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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Uncles/Aunts (04/17/08)

TITLE: Summer of Change
By Allison Egley


Dear Journal,

I can't believe my parents followed through. They told me they'd send me to live with Uncle Steve and Aunt Janice if I didn't shape up, but I didn't believe them. They've never followed through on their threats before. Uncle Steve and Aunt Janice aren't that bad, I guess. I have a curfew, but I couldn’t get in trouble here even if I tried. My friends are back home, and the teenagers around here go to bed at nine.

Uncle Steve and Aunt Janice keep asking me to go to church with them. They're sure I'll like the youth group, and they say I don't have to keep going. I'll probably go this Sunday, just so I can give them a reason why I won't go in the future.

Dear Journal,

I went to church today, and I have to say something I never thought I'd say. I liked it. When I went back home, I always got weird looks because of how I dressed. I don't think any of those kids owned a single black piece of clothing, and if they did they probably only wore it to funerals. But here there were others like me. They accepted me for who I was, and didn't treat me like an outsider. Uncle Steve is one of the sponsors, and I think I'll ask if I can go to youth group with him.

Dear Journal,

The youth group has some awesome events planned for the summer. I'm going rafting with them soon. I'm learning that Uncle Steve is pretty cool too. I never knew he liked the same things I do. I'm really starting to enjoy my time here, and I think I'm actually going to miss it when I go back home. Shhhh. Don't tell anyone I said that.

Dear Journal,

The lesson tonight was about hell. You heard me right. Hell. Every church I've been too avoids that topic. It was interesting. I thought it would be the "fun" place to be. Tonight's lesson scared me. It's a place of isolation and torment. Either one of those alone is hard enough. Imagine being in torment and having no one with you to encourage you, or even say, "I've been there too." That's not something I want to experience. And I'm not sure where I'd go if I died tonight. I've been reading the Bible on my own, and asking Uncle Steve about some of the verses. He's genuinely interested in helping me understand. Well, I've got a lot to think about, so I'm going to bed early. Adios,

Dear Journal,

I just got back form the float trip. It was a blast. I made so many new friends. And, as I've mentioned before, they accept me. And they honestly care about me. They aren't like my "friends" back home, who would only talk to me if I had drugs for them. Good riddance.

I talked to the youth pastor and Uncle Steve for a long time last night. They helped me understand all the questions I had. And you know what? It made sense. For the first time in my life, everything I've heard at church is starting to make sense. And the story of how Jesus came to save me is amazing. I'm a Christian now! Yep. Little old goth me. Imagine that.

Dear Journal,

I've been thinking a lot. I've talked with Uncle Steve and Aunt Janice, and they are cool with my idea. The hard part will be convincing my parents. I'm going to ask if I can stay here for the upcoming school year. It's not that I don't want to go home. I love my family, and realize more than ever how much they mean to me. But I know if I go home I'm just going to go back to my old friends. I don't want that. I want to stay here, so I can separate myself from them. I don't know what I'll tell everyone back home.

Dear Journal,

Guess what? I get to stay! My parents and siblings are going to bring up the rest of my stuff this weekend, and I'll get to spend some time with them. Maybe I can finally tell them how much they (and Uncle Steve and Aunt Janice too) really mean to me. I can't wait. Good bye old life, hello new.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 04/25/08
Yay for Jenny! I was rooting for her that the summer changes would be lifelong ones that she'd want to keep with her and keep changing. I'm glad that she decided to stay and set herself up for some new things to happen in her life. Nice job-especially with the journal format. ^_^
Laury Hubrich 04/26/08
Very good story. I go back and read some of my teenage journal entries sometimes. Its so funny to see me as a teen. Such a time of questions, just like in your entry. Great job!
Jan Ackerson 04/28/08
This is well-written, as all of your pieces are. My comments would be that the "journal" device has been used a lot, and also that the ending is fairly predictable once the first entry is read. If you're going to do something like this, then, you've got to make it stand out. I know you can do it!
Willena Flewelling 04/29/08
I like the journal format, probably because my own journal was my "best friend" throughout my teen years and for many years beyond. Journals don't criticize. ;)