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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Encouragement (among believers) (11/08/07)

TITLE: My World Collapsed
By Esther Phillips
11/15/07


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It was July 19, 1976, when my 40 year old husband came home from playing basketball. He was sick and I was trying to determine if he needed to go to the doctor. He assured me that he had just gotten over-heated and that he had been that way many times in his life. In just a few minutes, he suffered a fatal heart attack.

My world had collapsed. The next few days were busy with making funeral arrangements and comforting my three young children. My church, neighbors, family, and friends were all instrumental in helping us get through this trying time.

Most of the people left after the funeral and went back to their busy lives. My church people continued to check on me. Charlie, our choir director, came by one day and said, “I’ve been thinking about what I could do for you. I’m a pretty good mechanic and I’d like to check out your car to make sure it is in good working order.” I let him check it out and marveled that he had given thought to how he could offer us assistance.

The secretary of the church called every single day for a very long time to see how the kids and I were doing. One day, when she asked me, “How are you today?” I told her I just wanted to run away. She responded with, “Well, dear, you’ll have to take you with you.’ A statement I still use today! Then she added, get yourself fixed up and I’ll take you to lunch. My kids were back in school and that helped me get through one more day.

I became overwrought in thinking that my Dad was going to die soon. Many people told me it was just my anxiety because of what I had been through. I was convinced that he was next. It was only four months after my husband passed that my Dad was taken by ambulance to the hospital. He passed away the next day. I couldn’t believe that the two most important men in my life were gone.

After I got back from Colorado where we held his funeral, I promptly went to church the next Sunday. One man said, “I can’t believe you are here.”

I told him, “This is where I get my strength.” It is the truth. I don’t think I could survive life’s tragedies without being able to go to the house of God and having people love on and care for me.

In the Bible, we are instructed as Christians to share with God’s people. Listen to Romans 12:12-13, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (NIV)


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This article has been read 495 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 11/15/07
Very good writing, quite moving, and a perfect example of how practical encouragement is often so much more helpful than platitudes. Nicely done.
Seema Bagai 11/17/07
Encouragement in action described in this piece. Good job.
David F. Palmieri Sr. 11/17/07
Your story is an encouragement to me...suddenly my situation looks a lot brighter...Thank You for sharing...great writing...