the church.

Yes. And that's where the real transformation occurs because that's what Christ did. He left it all and came into our misery. And why is that? Talk about why that's so important to trauma victims. Well, as the men who were shackled in that dungeon, they are shackled. That's what trauma does to human beings. It destroys their dignity and their esteem. It breaks relationships. It takes away their voice.

It takes away their power to live life fully. And he left the chapel. He left heaven and came into the dungeon to not only rescue those who are in there, but to make them like himself. Which means the more they become like him, the more they keep going back to the dungeon to get yet more people who might become like him in this world. A lot of times we tend to think of ourselves as rescuing people in these situations, but that's not really what we're all about, is it?

No. And you open this up in this book about reframing the conversation. We're not there to fix or rescue. We're there to do something dramatically different.

Talk about that a little bit. Well, it starts with understanding what Christ did for us. He became flesh. He became like us. And he came and lived with us and ate with us and walked with us and listened to our cries and our tears and our fears and all of those things. So that's what he's called us to do. And so he's called us to be him in the flesh now.

That's what his body is supposed to be. And a body is, you know, I say in the book, a body that doesn't follow its head is a sick body. So when the body of Christ does not look like that, which is not rescuing, it's being within the midst of the darkness, in the midst of the suffering, and bestowing honor and dignity and care and weeping with.

It is the witness, not the fixing. And, you know, when you see that, when you hear those words, and then it's like there's a cascade of scriptures that just flood through your mind and say, oh, that's what that means. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty.

And I think we spend so much time trying to yank people out of stuff or somehow race through it ourselves. God, get me out. God, get me out.

God, get me out. And I was talking about this on the show yesterday of the verse in Jeremiah. We all know the verse in Jeremiah 29, 11. He says, I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. But if you go back up just a few verses, he told Jeremiah to go tell the people, look, plant your houses, plant your vineyards, live here. You ain't going home. I'll bring you out when I'm ready to bring you out.

But you're not going anywhere. And they were lamenting about the state they were in. But God said, I'm going to provide for you in this. And that's what I see through so much of what you've written in this book is that the provision of God in it. But there's a twofold purpose to it. It's not just for us to go in there and minister to people.

It's for us to go in there and be transformed through that process of seeing things in our own life. I've said on this show many times, there's nothing like caring for someone with disabilities for a couple of decades to expose the gunk that's in your own soul. And you don't shy away from talking about the gunk. You were very nice.

You were very, you sanitized it very nice in the book. But talk about that, that we're called to go into, as you say it, we're called to go into the latrine to just be elbows deep into excrement. But at the same time, something else is going on, too. Talk a little bit about that. Well, it is what he did.

Let me let me back up just a minute. First, part of what happens is that you and I cannot sit with the suffering of another and not suffer also. It is not of the same magnitude, but it is a suffering nonetheless.

So if I sit across from somebody with a history of 15 years of being sexually abused by a father who was also violent and on and on and on, I'm also going to suffer because that's going to get inside of me and it's going to destroy my life that could pretend that it didn't exist. And so that's part of why we want to fix it. Not because we're fixing them, but because we want it to stop. We don't want to be there. And so we hand out tissues or we give Bible verses or we tell them that they need to quit being anxious or whatever, as if those words are going to change what has been so devastating and continues to be devastating in their lives.

What that does, that's where we're exposed. That's where we begin to see that we are not like him at all. And we want him to come and be with us. We don't want to go be with other people and what's happened to them. We want them to feel better so we can feel better. And so he uses the brokenness of other people, whether it's physical or psychological or whatever it is, to expose us to ourselves. Oswald Chambers said that crisis exposes character.

And if you sit with suffering, you're going to be in crisis, too, because you won't be able to explain it. You can't give reasons for it. You can't make it pretty. You can't make it stop. And it will expose what's inside of you, which will be impatience and wanting things to be sanitized and not wanting to go and put your feet in the gutter.

All the things that Jesus did for us. I've had an opportunity to learn that lesson painfully many, many, many, many, many times. My wife is a woman who hurts. She hurts all the time.

It never goes away and it hasn't since 1983. Her body is orthopedically a train wreck. I have failed at this more times than I want to remember, but I do remember one moment where I did get it right. And it was the most it was one of the most beautiful moments in our life together. And the lesson learned from that is not that I got it right.

It's just that there really is beauty in this if we're willing to trust him. And it was when I got her home from the hospital after losing her right leg. This was the first amputation she went through.

And I got her home, got into the kitchen there in our home. And I set her on a stool. She she and then she didn't have a leg.

She just had crutches and she had her remaining leg, her left leg at the time. And I turned around to put away some things. And I hear this loud thump. And she had fallen to the floor.

And I and I didn't know what had happened. And she just fall on the floor. And I got down on the floor and held her. And she just she sobbed at my arms. And she said, I forgot that I didn't have a leg. And she just stepped out. And for whatever reason, God was incredibly gracious to just let me shut up and just hold her. Any other time, I'd have been just a jackass. But, you know, and I have a I have a degree in that, by the way.

And she'll, she'll testify to that. But but at that moment and it was one of those moments where I was afforded the opportunity to just hold her, not fix it. Because I couldn't. I was I was just a kid. I was in my 20s and she was in her 20s. We didn't know anything about amputation.

We didn't know anything about these things. But it was so devastatingly painful. And you needed to sob without, like you said, without tissue. Sometimes you just got to let it it's just got to run its course. It's got to be what it's got to be.

It is what it is. And but the lesson I learned from that is there doesn't have to be those kinds of moments without the beauty and the comfort and the the this. I use this word very intentionally, but also very, very carefully. The sacredness of the moment, the sacredness of the suffering. Is that a fair is that a fair description of that?

Yes, it absolutely is. And it is it is learning how to weep with those who weep, which is what he does for us. And we want to stop their weeping. And he does not say that. No, he does it.

He really does it. And when you read that, when I read that in your book and I thought, oh, my, he really doesn't stop our weeping. He lets us weep it out.

Yes. And weeps with us. He's not there stoic. He's not there apart from I have many times throughout my decades with trauma victims who finally found their tears and were weeping. Just sat there in silence or periodically just said, I'm here.

You know, that's it. Well, you you talk about alarm moments in your book because it's very frightening when there's uncontrolled sobs going on. It's it's very unsettling to see this sort of thing and to watch somebody suffer, to watch somebody go through this gut wrenching things.

And I've I've observed that. I remember one time with Gracie, she was groaning following a surgery and they couldn't get her out of pain. And she was groaning.

I mean, you're one of the people I know that have actually watched another human being groan. It is it is unnerving. It is unsettling. And I remember just being so filled with rage. And and I looked up to heaven and I said, do you see this?

Can you see what is happening? Why don't you give her five minutes of relief? And I won't tell anybody.

So it won't thwart your plan. That's the kind of things that it brought out in me, which I'm ashamed to say. Welcome to the human race. But it needed it needed to come out. And if I don't if I don't say this, then who's going to kind of thing?

I mean, you know, these are things that are embarrassing to say, but I guess it takes somebody that's kind of half idiot like me to say it and just say, OK, whatever. But but at the same time, I understood. OK, that's that's what it feels like to try to bargain with God while watching suffering just to get suffering to stop. And you talk about that as you call those alarm moments and it their their anger, their violence, their sobbing, their ranting, their terror, their panic, their dear, all the things that are going on with them. It it flows on to you to watch it. It does. How do you deal with this as you've dealt with this for decades?

How do you do this? Almost five. But who's counting? I was I wasn't going to age you.

I think it's been for 47 years. I've had to to learn many things along the way. And I I have had moments where I've driven home from work late at night and banging my fist on the steering wheel, basically saying to God, what are you doing? I quit. I'm done.

That's it. You know, I can't do this anymore. But I've I've learned things from him along the way.

And part of it is how small he becomes on our behalf and that he wants me to remember that I'm small. I can't fix it. He isn't calling me to make it better. It'll be better someday. But I, I can't carry it myself. I can't carry one trauma victim myself, really. Not well.

I can't. I've been struck recently going back again, as I have often through my career, to the scriptures about the least of these and struck recently about the fact that he says I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. And I'm thinking that's like maybe a snack. Now, what? It's like a minute. Yeah, but it's not it's not going to fix it.

The person is going to be hungry in three hours. Then what? But he said, when you do that one tiny little thing, you do it for me. And I've learned that I will never hear a groan or a scream or a God. Where are you? You aren't here. But I haven't heard something that Jesus bore.

Those are all things he bore. He said, where are you? You're not here.

You've left me in this mess. And we want to tell people to have more faith. But our Lord said the same thing. And when you work with people, whether it's in a caregiving thing like you do or working with trauma victims or whatever, you're working with people whose history you cannot change, whose wounds you cannot heal, whose thirst you cannot satisfy. That's a heck of a job description. But what you know from him is that as you sit with their groaning or groan with them or weep with them, you are literally bearing his character into their lives. And what that means is it is eternal and it will bear fruit.

He promises. I've had, as many people have in this audience, the church can often inflict its own level of trauma, not just the total disconnect, like you mentioned about the chapel in Ghana. But a lot of times people just have such terrible theology and doctrine and they'll try to inflict it on other people.

And I see this, I've dealt with this many times personally and I've dealt with this many times with my audience and fellow caregivers. I've heard it and they've struggled because they look at this as God's punishment. And then there are pastors that reinforce this and you have a whole chapter on narcissistic church leaders and the abuse that's inflicted. And not just abuse in the conventional sense where we're thinking people are coming to a pastor and saying, you know, my marriage is in trouble.

Then the pastor takes advantage of them and then they end up having an adulterous affair. But a different kind of abuse where it's almost so crushing when you hear that your faith isn't strong enough and this is why you suffer. Or this is what you're going through or that God is, you know, there's something wrong with you that God hasn't stepped into this.

I can't, I'm sure the list is huge for you. Just for me, for what I've encountered, I can't count how many people have struggled in that regards. And it's been reinforced by such bad, bad, bad theology.

And sometimes I think of myself almost as a sheepdog for caregivers because I get fierce fiercely defending a defensive of them because they don't have some time. They're so beaten down by what's going on with them, they don't have the wherewithal to even fight back and say, no, this is wrong. What you just told me is wrong. Or they don't even know that it's wrong. Go ahead.

Yeah, they don't even know. There's a chapter in the book called Power, Deception, and the Church. I mean, authority is grossly misused in many leadership positions in the Christian world. And I actually have a new book coming out in October that's exactly about that. It's going to be called, it's called Redeeming Power, Understanding Authority, and Abuse in the Church. Okay, by the way, you have to come on the show when the book comes out. You just have to. You know, you just have to because that's a book that I think is going to be very important. Well, it seems to be timely, frankly, given the things that are happening.

But it will be out in October. But the point is that oftentimes, and this is done by laypeople as well, of course, but theology or verses are used as projectiles. Not as comfort. There's no refuge in that. It's a way to throw a dart at something in hopes that it will stop. Or there is a misuse of authority because what you have is somebody in a position of power who has somebody who's extremely vulnerable coming to them. And they exploit them in some way or damage them in some way. So, for example, your example about the woman and the pastor, I would call that clergy sexual abuse.

I would not call it an affair because there's not equal power. An abuse of power is what it is in a vulnerable life. And so, unfortunately, the place, again, the body of Christ is to look like the head. And the head is a refuge. And so people who are vulnerable, women in domestic violence situations, people who deal with abuse and things like that, in the Christian world, the first person they go to is their pastor.

I mean, there's been studies showing that over and over again. And what happens next depends on, you know, who that person is and how much they know and understand about these issues and how careful they are with their own power and in the presence of vulnerable people and all of those things. And if those things are not there, then they end up simply abusing the abused in some fashion, which could be by minimizing things or actually abusing them.

It runs the whole gamut. But the vulnerable are the sheep, you know, and our Lord is the shepherd and He protects the sheep from the wolves. He isn't, you know. So sometimes we have people in leadership who are wolves rather than protecting from wolves. One of the issues that a lot of the folks that listen to this show and that I engage with deal with, and you talked about this in one of the chapters with ongoing trauma, in that there's a relentless level of trauma. In Gracie's case, for example, I mean, her trauma doesn't stop.

There's been no plateau for her where she said, okay, well, it's going to be kind of boring from here on out, but at least I think I know what I'm going to deal with. Every day is a new day of trauma for her, but it's also a new day of trauma for me. And it's a new day of trauma for the people, the caregivers that I engage with who are being cursed at by the very person they're changing the adult diapers for. They're going through these kinds of things. That's a different kind of trauma than trauma that happened before. I tell people, I liken it to basically we're paramedics when we're engaging with those kind of individuals. You wouldn't expect a paramedic, when the paramedics came to the side of the road where Gracie was bleeding out, none of them fussed at her. They didn't try to say, you know, what's the matter with you?

Why did you do this? They just kept saying, we're here, we're here, we're here. Like you said, that with presence. And talk a little bit about living with ongoing trauma.

It's a different way of connecting with people, ministering to people. It's not PTSD because there's no P. It's just simply TSD, I guess. There's no post.

Yeah, there's no post until you get to a funeral. And even then it may not be. Well, and having traveled in many countries where trauma is just, I mean, it's not only never stops. There's nobody has memories of generations that didn't have it. Which certainly is true in this in this country in terms of racism. I mean, there are there are families who have going back no memory of safety in any of the generations.

As an African-American. So there's people are profoundly shaped by ongoing trauma in a way that's different because there's no respite. And you can't you can't be with them without engaging in that trauma because there's no respite.

And so you have to find ways as a caregiver, particularly to do things that feed you. And so, for example, things things that are extremely human and ordinary in some ways, but that reflect something in the character of Christ. So for some people, it's beautiful music. For some people, it's nature. It's whatever. We have to find things that look like him, that are tangible, that we can take in in small bites, because maybe that's all we ever have time for. But if we don't as caregivers, if we don't remind ourselves of that, then the ongoing trauma that the other person can't escape in the same way will burn out.

We won't we won't be able to continue with the ongoingness of it. I have to pull a rip cord to sometimes I just get out on a horse. I sit at the piano. And Gracie is a no kidding singer. I mean, she's a world class singer. And so the two of us and I'm a pianist. I'm not a world class pianist.

She's a world class singer, but I do OK. But I but the two of us have forged music in the midst of this that made it didn't make sense out of it. It just gave a place for our soul to breathe. Yes. And I get out on a whole thing other than trauma. Yeah. You're taking in beauty and all beauty comes from him. Whether you're writing your own said, you got to say that you got to say that one soaking up something other than trauma. Yes.

You're soaking up some beauty and all beauty comes from him. You know, I was doing an interview with a lady. Gracie had the coronavirus and then I ended up getting tested positive. But I was asymptomatic, but she was not asymptomatic. She got pretty sick and they were asking me. And I'm going to I'm going to throw this back on you a little bit, because I was reading your book at the time.

This this spring. This is what all happened. And so I was sitting here and and I was talking with Shannon Breen with Fox News and and she was asking me about it. And I looked out the window and everywhere I look here in Montana, there's it's a postcard. It's just it's just extraordinary. The beauty here.

And I told this to Shannon. I said, everywhere I look is beauty. But scripture says every bit of that is groaning. But it's beautiful. But it's groaning. But it's beautiful.

But it's groaning. And that dichotomy is hard to wrap our mind around. But it but they're not mutually exclusive, groaning and beauty.

And I said, as Gracie and I face this. We understand that there is still beauty within this. We are not we are not removed from the the the the the presence of God in this. I don't remember the exact words I said, but something that effect, because this is what I was learning from you. And from other things that I've been reading of understanding, OK, we don't have to divorce ourselves from suffering in order to be happy or to be to have joy as a better word. Is that that's consistent with with what you've written in this book?

Yes. And I would certainly use joy as opposed to happy. But sometimes it's also just a shot of joy.

It's not like a place that you live for a while. Sometimes it is. No, but sometimes it's a shot of joy. A shot of joy is a good word.

It's a very good word, because that sometimes that's all you get. And I think it was Victor Frankl's book when he saw the the flower growing in the midst of the grayness. Was that Victor Frankl or Elie Wiesel? I don't remember, but it was it was one of them. It was.

And then it was, you know, it was Betsy Ten Boom. Seeing, giving thanks for the fleas, you know, and and able to bring that the presence of beauty and joy into this in the midst of ultimate horror with that. And these are things that I'm hoping that as I share them with my audience, that I also can can embrace them even deeper. Because as I tell people, I said, look, the secret for this whole show is that I'm preaching to myself here.

I didn't have this for the 30 something years before I started this show of doing it. And so the more I say these things, the more I can embrace them. And one of the things that and let's go back to this happy in general, because happiness is not worth pursuing. And I tell this to my audience. The goal is not to be happy.

The goal is to be healthy, healthier people. You know, we we may not feel better, but we could be better in it and be stronger in it and not be be, like you said, shackled by this. And there's so many people that by the time they finish caregiving and they're standing at a grave, their fists are clenched with resentment. They're so eaten up with it at themselves, at their loved one, at their family and friends, at God, whatever.

Yes. Talk a little bit about resentment and what that does to the to the to the human soul. Well, it rots the soul. It's I mean, it can happen with people who grew up with terrible trauma and who refused to look at it or work with it or anything.

What they do is turn around and pass it on. But when you when you were talking about beauty and things a minute ago, a part of what it makes me think of that nobody was sensitive to evil and suffering in this world is Jesus Christ. Whatever we bear, he bore it all. And I often think of him sitting alone at night on a mountain. In Israel, looking at the stars. That's what he did. He went there to talk to his father and he looked at the stars. And that's what he was doing.

He was he was drinking in some beauty that he had helped create in the midst of groanings that cannot be uttered. And if we do not do that, then we will get hard. And we get hard because we can't bear it. People, people don't get resentful in those things on purpose, but they steel themselves and they they resent the intrusion into their life, which it is.

And they don't have any understanding of how to seek beauty and how to face the truth of those things and still stand up and not be utterly controlled by them. And I don't know how to do that, except from the person of Christ who did that and will do that in us. It's an extraordinary journey to confront those things in our life, because that's people ask, you know, you they when they invite me on the shows, whatever they call me a caregiving expert, I always have to correct them because I'm not a caregiving expert. I don't know how to help anybody else care give for their loved one. I'm barely good at it, but with Gracie and she does a spot for me on one of them says, you know, he's a pretty good caregiver.

He's only dropped me a couple of times, but he makes me laugh at the emergency room, you know. And but but my focus on this show is not to tell people how to care give, but it's to to do the best I can to address the train wreck that's in the caregiver's heart, because we're having to watch helplessly as somebody we love is is often circling the drain. And it's to be helpless in that is is its own torture to watch this. It is it is there's I don't know what any other word to say, but that and then something else I've done with this show is that I have I've incorporated the loved ones of alcoholics and addicts. As caregivers, I think I'm the only one that's really kind of addressed that is calling them a caregiver, because if this is indeed a chronic illness, like everybody says, well, by definition, then whatever there's a chronic impairment or illness, there's a caregiver. And the same principles apply, but it's a little bit different when you're dealing with a substance abuse or alcoholism and and you've dealt with this. You've dealt with people who are traumatized in a relationship with someone who is an alcoholic or an addict.

And right now there's somebody listening maybe for the first time to hear it in a way that they can understand. Open that up a little bit and just share your heart on that to that to that person who is in it somehow engaged in a relationship with someone who is just out of control with alcoholism or addiction. Well, unlike being a caregiver, such as yourself, this is something that at least theoretically can be stopped. There's nothing anybody can do to give your life back two legs. It's not even a little hope somewhere. When somebody is an addict, there's always a little hope somewhere or maybe not anymore.

But the point is there's something there that's different. What is often missed is that sometimes the way you best love someone is to not let them stay with you. Because as long as they stay with you and you run through that revolving door with them and they keep being sad or sorry and then they're not going to do it and then they do. They're not having to face the deceptions in themselves that allow them to continue in the addiction. And that's not just true with things like drugs and alcohol.

That would be true with pornography addictions. Sometimes love. It's like the father with the son. You know, he let him leave. He didn't want to stay. He let him leave and he ended up sitting with the pigs. But that's love because it was that that drove him back to the father.

So that would not be something that would be part of the dynamic that you have, obviously. But in in the case of ongoing addictions that are destroying the person's life, who has them and the lives of the family or people that they live with. And completely full of deception and not seeing themselves clearly.

Love turns on the lights. So the rats can be seen. Otherwise, you don't get rid of the rats. And I'm talking about the rats in somebody's heart. I'm not talking about the person. Well, I mean, I'm not I'm not calling the addict a rat. I just want to be clear about that. But the point is, right.

But but but addictions are profoundly full of deception. One more time. Just a little bit.

Nobody will notice this time. I need it, you know, whatever. You don't encounter that kind of dynamic necessarily, though certainly people who are in terrible physical pain can become addicted to drugs. So you can have a double whammy there. But I just want to make sure that people see that sometimes loving is saying, you know what, I don't I'm not going to do anything to help you do this anymore. I love you too much to watch you bang your head against the door until it bleeds. It's not OK.

So you need to go here and get help and understand why you're doing this first to yourself and then to the people you say you love. I'll still be here, but you can't do it here. In the last few minutes we have of the show, I'd like to pivot a little bit now to if that's OK. It's a little bit away from the book.

I could spend all day in the book, but I want to pivot a little bit to the trauma of the covid-19 world and what we're living in and how this says. And I know that you've been watching this. You're participating and watching, which is the whole point. I mean, you're you're we're not just observers, we're participants. But what are your thoughts on this as a society, as individuals, the church, institutional churches, we see it.

What are your thoughts on this? Well, we're obviously living in times of confusion and unrest and it's unsettling and scary. And we are we all feel vulnerable.

Nobody likes it. Human beings are vulnerable, but they don't like feeling it. And when they do, they do things to make it go away or try to. And it isn't even just that with covid-19. This is the threats are not just the virus itself, but, you know, things like anxiety and depression have risen tremendously. Anger, grieving.

And there's no end in sight at this point. People are living confronted with death and living isolated lives. People got created for relationships. There's been a rise in domestic violence and sexual abuse. And and the reporting of sexual abuse in children is higher in some places and lower in others. And they're saying that the reason it's lower is because the people who typically report child sexual abuse are the teachers or medical personnel or whatever.

They don't have any contact with them. So it isn't just the virus, but it is also the way that it has altered our lives. And again, it is exposing us. You know, we've covered up sexual abuse in homes and churches and domestic violence has been minimized. And now it's being seen.

And I frankly think. Two things that and one is that this virus is a picture of what sin is like. And I believe there's a call of God in the midst of this mess to his church to look at ourselves because it's exposing a lot of weaknesses. In in human beings and the care we're giving to them and the way we teach about God and the way we protect people because of their position and their whatevers, as opposed to speak truth. We end up complicit when things like abuse happen in the church and all of that.

And so I think that it is a call in the midst of it. There is a call of God to his people first to lament. To have humility. To repent.

Because we have not been helping those by the side of the road or those suffering in our churches. We've been building big castles. With a lot of dungeons in the basement. Yep. Yep. And if you get too close, we'll kick you out.

You're not allowed. So I think we need to lament. I think we need humility and repentance. I'm very troubled by the language, certainly in our culture, but that Christians are using that is so divisive and angry.

And it doesn't sound like our Lord at all. I think it has exposed our lack of care for the least of these, certainly in terms of the things I've already mentioned, like sexual abuse and domestic violence and depression and all of those things. It has also exposed racism. And talk about trauma. We're talking about generations of trauma. And it is a time for us to be on our faces and listen and learn. You know, we follow a God who put on flesh and lived with us. And he did that full of love and truth. And he bent down and he put on our skin and became like us and entered into our sufferings and sorrows. He crossed every line there is that humans have made national, racial, gender, religious lines, all the lines they had set up during when he was here. He was the refuge. He called the house of God to follow him and to look like him and many refused. He's calling us now.

He wants us to see ourselves in the midst of this pandemic and how we have not looked like him with whoever the them is in our life or how we've protected institutions that have his name on them rather than the people and the sheep in them. One of the first things that I read in your book after certainly the thing in Ghana, which really drove home because I've been there. But when you said, and I'm going to close with this in the last few minutes we have, the use of the word. And I don't think I can say this without getting choked up because I'm so guilty of it. The use of the word, they, t-h-e-y, and how that becomes an indictment on our own souls and our character. And I read that and I had to put your book down for a moment and just kind of catch my breath because it cut all the way to my heart because I've done this.

And I'm certainly ashamed, you know, but at the same time, I learned from that. Talk about the word they and what that means in the last few minutes we have. Well, they, them, means the other not like me.

And it's always a better not so good. I mean, you know, they are less than I am in some fashion or some form. But the fact of the matter is we are they. Jesus came for they. He came for those who were totally unlike him. And he became one of us to call us to himself. And for anyone who names a name of Christ to have a they means they're not like him. Whether it's a gender or a race or a national line or an educational line or a theological, denominational, it doesn't matter.

There is no they. There is him and there is us. And he's called us to him.

Showing us how to go to others because he came to us first. When I read that, I had just gotten out of my mouth and I'm ashamed of this, but I'm just going to say it. I was looking at the thing going on with the major urban areas like New York. And I said, I said to myself, well, if they weren't living up on top of each other, then they wouldn't have it. And then like an hour later, I sit down to read the book and I saw that and I said, and you talked about how we somehow impose that their decisions are less noble than mine. And I look at my own decisions of what I've done and the carnage that I've caused in my life. And that's when the hot tears came in because I realized, oh, crap, that's me. And, you know, I had a lot of those moments in your book, by the way, said, oh, crap, that's me. We also assumed they had a choice when we say they.

I read a fascinating book, the author just went out of my head, but it's called Warmth of Other Suns. And it was about the migration of African-Americans after slavery to the northern cities. They live where they live because that's where they were allowed to live. They aren't a they.

They're in a particular dungeon and we've stayed in our chapel. And that's true, not just true of African-Americans, it's true of Native Americans, it's true of immigrants. They are over there and if they would just figure out how to get out of there, then they would be more like me. I mean, Jesus could have said that from the throne. They are over there.

And it's because of their stupid decisions, which indeed it was. He's the only one that could say that. He's the only one that could say it.

Yes. And he said, I will go to them and I will live with them so that they will be hungry for me and learn how to be like me. And then there's no more they or them, but only us on our faces before his throat. I've got to say something because it's my show. I've got to wrap this up, but I don't want to speak. I just I just want to sit here for a moment because what you say has such implications to the people that I am. So in myself and so cognizant of because I know that there are people right now listening, watching this on social media as we do the show live and so forth, who are weeping because they've never heard this like this. And I wanted them to experience you in a way that I've been able to experience through your book. This is I cannot stress enough how important this book is to me and to and I hope it will be to all of you who are listening. It's called Suffering in the Heart of God, How Trauma Destroys, How Christ Restores. I'll hold it up for you to see there on the camera.

Those are watching Dr. Diane Langberg. You have been a true blessing to me today, and I'm very, very grateful for this message in this time. And I hope that you will come back when your next book comes out, because I think that's going to be also an equally important, if not more so.

And like you said, certainly timely of what's going on and reflecting Christ in this brokenness and what we get to see in our own life. And I'm very, very, very thankful for that. Well, you're welcome.

Thank you for inviting me. God's blessing on you and your wife and those who are listening. Thank you very much, Dr. Diane Langberg. And it's Diane Langberg dot com L A N G B E R G Diane Langberg dot com. When you get this book and I'm asking you to get this book, get one for your pastor.

Would you do that? Just get one for your pastor. Your pastoral thank you. And if your pastor doesn't thank you, get a different pastor. I'm just kidding.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is hope for the caregiver. We'll see you next time.

Hope for the caregiver dot com. Have you ever struggled to trust God when lousy things happen to you? I have. I'm Gracie Rosenberger. And in 1983, I experienced a horrific car accident leading to 80 surgeries and both legs amputated. I questioned why God allowed something so brutal to happen to me.

But over time, my questions changed and I discovered courage to trust God. That understanding, along with an appreciation for quality prosthetic limbs, led me to establish Standing with Hope. For more than a dozen years, we've been working with the government of Ghana and West Africa, equipping and training local workers to build and maintain quality prosthetic limbs for their own people. On a regular basis, we purchase and ship equipment and supplies.

And with the help of inmates in a Tennessee prison, we also recycle parts from donated limbs. All of this is to point others to Christ, the source of my hope and strength. Please visit standing with hope dot com to learn more and participate in lifting others up. That's standing with hope dot com. I'm Gracie, and I am standing with hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-24 11:00:31 / 2024-01-24 11:20:42 / 20

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