Erik Fitzgerald was preparing to be a new dad when his world changed in an instant.
Erik, a Georgia youth pastor, was awakened one morning in October 2006 with the news that his wife's car was struck head-on by a firefighter who fell asleep at the wheel driving home at the end of a 24-hour shift. His wife, June, died instantly, along with her unborn child. Faith, his then-19-month-old daughter, survived the crash.
Amid the grief, Erik, recognized a God-given opportunity to practice the forgiveness at the heart of the message of Jesus he preached. Erik pleaded for lenient sentencing so Matt Swatzell could avoid prison time. As a result, Matt ended up with only community service and a fine.
Not long afterwards, Matt and Erik met by chance in a grocery store parking lot and began to talk - a circumstance both saw as God-ordained. That led to a friendship that continues to this day.
They credit their conversations as the key to letting them heal from the loss and pain.
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