The Christian Broadcasting Network

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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Too Young To Die


"You have six months to live" is not a well-received prognosis, especially if you are fifteen years old. We were sophomores in high school when my best friend, Amy, was diagnosed with liver cancer. When doctors discovered it, the cancer had already invaded 75 percent of her body. How could this happen to someone so young? It wasn't fair. Cancer only hits people we don't know, and it definitely doesn't affect teenagers, does it?

Our school was in total shock as we watched Amy undergo chemotherapy treatments and lose her beautiful, midnight-black hair. Dark circles grew larger beneath her sinking eyes. Her deteriorating body shriveled to a meager eighty-two pounds. Soon her classmates had to push her to class in a wheelchair. Seeing her condition worsen every day sent most of us home crying and questioning God.

Then, one spring day, Amy didn't show up to be wheeled to class. She had fallen asleep the night before and did not wake up. We honestly thought Amy would get better. We should have been prepared for this day, yet somehow we weren't ready at all.

The entire school shut down for Amy's funeral. We walked silently across the street in the drizzling rain to a little stone church to say good-bye. Everyone was in a daze. There were so many tears, so many questions, and so many broken hearts. Our spirits were crushed. We were torn and confused.

After the service concluded, several youth ministers and teachers gathered groups of students together to talk over everything we were experiencing. What began as a huge ocean of angry and hurtful tears flowed into a season of prayer and ultimately led to a number of our classmates giving their lives to Christ.

One of those students was a friend of mine named Jason. Jason had recently been dealing with some tough times and was contemplating suicide. That day something was revealed to him through Amy's death. Amy had found joy and safety in the strong arms of God long before her body developed cancer. Everyone knew of her faith and trust in the Lord, even when her situation seemed entirely hopeless. Jason saw that hope in her, and through it found peace for his life, too. His life took a dramatic U-turn that day. Not only did Jason find a reason to live, he later became a youth minister who guided many more teenagers like him to find safety in the arms of a loving God.

As for me, I learned two things from Amy. First, I realized each day should be treated like a robin's egg. This little blue speckled egg houses the potential to grow a beautiful creature, yet it is also incredibly delicate and easily broken. I have chosen to cherish today, to enjoy my friends more, to tell people I love them more often, and to hang out with God more.

Secondly, I discovered we are all being watched. Not in the sense that aliens on some distant planet are studying our every move, but when we have faith in God, people around us will observe the way we live—from the way we speak to a scrawny, awkward freshman, to how we handle a great big D in chemistry class. God asks us to live by a standard that might seem odd to the onlooker, but what if Amy had chosen to compromise or ditch her faith? Would her death have made as much of an impact on our school? Would students have been on their knees, praying, at her funeral? Would Jason have found Jesus? I don't know for sure, but I can tell you I'm thankful for Amy's witnessing.

It caused many of us to choose to take our relationship with God much more seriously.

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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