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Chonda Pierce Calls HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
April 5, 2020 11:36 pm

Chonda Pierce Calls HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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April 5, 2020 11:36 pm

"I wish had a different testimony, but sadly I do not!"  

One of the reasons I wanted Chonda to call the show, is because she brings such candor and authenticity to her humor ...to the delight of hundreds of thousands.  While no stranger to heartache and grief, Chondra continues to open her life and see it with tear-filled eyes and a whole lot of laughter.

In this frank and funny interview, Chondra demonstrates why she is one of the most successful comedians ...EVER! 

For more information, visit Chondra.org

About Peter Rosenberger

“How can you laugh through what you all live through!?”

Peter Rosenberger often hears that question when people learn of his 34+ year journey as a caregiver for his wife, Gracie, who lives with severe disabilities(80 operations & the amputation of both legs).Yet, Peter and Gracie draw hope from their deep faith which strengthens their hearts—and the couple brings a contagious inspiration that lightens weary hearts struggling with challenges.

Peter’s weekly radio show, Hope for the Caregiver, is heard on more than 180 stations, and on Sirius XM’s Family Talk Channel (131).Through his show, books, commentaries, and speaking events, Peter addresses the challenges of life candor, compassion, and even comedy.

Educating, entertaining, and empowering audiences across the country, Peter Rosenberger offers poignant insights into the life of a caregiver. Weaving his deep compassion for fellow caregivers with his outrageous humor, Peter assuringly points others to safety and helps them develop plans to live a calmer, healthier, and even more joyful life as caregivers.

 

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Live on Family Talk Radio, this is the nation's number one show for you as a family caregiver, hosted by caregivers, for caregivers.

It's all about caregivers. I am Peter Rosenberger and I am your host, bringing you more than three decades of experience to help you stay strong and healthy. And we are very, very glad that you're with us. We have a very special show. John, I tell you what, I'm so excited.

I'm having to sit on my hands to keep from clapping. Well, and you say you bring 30 years of experience to the show. I think you bring a little bit more than that. Well, I bring great hair. Of course, you bring fantastic hair. Just the most, just the preachers of hair. The whole world is, we're at that point now where we're going to start seeing people's natural hair color, but this is mine.

I own this. I embraced the gray a long time ago, baby. And so it's going to be funny to watch everybody say the gray roots and the blonde extensions. Oh yeah, it'd be fantastic.

A couple of skunks floating around, you know, the white, middle and the... Now we're going for preaching and meddling now. We got to calm down. It's a beautiful thing. Well, John, I am very excited because keeping with my theme of having top notch comedians on this show, this is a lady I've wanted to have on here for a long time, a long time. I've worked very hard to get her on it. There was a, when I called her manager, he said, well, 10 bucks is 10 bucks.

And so he was very gracious and he said, we'll see what we can do. So I don't know what all went behind the scenes, but she's here. This is Shonda Pierce.

Shonda, welcome to the show. We are glad to have you with us. Well, it took a national pandemic to get me out here.

That's what it took to have me post on Facebook too. So I hear, yeah. People always are funny because you know, I'm not that hard to find, I guess, but I get that a lot going, well, I've been trying to call you, but you know, but come on, I'm not going to just publish my number in the phone book. Come on. There's crazy out there. It's crazy. And you're talking to two of them right now.

That's exactly right. I've been trying to hide this number for 30 years from you, Peter. Well, sorry about that. All right, look, by the way, we're live on, on the Family Talk channel, Sirius XM 131. We're live. If you want to call in 877-655-6755, 877-655-6755 if you want to be a part of the show.

Shonda, the reason I'm having comedians on and I want comedians on that, um, that bring a, a, not only a huge, uh, amount of experience on stage, but also life experience who've been, who face some really tough things and live to laugh about it. You know, have mercy. Well then you picked the right one. Yes, I did. I wish I had a different testimony, but sadly I do not.

Oh, that's a great way to start out. Yeah. I wish I had a different one. Sorry.

That's the new book. I wish I had a different testimony. I will say, I don't know if other people that have been through a lot of things are like this, but once you've gone through a couple of really huge traumas in your life, you kind of don't trust the people who have never gone through. Well, thus the phrase, bless your heart.

I mean, I literally had a guy that came up to me one time after church there in Nashville when we lived there for years and, and he came up to me and he said, I heard about you and your wife story. And I know, I know exactly what you're going through now. Gracie's had 80 surgeries, both of her legs amputated. This has been going on with her since 1983.

And now she of course has the coronavirus, but this was before that. But he said it, I thought, wow, I didn't think anybody in this state really had that kind of story. But he actually said, I know exactly what you're going through. Oh gosh. Yeah. And then he said, my wife sprained her ankle last month. Oh my.

Yeah. And I, I backed away from him because I didn't know if that was contagious, you know, that level of clifflessness. You know, I would tell you something. I went, after I went back to work and I, and I stayed out of work for a while after my husband died. But then, you know, you just, one, you just do what you know how to do and you, and that also helps in your healing is trying to get back to some kind of normal. But anyway, I went back to work and I'm, I'm not really blunt in my day.

I don't know how or why, but I've gotten worse about it. So I hope the Lord, you know, still loves me. And I think he does. But this is the truth. This lady came up to me and said, you know, I, I feel for your broken heart. I certainly understand it. And I think we would be best friends. I had a dog that had been in my family for years and years, and he passed away about the time your husband did. And it's just been the most broken hearting time for me. And now let me tell you, I'm not negating her pain, but I did look at her and go, really? You just compared the loss of the man I was married to for 31 years with the loss of your Chihuahua. And I just look at her like, bless your heart. And I walked off. I'm just not going to accept that kind of ridiculousness because my thing is, maybe she'll rethink what she said.

And she won't say that again to somebody who is walking through a dark road. Well, we've had people though, that have tried to work out their theology and their understanding of God's purposes and everything else in our life. And I'm sure you have as well. Talk about that a little bit. And then we can talk about them on the radio and it's not really gossip. We're just using this as a time to share. It's a prayer opportunity. We do love dogs, by the way, but come on. We'll talk about that a little bit, Shonda. But when you have had people try to work out your grief and so forth in a way that makes sense to them, I come from the mentality that it doesn't have to make sense to us.

It makes sense to God. And let's deal with that. And that way we can move on.

We can get through the next day. Is that kind of where your head space is on that? Absolutely. It took me a while to get that way. Years and years ago, I fell into deep depression in which, you know, it's interesting because a lot of comedians struggle with some type of profound either depression or ideation or they get addicted to the limelight or the adrenaline. And so they struggle with drugs or alcohol. And so I'm not alone in this. And a lot of people struggle with depression. And I can remember so many different church remedies. The little lady that said, I don't think you should talk about your antidepressants that makes your faith look weak.

And I always go, well, then take your glasses off and drive home. I wanted to add more on, but I did. He had the Lord working in my life. So that was one thing. But also when I finally really hit it hard and I wound up in a psychiatric hospital because I just really wanted to just jump off the cliff and kill myself.

I don't know that I would, but I said it. And so my family was smart enough to take me at my word and get me some help. And so I went and the most incredible thing that I learned there was that it was okay to ask God why. And then it was okay to relinquish that I may not get an answer.

And that's okay. Sometimes just hearing your voice say, Lord, this sucks. That in itself is a healing moment. Just hearing yourself say the words that I don't like this or this doesn't seem fair or this isn't fair. And so when you hear the words, there's something about how that diffuses that ongoing conversation in your brain.

It begins to weaken the argument that you're hiding in your heart and it lets it out. And then once it gets out and you realize I didn't get struck by lightning and there is truth to the fact that God's ways are not my way. And then years go by and you realize there were some good things that happened in that process.

That thing wasn't good, but the things that happened because of that tragedy was good. And so when all those things become true in your life, then you learn that the next trauma that comes along or the next tragedy comes along. I'm not going to waste any more time asking God why, why, why, why, why, why.

It just takes too much energy. Now I just go, okay, what do we learn through this, Lord? How do we get through the other side of it? And give me some patience to get through it.

Well, one of the things that Gracie and I have learned over the years with her challenges, our challenges together is, what's he going to tell us that's going to make us smack our forehead and say, oh, okay, now I feel better. I mean, really, I mean, how can we process this and we can't. I mean, it's just too much.

It's too big. And it takes a lot of emotional energy and physical energy to stay that torqued up about it. At some point you just have to resign. I tried to have myself committed one time.

I was just really struggling. And I showed up there in Nashville to place there and they took me back in the back room and they gave me a, they sat down with me and I talked, I just kind of vomited all over the, I mean, verbally violated, not really violated, John. And they said, at the end, they said, well, we give you a book to read, but you're the guy to write it. And they said, you're not crazy. And I said, well, can I get that in writing? Cause there's some people that are really concerned and they'd like to see that. And I said, no, you're not crazy.

You just burn out. I mean, and we got some tuna sandwiches in a box. We've been given box lunch and we got one left as tuna. Do you want it?

And I said, yes, I do. I've never turned down a tuna sandwich in my life. And they gave it to me and I sat out in the car and I thought about this. I tried to have myself committed.

All I got was a tuna sandwich. So about that, you know, and I, of course I am just weird. I just try to see the silver lining in a lot of things.

And I don't know why I'm like that. My brother and I have tried to define how we survived. My sisters did not, you know, the Lord took them at a young age and here, my brother and I, we always say it's just because we're too mean to go to heaven just yet. But, but I will say I, there, there is an innate thing in me that I wake up expecting the day to be good expecting. And so, so I get surprised sometimes because it's terrible, you know, and, and then you learn to roll with it, but all that to say, I remember very well, you know, the opportunity that has come because of my depression. I thought that would be the end of my career. And suddenly it was a whole resurgence of people that were dying to hear the truth, dying to hear that you can love Jesus and you can be as close to, you know, a person of faith as you possibly can. And bad things are still going to happen. And the, and then the sweet thing is that is to, to realize that it's okay to, to rail and to say, this is, this is a bad day.

You know, it was perfectly all right for you to be, you had every right to be upset and depressed and tired and burn out. My brother, my brother as you, because you know him, Peter, he's a wonderful shrinker. He was one of my first guests on this show when we were at WLAC in Nashville.

John and I had him on. Great man, a great counselor. Oh, he's wonderful. He's not that great a brother, but he is a good counselor. Oh, that's said only like a sister.

Oh yeah. Years ago, I remember I was close to burnout, like what you were talking about. And I sit on his couch and I said, oh, you're just not going to believe, I have to go do Live in the Faith this weekend. And then I got four dates after that. And then, and then I have to do these radio interviews and I'm just, I've got to finish this book and I'm just going to, I'm just, I just can't believe I'm just worn out.

They're just working me. And finally, in all his wisdom and kindness, he goes, Shonda, who do you think you are? I got real quiet, like you jerk, I'm a big brother.

And he went on to explain, he said, let me tell you something. If you don't show up Sunday to speak at that event, or if you don't show up Friday to do this, or you don't finish this book, don't you know that the God of the universe will take care of whoever needs to be in that slot. In other words, it's perfectly all right for you to say, no, I just got to take a break, or I need a rest or, you know, and sometimes we do, we get really burnt out and rightfully so. But sometimes we bring that on ourselves, because we weren't disciplined enough to say no. Well, that really ticked me off.

But he was absolutely right. We kind of, you know, we believe our own press sometimes if we're not careful at how much the world needs us. And doesn't this coronavirus, didn't that just halt everybody's tour and everybody's, you know, concerts and everybody's, you know, big speaking engagements. And now you have all these artists that thought the world can't live without them. Yes, indeed. But it's really, well, he, he do indeed. And, uh, listen, don't go away.

We got to take a quick break. Don't go away. We're talking with Shonda Pierce, one of the best-selling comedians of all time. And she is just a delight.

And I'm just grateful that she took the time to call it into the show. This is Hope for the Caregiver. I'm Peter Rosenberger.

We'll be right back. Hey, this is Larry the Cable Guy. You are listening to Hope for the Caregivers with Peter Rosenberg.

And if you're not listening to it, you're a communist. Have you ever struggled to trust God when lousy things happen to you? 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 standingwithhope.com to learn more and participate in lifting others up.

That's standingwithhope.com. I'm Gracie and I am standing with hope. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver here on the Family Talk Channel.

I am Peter Rosenberger. I am so glad that you're with us. That's my wife, Gracie, singing that. I'm alive.

Lift up my voice. She is alive. She has the coronavirus right now. She's struggling with it, but she is tough. Name of her new record is called Resilient. And she is resilient. I Googled resilient. Her name comes up.

I mean, she is stronger than elevator. And if you want a copy of that record, go out to standingwithhope.com. That's the ministry that she envisioned of helping her fellow amputees. And you know what, whatever donation you want to give, whatever's on your heart, do it.

We'll send you a copy. We're talking with Shonda Pierce, one of the absolute funniest ladies out there. But one of my favorite, I've watched this woman for years. I've watched the way she plays.

Well, she's also a pianist. Oh, we got three of us. Yeah, we got three of them here.

Yeah. And she brings such a exuberance. And I think the last several years as she's gone through such heartbreak, losing her husband, all the challenges she went through with him and with just her story is a powerful story. She puts it all out there. But that's when I think that's what makes your humor so much richer because I'm not looking for just a quick punchline.

I want to see people that can weave the tapestry of life in there. Some of the funniest moments that Gracie and I have had have been in the midst of just crazy stuff. I mean, we pulled up at a traffic light one time and she had her leg off. She was giving her limb a rest. So she took her prosthetic leg off and then she held it up to the guy next to us at the traffic light and she scratched her ear with the foot. I mean, he didn't know.

He just saw this leg show up and she scratched her ear. That's funny. I mean, I don't care who you are. That's just funny. And I love, I love the way you have chosen to weave your pain into this. When you write comedy, when you do these things, when you are going through this process, do you, how does that work for you? Do you go off by yourself or do you just see something just funny, just write it down real quick or how does that work? You know, I, I, uh, a really good comic is a great observer. I mean, we just watch life now. There's, there's good and bad of that because sometimes you have a bad habit of watching life and not getting into life. But, um, but you just watch life. And so I, I've been a great observer. I could go to the mall and write pages and pages just watching people go by and we have a Walmart. So enough said right there. Well, Walmart should have an observation deck. I've been saying that for years. You know, they would make a lot of money if they just serve a little latte at a coffee bar with a big window where you could just watch all the shoppers, you know, I'm thinking they're going to have to go stronger than coffee.

Yeah, they might, but all that to say, uh, I, one of the funniest stories which came true, it was true. And I wondered how I could get by with telling it, you know, that's the biggest thing. You have a lot of wonderful material, but for my audience, who's primarily a believers, you know, Christian, you know, my goal is to see how many things I can do to kick off that particular church I'm in. So my husband, when he died, we buried him on my farm. I have a farm called the funny farm. And, uh, and so we had married him out there in a place. We buried him in a place where we had decided we were going to build a house. So I did this real romantic thing of going, I just want to put him there, you know?

Well, that was, now you look back six years later, that was a stupid idea. That was the only flat surface and the only perfect place to build a house. And now my man has messed me up because he's where the hole is. That used to be the septic tank.

So I just don't feel right in there and it's so true. So when I went out to see how it looked a few days later, cause they were going to throw out some grass seed and make it look really nice. They had plowed over the little temporary marker where he was and it was shoved up in the weeds. And so I had to call the funeral home and tell him I lost my husband again. And it was so bizarre that it became so funny. And the most fun about telling that on a stage is watching people try hard not to laugh. And then they just can't help it because it just got so bizarre.

We had to get metal detectors out there to try to find him. And it's all true! That's what so much, some of the funniest things are true. Now there's a lot of true things that happen that unless you've been there or if you, you know, and I tell my audience this all the time, you know, your body, God create, we are fearfully and wonderfully made and God created our emotions to work at all the right times. And if they're working at the wrong time, that's when you know you need medication. If you're, if you're at a comedy concert and you're having a hard time laughing and you're just having a hard time getting over something because your husband died two days ago, your body is reacting exactly as it should.

But, and, and then the opposite is true. If you're at a comedy concert and your husband died the day before and you're having more fun than you've ever had in your life, we probably should dig up your backyard because you killed a few people back there. You have to listen to your emotions and trust your emotions, you know, and then if they are appropriate for that particular moment, then that's great. If your emotions are not appropriate for what's going on in your life, then then we've got to talk to somebody. Well, one of the things I love about you is that you are pushing the envelope and helping churches quit putting their own doctrines on people's processing their own grief and pain.

That is unfair when people do that. I hope every church out there hears that. We'll just see if I have a career left.

There are a few that won't have me back and that's all right. You know, I talked too much about sex or I talked too much about, you know, my husband was an alcoholic and I, and, and taught a Sunday school class. So I, I talked about it, I tell that. But that's what we're supposed to do, Shonda. That is, that's the healthy thing. And one of the driving principles of this show is we're looking for healthy caregivers.

We're looking for people to live a healthier life that we can laugh even while tears are drying on our cheeks. And, and, you know, Gracie has about as goofy a sense of humor as anybody. And, and she lives with more heartache and tragedy. And that's, I mean, that's just being married to me. And not to mention the fact she's disabled and you know, but she's learning to, she, she has, when she laughs, she laughs like a drunk Viking. I mean, it's just belly laughs and you, I kid you not. Um, but that's, but that's what it's supposed to be.

We, it's her, her verse is second Corinthians 12 nine. I will boast all the more gladly my weakness and Shonda, you have blessed us today. I'm sorry. Our time is up and I wish I could just, would you come back? All right.

10 bucks is 10 bucks. Shonda. And listen, I am so grateful for you, Shonda Pierce. And, uh, she is just a deer and I'm gonna put this out on the podcast. We'll link to her website and everything else. This is Peter Rosenberg in this hope for the caregiver.

Hey, this is Peter Rosenberg. Have you ever helped somebody walk for the first time? I've had that privilege many times through our organization, standing with hope when my wife, Gracie gave up both of her legs following this horrible wreck that she had as a teenager. And she tried to save them for years.

And if it just wouldn't work out and finally she relinquished them and thought, wow, this is it. I mean, I don't have any legs anymore. What can God do with that? And then she had this vision for using prosthetic limbs as a means of sharing the gospel to put legs on her fellow amputees. And that's what we've been doing now since 2005 was standing with hope. We work in the West African country of Ghana, and you can be a part of that through supplies, through supporting team members, through supporting the work that we're doing over there.

You could designate a limb. There's all kinds of ways that you could be a part of giving the gift that keeps on walking at standingwithhope.com. Would you take a moment to go out to standingwithhope.com and see how you can give. They go walking and leaping and praising God. You could be a part of that at standingwithhope.com.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-23 11:26:54 / 2024-01-23 11:37:24 / 11

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