Swatzell, then 20, was on his way home after working a busy 24-hour shift as a firefighter and EMT. He had slept only 30 minutes during his shift, and had fallen asleep at the wheel two miles from his house. What awoke him was the sound of his vehicle crashing head-on into a car driven by 30-year-old June Fitzgerald. She was pregnant with a son; her 19-month-old daughter Faith was also in the car.
Little Faith survived the accident; her mother and brother did not.
At that point Fitzgerald had a decision to make on how he would lead his life.
The full-time pastor turned to his faith. As he opened his Bible, the Holy Spirit brought back to his mind a sermon he had heard years earlier about God’s “bigger picture” for our lives. So Fitzgerald decided to trust God with his story.
Meanwhile, Swatzell, who was also a Christian, was wrestling with his own demons of guilt, depression and sorrow.
And that’s when God started to set into play circumstances that would lead the two men, brothers in Christ, towards each other so they could start a friendship forged in forgiveness. Their incredible story was captured in a video by New Springs Church in 2011. I hope you’ll watch, because the miracle of what God did in these men’s hearts and lives will stay with you.
You can read an update to their story via the Today Show blog.
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