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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Risk (05/17/12)

TITLE: Reckless Youth
By Cynthia Dawson


Reckless Youth

When you are young and live your life with reckless abandon, only thinking of yourself, where you need to go and what you want to do, you never considered those around you. On September 17, 2009 you got in your car and head out, driving faster than you should have. When your cell phone rang you answered it, never thinking twice of the risks you were taking. Never once thinking about me or anyone else you would encounter during your drive.
I left for work that morning headed south. I tuned the radio to my favorite Christian station. Singing and praising God I knew it was going to be a great day.
Before I realized what my eyes were seeing I had to react. A car, wait…jerking the steering wheel to the right I screamed out loud…GOD HELP ME! The first impact was to the front quarter panel of my car. It felt like I had run into a brick wall. The car was spinning out of control when the second impact hit the driver’s side of the car. I felt like I was on a rollercoaster, my body lurched back and forth in the car for what seemed a very long time.
Darkness…silence…there is nothing now. What is going on? Slowly my eyes focused as realization dripped in like the slow flow of syrup. The car isn’t running…when did I shut the car off?
Again, the veil of fogginess started to raise a bit more. Someone has hit my car. I need help, cars are driving by but no one is stopping! Why aren’t they stopping to see if I’m hurt?
Before I knew it the ambulance had arrived. The driver was at my door asking me questions. My daughter-in-law is here, why is she here? Once I was in the ambulance waves of pain rippled through my body with every bump they hit and every turn they made. The pain gripped so hard on my body that I started holding my breath trying to brace myself for the next wave.
This was the beginning of a three year long journey. Life would only be consumed by doctor appointments, therapy and surgeries. In the end there would be a life-long physical disability and chronic pain. Every day for the rest of my life this day will be a constant reminder of what happened and how I will suffer because of it.
It’s hard to understand and it seems so unfair. The young man that took all the risks, drove so irresponsibly was not injured and his car had only minor damage. I was driving with due diligence to be a safe driver on the road and was left terribly injured and my car was totaled. Oh, the young man did get a citation for failure to stop at a posted intersection. Somehow that doesn’t bring me any comfort.
I battle physical pain and depression today as I will until my Heavenly Father calls me home. I’ve learned to lean on God and wait for his grace. I thank Him for waking me up each morning, and for being able to stand on my own two feet. In time I won’t be able to use my legs so each day is a precious gift.
Although I’m not sure I deserve as much love as they show me, I thank Him for my husband and children. They have rearranged their lives to care for me, more than I ever expected.

Though all of the facts are not stated here, this is a true story about me.

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This article has been read 398 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 05/24/12
My heart lurched from the moment I began reading this entry...I felt this was a true story.

Who knows the reasons things happen, only God does. The Lord didn't take you with that horrific accident, thank God for that. And, you have a story to tell. Your words have touched my heart, and no doubt will many others.

Thank you for your heart baring testimony, and sharing this with us today.

God Bless you abundantly~
Leah Nichols 05/25/12
I know you are just starting out in your writing journey, so I'll begin with encouragement: you have a gripping writing style. You write from your heart, and the words flow.
As far as red ink, I'd say there are a few tips. First, watch your tenses - there's quite a bit of bouncing between present and past, even future. Secondly, you start out on topic, the risk of decisions which could affect another's life, however you quickly veer off into your own story. Bring it back to his decisions, his risk. He doesn't understand the affects of his actions. You don't have to be overt with the topic or use the word "risk" - just emphasize the points and give hints to the full story. Also it helps the readability to space out the paragraphs.
Feel free to write me if you would like more hints. I was a beginner not long ago. ;)
Great job!
Becky Depp 05/26/12
I could tell this was a true story and it's not much different than from when I was in a car accident not that long ago.

The moment I knew this was a true story was when you got to the part about feeling all the pain in the ambulance ride as I too experienced that.

You're writing is very gripping in the sense that I was too busy reading to find the flaws. Which is very good. Even when I read published books I find flaws or misspelled words.

Keep it up! Practice makes perfect. (or as perfect as we can get)
Carol Penhorwood 05/26/12
You tell your story well and we can feel your pain. I am so sorry you had to go through this, but I am convinced that God will bring good out of it. He wastes nothing.

I can envision your story being told and retold to reinforce the consequences of every action.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/26/12
Wow! You did a great job with this testimonial. You had me on the edge of my seat. I never imagined it would be a true story.

The only problem I had was the POV. In the beginning you addressed the reader as you. This would have worked say if you had formatted it in a letter. (But then you would have had to be consistent and use you all the way through)The beginning part should have been a he instead of you.

This is right on topic and a fresh and original take of it as well. Often we fail to realize how far our actions can reach beyond ourselves. This is a message we all need to be reminded of now and then.
Graham Insley05/26/12
A powerful entry and an honest telling of tragedy. Brave and within itself on topic; by that I mean it was a 'risk' to be so honest.

The writing did not flow smoothly for me. Formatting didn't help but wasn't the main issue. Past and present tense interchanged ('head out' should have been 'headed out' for instance) and the change in POV just seemed to jerk.

For me, the other issue is the negativity. I know, believe me, that life's battles can really depress us and leave us feeling smashed into pulp. You are blessed with a family that loves you, but even in that there is a negative aspect in its telling. Where is the hope? Such a powerful telling of pain and anguish needs a ending of hope and faith. I have no doubt that you have that faith and hope, but it needed to be shared here.

You are such a capable writer and you have the ability to touch people. Thank you.
Amy Michelle Wiley 05/27/12
I have a disease that already causes me a lifetime of chronic pain and muscle weakness, so I admit a car accident is one thing I fear. Well done with bringing us into the terrible circumstances. I like how you started out referring to the person who caused it as "you" because really it could be any of us who take such a careless risk. Good reminder to be more careful.
Dannie Hawley 05/28/12
Wow, you are a terrific storyteller! From the beginning I wondered if you might not be talking to the guy who would do something to hurt you without knowing it as you referred to the person as "you". I am just learning about the POV thing myself... and a lot of other writing things, too, as I lern how to put a story I could write in several pages into only 750 words. I suspect you could easily put your story into a whole book and believe you have done a gallant job in trying to squeeze the account into so few words. Please, keep writing! You are brave to be so transparent in the telling and we need to have these stories out there. Thanks sooo much for sharing this story.
Allen Povenmire 05/28/12
So much raw emotion here in your writing, your story is one that should be used over and over in many avenues. I agree that the negative tone of the writing is a bit discerning. It could balanced with a bit more praise for god's mercy perhaps. Spacing between the paragraphs would improve the presentation. Keep writing, you have a wonderful insight. Thanks.
Helen Curtis05/28/12
This is very hard hitting and such a reality check, to think of others more than myself.

Others have mentioned that you are a bit negative in this, that there should be more hope; I politely disagree. In your writing I see the tremendous struggle you go through, every single day - just being thankful for a new day is sometimes as good as it gets. This can come across as being hope-less, but I understand only too well just how hope-full such praise is.

It was indeed a risk sharing this personal testimony, and I pray that the Holy Spirit would be your comfort and strength now and always.

Blessings, Helen
lynn gipson 05/29/12
If yhis is you I am so sorry, I had a similiar three year long journey, with pain and therapy and doc appts. so I can relate. I pray your pain goes away and as for the depression...pray without ceasing when your down. It works....God Bless

Verna Cole Mitchell 05/30/12
You told this true story quite suspensefully. With a division between the first paragraph and the rest, your change of speakers would be clear. Using past tense for the rest of the story then wwould make it work. I liked the end, where you show that you are loved. That rounded the story out well. Anyone who has undergone what you have would understand the depression that comes with pain and inability to do what you've always done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/31/12
Congratulations for placing 7th in level one!