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God Allows U-Turns for Teens

256 pages
Bethany House Publishers
March 2006
ISBN: 0764200909

Do you feel like you’re headed down a road that shouldn't be traveled? You’re not alone. Sometimes it’s too easy to find the wrong path. Sometimes you just feel lost. But God is waiting to help you turn your life around; He wants to show you the way.

This powerful collection of stories from real-life teens offers encouragement and support as you overcome poor relationships with your parents, physical or sexual abuse, drug addiction, or painful consequences. With God, all things are possible. Are you ready for a U-turn?

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Which Cup Will You Choose?

By Lynn Ludwick – MEDFORD, OREGON

"Hey, Mom, he's here now and we're leaving," I called down the hall to my mother in her sewing room.

"Okay. Be sure and be home by midnight," she replied.

"I will." I was seventeen and attending the local university. Since I lived at home, a curfew was still in force.

Rich helped me with my coat and we sped off in his red sports car, headed to a fraternity party. I had told my parents we were going to a dance at the student union, and they believed my lie.

The party was in full swing when we arrived. The music blared and the alcohol flowed freely. Rich was the only person I knew among his fraternity brothers, several of whom wandered down the hall with their dates. The scene was surreal, and I avoided focusing on what was going on in that apartment. I was a naïve freshman and Rich was a junior, wise in the ways of the world. We had met in French class and he had introduced me to a party life I would never have consciously chosen. But I willingly slipped into it.

He asked me what I wanted to drink. It was all new to me and I didn't know my options. "How about a Bloody Mary?" he offered, then explained what it was.

"Great. I love tomato juice."

Several drinks later I was rather wobbly, and the drive home felt like a ride on a slalom ski course. I was relieved when we pulled into my driveway.

Then reality hit me—I would have to face my father. He always waited up until his children were safely home. I think I'd rather jump out of an airplane without a parachute than face Dad tonight. He was kind and reasonable, but there were strictly enforced house rules, and No drinking! was one of them. There was no disguising my tipsy condition.

I stumbled through the doorway and bumped into the kitchen table. Man, Dad's going to kill me. But the living room light was off and Dad's rhythmic snoring sang from my parents' downstairs bedroom. He was asleep!

I later lay in bed thinking how fortunate I was. If I had been caught ... Boy, am I lucky.

The next morning I headed to church. My family's cross-country move a few years earlier had ended my childhood church attendance. I still believed in God, but it obviously didn't much affect my life. A month or two earlier a high school friend had invited me to her church, and on a lark, I'd accepted. The Sunday morning service was upbeat and I enjoyed the youth group. The kids were serious about their "religion," but I was there mostly for the good times. I was seventeen. Fun was my goal in life.

On that particular Sunday morning, however, my head ached as we sang "I Surrender All." Well, not all, just some. What if someone found out I had a hangover? I took the bread and the cup as the communion tray was passed.

"This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me," the pastor read from 1 Corinthians 11:25.

As I held that little sip of grape juice in my hand, I sobered. I envisioned a cup of booze in my other hand. One of those cups had to go. Maybe no one else knew about the double life I was living, but God did. I had come to a fork in the road, and it was time to choose my future path. In my mind I tossed the party cup and retained the cup representing Christ's sacrificial blood. It was a beginning.

Within a few days I fully yielded my heart to God's call and accepted Christ as my Savior. As I read my Bible and evaluated my life, I came to a deeper understanding of true Christianity. I soon experienced the spiritual aspects of the youth group as well as enjoying the good times.

And I didn't date Rich anymore.

After I accepted Christ, some of the older ladies at church told me they had been praying for me and were delighted to see their prayers answered. They would never know how God had taken those prayers a step further and granted me some much needed protection.

My parents never found out about that Saturday night debacle, nor did my dad ever again go to bed before I was home for the night. It hadn't been luck at all. God certainly could have chosen to let me suffer the consequences of my behavior that night, but in His sovereignty He kindly protected me, knowing I would soon yield my heart and make a U-turn toward Him.

Learn more about starting a relationship with God.

Excerpted from God Allows U-Turns for Teens compiled by Allison Bottke (with Cheryl Hutchings), copyright © 2006; ISBN 0764201816. Published by Bethany House Publishers. Used by permission. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.


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