Carly clutched the payphone in her hand with tears running down her cheeks. She didn’t know what to do. Her life was a total mess.
“Mom, I’m in big trouble” she blurted out as soon as her mom answered the phone.
“Carly, is that you? What’s wrong honey?” her mom replied.
It’s been three years since she’s talked to her mom. She’s been living in with a guy named Matt who she met after she ran away from home. She was just sixteen then. Matt drove a nice car, had lots of money, and was very nice to her. He was everything she’s wanted in a guy. So when he asked her to move in with him, she didn’t have any second thoughts.
It didn’t take long for Carly to realize that he was part of a drug syndicate. All the money he had came from selling drugs. At first, she just wanted to try some of his stuff but then she became hooked to it. She couldn’t live without it. So she decided to look for work to sustain her addiction. She found one in a store that sold designer clothes.
While working for the store she realized that she could earn more money if she stole some of the clothes and sell them to her boyfriend’s contacts. And she did just that. She was surprised at how profitable her “business” was. She didn’t just have enough money to buy drugs but she had enough to buy other things. She felt so successful.
But now here she was in deep trouble, and the only person who could help her was the one person she hated, her mom. She ran away from home because she’s had enough of her mom’s controlling nature. She kept on nagging her about school and about going to church. It was understandable that her mom would nag her about her studies, but not about going to church. Carly hated church.
She grew up in a Christian home, which meant going to Sunday School every week. She wasn’t really keen on hearing stories about God and praying to Him, especially when He let her father walk away on them when she was just six. She just couldn’t understand how a supposedly good God could let bad things happen to her family.
Another reason why she hated church was Mrs. Smith, her Sunday School teacher. Every week she would look Carly in the eye and say, “If you’re bad, you will go to hell”. Those words really scared her. Mrs. Smith described hell as a deep black abyss that was so deep that nobody really knew whether it ended somewhere. Carly didn’t want to go there.
So when Mrs. Smith asked them if they wanted to pray a prayer to Jesus that would assure them of their place in heaven, Carly immediately raised her hand. It was just what she needed, insurance from hell. After praying, she felt so relieved. Now she could do anything she wanted without really having to worry about hell. When Mrs. Smith was looking, she would pretend to be a good girl. Her Sunday School teacher doesn’t really have to know what’s happening inside her heart.
When Carly turned sixteen, she told her mom that she was going to live her own life. Her mom was shocked but Carly’s never felt so free in her whole life. Now she can do whatever she wants. And she’s done just that since then.
Her mom’s voice cut her out of her reverie, “Carly, are you still there?”, her mom said. “Mom, I was caught stealing at work. They said I have until five this afternoon to turn myself in. My friend said that they’re just bluffing, so I should just tell them that I am innocent. What do you think would Jesus do if he was caught stealing?” Carly told her mom.
“Carly, in the first place, Jesus would never steal”, her mom joked. Hearing that made Carly happy, she knew her mom had already forgiven her. “Seriously”, her mom continued, “I think Jesus would want you to surrender yourself. Don’t worry, He’ll take care of you.”
After talking to her mom, Carly knew that surrendering was the right thing to do. Right there and then, she made a commitment to Jesus, “I give you my life. If I go to jail, I will serve you there. “ This time it was for real.
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