Tag Archive | military

Overcoming Annual Grief Cycles: Why You May Experience Feeling Down Out Of Nowhere

When a tragic or heartbreaking grief event happens in life, it can velcro itself to your heart and memory storage. Some are obvious; others are not.

When you go through a major grief event such as a death, you’re much more familiar with the anticipation of sad feelings that will surface because the event has an exact date. Example: death of a loved one, divorce, etc. You know the date is coming up so you can easily label your feelings, grief, and heartache.

Other times, people can feel “blue” around a certain time each year and not be able to pinpoint where the feeling came from or understand why such intense emotions surfaced. A non-death grief event most likely happened, but the date wasn’t exactly remembered or written down. Example: a sexual assault while growing up (rape, molestation), adultery, divorce, a bad breakup, a natural disaster or house fire, discovering you have a major illness, tragic military event, major relationship issues, a PTSD/traumatizing event, etc.

These events can leave a huge imprint on your spirit, heart, mind, emotions, and even your body’s cells.

I’m a big advocate of creating a timeline of grief events that have happened in life and writing them down on paper…this way, you can go through each grief event and process it.

Feel what you need to feel. Allow yourself the freedom to thoroughly filter the circumstance and release the harsh emotions with the goal of nurturing and healing your heart.

Process each year of your life. Be so very grateful for all of the good that each year held, and work through and release any bad that happened as well.

While growing up, there were times during the year where I’d feel unexplainably down and discouraged.

I later figured out that during these times, a grief event had happened close to or on the date years before.

At that discovery, I made it a point to be mindful of potential annual grief cycles which greatly helped to overcome them.

So how do you overcome annual grief cycles?

  • Make a list of every significant grief event you’ve been through throughout your life
  • Keep a calendar of grief events so you are aware and prepared for them
  • Take the time to thoroughly grieve each event so there is minimal unfinished business as much is up to you
  • Seek out extra support and encouragement during potential or established grief dates
  • It can be helpful to talk to a trusted pastor, counselor, family member, or close friend on the date of an annual grief event
  • Pray God grants you the courage, encouragement, healing, and peace you need to get through the tough feelings of your grief event 
  • After thoroughly taking the time to grieve, make it a priority to have a day of relaxation, rejuvenation, and enjoyment on days of an annual grief cycle (this can take time and hard work to accomplish but is totally worth it)
  • Be compassionate to yourself and realize grief recovery takes time
  • Allow yourself the gift of grieving in healthy ways in your own time while growing through your grief

Once I understood and was able to anticipate annual grief cycles — and took the time to override annual grief dates with relaxing and enjoyable activities — my anxiety and sadness around those dates was dramatically resolved. It didn’t happen overnight, but with every year I chose to override these tough dates of sadness with new memories…good memories…I was freed up from stagnant discouragement and anxiety.

Imagine a piece of paper that is folded in half. To help “heal” the bent paper, you don’t just merely unfold the paper…it would still have a bend. To create a difference, you would need to fold it the opposite way. Yes, there may still be a crease, but the paper will no longer be bent.

We need to do this when it comes to grief and traumatic events in our lives: heal the fold by intentionally folding our lives in opposite much better ways. Yes, there will still be evidence of what happened…but the more we create a difference – after thoroughly grieving and feeling what we need to feel – it will no longer be as debilitating for us.

This week, make a list of any significant grief events you’ve been through, and think of creative ways to override annual grief cycles so you can truly begin to enjoy life once again.

Wishing all of you healing, peace, and great brand new memories as you work through your grief!

Gratitude & blessings,
Kim

©2016 by Kim Niles. 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: https://www.peacewithgod.net

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

❤️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. 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.

💗

7 Things To Realize About Someone Who Is Going Through A Hard Time

We all know someone who is going through a hard time or a time of grief. It may even be someone in our own family (or our own self) who is going through a tough season in life.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to know what to say to those who are experiencing an extremely tough time or who are battling deep depression, debilitating anxiety, intense loss, or tumultuous grief…so what happens (many times) is these special people end up being displaced or ignored.

If you know of someone who has gone through the death of a close loved one, a major breakup or divorce, a suicide attempt, an illness, adultery or betrayal, deep church hurt, family issues, addictions/rebellion/estrangement of a family member, or another situation of great heartache, please consider this list and reach out to them. You truly have the power to make an incredible difference by offering encouragement, compassion, support, and love!

7 Things To Realize About Someone Who Is Going Through A Hard Time:

1. Realize they are hurting deeply. Life as they knew it has been abruptly shattered. They may be forgetful, be in a “fog,” or not answer phone calls or text messages.
Sometimes their pain runs so deep that they seem to lose their way.
They may act uncharacteristically and say or do things they normally wouldn’t. Grief and loss changes people. They most likely will go through a time of needing to figure out who they are as they rebuild their life.

2. They may not reach out for help…or they may not yet be open to receiving help. They may feel as though they are in a dark miry pit with no knowledge of how to climb out. They may even be too depressed to even think about getting help. Be there for them. Offer your help. Ask if they specifically need anything. Be a good family member or friend and let them know they have your unconditional love and support.
Ask, in a supportive and kind way, “How can I help you?” or, “How may I help you through this?”
Whatever you do, don’t lecture them, try to “fix” them, make them feel guilty or badly for how they feel, or make them feel like they’re your “feel good” project of the day. Just be real..and just be you.

3. It will take time for them to heal. Anytime a heart is broken, it takes time, comfort, self-work, genuine love, and encouragement to level out.
They’re not going to just “snap out of it” or “be their old self.” Don’t become frustrated with them. Believe me, they are just as frustrated as you may become after they aren’t able to shut off their heartache or grief. Don’t heap additional guilt onto them by placing unfair expectations on them. They can, and most likely will, emerge from their situation better…but it will take time.

4. They can seem fine one minute and then be completely down or irritable the next. Feelings can be sporadic and totally unpredictable during times of grief and loss. Allow them to feel what they need to feel…be patient with them.
There are so many ups and downs a person will go through when going through situations of heartache, anger, and deep grief. Reminders of their loss can also spring up out of nowhere, at any given time, which also create ups and downs for a griever. Please allow them the freedom to go through all of these ups and downs without reacting to them. They’re not meaning to be hurtful–or irritated–on purpose towards others…it is not meant to be personal…they’re merely trying to get through their pain on a day to day (and sometimes an hour by hour) basis.

5. Don’t assume other people are encouraging them or being there for them. More times than not, they can feel isolated and alone. Even if they don’t ask for it, they need love and encouragement. Show compassionate concern for them. Do NOT ignore them or act as though their grief experience didn’t happen. Don’t drop out of their life. They need loving and loyal support more than ever!
They WILL remember who was there for them…and who was not.

6. They truly hate when family and friends attempt to minimize or downplay their pain…or worse, try to make them artificially feel better. Many times, when someone is hurting, their loved ones are desperate to make the one who is hurting feel better. Many times, they want to help but do not understand how to help their loved one, so they fumble around and say whatever awkwardly comes to mind. Most people also try to avoid talking about the uncomfortable topic of grief…so they try to cheer the person up (out of good intentions) by changing the topic or being awkwardly cheerful around the hurting person.
Be honest and tell the hurting person, “I have no idea what to say or do to help you, but please know that I care and I’m here and I’m willing to help you in any way that I can.”
Majority of the time, words fall empty and fail but letting them know you care doesn’t.
Also, if they lost a loved one, don’t be afraid to mention their deceased loved one’s name. Don’t worry about bringing their deceased loved one up in conversation…they’re on their mind and in their heart every single day.

7. They want family and friends to be genuine and sincere when they reach out to them. They most likely have already heard a ton of well-intentioned cliches, such as, “You’ll find another spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend,” or, “They’re in a better place,” or, “You can always have another baby,” or, “God must’ve needed an angel,” or, “Life isn’t always fair,” or, “Everything happens for a reason,” – and everyone’s seemingly favorite: “I’m praying for you” (absolutely nothing wrong with prayer…just if you say it, please actually do it and continue to pray for your loved one).
Keep in mind to be helpful by infusing them with hope just by being present, inviting them out for coffee or a movie, or letting them know that although they are in horrible pain, it won’t always be like this. Better days WILL come…in time.
Some may not want to talk, so empathetically follow their lead.
If you’re not sure, ask if they’d like to talk, ask how you can specifically pray for them, offer to do a specific errand or chore for them, tell them you would like to bring them dinner, or offer them a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant that they can use at a future date.
The more sincere, heartfelt, and compassionate you can be, the better.
Actions always trump words when it comes to helping people through life’s hurts and disappointments.

In ending this post, it’s important to know that each person is different.
Some may welcome an opportunity to talk or would love to be invited to do something to take their mind off of their heartache, while some may feel a strong need to isolate themselves and be alone. Some may need to talk about the event that broke their heart, while others may not want to talk about it at all.

When all else fails, simply show up, reach out (and keep reaching out), allow the person to grieve, LISTEN, and simply be there and care.

Everybody needs people who care about them. Please consider these 7 ideas and offer your hurting family and friends HOPE, encouragement, and genuine love today!

©2014 by Kim Niles/Grief Bites. All rights reserved.

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

For more encouragement:

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

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

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

⭐️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

❤️

Who Do You Know In The Military?

Through Grief Bites, I occasionally have those who have served in the military contact me, seeking help for deep grief.

After talking to a young man who came back from serving overseas, my heart is heavy. 

He told me that the things he saw and experienced over there while fighting for our country were so bad that when he got back into the states and tested positive for a terminal illness, testing positive couldn’t even compare to what he experienced during combat.

Wow! Let THAT sink in for a minute!!

Can you imagine being better equipped to hear a devastating medical diagnosis because what you heard, saw, and experienced overseas was MORE horrific?

I think Americans as a whole are thankful for all of the sacrifices our military make…but I don’t think we are near grateful or appreciative enough. 

Not. at. all.

Today, when you play with your kiddos, there’s a serviceman or woman who doesn’t get that freedom…and many of them miss huge milestones such as the birth of their children, their child’s 1st birthday party, other birthdays, Christmas mornings, graduations, 1st day of school, goodnight kisses & bedtime stories, and other special occasions.

When you kiss, or spend time with, your spouse or significant other, there’s a serviceman or woman who is missing their loved one beyond words! They miss wedding anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, Valentine’s Day, special events, and they don’t get the luxury of regular “date nights.” Some even get cheated on or divorced (through no fault of their own) due to being away serving our country.

When you get together with your best friends this weekend, realize there’s a serviceman or woman who not only buried their best friends…but actually saw their best friends killed during combat. Some have friends who experienced PTSD and killed themselves.

When you talk to or hug your spouse, kiddos, parents, grandparents, siblings, nieces/nephews, or any other family members…or you’re tempted to complain about any of them…remember there’s a serviceman or woman who would love to be able to enjoy that freedom—but can’t due to their service. They miss so many joyous family events & special occasions!

When you go to the gym this week, or go do a physical activity, there’s a serviceman or woman who is learning how to live with a severe disability or without a limb(s) because they fought for our freedoms.

When you go to work…or a place of worship…or speak your opinion…or go to a sporting event…or attend college or another school function…or vote or speak your mind about the upcoming presidential election…it’s all because someone willingly signed up to protect & ensure our safety & freedom—knowing it could very well cost them their very LIFE—so we can wonderfully enjoy all the joys of a free country!

Please join me in praying for all of our military today…and let’s keep them in our prayers each & every day! 

And if you personally know of someone who is serving, or who has served, (or you know a spouse who holds the fort down while their loved one is away serving…or you know a parent of a serviceman or woman) sincerely thank them the next time you see them! They truly deserve so much more gratitude than we can ever give them for their sacrifices!!

Beyond grateful today to everyone who has served! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Let’s pray for our military today and every day!

And if you’ve experienced great heartache or disability due to serving, I’m truly genuinely sorry for your pain…and sorry Americans (including myself) haven’t understood it from your perspective.
You truly are amazing heroes! 
Thank you so very much for your service & sacrifices!! May God richly bless you!!💕

Gratitude & blessings,

Kim

©2015 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.

❤️

Resources~

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

When Mother’s Day Hurts…

Mother’s Day: a day filled with warm memories, joy, flowers, Hallmark cards, and celebrating moms everywhere, right?

Unfortunately, that is not the case for everyone.

There are many who will enter Mother’s Day with a heavy heart of grief, confusion, lost hopes, disappointment, intense sadness, and regrets:

  • some have experienced the death of their beloved mother
  • some moms are desperately missing their much treasured child who died
  • some have experienced a miscarriage or stillborn birth
  • some have never had the ability to have children
  • some have regretted having an abortion
  • some have placed their child up for adoption
  • some have a very tumultuous relationship with their mom; some moms have a broken relationship with their child(ren)
  • some adult children allow their spouse to keep them away from their mom; some moms allow their spouse to interfere in their relationship with their children
  • some realize that this is the last Mother’s Day they’ll have with their mom or child due to age or illness
  • some mothers have written their child off; some children have written their mother out of their life
  • some moms will not get to spend time with their child(ren) due to custody issues
  • some moms will not see their child due to military duty, travel for work, or they don’t live close by; some children will be missing their moms due to deployment, work duties, or location
  • some were adopted or raised by an aunt, grandmother, family member, or friend and are missing their mother deeply due to death, circumstances, or location
  • some have mothers or children who are incarcerated
  • some have mothers who have alzheimer’s or dementia who do not remember their children
  • some are stepmoms with stepchildren who are less than kind and vice versa
  • some moms feel rejected, uncared about, or unloved…some won’t even be acknowledged or appreciated

There are many heartbreaking situations and reasons why this Mother’s Day will be less than ideal and very heartbreaking for so many people.

Life, and holidays, can be excruciatingly unfair and painful. It can be difficult to see others who still have their moms with them…those who have all their children…those who were blessed enough to become a mom…or to see happy families when you are in devastating heartache and pain.

⭐️(UPDATE: with COVID-19 currently affecting the world, some of the tips below will need to be modified to ensure proper health and practicing social distancing is a must.)

Here are some tips of how to show compassion to all who are discouraged, hurting, or dreading Mother’s Day:

  1. Show compassion and concern. Ask how they are doing, tell them you are thinking about them, and ask what you can do to make their day better.
  2. Realize how hard the day will be for them and go out of your way to make them feel special. Ask if they’d like to go out for brunch. Send or give them a card, buy them a special gift, ask to make them dinner or ask if they’d mind if you had dinner delivered to them, or buy them some beautiful flowers.
  3. Invite them to a movie, out to dinner, or out for coffee. Let them freely talk about whatever they’d like to talk about…without judgment and without unsolicited advice. Sometimes, it helps to have somebody genuinely care who will compassionately listen. Ask them to share something special about their mom or their child(ren).
  4. Acknowledge their loss and heartache. Mention their loved one by name and tell them what their loved one meant to you. You won’t be hurting them by bringing up their name…trust me, their loved one will be on their heart and mind all day.
  5. If you have a vacation home or extra timeshare points, offer to give them the gift of a weekend getaway.
  6. If you know of someone who is hurting, invite them to church and/or invite them to spend the day with you. Include them in all your plans for the day or a portion of the day.
  7. Think of a special way to remember your family members and friends’ moms, child(ren), or loved one. Light a candle in their mom or child’s honor, or help to decorate their loved one’s grave with flowers or items you know they would’ve liked. Do something you know they would’ve loved.
  8. Love them! They do not need a lecture on how they should feel or what they should do — and they definitely do not need to be told to “move on,” or “get over it.” They need people in their life who allow them the beautiful freedom to miss and deeply mourn the treasured person they are grieving, missing, and deeply love.
  9. If someone you know has a difficult relationship with their mom or child, reach out to them. Tell them you’re thinking about them by calling them, making them a gift basket, giving them a card, or by inviting them to do something that gets their mind off of their struggles.
  10. If you know of a military mom, send her a care basket. Be sure to send letters from her kiddos and photos, too. If able, set up a time to FaceTime or Skype as well. If there is a mom whose husband is deployed, consider doing something sweet for her too!

What if you are the one who is hurting? Here are some creative ideas of how to get through the day:

  1. Pamper yourself. Clear your schedule and remove any uncomfortable expectations others may place on you. Take a day off and do whatever makes you feel calm, relaxed, happy, or peaceful.
  2. Take some time to look at photos or home videos of your mom, child, or loved one. As you look at each one, remember the special bond and incredible memories you shared together.
  3. Take the day to journal or make a special scrapbook of your loved one and all the wonderful memories you shared together.
  4. Write a letter to your mom, child, or loved one and share what’s on your heart and mind.
  5. Spend the day doing what you normally would’ve done if your loved one was here…or go to a place that was special to the two of you. Know that your loved one loves you so very much, they want you to experience love, encouragement and comfort.
  6. Celebrate your loved one or honor your loved one’s memory by having a “garden day.” Plant a tree or some special flowers in their memory and create a beautiful space where you can go in days to come to celebrate or remember your loved one. You could also make a pathway out of memory stones or buy a special bench, hammock, or chair to enjoy in their memory.
  7. Have a relaxing movie day by either going to a movie or ordering take-out and renting movies that will make you feel closer to your loved one. Don’t forget yours & their favorite movie snacks and a comfy blanket.
  8. Invite others who are missing their mom or child to do something fun or meaningful. It truly helps to be around others who “get it.”
  9. Have a day of “writing & learning”: writing letters of gratitude to those who have had a positive impact on your life..it could be a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling, child, family member, pastor, schoolteacher, friend, etc. If you have children, or nieces and nephews, be sure to share the warm memories and stories with them and teach them what was taught to you.
  10. Consider spending the day doing a relaxing hobby and including others in your day. I had a teacher who took a special interest in me by teaching me how to make pies, and I also was taught to bake by my mom and sister. I really enjoyed investing in this hobby and teaching my younger family members how to bake, too.
  11. Watch a church service online and have a “God day” where you spend the entire day with just God and you. Go to a park and have a picnic lunch, lay in a hammock while listening to music, read your Bible and pray. Pray for everybody in your life. Share with God everything that is on your heart. “God days” are very refreshing and can set you up for a much better week!
  12. Last, but not least, make Mother’s Day whatever you would like for it to be. You may feel comfortable doing the usual familiar traditions that have been passed down to you…you may wish to spend and enjoy the day with your remaining loved ones…or you may want to create brand new memories, traditions, and experiences. Go out of town, take a day trip, and/or do something relaxing or special. Surround yourself with love. Pour into others. Encourage others who are hurting. There are many ways you can choose to celebrate or remember your treasured mother, precious child, or loved one, and many ways to remember or celebrate the day.

God loves you and cares about every intricate detail of your heart and life. He wants to help you pick up the pieces of your shattered life and help you to rebuild it. It may not be the exact life we signed up for or wanted, but God can help us realize that life is still an adventure worth highly valuing. Take the time you need to create a “new normal”…it takes time and it is totally okay to break down or be disappointed as you press forward. Learn new things each and every day. Learn from past mistakes and always look for better ways to live life. Look for and secure the support you need from family and friends…tell them what you need. Feel what you need to feel.

To experience the death of a mother or child is excruciating. Be kind to your heart and do whatever you have to do to get through the day. As long as you’re not disobeying God, or harming others or yourself, whatever you choose to do is appropriate. CB

To every mom, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, aunt, sister, niece, and woman in the world, I wish you a wonderfully beautiful, relaxing, and highly blessed Mother’s Day! Thank you for all of the ways you make (and have made) the world a wonderful and better place! You are so incredibly valuable, special, and unique and life wouldn’t be the same to your loved ones had they not had you in their lives! Pamper yourself this weekend—you deserve it!

Wishing everybody an incredibly peaceful, blessed, comfortable, and memorable Mother’s Day! Allow yourself the freedom to do whatever brings you comfort and makes your heart smile!

Gratitude & blessings,

Kim

©2015 by Kim Niles. 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

💕

Remembering & Thanking Our Brave Military!

In loving memory of our fallen military members who paid the ultimate price for their courageous service! And in honor of all the men and women who have served (and are currently serving) our country. We deeply and sincerely thank you for your courage and all of your sacrifices!

I wrote and posted this awhile back on the Grief Bites blog in honor of my family members and friends who have served! I appreciate those who serve so very much!

“A Vet – whether active-duty, retired, The National Guard or U.S. Army Reserve – is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to the ‘United States of America’, for an amount of up to and including their life.”

❤️

Today, when you play with your kiddos, there’s a serviceman or woman who doesn’t get to enjoy that freedom…and many of them miss huge milestones such as the birth of their children, their child’s 1st birthday party, other birthdays, Christmas mornings, graduations, 1st day of school, goodnight kisses, bedtime stories, and other special occasions.

❤️

When you kiss, or spend time with, your spouse or significant other, there’s a serviceman or woman who is missing their loved one beyond words! They miss wedding anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, Valentine’s Day, special events, and they don’t get the luxury of regular “date nights.” Some are divorced or betrayed by their spouse (through no fault of their own) due to being away serving our country.

❤️

When you get together with your best friends this weekend, realize there’s a serviceman or woman who not only buried their best friends…but may have actually witnessed their best friends being killed during combat. Some have friends who experienced PTSD or committed suicide, too.

❤️

When you talk to or hug your spouse, kiddos, parents, grandparents, siblings, nieces/nephews, or any other family members…or you’re tempted to complain about any of them…remember there’s a serviceman or woman who would love to be able to enjoy that freedom—but can’t due to their service and/or being stationed many miles away. They miss many family events, celebrations and special occasions!

❤️

When you go to the gym this week, or go do a physical activity, there’s a serviceman or woman who is learning how to live with a severe disability because they fought for our freedoms.

❤️

When you go to work…or a place of worship…or speak your opinion…or go to a sporting event…or attend college or another school function…or vote…or speak your mind about a presidential election...it’s all because someone willingly signed up to protect and ensure our safety and our freedoms—knowing it could very well cost them their very LIFE—so we can wonderfully enjoy all the joys and privileges of a free country!

❤️

When you go about life, dreaming, making plans, and setting goals, there’s a serviceman or woman who is denied these precious, exquisite gifts and opportunities – since they willingly laid down their life and died while serving and fighting for our freedoms.

💕“Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, but the Marines (and armed forces) don’t have that problem.”

– Ronald Reagan

Please join me in THANKING and praying for all of our wonderful, incredible veterans today…and let’s keep them in our prayers each and every day!

If you personally know of someone who has experienced the death of a family member or friend who died while serving in the military, please reach out to them.

If you know of someone who is currently serving, or who has served, (or you know a spouse who holds the fort down while their loved one is away serving…or you know a parent of a serviceman or woman) sincerely thank them the next time you see them!

Our military (and their families) truly deserve so much more remembrance, honor, and gratitude than we can ever give them for their sacrifices!

Beyond grateful today to everyone who has served! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

And if you’ve experienced great heartache, challenges, or disability due to serving, I’m truly genuinely sorry for your pain…and sorry Americans (including myself) haven’t understood it from your perspective.

You truly are amazing heroes! 

Thank you so very much for your service, courage, and sacrifices!! We all love you, are grateful to you, and pray God richly blesses you!!💕

Gratitude & many blessings,
Kim

Originally posted ©2015 by Kim Niles. 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