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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
i fixed it and reworte it take a look

Submitted: March 15, 2007

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Submitted: March 15, 2007



I'm just a average guy. I enjoy sports and have lots of friends... well had. It all started when my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I didn't know what to do! If anything happened to her, I would be all alone and I didn't think that I could handle that!

Two weeks after my mom told me she had cancer, I decided to try out this thing called "church". The doctors couldn't do anything for her, so I figured wouldn't hurt. Man, it was great! I made lots of friends and best of all, mom started getting better! One night, my friend came up to me after youth group. "Hey, I'm having a party at my house this Friday. Wanna come?" "Yeah, wouldn't miss it!" I said excitedly. Friday night as I was getting ready to leave, Mom walked into my room and started giving me the third degree.

"So where's this party?"

"At Shane's."

"When are you going to be home?"

"No later then 10:00."

"Is there going to be drinking at this party?"

"Mom! Come on, Shane is from church!" Exasperated, I rolled my eyes at her. "Of course there won't be beer there." Smiling confidently, I walked out the door.

I was wrong... there was beer there. I walked in and I could smell it. It was everywhere! I mean, left and right someone was asking you, "hey, you wanna beer?" For crying out loud! What was this? Eventually I gave in and I had one... then another and another. Soon I was drunk and decided to drive home. Bad idea! My so-called friends didn't even try to stop me! Nice huh? I got in the car and less than three blocks away I... I... I hit someone. I walked away without a scratch, but the girl I hit died instantly! Her name was Mandy. She was only 17!

I ended up in jail. I was so angry! "Great! Thanks a lot, God!" My mom came yo visit me. She kept telling me, "Something good would happen from this. Just wait and see. You can use your story to help others avoid the same mistakes." "Yeah right!" I thought. I didn't stay in jail long, however. Mandy's parents offered me a deal. The deal was, everyday I would write one line on a piece of paper and send it to them for the next 17 years. One year for every year Mandy was alive. "Man, how easy it that?" I thought it wouldn't be hard at all. As time went on though, reality set in. It was hard. Incredibly hard! Everyday, I had to think about her. About what I did not only to her, but to her parents. You see, what I have to write is "I'm sorry for killing your only child, please forgive me."

A couple years later my mom died. I was so angry! My old youth pastor called and tried to pray for me. "There is no God!" I screamed at him. "If there was a God, why did my mom die?" Angrily, I slammed the phone down without another word. "Who does he think he's kidding?" I muttered. "God is a fake and a phony!" If He was real, I'd never said yes to that party, never gotten drunk and never killed Mandy! Kicking a wall. I yelled, "You could have stopped me!" I went to bed that night; angry at God (if there was one), the world and mostly myself. I had the strangest dream... it was Mandy! She was preaching a sermon to my old youth group about Jesus and the sacrifice He made. She talked about how He longs to forgive us, change us and give us brand new life. She said, "Like God forgave my sins when He died on the cross, He wants to forgive yours too!" "No way! He's not real." I thought. "If He is, He abandoned me long ago." Then it seemed she looked right at me, "Even you! Jesus paid it all for you and He loves YOU! No matter what you have done."

I woke up in a sweat. It had seemed so real! "Weird dream," I whispered. Then it hit me... what if Mandy was right? What if Jesus DID die for me? What if He WAS willing and able to forgive my sins? Did He really die for me? An angry screw-up? An agnostic? A killer? Could He be for real? I got up and looked at the clock. It was 8am. Then I realized, "Hey, it's Sunday!" My brain continued replaying my dream. I had to know if it was true! A half hour later, I walked into my old church. At first, I felt like everyone was staring at me funny-like "there goes the guy who killed Mandy." I felt so out of place! Kinda like a monkey in a petting zoo... only they weren't throwing peanuts at me... yet. Suddenly, I began to feel something else. It was a homey, comforting feeling. It made me feel like my old self; before all the anger, hate, and disappointment. When the pastor started preaching, I opened my heart and listened - really listened - for the first time in a long time. I was shocked to discover he was preaching the same thing Mandy told me in my dream. Jesus - love - sacrifice - life; all these words hit me like a ton of bricks, yet I felt so free! He was real and He loved ME!

After church , I went home and rededicated my life to God! That afternoon, I mailed out my daily note as usual, but my attitude was different somehow. I felt ready to move on... ready to do something meaningful with my life. I wanted to show God and others that I truly was a changed man. So, I applied at a technical college and applied for several jobs. Within 3 weeks, I got a job at Freddy's Grill. Not the greatest job in the world, but I can't complain. It's the first job I've held in years! A week later, I received a letter of acceptance from Fox Valley Tech. I was in! I couldn't believe it! I decided to go into law enforcement. Imagine that!

Then, last Saturday, it was 17 years to the day that I had killed Mandy. I stuck the LAST note in an envelope, sealed it and sent it off. It is over! I never have to do it again. I felt like the weight of the world is lifted off my shoulders. I can tell you though that not a single day has gone by that I don't still think of Mandy. About her life, her death, her parents and how my choices affected them. I realize God has forgiven me and given me a fresh start, but no matter where I go or what I do, people will hear my story. It's like my mom told me so long ago, " You can use your story to help others avoid the same mistakes." As for me, I will never forget the sacrifice Jesus made for me and how that simple truth radically changed my life!

© Copyright 2018 Thomas Engel. All rights reserved.

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