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Wade Jensen- Overcoming Grief

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff
The Truth Network Radio
May 6, 2023 1:00 am

Wade Jensen- Overcoming Grief

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff

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May 6, 2023 1:00 am

 Nikita sits down with good friend and author Wade Jensen to discuss his new books, and how God's providence has brought him through difficult times. In order that God's glory shines through.

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Introducing first, from Lithuania, he weighs 123 kilos, the Russian nightmare, Nikita Kolov. Now, the Devil's Nightmare. Welcome back to another episode of It's Time to Man Up. I have a man's man in the studio with me today, and, hey, Wade, so great to have you in the studio. Thank you for joining me today.

I appreciate you asking me to join you, Nikita, it's truly an honor. Well, and just for the record, tell people, let's just jump right in, Wade, dive right in, tell people who Wade Jensen is, like what's your background, what's your story, where do you live, let's tell our audience. Well, to quote Kenneth Copeland, my background's the gutter. Okay, okay. To be honest.

Get somebody's attention right there. Born in Wyoming, so I'm pretty rare since the least populated state in the Union, and raised in the Dakotas, and at 18 I joined the Army, and was in the first Gulf War, ended up getting out because just felt like it was time. And when I was graduating from college in 1995, a friend of mine congratulated me and then said, you're going to be a chaplain in the Air Force.

And I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. And then I ended up serving the last 19 years in the Air Force. Okay, well we'll jump into that, not to get ahead of ourselves, so let me just say thank you for serving, by the way, I really appreciate anyone and everyone who protects our nation, and so thank you for serving. So let me, okay, timeline, so you graduated high school, and so you went right into the military then, and then went to college after getting out? That is correct, I joined the Army for the Army College Fund, so I did four years, was a French Linguist, was in the first Gulf War, so for both Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

And then right when I got back, I mean I was 90 days short as we call it, and ended up going to the University of Wyoming, and did four years there, and I was actually a mechanical engineering major starting out. But as a president of a fraternity, God had a way of changing everything, and I like to tell people, I did not just get changed, my whole life was changed. And ended up switching my major to French, and thanks to being a French Linguist in the Army, I still graduated in four years, and felt a call to ministry, and with this gentleman telling me, hey you're going to be a chaplain in the Air Force.

I looked that up, I'm like, okay Lord, you probably might have got the wrong guy. As far as what's all involved with being a chaplain? Yes, they changed the rules right as of all things, I was graduating seminary, but it originally required a 90 semester hour Master of Divinity degree. And I was in remedial reading all through grade school, so that's my testimony, is if God says you can do it, you just got to buck up and embrace it and do it. Wow, okay now let me just have a French Linguist, so maybe you're fluent in French, help me understand. Right now I'd be insulted by a Frenchman. Okay. But if I were completely immersed, I'd be probably dreaming in French here in about two or three weeks again. Okay. Because languages go from active to passive, it's very fascinating in the brain, and we'll get into this further, but I worked at a neurological institute on my civilian side as a chaplain as well, which was fascinating to learn different aspects about the brain.

Okay. But I was in France in 2017, and it was amazing how fast things just were coming back out at me after not speaking it fluently for a while. So I was able to start reading in French and conversing, ordering in a restaurant, so going beyond the hi, bye, thank you. And very important in any language, where's the bathroom? I knew you were going to say that, I knew you were going to say that.

Where's the banjo? Oh my gosh. So it almost in a sense sounds like almost like riding a bike. They say once you learn to ride a bike, you can always forever ride a bike, right? Exactly.

In a sense. So, okay, so, well, tell us just briefly about family. Tell us about family. I went to Toronto, Canada to the Toronto Airport Church in 1999, and I was going there to catch the fire, was hoping for the Holy Spirit too, but I caught a wife out of the deal. Okay.

All right. And so God arranged our marriage where I met my wife, Heather, and literally God confirmed it on both sides, where we both knew we were going to marry each other three weeks after we met. And we were married eight months to the day after we met, and a lot of people were like, wow, it must have been so great. Well, the thing is, because God arranged our marriage, divorce was not in our vocabulary.

Murder was for the first six months. You sound like Ruth Graham Bell. Ruth Bell Graham. Anyway, Ruth, Billy Graham's wife, but anyway. Yes, and now my wife and I have three kids, almost 17, almost 16, and then 13, and then I am actually the oldest in my extended family. I'm the oldest of six, and I have four brothers and one sister, and of all things too, how God has a sense of humor, because of knowing your age a little bit too. My parents' names are Jack and Diane, so it kind of stands out if anybody remembers a certain John Mellencamp from 1983. Is that where some of the children's names then stem from?

Well, my sister's named after my dad, so it's Jacqueline, but everybody calls her Jackie, and then we have nicknames for everybody in the family. So if I went into that, we'd be here for a while. All right, let's fast forward a little bit then and talk about this move into chaplaincy. Yes. Is that the technical term?

Yes. So you look that up and you're like, wait, what? But the Lord opens that door to become a chaplain. Right, and I was actually, because I changed my whole life, November 20th, 1993, when I accepted Christ.

My six maxed out credit cards did not change due to living a lifestyle that was outside of the will of God, and it took me basically five years to pay off my stupid tax, and I had just met my wife at that time. So even though I heard that the day I graduated from college in 1995, I ended up not going to seminary until 2002, and that was after my wife and I were married, and of course we shared with each other like, what do you feel God's telling you to do? I told her this, and I was telling her all these different seminaries to go to, and power about a marriage where Amos 3, 3 says, how can any two walk together unless they're in agreement?

A lot of people associate that with us and God, but it's very crucial in a marriage as well that we'd be in agreement. If we weren't in agreement, we just wouldn't go forward unless we were out of agreement and prayed like, had a different wisdom piece, which, but anyway, I would look at these different schools, none of them would stand out, and then I said, well, what about Denver Seminary, which because I'm more on the high wattage spectrum of Christianity, its legal name is the Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary. It was not my first choice, but going with my wife's hunch, we went there to check out the seminary, and at this time we're living in South Dakota, and go to check out the seminary. I literally am on campus, not even 15 minutes, I run into this lady and she looks at me and says, you're going to be a chaplain in the Air Force. I'm like, well, I heard that in 1995, and she looks at me and says, well, you're going to be a chaplain in the Air Force. Turns out she's a retired Air Force chaplain, was a seventh female chaplain in the Air Force, and she's the one who ended up swearing me in as a chaplain candidate, which you can become while you're in seminary.

You can get commission, so you kind of get a flavor and be able to experience what the military is like, and it's also a way for those of us in seminary to basically make some summer money, and come back and fully engage with the seminary learning process. So you had, well, clearly more than one individual that had, if you want to say, had a vision, or at least spoke into you the fact that they saw anyway, that that was part of the destiny for you. Let me ask you something before we get or continue that conversation, November 20th, 1993.

Yes. So you didn't know this. You and I are the same age. Did you know that? Well, spiritually.

Amen. Anyway, 17 October 1993 for me. So I got you by, I guess, about 23 or four days.

So I'm your older brother, I guess, technically. But so tell us just very briefly what brought you to that decision point of surrendering your life to Christ. I'm curious. Well, to keep this at least PG, I was with a gal that I thought I was going to marry, and I ended up finding her with another guy in a not so good situation, which was frankly devastating for me. And this semester in college, I mean, I was honors level grades, and my grades went to C's get degrees kind of quality. So it really devastated you.

It really devastated me. But six days after I broke up with this gal, I had my brother Mike had a roommate whose dad was a Vietnam veteran. His name's Ed, who looked at me and he met me that earlier that day, which was a Saturday, November 20th. And my brother Mike said later that evening says, Hey, I would like to speak with you some more. Would you want to come over to our townhouse and have a conversation with him? And because I was prior army, I'm like, oh, it's bright, small talk, army talk.

I don't know. I'm like, sure. And I'm an extrovert. I'll talk to anyone.

Stranger's a friend I haven't met. So I go over. And as I'm there, just after a few minutes, Ed looks right at me and says, The Lord's been speaking to me about you. And of course, in my mind, I was raised Catholic. Nothing wrong with Catholics. But this guy as a Catholic, I was a good heathen Catholic. Some of us called the CE Catholics Christmas and Easter.

Only I called CEOs Christmas and Easter only. Anyway. OK, so. But she had some, quote, religion in your life.

Yes. And I had a faith in God. And but for God speaking to people like that, that was out of my wheelhouse. I was like foreign to you. That was really.

Yes. And I had bought a Bible when I was 16 and made a vow that I'd read it by the time I was 21. And I finished it literally like three days before the ground war started in the first Gulf War, which to me was very fascinating, because even as not so tuned in to God, it was God fighting for us in the first Gulf War. It was very that might be another whole story in itself. But Ed, then, as I was thinking this in my head, like, you know, yeah, sure. He heard from God like God's got something for me. And then he says three things about me that I hadn't even told my brother, Mike, who is sitting right there.

No one would know, except for God. Except for God. And when Ed said these three things now in my own heart, I'm like, OK, now you have my undivided attention. Right.

Right. And then I really asked sincerely, well, what did God say he's got for me? And Ed says, well, he'd like to know if you would turn your life over to him because he's really got something for you.

And I remember I was 24 at the time and said, well, what I've done in the first 24 years of my life hasn't worked. Sure. And then Ed says, well, I just want you to know that the Holy Spirit is going to touch you in a very special way. I just hear him saying that. And I want you to repeat this prayer after me. And that's where he led me through the sinner's prayer, confessed my sins, asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior.

And as I'm finishing up praying this with him, it's as if you were to take a picture of liquid fire and pour it on me. I felt this run through me and like come out of my belly and like I was half scared, even a lot scared because I'd never felt anything like this before. But at the same time, I felt like every cell in my body was going to vibrate apart. I had such a sense of the love and peace and joy of God that I knew it had to be him.

And then, of course, because I was a linguist, I have a language come out of my mouth that I had not learned before, but I could recognize it as a tangible language. And it just, I'm like, floored me. And then, of course, this feeling of like this liquid fire, best way I could put it into terms, kept pouring. And it got so heavy that I told my brother, Mike, who's way bigger than me, I was like and he was behind me. I'm like, I feel like I'm going to pass out. I need to sit down.

And I ended up sitting down on their love seat in this townhouse where this just kept going on for like 45 minutes. And then first revelation as a new believer, my brother Mike's done this. And my first question, my brother Mike sitting there, I'm like, why didn't you tell me about this sooner?

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You're listening to the Truth Network and And he looked at me, said, you would not have received it a year ago. The timing wasn't right, right? The timing wasn't right.

So, wow, God's divine sounds like a very divine appointment with the man of God that night. And life changing. And yeah, I was president of the fraternity I was a part of at this point. And literally I went from being president to moving out of the fraternity house and in with my brother Mike and Ed's son, Brandon. Wow.

And that was all within six weeks that moved out, changed my major to French. So things fast forward from there. And so talk to us about becoming a chaplain.

Wow. Interesting to me. Now, here's where God is filling in certain pieces of the puzzle that fast forward to where our culture is today. I've been in different Pentecostal, charismatic movements since I was saved. I first attended an assembly of God after my experience, little tiny assembly of God church that no longer exists in Laramie, Wyoming. Ended up becoming a part of Christian International network of churches after that. I had different prophetic people that would come around me. And of course, besides the, you're going to be a chaplain in the Air Force, there were words of, I see you around military folks. I had one couple say, I really see you ministering to the homosexual community.

Well, look at what Obama allowed into the military in 2013 or after the DOMA Act was struck down. Open up opportunities for you to minister. And becoming a chaplain, what I enjoyed, this is at Denver Seminary, they had a very strong mentoring program. So you had to have two active mentors while you were attending. One was a retired line officer from the Air Force, what we call line officer.

The difference is line is basically your combatants, the non-liner, your chaplains, your JAG Corps, and your medical personnel. So, but this gentleman was an officer in the Air Force, retired. And then the other one who was my mentor was a pastor for 28 years, helped get promise keepers going.

Just a wonderful man of God as well. And in the learning contracts though, I learned that I needed to learn, A, about self-care. I also took a lot of electives on counseling, which is why I wrote my first book on dealing with grief and loss.

Because I couldn't find anything that showed where God was in the process. And there's something called clinical pastoral education, which is basically like a residency for a chaplain. Which I did one unit, as they're called, in seminary. And did that with an active duty Air Force chaplain in a community-based clinical pastoral education setting.

And this led to, once I graduated from seminary, I did a year of what's called clinical pastoral education at a level one trauma center in the Denver area. And of course, when you're dealing with this kind of trauma, it opens up all kinds of things. Not just with how am I going to deal with this, but it reveals what's in your own heart. Like, wow, I didn't realize I didn't deal with that in my life. Yeah, I can relate to that, certainly. There have been things over the course of time that the Lord has in my walk and journey in certain settings.

You know, whether I've been in one of my buddies, Lex Luger, we facilitate a man camp. And certain settings or conferences or different places or settings I've been that the Lord's just brought revelation to certain things in my life. Trauma or wounds, wounds and other things that, you know, I just didn't realize I had not addressed or had not dealt with.

And we're still affecting my relationships, certainly with others and even my relationship with him. Let me ask you a question. You made a reference to, I'm holding two books in my hand here. The one I think you just referred to, the pathological grieving of America, overcoming grief on a personal, corporate and national scale.

You were referring to that one. What would someone, give us a cliff note of what someone might, if they pick up a copy of this book, what might they gain from reading this book? They would gain, first off, of how the process of grief and loss works. Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, who really formulated the five stages of grief, which a lot of people would know. Denial, anger, bargaining, despair, depression and then acceptance. But I showed how via a diagram in my book that grief is like a tennis ball in a dryer. That it will bounce all over the place and you don't know where it's going to end up. And as an example, you could bounce between anger and denial for the first two weeks. Like, especially, you know, when I hear the news of like a 15 year old girl going missing.

What's that dad going through right now? I mean, you're going from anger to this can't, this couldn't have happened to me. And because I was around grief and saw it so much and even experienced it myself. It was from my personal experience with everyone that I realized there has to be another resource. And what else they would get of realizing how grief and loss works is where is God in the process? Because a lot of books out there address, here's how to deal with grief and loss.

But where is God in this? It's not necessarily a spiritual overtone to what you're saying. Right. Yeah, yeah. And I know I'm looking at the back cover here.

How do you move past overwhelming grief and loss? And so this can give someone who's struggling with either or both, picking up a copy of this book would give them insight into how to address that and how to deal with that. Yes.

Yeah. Now your other book, Restoration, The Heartbeat of God. What might somebody, what might they pick up from that one? No matter how low you've gone or whatever has happened. And in some cases, because of where we believe, even in death, are there some people that get restored? Having literally had one of my men who was dead on the table for 98 minutes, and we were praying and his testimony is out there live where he came back. One of the guys in your unit, in your military unit. Yeah.

Unfortunately, he's one of my airmen who took the COVID shot and the day later went into heart failure. And coded on the table. Wow. And Restoration, according to Galatians 6, it says, If anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual are to restore such a person. Right, right.

So it doesn't matter what we've done. And I give biblical precedent of why this is in place and what it looks like as Christians, what we should be doing and give a blueprint for what churches or ministries could even do to set up, if you want to call that a restoration center or a climate for restoration. Wade, where could people get copies of these? The Pathological Grieving of America is on Amazon because I just published that one through Amazon.

Okay. And the Restoration, The Heartbeat of God is through West Bow Press. So that is on West Bow Press website, but is also available on Amazon or any of the major book sellers, Books a Million, Barnes and Noble. Wade Jensen, and I'm guessing that stands for Master of Divinity. Masters are?

That is correct. The requirement to become a chaplain was getting that big fat master's degree. Masters of Divinity.

A very schooled man sitting before me is what I'm going to conclude from our conversation today. And you've got such a fascinating story to me anyway. And especially, you know, the books you've authored, Restoration, The Heartbeat of God. And God's a master builder and rebuilder, no matter how broken the pieces are, God can heal wounds and restore you so you're better than before. Of course, Proverbs says that you should let somebody else praise you, but with my first book on grief and loss to encourage even other authors out there.

It is not a best seller because most people don't want to deal with grief and loss. Right. But I had a gentleman who I gave that to who was in the military struggling with some stuff. He saw some serious combat.

He ended up getting my book and after speaking with me, and he came back, set up another appointment three weeks later. And he's like, well, chaplain, I just want to let you know, I've read through your book twice and I've decided not to take my own life. Amen.

And right there, I'm like, okay, Lord, the pain of getting that through was worth it for that one. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of It's Time to Man Up with Nikita Kolob. God bless you. This podcast is made possible by the grace of God and your faithful prayers, support, and generous gifts. May God bless you for your continual contributions. Go to and donate today.

Hi, Nikita Kolob. Be sure to check out The Man Up Show now available on television, broadcast, and podcast. Go to or the Truth Radio Network. Check out your local listings or better yet, download the Truth Network app today. If you are enjoying The Man Up Show, would you help us spread the word? Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your neighbors to download, subscribe, and leave a comment. Nikita Kolob here.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-06 03:54:21 / 2023-05-06 04:05:31 / 11

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