Tag Archive | Christianity

Grief, Loss, & Suffering

When going through grief, suffering, and loss, it can feel like the absolute end of the world.

Throughout life, I’ve experienced over 40 major grief events…a mixture of death of loved ones, extreme loss, and serious tragedy. At the time, it did feel like the end of the world…because it was the absolute end of my world…especially since some of the loved ones I lost were my world.

It’s been through these incredibly hard, heartbreaking times I’ve learned the most though.

I didn’t initially learn much during my first few grief experiences…but the lessons came, and kept coming, and I did eventually choose to learn a lot.

After going through grief and loss while growing up (my dad, sister, grandparents, uncle, and boyfriend’s deaths, as well as my sister’s fiancé’s death; our home flooding and losing everything; an illness; a friend’s murder; two friend’s suicides; being in ICU twice; and other grief events), I remember naively thinking (when I was at the ripe, old age of 19), “I paid my dues…now I can live a grief-free life.” But that isn’t how “life” or “grief” works.

Grief is definitely not a “one and done” event; grief & suffering are a part of life…and will be intermittently woven throughout a lifetime.

I have found it comes in waves. Sometimes, the water is beautiful and calm…other times, it feels as though the the waves will engulf and drown you.

The better equipped and educated we are on the topic of grief/suffering, the better prepared we (and our loved ones) will be as we face any wave of grief. And there will be many waves of grief throughout the lives of most.

ALL grief events have value. Extraordinary value. God never wastes a hurt. We can waste our hurt; God never does. When we entrust our grief and heartache to God, He is faithful to bring something good out of it. It may not happen initially, but it will happen…even if we can’t see it at the time. (Psalm 56:8; Isaiah 66:9)

I’ve experienced multiple, worse grief events in my adult life…and I credit the the grief and loss I faced while growing up with helping prepare me for these future times of deep heartache and adversity.

Each grief event we go through is an opportunity to deeply mourn — as well as learn a new facet of God’s heart…to find out more about the condition of our hearts…to develop compassion, empathy, character and strength..and ultimately, to learn how to extravagantly love God and “suffer well”.

Learning how to “suffer well” isn’t fun. It’s my LEAST favorite part of any trial, grief experience, or loss. It takes God’s love and grace to do so.“Suffering well” means to run to God during times of grief, learning valuable lessons only God can teach us throughout our grief journey — ultimately, suffering well means to allow our grief to transform us into being more like Christ.

Grief (suffering) – although it is gut-wrenchingly terrible – is one of the best teachers on the planet…when you embrace it, God will show you things you can’t even fathom (1 Cor 2:9-10; Isaiah 45:3). God shows and teaches us things – treasures – when we walk through darkness that we can’t learn as effectively any other way.
Lessons bought with an incredibly high price…so high, you won’t want to waste it…are treasures. You can’t buy these lessons and treasures at Walmart; they’re purchased with each teardrop, sleepless night, and heartache. These lessons and treasures have great purpose throughout life – especially when we help our loved ones and others in times of suffering and grief. (2 Cor 1:4)

As Christians, Jesus shares we will experience hardships, trials, grief, and suffering – the Bible is FILLED with scripture on these topics – so it makes sense to study God’s Word and find out how to best navigate these super tough times.

Let’s purpose today to love God and draw as close as we can to His incredible heart…to study God’s Word on grief, loss, and suffering…to find out as much as we can in the Bible…and to seek God’s heart throughout each grief event we experience throughout life. He is the key to getting through grief.💗

Want to know how Grief Bites began? Read all about it here.


🥰Bible verses to encourage your heart🥰

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
~ Psalm 34:18

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
~ Psalm 27:13-14

“In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” says the Lord..”
‭‭~ Isaiah‬ ‭66:9‬ ‭‬‬

“I will give you the treasures of darkness and the riches hidden in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by name.”
~ Isaiah 45:3

“You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book. God, you did everything you promised, and I’m thanking you with all my heart. You pulled me from the brink of death, my feet from the cliff-edge of doom. Now I stroll at leisure with God in the sunlit fields of life.”
‭‭~ Psalm‬ ‭56:8, 12-13‬ ‬‬

“Be strong and courageous…The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
~ Deuteronomy 31:7-8

“For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.”
~ Isaiah 49:13

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
~ Isaiah 41:10

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
~ John 14:27

“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.”
~ Job 23:10

“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.”
~ Nahum 1:7

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
~ Matthew 11:28-29

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
~ John 16:33

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
~ Jeremiah 29:11

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
~ John 3:16-17

“Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight.”
~ Psalm 119:143

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
~ 2 Chronicles 7:14

Praying everyone who is walking through grief will find encouragement, comfort, love, hope, and healing for their hurting heart!

©2022 Grief Bites. All rights reserved.

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

⭐️For more encouragement:

❤️Making peace with God: http://www.peacewithgod.net

❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book):

❤️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: https://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

❤️Kim’s blog: https://www.griefbites.com

❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

  1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships
  2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed
  3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites
  4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays
  5. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Christmas: http://bible.com/r/3V5
  6. Happy New Year!: Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: http://bible.com/r/3Zv
  7. Valentine’s Day: Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/14059-valentines-day-experiencing-holidays-with-jesus
  8. The True Treasure of Christmas: https://www.bible.com/en/reading-plans/28852

⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is copyright protected material. Please ask for permission to copy, use, or print.

⭐️⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is for encouragement purposes only and is not in any way to be construed as medical, emotional, mental, relational, or psychological advice. We hope to serve as a bridge to encourage others by sharing our personal grief and life experiences. Please contact a qualified healthcare professional, mental health professional, or qualified pastor for guidance and advice.

An Important Prayer For Hard Times & COVID-19

With the coronavirus affecting and impacting so many people and countries, we can be tempted to fall into uncertainty, fear, worry, or anxiety about the future.

Prayer is effective…it can literally change everything – especially ourselves when we pray and petition God. The following is a prayer that I hope everyone will pray out loud. If you have a family member or friend you can pray with, that’s even better (Matthew 18:19-20).

God is not surprised by any virus, illness, pandemic, or financial crisis. I pray He will use this tragic time to draw everybody close to His heart – a true revival.

Praying for all impacted by COVID-19.💗

Please feel free to share this with your family and friends…the more prayers, the better!

An Important Prayer For Hard Times (pray out loud if possible):

“Dear Most Gracious Heavenly Father,
We come before You and thank You for being in full control – and also for every evidence of good in our lives that You have blessed us with. You are better to us than we deserve.
We ask and thank You for your protection and provision. We ask for Your continual forgiveness, protection, safety, mercy, grace, and favor.
Lord, we ask You in the mighty name of Jesus Christ to powerfully shut down, cease, and halt COVID-19 – and all other viruses, illnesses, disease, and pandemics. We ask for supernatural healing, help, and protection for everyone…and each community, city, state, and country…that is being affected by this tragedy.
During uncertain times, it can be easy to freak out…to think the worst case scenarios…to give way to major anxiety, worry, and fear…and even doubt.
I ask that You completely strengthen each of us and our families and give us the grace to seek Your heart..to walk by faith and not by sight…to pick trust in You over fear…to choose Your peace that passes understanding over worry and anxiety.
Help us to be voices of comfort, love, compassion, encouragement, helpfulness, kindness, and hope to our loved ones – and please allow this tragedy to draw people close to Your heart. Lord, so many are worried about finances. Pandemics are so hard on the economy. During times of tragedy, finances can be quickly drained. Please provide for our every need…You know each and every need and financial challenge. I also pray for businesses and their employees. Please protect them and provide their every need. Give fresh creative ideas of how to sustain – and even prosper – during this extremely tough and trying time. We pray for speedy healing and recovery in every way.
Lord, we ask and pray for a miracle! No weapon formed or forged against us shall prosper, in Jesus’ Name! I pray You protect us…help us…encourage us…prosper us…and bless us with a deeper understanding, loyalty, honor, and love for You. Please keep safe and bless our leaders, families, friends, neighbors, citizens, and all emergency personnel and medical staff. We lift up our president, leaders, governments, and those who are working around the clock to create vaccines and cures…please grant them Your incredible wisdom, discernment, and understanding. Provide all of us with the wisdom to know how to navigate these hard times. Give all of us fresh ideas and creativity for resourcefulness, healing, and restoration. While we are going through tragedy, especially since many are staying home, bless our time with our family and loved ones…help us to use our time wisely and build these important God-given relationships. May we all find true joy in our relationship with You and our families as we get through this trial together…and may we appreciate the simple joys in life. If anyone is alone, I pray You grant them Your perfect Friendship, love, security, and comfort. Especially bless and enrich all of our time with You. Give us new inspiration for growing closer to Your heart. What the enemy meant for evil, we pray You turn it around for good! I specifically pray for people to turn back to You…and I pray for grace and more time. There are so many who do not know You…and some who have fallen away due to grief, heartache, anger/bitterness over an unfair life event, and tough life experiences. Please have mercy on them and give them the extra measure of grace they need to turn to You and turn back to You. Grant us Your blessed assurance, hope, a deep trust in You. and peace during times of uncertainty. If anyone doesn’t know You, I pray You’ll reveal Yourself to them and draw them to Your heart. Give us all the grace to see You work mightily through this pandemic…that we would clearly see You, hear You, and open our heart and lives fully to You…and gratefully give You the credit.
Please do more than we can ask, think, or imagine. Pour Your love, comfort, help, reassurance, supernatural resources and provision, encouragement, HOPE, and peace into each of us, our loved ones, our neighbors, and the world.
Help us to fully love and obey You – and turn our hearts completely toward You.
We love You, thank You, adore You, and ask all of these petitions in Jesus’ Precious Name, Amen.”


🌴Need peace and assurance?

🌺Feel free to share with loved ones for hope & encouragement.

(to claim for you, your family & friends, your city, state, country, and the world):

Matthew‬ ‭18:19-20‬, “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

Exodus‬ ‭22:27‬, “When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.”

Psalm 91:10, “Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place — the Most High, who is my refuge — no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.

2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

2 Chronicles 7:14, “ If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Psalm 5:11, “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.”

Luke 10:19, “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.”

Psalm 57:1, “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.”

Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

1 Peter 5:6-7, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that in due time He may exalt you. Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you”

Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11-14‬, “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’”

Isaiah 41:10,Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Psalms‬ ‭121:1-8‬, “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night. The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.

Romans 8:28,And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Psalm 4:8,In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

Psalm 91:14,Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.”

Psalm 18:30,This God – his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.”

Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.”

Nahum 1:7, “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.”

Psalm 121:7-8, “The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”

Psalm 34:7, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.”

Psalm 118:8, “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.”

Psalms‬ ‭94:18-19‬, “When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”

Psalm 91:1, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”

Revelation 3:10, “Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.”

Psalm 16:1, “Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.”

John 10:28-30, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

Genesis‬ ‭50:20-21, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.”‬

Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

If your community is being encouraged to stay home, consider watching church online. Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, Pastor Craig Groeschel of Life.Church, Charles Stanley of InTouch Ministries, local pastors in your area, and many other churches are offering services online. It’s a great way to be – and stay – encouraged!

Praying everyone stays well!

©2020 Grief Bites. All rights reserved.


⭐️For more encouragement:

❤️Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s $3.19 book): https://www.christianbook.com/getting-knocks-transparent-journey-seeking-through/k-b-h-niles

❤️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

❤️Kim’s blog: www.griefbites.com

❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

5. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Christmas: http://bible.com/r/3V5

6. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Happy New Year!: http://bible.com/r/3Zv

7. Valentine’s Day: Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/14059-valentines-day-experiencing-holidays-with-jesus

⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is copyright protected material. Please ask for permission to copy, use, or print. 

⭐️⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is for encouragement purposes only and is not in any way to be construed as medical, emotional, mental, relational, or psychological advice. We hope to serve as a bridge to encourage others by sharing our personal grief and life experiences. Please contact a qualified healthcare professional, mental health professional, or qualified pastor for guidance and advice.

Grief: When No Closure Can Be Found

Going through grief is excruciating.

Having to go through a grief experience where there is no ability to have closure is terrible.

There have been grief experiences in my life where the grief had a beginning and an end — an opportunity for closure. Then there were other grief experiences that were incredibly painful and felt debilitatingly endless — no opportunity for closure at all. To be honest, in addition to many grief events, I’ve been on two seemingly never ending roller coasters of grief the past 10 years for one situation and 3 1/2 years for the other one…and the heartache of six family members going through cancer at the same time.

I’ve experienced just about every emotion known to mankind and I’ve had to work through these extremely tough thoughts and emotions so they wouldn’t drown me.

I’ve struggled and wrestled spiritually with God with many questions:

“Why would you allow this?”

“Why didn’t You prevent this?”

“Are You there?”

“Do You truly care?”

“Will you please grant my family and me a brand new season…a season of goodness and healing?”

Lots and lots of questions.

Ultimately, God doesn’t owe me answers to any of my questions. God is Godand I am not. He understands the entirety of each situation…He knows the good that will eventually come out of them (Romans 8:28)…and the purpose for each of these situations, too. God understands what He is accomplishing through the tough situations…and in each heart involved in these tough events.

These grief situations seemingly have no closure…and no possibility for closure.

One of these situations caused a dearly loved family member to become an atheist and several family members to drop out of church…which created even more heartfelt, agonizing questions from me to God.

I’ve thought about not only these situations, but all of the situations I’ve experienced in life that I’d label “No Closure Grief Events.” No closure grief events are tough events because it is very difficult to find any closure…the emotions that stem from them can eat you alive. They’re exceptionally tough because it takes a lot of faith to get through them.

Some of the most common No Closure Grief Events are:

  • terminal illness, traumatic brain injuries, permanent disability, debilitating autoimmune illnesses, mental illness issues, etc. – (yourself or a loved one)
  • guilt and regrets you can’t make right
  • unspoken grief events
  • a devastating diagnosis
  • not getting to say “goodbye” to a loved one who died
  • when someone severely violates your trust
  • when a loved one attempts or commits suicide…and you can’t get through to them or couldn’t prevent it
  • when there is a major betrayal in a relationship
  • family, extended family, step-family, marital, or parent/child conflict…and also conflict with any of these that began post-grief
  • separation or divorce – especially if it’s not wanted by one spouse…or adultery
  • a family member rejecting God or becoming an atheist
  • abortion (or grieving a loved one’s choice to get an abortion)
  • church hurt or church abuse
  • rejection (or abandonment) by a family member or loved one
  • situations of assault or abuse – physical, emotional, spiritual, physical, or sexual
  • an ongoing job issue…or being wrongly fired or laid off
  • not getting to say “goodbye” to a loved one who chose to leave
  • not getting to confront or make something right with someone who deeply hurt you…or that someone refusing to do the right thing or make amends
  • a situation where justice did not prevail
  • unfair life events
  • when someone mistreats you, attempts to harm your reputation, or lies about you
  • any harsh life or justice situation where closure is difficult

So what can you do?

God has been teaching me so much these past few years. I haven’t enjoyed the lessons, but I sure have learned…and applied…some very valuable lessons and truths.

Have there been times I’ve wanted to quit? Oh yeah! Many.

Have I been bitter? For a season, I sure was…Absolutely.

Have I been tempted to be mad at God? Yes. I’m thankful for His love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

Have I wanted to speak publicly about the situations…and share my thoughts, heart, deep hurts, the incredible injustice, and my opinions? Definitely.

I think anytime you (or a loved one) have experienced a major grief event, especially a No Closure Grief Event…emotions are sure to show up. Some emotions may even surprise you.

When there is no closure, the trick – and what is most needed – is to trust God and not our emotions…to believe God is sovereign in spite of what a situation looks like…to fully fall into God’s arms and realize He truly is good…to know and fully trust that God holds everyone accountable and no one gets away with anything – even if it appears there has been zero conviction or consequences.

Maybe you’re going through a “no closure grief event” right now. Maybe you’ve also pleaded with God for answers through many tears…and have even prayed throughout many months or years. Perhaps you feel like giving up.

I highly encourage you to never give up!

I highly encourage you to never fall away from your relationship with God!

One day, God will give you the gift of closure…the Bible promises it.

God doesn’t mind our questions and pleadings…His heart is big enough to take on our woundedness, sufferings, and hardships…and He truly and genuinely cares about every grief event and situation we go through.

We may not be able to find the closure we need, but God created our hearts – He fully knows and loves us. He will be making every wrong right. The situations we go through do not catch God by surprise. And He will never allow us to go through a situation unless He realizes the situation can be turned into something great. It may not happen overnight…it may even take years…but God can turn your worst events into something of great value.

Our job is to praise God through the storms we face…to deepen and prove our salvation is genuine and real…to love and forgive others…to live in peace…to embrace God, our grief, and our hardships…to learn through everything we face – the good and the bad – and to love God with all of our heart and to sincerely rest in Him.

Today, lay down your toughest grief events – every grief experience – at God’s feet. Cast all your burdens and cares onto Him. Tell God you are choosing to trust Him with everything…especially the situations that are breaking your heart! Leave your hurts, heartaches, burdens, situations, disappointments, dreams, goals, expectations, emotions, and grief experiences with Him.

When the enemy reminds you of a no closure grief event, immediately take your thoughts and feelings to God. It is imperative that you talk through your feelings with God and release those tough emotions into His more than capable hands.

We may not be able to find closure in our present circumstances, but we can find closure through leaving our situations in God’s care.

Seek God with all your heart! Pour out your heart to God as you spend time with Him today!

He loves you.

He truly cares.

Entrust your situation with Him and trust His great heart!

Gratitude & blessings,


©2018 Grief Bites. All rights reserved.

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

⭐️For more encouragement:

❤️Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book):

Click here for book

❤️Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

❤️Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

❤️FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

5. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Christmas: http://bible.com/r/3V5

6. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Happy New Year!: http://bible.com/r/3Zv

7. ❤️NEW!❤️Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Valentine’s Day (available February 2019)

⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is copyright protected material. Please ask for permission to copy, use, or print.

⭐️⭐️All content on the Grief Bites blog and website is for encouragement purposes only and is not in any way to be construed as medical, emotional, mental, relational, or psychological advice. We hope to serve as a bridge to encourage others by sharing our personal grief and life experiences. Please contact a qualified healthcare professional, mental health professional, or qualified pastor for guidance and advice.

When Church Hurts At Christmas

Christmas and Easter are two times of each year that most people who don’t regularly go to church will attend.

I’ve had many people share with me that it hurts too much to attend regularly…and most of the time, it’s because they’ve been hurt by their church.

I hear many stories of how people’s churches were truly there for them during their toughest life events…and I do believe majority of churches genuinely care. I also hear stories of the rare churches who have totally missed the mark as well…and the aftermath is awful.

There are numerous reasons why people have felt hurt or betrayed by the Church.

Today, I’d like to extend a heartfelt and sincere apology to anyone who has ever been hurt, offended, or wounded by their church or by other Christians.

When people are hurt by the Church, God’s heart hurts too. God never approves of any of His followers hurting or mistreating others. In fact, God’s greatest command is for Christians to love Him and to love others. God fully expects His people to treat others how THEY would want to be treated.

God has very clear commands of how to not only treat others, but also how to work out conflicts within the church.

If somebody in the church has hurt you, please know that they willone day answer to God. Please also know that God genuinely loves you and He doescare about the injustice you suffered. He will be making it up to you one day.

We have just a few days before Christmas services will begin. I have three things I’d like to ask of everyone who is reading this post:

  1. If you have been deeply wounded by the Church, I ask you to please give God and church another chance. You don’t have to go back to the church that wounded you. It’s totally okay to attend a new place of worship if that is more comfortable. There are many churches that offer online services too. See what God wants to say to your heart this weekend. He truly does love you and miss you!
  2. If you are a Christian, ask God right now to reveal to your heart anyone you have deeply wounded or offended. I ask you to have the courage to reach out to them and make things right. This can be scary…I know! I’ve had to humble myself and call people that God has placed on my heart…and it wasn’t fun. BUT, if we truly want to please God, then it’s not about us…it’s about Him — and His Word clearly commands us to have the integrity – and favorable witness – to make things right when we know we have hurt or offended others. Who might you need to call today?
  3. Consider the people you used to see all of the time at church but you haven’t seen them in a long time. Call them and ask how they’re doing, and invite them to attend Christmas services with you.

People truly want to feel genuinely valued and cared about. It truly makes a huge difference!

If you know of someone who is grieving or someone who has been wounded, please consider reaching out to them. You never know what God will accomplish through your compassion and kindness.

The remainder of this Christmas season, let us pray for those who are grieving, those who are hurting, those who may feel lost or displaced…and let us reach out to them. This truly is one of the greatest gifts we can give to Jesus for His birthday!

May we all seek to truly honor the Lord and celebrate His birthday this weekend!

Matthew 5:23-24, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

Romans 14:12, “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”

James 4:17, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

⭐️A few of my favorite churches to watch remotely or online are:

⭐️ http://saddleback.com/ko-kr/watch

⭐️ https://www.intouch.org/watch

Gratitude & many blessings,



©2017 Grief Bites. All rights reserved.

❤️If you were encouraged by this post, please feel free to share it to encourage others!

⭐️For more encouragement:

🎄Making peace with God: http://peacewithgod.net

❤️Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book

🎄Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

❤️Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

🎄FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships

2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed

3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites

4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays



Loving The Hurting, Remembering The Forgotten: An Important Challenge To Churches Everywhere For 2016

This morning, I attended a very special All Staff meeting at my church.

We received phenomenal leadership and encouragement about change from our pastor. It was a great time of worship, vision, learning, and community.

While Pastor Craig was sharing his heart, my mind began to come up with so many fresh, new ideas of change for my grief ministry, as my spirit absorbed the wisdom, passion, creativity, and vision God had planned for me.

I have a huge passion for those who hurt, those who feel rejected or displaced, those who deeply grieve, those who feel life can never be better, and those who have turned their back on God and the church. And I absolutely love that my pastor has a huge heart for these precious groups of people as well!

I’ve felt the sting of each of these situations through different seasons of my life, and none of them were a fun place to be. Because of personally experiencing these situations, God has been good to allow me to gain insight and understanding so I could know how to encourage and help in these areas…but today I wondered “is it enough?…am I doing enough?” 

The answer, if I’m honest with myself, is no, not always. 

So another question came to mind, “what can you change?…what needs to change?

Every church cares. Most Christians truly care.

Every church wants people to feel as though they belong. Many Christians go out of their way to show love and acceptance.

Every church truly wants to minister to everyone. There are a lot of staff and Christians who spend many, many hours in ministry helping and equipping others. 

Every church wants to make a huge difference. There are too many ministries to count that genuinely make incredible impacts.

So what are we missing? Also, who are we missing? 

What changes can we all implement to be more loving, accepting, kind, and effective so we can minister, serve, and encourage to the best of our abilities to make the absolute greatest impact?

There are no perfect Christians, no perfect churches, no perfect ministries, no perfect staff, no perfect people, no perfect anything. Perfection is something we definitely pursue, but Christians fall short…all people fall short—regardless of their religious affiliation. Ministries fall short…just like workplaces fall short.

So how do we bridge the gap between the church and people who are hurting…people who are deeply grieving…people who have given up on—or even reject—God and the church…people who have never and won’t even consider stepping foot in a church…people who feel like life is hopeless?

I’m truly excited by what God showed me this morning and the ideas He gave me!

I look forward to ministering like never before, serving more vibrantly, boldly caring, and writing more in 2016.

As you read this, you may not share my enthusiasm. You may even have already thought of past hurts you’ve experienced.

If you fit into any of the above categories, I hope you’ll closely follow my blog and find encouragement. I am so very sorry if you have been wounded or offended by someone in the church…so very sorry if you’ve experienced deep grief…incredibly sorry if you ever felt as though life was hopeless or made to feel that your life was void of value…so sorry if an event happened that made you turn your back on God and the church. Truly, truly, genuinely sorry. If someone has not sincerely apologized to you personally, then I offer my deepest apologies as a part of the body of Christ!

God has great compassion and incredible love for you! You DO matter! Your life IS valuable! Your heartache, grief, and pain DOES count! God hears your heart’s pain and cries…and if anyone on earth failed to hear, understand, or realize your pain or grief (or failed to make it right), that is NOT okay with God…and I guarantee you it truly broke His heart. 

This year, I want to vibrantly continue to help and encourage the grief community, and I also want to pour into people who have felt hurt and offended by anyone in the church.

I look forward to encouraging everyone in 2016…especially with the vision God gave me today!

Rolling up my sleeves to truly make a greater impact is my heart’s desire this year. If you are a part of any church, please join me in this endeavor. It is desperately needed! 

If you know of anyone who has been through deep grief, anyone who is down in life, anyone who has been deeply hurt or offended by the church—whether by church staff or fellow believers, reach out to the offended and the hurting! 

We need to never be so quick to be offended or put off by a person’s disbelief, mistrust or abrasiveness…instead, we ought to look into their hearts and seek to understand the reason behind why they’re hurt, offended, or bitter. There are a crop of people we need to seek to intentionally love back to life! 

We, as the Church, constantly say and promote, “it’s okay not to be okay”…but then when people aren’t okay, or they later become not “okay,” do we as the whole church truly put our money where our mouths are and intentionally pursue the hurting and also genuinely care when others are hurt, offended, or leave?

Church is a family…ultimately one big family…who will ALL be living together in heaven some day. Is it not going to cause us shame when we see Christ and have to explain to Him how we treated some people as unvaluable or, worse, disposable?

Helping others and conflict resolution can be uncomfortable. It can be gritty and messy, for sure—definitely not all cotton candy, unicorns, sunshine and rainbows. It requires sacrifice and selflessness. People are worth it, though. So very worth it!

Isn’t this exactly what God did for each of us? I am forever grateful to those who loved me back to life and those who intentionally invested in me. Because they took the time to genuinely care for a broken, hurting, mess of a young lady years ago, my life was spectacularly changed! Now, all because of their love and concern, 200 million users on YouVersion have an opportunity to read the Grief Bites reading plans, and people in 110 countries receive grief encouragement weekly on my blog. None of this would’ve happened had certain people not seen me as someone valuable enough to care about. I had plans to be an atheist and reject God and the church…but I saw—and truly experienced—Christianity in the most pure, loving, amazing, kindest form. And it made all the difference in the world!

Who else in the world needs to experience the love of Christ? And what amazing spiritual gifts are hidden behind each hurting or hardened heart?

Sometimes, people have hearts that have had a lot of mud flung their way. Who is willing to accept the challenge to use their Christ-like love to water and nurture these hearts so their true heart can shine through?

People who have been through major grief, life challenges, or tough circumstances in life, they all have hidden treasure locked inside of them…each has their personal life story that can help others. What stories are not being shared due to not being nourished and nurtured? Like Pastor Rick Warren says, “Who better to help the grief community than someone who has been through grief? Or the atheist community than a former atheist? Or the addiction community than one who battled addiction?” There are a wealth of amazing people out there who are being lost in the shuffle and it’s up to the church to love, help and encourage them. If they were once plugged in and left a church…and no one cared…that falls on each of us.

Every person has great value and has the amazing ability to create lasting change inside and outside of their church. Ask God to use you and ask Him to show you where…and with who…He wants you to begin!

We have 11 1/2 more months of 2016 to see what God is capable of doing through this challenge. Let’s seek to obey Him with everything we’ve got!

Make the incredibly important decision to love the unlovely, encourage the hurting and grieving, and to go after the ones who have left or abandoned their faith so they know someone cares…so they know that God and the church truly does care.

I know this will be some of the best time we’ll spend this year in service and devotion to God!

Be His heart…be His hands…be His feet!

So who is up to this challenge?

I hope everybody!

Every single day, ask God to show you someone to encourage, and ask Him to bring to mind those who have left the church or who have abandoned their faith.

May God richly reward and bless you as you love people back to life and shine the brightest light possible for Him this year!

Gratitude and many blessings,

©2016 Grief Bites. All rights reserved.

If what you read was helpful, please feel free to share it❤️

For more encouragement:

Best decision of your life: http://peacewithgod.net

Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

FREE YouVersion reading plans:
1. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays
2. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships 
3. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed 
4. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites 

Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book


What Christians Should Do With The Red Holiday Starbucks Cups 

So much fuss this week about a little plain red cup.

Starbucks created a special plain red holiday cup to reflect the simplicity and peacefulness of the season, not realizing it was about to create a war. And why would they even consider that it’d stir up so much controversy? After all, the word Christmas is available on their gift cards, their Christmas blend coffee, and on other items in their store.

I just gotta say up front: I’m a hardcore coffee person—especially Starbucks and Seattle’s Best Coffee. The employees at three different Starbucks in my city know me on a first name basis. A few of them even know my dogs names since I frequently have my dogs with me as I grab coffee through the drive thrus. The employees will ask how my dogs and family are almost every time I’m in there. I also take the time to ask about their day, their families, and always thank them for making me a great cup of coffee!

I love all things coffee…hot coffee…iced coffee…frappuccinos…I literally could drink coffee in just about any flavor, any way, all day long. So when I saw all of the blog posts about Starbucks, I had to see what all the commotion was about.

After reading several hateful blog posts (and the comments) about the evils of Starbucks…I thought, “Great! Another controversy to make the Christian population look judgmental and ridiculous.”

I remember the days when I wasn’t yet saved. I remember the nasty judgments and unsolicited comments that were thrown my way. I actually had planned to reject Christianity…until I met a group of Christians who actually acted like Christ and lovingly treated me like Christ would have. They never once told me what they were against…they showed me through their actions what they were for. They didn’t tell me all that was wrong with me…they told me all that was right about me. They told me how much Christ loved me, and sincerely showered me with His love. I’m glad they cared enough to love me because the very next year was when my sister died…and it was my Christianity that helped me through that difficult time.

While reflecting on my own spiritual journey, it made me wonder if the same approach would be best used with the red cup controversy.

Like most businesses or organizations…including the general population, churches, and, yes, even Christians…there is a mix of good and bad. And I truly believe there is a war on Christmas…especially keeping Christ in Christmas…but it certainly has absolutely nothing to do with a plain red Starbucks cup.

I think the focus is wrong and needs adjusting.

Christians who expect a non-Christian business…or non-Christian people for that matter…to uphold Christian values are missing the mark. People and businesses won’t act like Christ if they don’t personally know Christ. And they’re never going to end up knowing Him if His followers keep spewing hatefulness and judgment onto them. It’s like getting angry or irritated at an infant for not knowing how to run a marathon.

The world knows what all Christians are against…because there are a lot of Christians who regularly—and very publicly—boycott businesses and make major fusses all over social media. Lots of unsaved people have sadly experienced the wrath and judgment from Christians they’ve encountered. But when will the world have the opportunity to know what all Christians are for? The beauty of all that Christ offers—the mercy, forgiveness, genuine love, empathy, healing, fulfillment, and compassion that so many crave?

We as Christians majorly limit ourselves, as well as our witness, when we take on the role of Holy Spirit and serve up a big dollop of judgment. 

Instead of throwing a reactive hissy fit over a little red cup—which by the way, was never intended to be a Christian tract—how about the Christian community do something proactive? Instead of boycotting Starbucks, how about intentionally frequenting Starbucks (and coffee shops everywhere) and actively witness by simply being loving and kind? Build relationships with the workers…ask about their day…get to know them…and then after getting to know them, invest in their lives and then kindly invite them to church? 

I’ve had three Starbucks employees accept my invitation to come to church. But the thing is…even if they rejected my invitation—and many of them have—I still consider them to have great worth. It didn’t anger me because I didn’t have an agenda…I was just being a good human being who cares about them as a person. I’m still super kind to them and I still am interested in them as human beings. I’m not kind to them because I hope to get them into church; I’m kind to them because God created them, loves them, and they have great value. 

I personally believe that before a Christian voices their opinions, they need to earn the right to be heard. And, the way you earn the right to be heard is through investing in someone. People are not projects or something to mark off of a feel good “to do” list. They’re real people, with real souls…real problems…real hearts…and very real needs. Look for the genuine needs of a person’s heart…and then actively help or encourage them…that’s when a person will begin to listen. 

Instead of expecting a red cup to witness and tell the world about Christ…how about each Christian be “Christ” and witness to the ones who are handing out the red cups? Because, the truth is, they don’t care if you like a plain red cup if they don’t know for a fact that you care about them.

Always witness every single day of your life. Words aren’t even necessary.

Love…smile…be kind…encourage…be humble…invest in…and do good to everybody you come into contact with. If every Christian did just this, what an amazing difference it would make. It’s our job to love, Christ’s job to convict.

So, please, Christians, stop shouting all that you are against, and start showing exactly what…and Who…you are for.

The world knows what we’re all against. Everybody already knows what’s wrong with them. How about we make a commitment to show what we’re for…and show people what’s right about them? How about we simply love everybody and allow God to do the rest? When we choose love, He can do more in a moment than we could ever hope to achieve in an entire lifetime.

If you truly want to keep Christ in CHRISTmas, grab a cup of coffee and let this amazing quote beautifully sink in this holiday season:
Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done to you.” ~Steve Maraboli

Now, that’s what Christmas is truly all about!

For the record, I think it’s awesome to stand up for what’s right or what you believe in…ABSOLUTELY!…just not at the expense of others losing out eternally due to abrasiveness and bad manners . Not trying to step on anyone’s toes…just giving another viewpoint. 🙂

1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, love each other warmly, because love covers many sins.”

Every time you see a red Starbucks cup this season, remember this quote and thoughtfully take the time to make a difference! Genuinely get to know others…through intentionally loving them…and invite them to your Christmas services at church. Be the love to others that you wish to receive.

Enjoy this beautiful Christmas season and make the most of every opportunity you are given in life—especially to invest in, love, and bless others.

Gratitude & MANY blessings,

©2015 Grief Bites. All rights reserved.

If what you read was helpful, please feel free to share it❤️

For more encouragement:

Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

Read Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You: Click here for Kim’s book

View the FREE YouVersion reading plans:

1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships~ https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships 

2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed~ https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed 

3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief~ https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites 

4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays~ https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays

Doubt~The Unpopular Word In Christianity 

Doubt is a very unpopular word in Christian circles. Most Christians would be afraid to admit any form of doubt they might have—due to feeling guilty for having thoughts of doubt or due to the judgment of others. 

When doubt surfaces, some consider it a lack of faith or a lack of believing God and His Word…so as a result, many suffer and struggle silently. Through their silent struggle, they can become stagnant in their walk with God. 
Some can even leave the church altogether.

I’ve seen it time and time again…someone will go through grief, or an extreme life challenge, and it throws them into unknown territory. 

Their Christian friends don’t know what to do with them…their fellow church members aren’t sure how to best help them (in fact, they’re not incredibly sure what to do other than say the customary, yet well-intentioned, “I’m praying for you. Let me know if there’s anything I can do”…after quoting Romans 8:28 for good measure). 

At that point, the hurting person becomes discouraged since no real help or genuine solution was offered. And the hurting person is in so much pain they now simply choose to withdraw.
Then the hard questions and doubt start pouring in.

Is God real? Where do I fit in? Does God care? Do others care? Why am I having to go through what I’m going through? Why did God allow______?

You may know someone this has happened to…or you might be the one who is battling doubt and unending questions today.

It is imperative to know how to handle our doubt(s) so we can prevent bitterness or discouragement, and overcome any and every obstacle that is keeping us from experiencing the rich relationship with God we are fully capable of having. 

Truly think about the doubts you have today. 
Be completely honest.
Do you feel like God didn’t protect you from a situation? Are you discouraged by how other people or Christians have treated you? Did someone deeply wound your heart and fail to make it right?
Are you doubting that God can heal your broken heart…save your marriage…help you financially…forgive you…fully accept you…heal your broken soul…work in the life of a rebellious spouse or child? Are you doubting that He can provide…or that He can work in any other situation that is tearing you apart inside or making you worry? 

I have intensely worried and doubted God in some situations…and, sometimes, not even have known or realized it at the time. 

There are many reasons we doubt. 

Many doubt God cares. But did you know that God actually bends down from Heaven to hear our prayers, heartaches, concerns, and even our questions? 

He’s so good! He doesn’t have to bend down to hear us, but out of His great love, He willingly chooses to. 

Did you know that God has collected every tear you’ve ever cried and written every heartache you’ve ever experienced in a ledger? 

God truly cares about each and every heartache and heartfelt question or request we have. He cares about each of us and every situation we face—past, present, and future. 
He even knows how He plans to cause good to come out of the tough situations we face after we trust Him and lay our situation(s) at His feet. The good comes after we trust God and fully allow Him to work in us and through our doubts.

You may be thinking, “Fine, but I feel disconnected. I really don’t even feel like praying.”
If you feel stale in your relationship with God, doubt is most likely the culprit. 

Do you wonder how God handles doubters? In scripture, God shows a loving example of mercy and compassion to the most famous doubter, Thomas. 

Jesus didn’t judge Thomas, and He wasn’t harsh with him. In fact, the exact opposite happened. Jesus showed sheer love and understanding to Thomas.

Today, truly think about and label your doubt. Ask God to reveal any doubt(s) you hold in your heart. Be completely honest and transparent. The answer(s) revealed just might surprise you. 

Choose today, like Thomas, to take your doubts to God…have the courage to have a bold, beautiful, breaking conversation with Him…and place your doubts in His hands. He already knows what is in your heart so be honest and transparent. Invite God to work in your heart and through your life challenges—pursue Him and His amazing heart with everything you have and don’t quit! The reward truly is a closer and much richer relationship with Him!

©2014 Grief Bites

Psalms 116:1-2
Psalms 56:8
Psalms 17:6
Matthew 7:7-8
John 20:24-29 

©2015 Grief Bites. All rights reserved.

If what you read was helpful, please feel free to share it❤️


Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (book): Click here for book

Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com

Connect on Facebook by “liking” page: http://www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief

FREE YouVersion reading plans:
1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships 
2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed 
3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites 
4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: (Coming November 4, 2015)

Wounded: 7 Steps To Free Your Soul

One of the worst feelings in the world.

Everybody will go through multiple times of being wounded during the course of their lifetime. And everybody will wound others.

Because most situations of being wounded stem from vulnerability, and being vulnerable is a part of everyday life, it is imperative for everybody to understand how to favorably respond to being wounded.

There are limitless ways you allow yourself to be vulnerable each and every day.
Literally, anytime you open up your heart or life to another person, a work venture, a church, or anything else that makes you vulnerable, you take a chance of being wounded.
You can end up 

Yes, everybody, at some point in their life, will end up being deeply wounded. 

Did you know being deeply wounded can change who you are as a person?
It can bring out an anxiety or ugliness inside you that you never knew existed.
Ultimately, it can plant a seed of bitterness that, if not dealt with, can harvest a huge crop of unending discord, disappointment, dissatisfaction, or even create deep depression, hatred, or resentment in your heart.

Being wounded is a terrible experience to go through, yet, being wounded is one of the most significant spiritual opportunities God can allow you to experience.

I wouldn’t have thought this to be true a few weeks ago, right before finally experiencing a major breakthrough after being incredibly wounded.
Our family went through being extremely wronged. Not just a little sleight, but a hardcore wronging that threatened to leave me a bitter mess.

It was bad enough that we sought both spiritual counsel from a trusted pastor, as well as therapy, to better understand how to get through the devastation and complex emotions.
What God has taught me through being deeply wounded opened my eyes to the significant opportunity woundedness offers, though. 

I just gotta say…No one in their right mind would cheerfully sign up for being wounded to learn any spiritual lessons…and no one will be skipping through fields of flowers after learning those meaningful lessons…but if you ever find yourself wounded or offended, you may as well learn the powerful lessons it has to offer.

If you gotta GO through it, you may as well GROW through it!

The last few years, God has been working in my life and showing me how to handle being wounded.
Multiple situations have arose that have given me, and my family, the opportunity to learn quite a bit through being unfairly wronged.

It has not been an easy road to be on. 
In fact, there were many moments of anger, despair, frustration, and many tears. And to be completely honest, even some not-so-godly thoughts towards the offenders/wounders.

I just need to say that because this post won’t be a Pollyanna type of post. It was gut-wrenching to go through…and getting to the point of God’s answers – and having the ability to forgive – through this valley were gut wrenching, as well.
Many people I know, including myself, do not initially always pass the test when unfairly wronged or wounded. It’s easier to react than to respond favorably after someone has greatly hurt or offended you or a loved one…especially if it significantly altered your life. 

What do you do when an offense is so great that forgiveness is not easily accomplished? 
What is your plan of action when the resentment you feel brews stronger than the blackest dark roast coffee? What about when you see the person who wounded you or you think about the incredibly damaging effects their offense has had on you or your loved ones?

It can be super hard to forgive some offenses. 

The greater or more costly the offense, the harder it is to genuinely forgive and move forward in peace…but to forgive and move forward in peace should be the ultimate goal.

I want to share with you a few things that helped me through some tough times in forgiving others.

Some steps I took helped me tremendously and I hope they are a big help and encouragement to anyone going through being wounded or wronged, as well as anyone who may be battling bitterness.

Some at this point may be nursing deep wounds. They want to move forward but the offense was a lot to bear…it may even currently still be a lot to bear.
Many times, an offense can have lifelong consequences.

A wounded person really only has three choices:
  1. Push back the emotions and try to act as though the offense never occurred…basically ignoring the issue
  2. Feed any resentment or bitterness
  3. Work on forgiveness as you grow through the situation and move forward in peace

Someone who has been wronged can choose the typical responses to being wounded: 
  • get mad
  • dislike or resent difficult people 
  • have bad thoughts or pray against them (hey, King David harshly prayed against his enemies throughout the book of Psalms)
  • tarnish their reputation through speaking lies, exaggerations…or unflattering truths…about them
  • be revengeful 
  • ultimately plant seeds of bitterness in their heart 
These actions will most likely make a wounded person feel better at firstbut at what cost to their own heart and soul? And God will hold them accountable for not forgiving…and defiling others.

Booker T. Washington once said, “I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him.” 

Isn’t that the truth? When we hate others, it belittles our own soul…it does absolutely nothing to the person who was wounding.

A very good friend shared with me something similar, “Being bitter towards your offender is like you drinking poison but expecting your offender to die.” 

It’s true…Bitterness hardens and poisons YOUR heart, damages YOUR soul, and changes who YOU are as a person. Trust me, I know this personally after becoming bitter towards people who deeply wronged and wounded my family and me.

You may think to yourself, “Won’t I know if I’m becoming bitter?”
Bitterness creeps in very slowly. 
No one plans on becoming or being bitter, but without major self reflection, you won’t immediately realize or see the true effects.

Most people do not recognize their own bitterness.
I speak from personal experience…I didn’t realize how bitter I was until a friend called me out on it. 
While nursing some deep wounds after going through a very tough situation with a loved one who was wronged, I took up a major offense towards the offenders involved.

Was it wrong to want justice? Absolutely not.
Is it wrong to expect people to do the right thing or apologize? Not at all!

It becomes wrong when justice…and a well fed grudge…becomes more important than God and good character.

We all know we should forgive others, but are you worried you won’t be able to truly forgive and move forward because the person(s) who wounded you (or your loved one) isn’t even remotely sorry for their offense(s)?

Don’t worry…you can take these steps whether your offender is sorry or not.

I learned that forgiveness, resolution, and/or restoration did not have to take place for me to clean out my own heart and do the honorable thing in God’s eyes.

Don’t get me wrong: it was not easy to forgive, but I had a “fork in the road” decision to make:
  • I could hold onto the hurts and offenses 
I could have a healthy relationship with God and peace in my soul
I found I could not have it both ways.

It took time and forgiving this particular situation was not instantaneous…and there are still days a bad thought will pop into my head, prodding me to renew my grudge.

So how do you get an offender out of your head?

For me, it was helpful to put my thoughts into proper perspective and to look into the motives.
Some offenders do not care that they wounded another person. Thoughts of the people they’ve hurt or offended are non-existent to the offender. They couldn’t care less.
With that said, when an offender has caused major loss in life…I began to realize that I was not going to allow additional loss by allowing them to live rent free inside my thought life.
Other offenders may not realize the depth they have wounded others. A simple conversation can clear things up quickly.

As I prayed about how to best deal with multiple situations (the original offense had a domino effect, creating additional situations), God was good to give me solid insight into freeing my soul from being wounded.

The following steps were life-giving to me and helped me to overcome my bitterness. 
Praying these steps are of great help to somebody today!

1. View your offender through God’s eyes~

Yes, this can be a tall order. After all, shouldn’t God be on our team and dislike our offender as much as we do?
God loves and adores each person He created…equally. There is no favoritism with Him. From Billy Graham down to the worst person on the planet, God wants what is best for each person. All are deeply loved and incredibly treasured by Him.

When we view our offender through our own eyes, all we will see is the ugliness they have done. We will no longer see any of the good they have in them. We stop viewing them as a whole, we instead only view their terribly wounding offense(s) as well as every character flaw they possess.

It’s important to realize that no matter what they’ve done to us personally, they still have great value in God’s eyes. 
God has a big purpose and plan for their life…no matter what they have done…and He greatly desires for them to have an abundant life.
He created them, and He has a plan for them to do wonderful works, too.
Their offense is not the totality of who they are as a person; it may be a very poor choice they made. Always seek to look for the 90% of what’s right about a person than the 10% of their wrong faults. Refuse to be a fault-finder.

“Discernment is God’s call to intercession, never to fault finding.”

~Oswald Chambers

What if I still can’t remove the resentment or bitterness I feel?
It personally helps me to remember a quote my son once shared with me: “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.”
I remember that I am deeply flawed and remind myself of the mercy I need daily.
I also make sure I remember and fully realize what God has done for me and how He forgives me.
Many testimonies have stemmed out of deep heartache. 
Today’s heartache could very well be tomorrow’s testimony that helps many.

2. Truly seek to understand~

What is the entirety of the situation? Is just one party at fault, both parties, or multiple parties?
Ask yourself, “Did they intentionally wound me on purpose?”…”What was their true motive or intent?”…”Were they reacting?”

Sometimes, the people who wound us did not truly intend to wound or offend us.
Thoughtlessness is prevalent in the self-saturated society we live in. Most people only look at a situation through their own eyes…and most do not even attempt to put their own self in the other person’s shoes to
see how truly hurtful and offensive their actions were.

People are fallible, flawed, and do not always go into their decisions thoughtfully, and they don’t always have the maturity or the life experience to know how to best handle relationships, situations, or decisions. 
Not everybody has developed good character or wisdom for each and every situation in life either.
Everybody needs mercy…ourselves included.

Think of all the times you offended or wounded others. Did you truly go into it thinking how you were going to wound, wrong, or offend someone?
Also consider, were the offending person’s actions due to taking up an offense for someone they perceived was wronged? Were they attempting to protect someone or prevent future heartache?

You might be thinking, “This chick doesn’t know what she’s talking about…some people are just jerks,“…I wholeheartedly agree that can be completely true about some people.

So many factors go into the wounding actions of others.
Seeking to understand truly is key.

3. Look at how your situation personally applies VERTICALLY to God~

Majority of the time, we are doing to God, or somebody else, exactly what another person is doing to us or a loved one.

When you genuinely ask “How have I, or any of my loved ones, betrayed, hurt, or wounded God or others?
This vertical question turns a wounding reality into a convicting reality as one thinks about how many times they have hurt God or not been loyal or faithful to Him. 

Idolatry and choosing to be bitter are both sins…yet we don’t always view our offenses toward God in the same manner, or as seriously, as we view our offender’s offenses towards ourselves.

When we train ourselves to see life challenges or offenses through a vertical lens, no matter the topic, we clearly see how universally we have hurt God and others in similar situations.

Next time you’re offended, truly check to see if you are doing the same offense towards God or someone else.

In some situations, that totally is not the case, but many times, the answer is unfavorable.

4. Seek to see what you can learn through the offense you are going through~

Offenses can teach us important  life lessons. An offense may even prevent something worse from happening in the future due to the wisdom you learn from a previous offense.

We must be open to God so He can show us how to wisely navigate through offensive or hurtful situations. Without His guidance, we might miss crucial wisdom.

Tough situations in life will either make us better or bitter.
When we choose to be better through a challenging experience, rewards eventually come our way.
When we choose to be bitter, we will most likely go through additional loss…and will go through a similar situation to learn the lesson we missed.

As I was at coffee with two very good friends…friends I am very authentic and vulnerable with; both ladies are trustworthy accountability partners to me…I asked for advice on how to get over the feelings I was feeling. No matter what I did, I couldn’t shake the bitterness I felt after a situation of deep offense and woundedness.
I prayed about it…went through the steps of forgiving the offense several times…tried to let it go…even invested kind words into some of those who were responsible for the wounding offense…but nothing seemed to have any lasting power.

I couldn’t shake it.

After a time of deep prayer, I began to clearly see that God allowed the deep offenses so I could learn how to overcome bitterness when others are not sorry…and this is greatly helping me to help others in my grief ministry who are going through situations where they have been deeply wounded.

It’s easy to forgive someone when they come to you and apologize. It’s a bit more challenging when they’ve created an extensive amount of damage, and then are aloof, uncaring, or insensitive to the situation they created.

It is beyond important to understand that God will sometimes allow a wounding situation for a specific reason….not cause it, but allow it…and good can come out of any situation, whether the offensive party is sorry or not.

Not saying it’s easy…because it usually is not...but there are very specific lessons we can learn through being wounded…lessons that will ultimately free us and eventually help us later in life. It can also help us to be a source of encouragement to others who are going through a similar situation.
We also learn the value of waiting on God and trusting Him to genuinely work out difficult situations in His perfect timing.

I can assure you that the heartache and struggles you are going through are not in vain. Like Pastor Rick Warren from Saddleback Church says, “God never wastes a hurt. We sometimes do, but God does not.”

So while you are waiting, what about your offender?
You can be sure God will hold your offender accountable. God never allows anyone to get away with wounding others…ourselves included.
One day, EVERYBODY will give an account for the ways they have wounded and wronged others. Everybody will also have to give an account for how they handled wounding situations, too.

This next step was the most important one. I found this step to be the ultimate step that gave me freedom from bitterness…And, it was my least favorite step to take! 
When my friend suggested I do this next step, that one day at the coffee date I told you about earlier, I remember seriously cringing. 
I’m so grateful I did this next step though, because it brought me the peace I needed to genuinely move forward.

5. Pray God BLESSES your offender and invest in your offender’s life by praying for them~

You may be thinking, “ABSOLUTELY NO WAY!!!!”
I mean, who wants to ask God to bless an offensive, hurtful, wounding, or problematic person?

Most do not want to ask God to bless their offenders. The people who have wounded you most likely have created havoc or greatly altered life as you knew it due to their wounding actions and decisions.  

If most people are truly honest, they want God to do the OPPOSITE of bless their offenders.
I know I initially felt this way, especially since my family and I continue to experience consequences of the offender(s) actions.

I felt that way until I realized a harsh reality..what if God had the same attitude towards my family and me for all the times we have wounded His heart?

The fact that God chooses to forgive, love, and bless me is reason enough for me to choose to forgive and bless an offender through praying for God to bless them.

I had to remember that the offenders who wounded us were created in God’s image. They are deeply loved by Him.
God has incredible life purposes and plans for their lives.
And since they are also believers, we are all going to be living in the exact same Heaven someday.
We are on the same team, but we were all deceived by a greater enemy to engage in hurtful conflict.
Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Hebrews 12:14-15, “Try to be at peace with everyone, and try to live a holy life, because no one will see the Lord without it. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
I try to continually choose to be the mercy today that I want to receive tomorrow…because I’m in need of mercy, too.
Someone, most likely, could have authored this same blog post about me at some point in my life.
Everybody has been wounded because we all wound others.

We need to look to the One who has been wounded more than anyone else…and learn how to love, forgive, and bless others from His incredible viewpoint and example.

So since we are all fallible, does that just give everybody a hall pass to wound others and expect forgiveness no matter what?
Not at all! Each person, including ourselves, should make it a goal to be mindful of how we treat others.
If we offend someone, it is our responsibility to make things right. The ultimate goal is to treat others with such honor and kindness that wounding others never becomes an option in the first place.

Matthew 5:23-24, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

So after you forgive someone, it’s instant and permanent, and you’ll never be challenged to resent or dislike the person ever again, right?
I wish! The truth is, forgiveness is a choice. Even though forgiveness is instant, it may take time for the heart and feelings to catch up. 
I have found that forgiving is a daily choice.

Whenever a bitter or wounded thought comes to my mind, or a negative thought comes to mind about the offenders, I immediately use those thoughts as a signal to pray for them and the situation of conflict. 

Pray God outrageously blesses your offender and pray He genuinely works through the situation of conflict in His way. Be sure to also ask God to heal your heart!

God proves Himself faithful in the toughest situations when we do things His way and as we look at our offenders and our tough life situations through His eyes! It isn’t always easy but it is rewarding.

6. Realize that majority of conflict is simply a decoy to what God wants to do in the lives of the people affected by the conflict~

We are in battle with an enemy…but the enemy is not who we think it is.
We faultily think the enemy is our offender, when in reality, our enemy is from a completely different realm.
This is especially true when conflict happens between families, fellow believers, and in churches.

Again, consider Ephesians 6:12: “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places”

If you have experienced conflict with a family member, a fellow Christian, or in your church or with church staff, you can be sure that the enemy knew the positive potential the people involved in the conflict could have.

Now I am not advocating condoning another person’s poor choices or behavior, or excusing the wrong they did, and forgiveness does not mean we foolishly throw ourselves into genuinely abusive situations. Forgiveness is simply a loving courtesy we extend to others because God extends that same love and courtesy to us. We must ultimately trust God to deal with the situation and people involved in His own way and His time. 

So, what if you STILL do not want to forgive an offender?
Consider Job and Joseph in the Bible.
God shows the importance of forgiving others through both of these men’s lives.
Although both experienced excruciating hardships and unbearable heartache, both chose to trust God and take the higher road after being wounded.
As a result, both reaped incredible blessings and favor from God for doing so…in fact, Job only found favor through his grief experience after he chose to forgive his friends and interceded for them in prayer. That is the exact moment God restored Job…and gave him a double portion of favor. 

There is no sane explanation, but freedom usually comes only through forgiveness, and praying for the offender(s).

7. Realize that being wounded (and also conflict…even rejection) is necessary to make us more like Christ~

The most trying times in life are usually what brings about the most spiritual growth.

When life is going great, nothing is tested. It’s easy to be good and kind to others…when they are good or kind to us.
But, when those around us are wounding, offensive, rude, or unkind, it truly tests our character. It also reveals what is in our own heart, too.

Think of all of the people who were absolutely awful to Christ. How did he respond to them?
What was His example?
What would have happened to you or me had He decided to put His offenders in their place by zapping them?
We wouldn’t have known the beauty of the cross or ever realized His incredibly awesome love for us…we wouldn’t be positively changed forever.

Being wounded offers the chance and opportunity to use situations of conflict as “sandpaper” to our heart and soul.
When we choose to go to God with our hurts, He can gently “sand off” the impurities held in our heart as we look at the situation through His eternal perspective and ways.
Ultimately, times of conflict or being wounded are opportunities that allow God to remove hidden sin from our heart, to trust Him through tough situations, and to allow Him to minister to our heart and heal our woundedness through His love and encouragement.

With that said, I believe that if someone has significantly hurt or wronged you, they should be held accountable in a Christ-like manner.

If after you have deeply prayed about a situation and you feel God is leading you to confront someone who has wronged you, I highly encourage you to follow the biblical blueprint for doing so; and as you do, go in a spirit of humility and self reflection, maintaining good character. (Matthew 18:15-20; Galations 6:1-2; Colossians 3:13; 2 Timothy 2:24-26; Matthew 7; James 5:19-20)

Sometimes, during a confrontation, it is obvious that someone intentionally offended or hurt us…other times, we find out that an offender truly did not mean to hurt or offend us at all. In fact, they were oblivious to the entire situation…this is why it is so important to go into confronting others in a right spirit as we seek to understand the overall picture of the situation.

If you don’t think you can confront someone in a right spirit, wait until you can.

If there are people you feel you should confront, it is important to wait on the right timing, as well as a time where you can truly trust your words and keep your attitude in check. 

Do NOT confront someone unless you can trust yourself to not make the situation worse. You may have forgiven an offender, but you may need to work on sorting the situation out further in your heart so you are able to go in a right frame of mind and with a right spirit. 
Also, do whatever is most minimal in confronting someone. Many times, a spark is more powerful—and more effective—than a big out of control fireworks show. Only do that which is necessary to move forward in peace.

Ultimately, and ideally, when we confront a person who has been hurtful, we shouldn’t confront in an attitude of “telling them off” or to punish them…it should be from the mindset of genuinely seeking to understand with resolution for both our self, as well as them, so both parties can clear their conscience and move forward in life…better than before the confrontation took place.
This isn’t always achieved, but I think this should be the ultimate goal.

What if a confrontation and/or resolution simply are not possibilities?
I truly believe in resolution when it is possible, but resolution isn’t always obtainable…and it isn’t always in the best interest of the wounded party either, especially in difficult situations such as if an offender committed murder or great malice.
A great book to read on this topic is Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend.
If the conflict is among family, I think in situations where there is a great amount of damage, it can be necessary to meet with a trusted pastor or a professional counselor to personally help work the situation out spiritually and emotionally…and they can also give wise counsel on the matter and discuss it further.
It isn’t always best to confront an offender. Sometimes, God is trying to teach our own self a powerful lesson.

I chose not to confront the offenders because I never felt a peace about doing so. I instead chose to trust God completely in the situation and entrusted the details to Him. 

When you trust God with the details, I feel it is important to make sure to be mindful in self-reflection so as to see any blind spots that can possibly be in a situation of conflict or woundedness…and learn as much as you can so you don’t miss any vital lessons. 
It’s very important to be honest with yourself during times of conflict or woundedness because it does no good to look at another person’s faults if we are being oblivious to our own.
Beware of no man more than of yourself, for we often carry our worst enemies within us.” 
~Charles Spurgeon

No matter the details or outcome of a situation, I believe that forgiveness is vital…it is just as much for our own heart as it is for our offender(s). Forgiveness must be pursued and resolved within our own self. If it isn’t, the quality of our life, testimony, and our own heart will never become all it can be. 
Unforgiveness ultimately harms the vessel in which it resides…and doesn’t harm the person it is aimed at. It’s like loading a gun and aiming it at our own spirit.

As you trust God with working out the details of any situation of woundedness you are going through, give the ENTIRE situation to Him. God has the power to smooth out the rough spots of any situation and work it for our good and His ultimate purposes. As you submit to and obey God, trust Him to give you treasures out of the darkness of the conflicts you face.

Today, make the decision to trust God through any situation that is paining you. Pour your heart out to Him and entrust your problems and cares into His more than capable hands.

Tap into the power of Christ’s strength to make truly forgiving and investing in others through prayer genuinely possible.
With Christ, all things are possible.

Let me leave you with a few verses to encourage you. God is faithful and keeps His Word. I pray He meets you right where you are and brings healing to whatever you are facing today!

© 2015 Kim Niles/Grief Bites. All rights reserved.

Psalm 56:8-11, “You know how troubled I am; you have kept a record of my tears. Aren’t they listed in your book? The day I call to you, my enemies will be turned back. I know this: God is on my side — the Lord, whose promises I praise. In him I trust, and I will not be afraid.”

Genesis 50:20, But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God thought it out unto good, to bring to pass that which we see this day, to give life to many people.”

Psalm 37:3-9, “Trust the Lord and do good; live in the land, and farm faithfulness. Enjoy the Lord, and he will give what your heart asks. Commit your way to the Lord! Trust him! He will act and will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like high noon. Be still before the Lord, and wait for him. Don’t get upset when someone gets ahead— someone who invents evil schemes. Let go of anger and leave rage behind! Don’t get upset—it will only lead to evil. Because evildoers will be eliminated, but those who hope in the Lord, they will possess the land.

Romans 12:17-19, “Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD.”

Colossians‬ ‭3‬:‭23-25‬, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.”

Matthew 7:1-5,Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”

Isaiah 45:2-3, “I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars. I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden wealth of secret places, So that you may know that it is I, The LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.”

Isaiah‬ ‭55‬:‭8-9‬ , “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:15-24‬, “See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil. Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.”

‭‭Gratitude & blessings,


©2015 Grief Bites. All rights reserved.

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