Losing a child is hard. It does not matter whether it is a child or an adult. That loss can either break you or make you stronger. After Emily Pittsford lost her son, she never once asked “Why?” Instead, she said, “Thank you, God.”
It was just days before his death that her son called to share of a hit-and-run he had witnessed. At that moment, Emily shared with her son that it was of no coincidence that he was there to witness such a tragic event. After talking to his mom, Tim went to church and through talking with pastors, realized that life was much more then how he had been recently living.
That next weekend – Tim passed away to heart failure. In Pittsford’s new book ‘A Most Incredible Witness,’ she shares how God always loved her son despite his falling out and that God was constantly romancing him back to the truth. I had the great fortune of spending a few moments chatting with her. It’s hard not to lose faith.
Elev8: How do you hold on to your faith after such a heartbreaking tragedy? Most people rage at God and feel he has abandoned them.
Emily Pittsford: I think we all would like a script; that we can follow like a map, or the proverbial writing on the wall we keep hoping to receive. I am no different. But I suppose for me, I look at a goal and go towards what it will take to get me there. There was a woman in our town that accidentally hit two teenagers in our town in 1999. One died and one is still in a wheelchair. And people would say “she has never been the same since”. So I just didn’t want anyone to have the cause to say that about me. But I then realized, I shouldn’t be the same. I should be better. So in order to do that I wanted to try and learn from this. Not to say this my fault and burden to bare. But, there are certainly things I would do different. But if I truly believe that God loves me, if I truly believe His word that EVERYTHING will be for His glory when we love Him; I kept having to move forward and trust that God has something for me to do with the pain. Grieve yes, allow myself time to heal, of course. So I grabbed onto opportunities for council and books to read. I read and studied Job. I wrote letters to God. Am I done, no, but now am in a place I can share Tim’s story with those that are too hurting…as we all have been broken. But I think God best specialty…is healing the broken-hearted.
Elev8: What should someone at a faith crossroads after tragedy do?
Emily Pittsford: I suppose if I were to give advise to try and encompass someone’s else’s pain, the common denominator would be pain. And here’s the key, the pain of today may not be the root. There may be more to deal with. I know someone that went through a fire. But he’s never dealt with being abused when he was a little boy. Did that pain cause the fire? Hard to say, but many times we are unaware how our deep pain is affecting others. Figuring out who we need to forgive and let go of, while accepting there’s could be accountability today’s situation may not be a bad idea. We can clean up the cobwebs all we want, but at some point it might be a good idea, to have God clean out the spiders.
In Emily’s new book readers will follow the life of a mother who fought inward battles, yet persevered knowing that God was going to use her story to touch millions of lives. She truly is inspirational. It definitely a must read!
Her new book “A Most Incredible Witness” is a must read that is available now.
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