A mix collection of inspirational stories gathered from the internet and personal experiences.

Friday, February 27, 2015


By Kristie Phillips

I lost my innocence on April 25, 2006, two days after my 34th birthday.
I woke up that morning with hope and more faith than I had ever had in my life. With a quiet confidence that I had prayed with my whole heart and God had heard me, and He would help my family and me in our time of need. But what did God actually do? Nothing. My Mom died that morning. She was 60 years old. I went to bed that night numb with shock, but withmy eyes wide open.

Mom’s loss was sudden, complications from a surgery that had seemed to go well. She was released from the hospital four days after the surgery and was recovering on schedule. Then she started having pain, and before anyone, my dad, the surgeon, or even she herself realized how bad her condition was, she collapsed and never woke up again.

The surgeon told us he didn’t know what happened. Usually if a patient has pain or complications, there is time to diagnose the problem and treat it, but my mom deteriorated so fast, there was no time. We finally concluded that God just took her. There was no other explanation.

The day I lost my Mom, I lost my faith as well. I never thought I would have an easy life with no problems, but I had firmly believed my entire life that God would hear my prayers and answer them. Growing up I heard so many stories about God miraculously making illnesses disappear, healing people against all odds, and answering impossible prayers, that I couldn’t understand why He wouldn’t do that for my family. I was terribly disappointed and angry with God. I refused to pray any more at all.

I never told anybody how much I hated God. I was afraid myChristian friends would argue with me and quote scriptures about how all things work together for good and how God will never fail us nor forsake us, and that’s not what I needed to hear since I felt that God had failed me.

A few weeks before Mom’s death, in early April before we even knew about her surgery, I had noticed an 8-week continuing education class on Grief and Loss, offered by the local community college. It was a new class and stood out among the computer, hobby, and self-improvement offerings. Although I felt drawn to the class, I did not register because I felt strange going when I had not experienced a loss myself. Little did I know that a few weeks later I would have plenty of experience.

I returned to work a week after Mom’s funeral and signed up for the Grief and Loss class, still unsure of whether I should go. Somehow I showed up. I had nothing else to do. And in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was God providing for me after all. The instructor, Nancy Murphy, was patient’s advocate who worked with the elderly in nursing homes and who had a desire to help people understand death and grief. She had lost two of her brothers as children, a third brother when she was sixteen, and her father a year-and-a-half before.

The three other students in the class included a large black man who had recently become a pastor; his wife, who had lost her grandmother, her mother, and her sister all to breast cancer; and a small 20-something former heroin addict, whose teenage sister had committed suicide when she was thirteen. They were not the kind of people I would normally associate with, but they understood the loss I was going through and I found the class to be very comforting.

Nancy was so kind to me and stayed late after every class to talk to me and see how I was doing. We would stand in the parking lot for half an hour after class talking. Nancy told me the class might be too early for me, too soon after my loss. Many adult children who lose their parents don’t fully feel the impact of the loss for months, and they tend to join support groups months later instead of right away.

But, I think the class was exactly what I needed at the time. The class gave me direction, gave me people who understood what I was going through, and led me to some books to read that gave me a greater understanding of grief. Without the class, I would have been lost and unprepared to deal with what I was feeling.

The funny part is that a continuing education class would normally be canceled if it had less than six students. This had happened to me several times in the past. But somehow, this Grief and Loss class was allowed to run with just four students. I think it was because Nancy was so enthusiastic to teach it that the coordinator at the community college made an exception.

A year later, in August 2007, I saw Nancy Murphy again in a restaurant at lunchtime. She was as sweet and kind as she had been the year before. She told me that she had not taught the class again; she had gotten busy with work and in the future would try to target the class to healthcare workers. I tried to explain to her that the class was perfect timing for me and exactly what I needed. She said the class helped her as much as it had helped us.

How can you tell the difference between coincidence and God providing for you? I like to think that God provided that Grief and Loss class just for me. I would have been very apprehensive about going to a grief support group and probably would never have gotten the help I needed. But classes I’m not afraid of. I have a Ph.D. I’ve gone to lots of classes. Nancy Murphy said that she has to believe there is a purpose in loss. She has to. That’s the only way she can make sense of it and have some peace. And I think she’s right.

My faith is coming back slowly, little by little, but I know it will never be the same. I will never believe like I once did. I will never be as faithful, innocent, and naive as I was before. I will always remember how God disappointed me. I can only hope that God has a plan and a purpose for my life after all and mymom’s death was a part of it. And when I doubt, I think about Nancy Murphy, her kindness, and her Grief and Loss class that only ran at the exact time I really needed it, and I wonder.

Kristie has been inspired by the stories on MyDailyInsights and wanted to share her story in the hope of inspiring others. She is 35 years old and lives and works in Cary, NC as a Textile Chemist. She has been writing ever since high school and college, but has gotten distracted by the twists and turns of life, and only recently has been taking her writing more seriously. She can be reached at kristie225@gmail.com

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