You know when a blogger sits down to write but is at a loss for words, it must be because of something pretty incredible.
This past weekend I had the honor of attending an Empowered Spouses Retreat with the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, one of the many retreats offered. This foundation does what is so needed within the law enforcement and military communities. They give an opportunity for 20 military and first responder spouses to gather in one place for a long weekend of confidence building, support, empowerment, and self reflection. We were nestled in the Teton National Forest in Jackson Hole, WY for 5 days and the views were enough to take your breath away.
In the past, I remember envying the relationships mil-spouses have with one another, or I perceived them to have. They could live in close proximity on base and have a community of women living a similar situation just an arms reach away. I have friends that are military spouses and they always seemed so close and connected. However, it felt like the support police wives had existed virtually and was nearly nonexistent within our local communities. I was always left wondering why this connection was seriously lacking for law enforcement spouses.
Whatever community you are in- support for spouses of first responders and military is needed. So much attention is given directly to the first responder or soldier but not to the family as a whole or the spouse that is the glue holding that family together. The Chris Kyle Frog Foundation has a mission to change this notion and put a focus on support for spouses and marriages within the military and law enforcement communities.
At the Empowered Spouses Retreat, you are given opportunities to step outside of your comfort zone, be brave, fight fears, and build a strong community of friendships with like-minded women. The retreat is lead by Corie Weathers, an AMAZING counselor that has a strong passion for serving first responder and military couples. She just has a way with words and I am sure I can speak for my fellow retreat wives when I say, she touched us all. We were also fortunate enough to spend time with Taya Kyle, who is motivating, uplifting and had such a powerful message to share with us.
My Personal Experience
Within hours after stepping off the plane, we all began to form a bond that is honestly, indescribable. The titles of “military wife” or “first responder wife” were broken down and we all became one. We built true, loyal connections and friendships. We saw that we all have so many of the same issues, fears, or worries and sharing those with one another was like a breath of fresh air. It didn’t matter what branch of service our spouses were in, whether they fought fires, were deployed or not, are hated in our home town for just doing their job or hated while on international soil.
Those things didn’t matter because our spouses all wear uniforms. They all protect our country. They all have family members praying for their safe return, whether ‘home’ is tomorrow, in 3 days, or 3 months.
While the moments to bond were so special to me, I also had so much time to work on myself. That means, without kids, without my husband, without a busy to-do list. This was terrifying for me. I realized that I had not done something for myself in a very long time. I had almost forgotten how to do it. So going on this trip was a step in the right direction of putting myself first- finally. But as military and first responder wives we tend to do this, right? We put everyone else in front of ourselves before REALLY taking the time to invest in our own well-being.
During this retreat, I learned that when I focus on myself and step outside of my comfort zone, just a little, I feel empowered, strong, and confident. I also learned that having the time to recharge allows me to focus my energy more positively and intentionally.
When I look back on that amazing weekend, tears come to my eyes every single time. Tears of joy, tears of courage, tears of empowerment. I walked away with 20 new friendships that I will cherish for the rest of my life. My soul was changed that weekend- in the best ways possible. It holds a “sacred space” in my heart, as Corie would say. Moose are also my new favorite animal. 🙂
Thank you to the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation and Taya Kyle for giving me this unforgettable opportunity of a lifetime. Thank you for executing this vision and providing this service that, as spouses, we are all hungry for. This experience was honestly hard to describe and for the first time, I was searching for the perfect words. This retreat may have ended, but the memories, connections, and tools I learned will be with me a lifetime.
If you are looking for support and a retreat is not your style, then be sure to join our closed group on Facebook for police wives only. It is such a helpful and supportive group!
Do you feel lonely while your officer is working?
Join over 3,000 other wives and find ways to reduce worry and stay busy while your officer is on shift!
Grab your FREE copy of 10 Ways to Not be Lonely While your Officer is Working!
By signing up, you also subscribe to our weekly newsletter.