Renewed Hope after Surviving Tragic Loss | Kaitlyn Odom Fiedler

In this episode:

Kaitlyn Odom Fiedler shares her personal journey of finding hope and healing in Christ after a tragic loss of her parents and four siblings and emphasizes the importance of being intentional with children in teaching them about God. She also encourages others to allow themselves to carry grief with them and not feel ashamed for still feeling sad after months or even years. Join Michelle and Kaitlyn in this touching conversation about faith, loss, and healing.

About this week's guest:

Kaitlyn Odom Fiedler was eight years old when she woke up alone in a hospital room, the victim of a horrible car accident that claimed the lives of six of her family members as they traveled on their way to vacation at the beach. Left with only one living brother, young Kaitlyn was left with the question, "What now?"

How do you find hope after loss? Twenty years later, Kaitlyn has found her hope and wants to encourage others as they struggle with their own trials.

In What Now?: Finding Renewed Life in Christ After Kaitlyn shares her pain, struggle, and personal wrestling with grief, love, and hope with courageous vulnerability. She has found Christ sustaining, patient, and present and introduces Him as one friend introduces another. Her value of children, their emotions, grief, and the need for ways to engage their trauma with or without words reminds us and challenges us to enter in and give space for all.

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Kaitlyn Odom Fiedler shares her personal journey of finding hope and healing in Christ after the tragic loss of her parents, siblings, and a family friend. Kaitlyn's story begins with her childhood in a Christian, homeschooled family with six children. Her parents taught them about God through their words and actions. She emphasizes the significance of the early years of learning about God and encourages mothers to be intentional with their children, as the impact can last a lifetime.

She also shares about her experience with grief and how society often tells people to move on quickly and hide their sadness. Kaitlyn argues that it's okay to carry grief with us throughout life and that crying is a sign of respect for the person we lost. She advocates for people to take the time they need to heal and process their own stories.

Kaitlyn's book, What Now?, offers a message of hope and healing to those who are struggling with loss and change. The book chronicles her journey of grief and shares personal stories, reflecting on how God has redeemed her life. She encourages others to consider how their own personal stories can be used to help others and advocates for taking steps to heal and process one's own stories.

Overall, this episode highlights the importance of finding hope and healing in Christ during times of hardship. Kaitlyn's story offers a message of hope and encouragement to anyone who may be struggling with loss and change. It serves as a reminder that we are not alone in our pain and that God is with us, ready to help us overcome our sadness. We should feel comfortable expressing our emotions to God, even if it involves anger or frustration.

Asking "what now?" can be more productive than staying stuck in "why me?" As we trust God's plan and move forward, we allow him to use our pain and suffering for good.


[00:11:47] Life changed in an instant after a car accident, moved in with aunt and uncle in new state, had to find identity again, developed a heart for individuals going through difficult childhoods and changes.

[00:17:15] Kaitlyn emphasizes the importance of asking God questions and turning to him in times of trouble, but stresses that dwelling on "why" will get one nowhere. Instead, asking "what now?" shifts the focus to finding meaning and purpose in difficult situations and trusting that God works all things for good.

[00:23:47] Grieving is a journey that should not have cultural pressure attached to it; people should feel empowered to respect the grief. Crying is a form of showing respect for the person who was lost, and it should be respected and owned. It is okay to cry publicly, and people should feel freedom in grieving.

[00:28:48] Supportive family and friends helped reflect on lost loved ones. Sharing personal memories learned with safe people can help heal with the support of a church community and counseling.

[00:36:56] Kaitlyn finds hope in pain while waiting for resolution, praising the speaker's book, and asking where to find it.

[00:41:07] God is with you in your pain; he can redeem and restore your story. Seek him and also find community to walk alongside you.

Key Quotes

  1. "Asking 'What now?' can be more productive than staying stuck in 'Why me?'" - Kaitlyn Fiedler
  2. "Allow yourself to carry grief with you throughout life and not feel ashamed for crying or still feeling sad after months or even years." - Kaitlyn Fiedler
  3. "Express your emotions and questions to God, even if they involve anger or frustration." - Kaitlyn Fiedler


Kaitlyn's book: What Now? Finding Renewed Life in Christ After Loss

Kaitlyn's website: A Beautiful Belonging

A discussion guide related to this episode went out to Michelle's mailing list. If you missed it, past worksheets are available forever to Patreon monthly subscribers at You can get a 7-day trial membership to see what resources are in the growing library there for Life Repurposed Plus members.



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