June 21, 2018

Home Burns to a Total Loss but Miraculously Hope Found in the Ashes

Patricia Tillia’s handwritten scriptures that were not burned in the fire. Just one of many that were scattered all over her house that burned on January 11, 2014.

Patricia Tillia’s handwritten scriptures that were not burned in the fire. Just one of many that were scattered all over her house that burned on January 11, 2014.

 ~Written by Debbie O’Neal

(Franklin) — On January 11, 2014 a fire took the home of Patricia Tillia of 1591 Frolona Road in Franklin.

Patricia is a single, 69-year-old senior citizen that has lived in Heard County for 35 years. She is the mother of Jerry Tillia, Donna Tyler and William Tillia.

At the time of the fire, Mrs. Tillia was at Piedmont Newnan Hospital recovering from knee surgery. She lost her home and all her belonging including her dearly beloved pets.

Tillia was released from the hospital on January 30, and is now staying with her daughter, Donna Tyler, in Roopville, Ga.

On Tuesday, February 4, Mrs. Tillia stated that was the first day she had been able to view her home since the fire.

Upon arriving she noticed that her flowers were blooming and among the rubble were bits of notebook paper that failed to burn. The notebook bits were of her daily bible scriptures that she had written over the last four years as she studied God’s word every morning. One of the pages found unburned had this poem:

“Bless the Ruts  in the Yard”

I am grateful, O God that your standards run more to how we’re loving you and one another than how we appear. If you judged on lawns, I would be out in the cold! Mine is the yard where kids gather. Ball games, sprinkler tag’s muddy marathons, snow fort and tree house constructions, car tinkerings and bike repair they all happen here. Bless my rutted, littered lawn, wise Creator. It’s the most beautiful landscape, dotted as it is with children who will be grown and gone faster than we can say “replant.”

Her first viewing of her burnt home was truly amazing… even in that devastating moment God was still in control. With tears in her eyes she thought, “among this rubble there is still hope!”

Ms. Tillia would to thank the Heard County Fire Department and Heard County Sheriff’s Department for all they have done as well as the Community of Heard County and her church family at New Covenant Worship Center.

Patricia Tillia

Patricia Tillia

Tillia has spent the last two weeks learning to walk again after surgery and now she will spend as much time as it takes to rebuild. The land that her home was on was handed down to her from her mother, Sarah Grizzell. She loves the Heard County Community and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

A benefit singing was held January 31 at New Covenant Worship Center for Patricia. Pastor Robert Doddridge of New Covenant Worship Center has issued a call for help. A benevolence fund has been set up at Certus Bank.

If you would like to make a donation you can stop by Certus Bank at 101 Main Street, just off the square in downtown Franklin. Please make checks payable to: New Covenant Worship Center Patricia Tillia Benevolence Fund.



  1. Barbara F. White says:

    There Hope in the ashes.God have promised to never leave us nor to forsake us.We may not always understand his will for our lives,however we who know the lord as Patricia does,knows that He will open up the windows of Heaven and pour out a blessing that it will not be enough room to contain it.I say to Patricia,now you can see how your prayers,bible studying,and daily writings did not go unseen by God.He left the poem to show you that there will always be hope in Him.Be encouraged,my Prayers will continue to be prayed for your strength and healing of your surgery cite,as well as the strength of your family as they so lovingly care for you. ~In Christ,Barbara F. White(A native of the Centrahatchee Community.

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