"In a split second it occurred to me that I had hit something…I stood trembling in shock over the body of a curly-headed woman lying face down in the grass next to a mangled bicycle."
A new book by best-selling writer Shannon Ethridge retells the story of forgiveness and love that changed her life forever.
Released June 19, Completely His: Loving Jesus Without Limits tells a story of ultimate grace following an accidental death caused by Ethridge, one that has shaped her life as a Christian woman.
"As we waited for help to arrive, all I could think about was that the woman I had just hit was probably someone's mother…someone's daughter…someone's wife," explained the author of Every Woman's Battle in her new book. "How would I ever face her family after what I had done?"
At the age of 16, Ethridge, now a popular Christian speaker on sexual purity in women, went through a dramatic and life-changing experience. On her way to school, she ran over Marjorie Jarstfer, who had been riding her bicycle along a country road.
The collision took the life of Jarstfer and led to intense guilt on the part of Ethridge who was completely at fault. The author contemplated suicide several times but was healed by the response of Jarstfer's husband, Gary.
The man forgave the 16-year-old and asked the district attorney to drop all charges brought up against her, saving her from a court verdict that would have probably found her guilty. Instead, he simply asked that Ethridge continue on in the godly footsteps that his wife had taken.
"God was ready to take Marjorie home," explained Gary Jarstfer to the young woman 20 years ago. "You can't let this ruin your life. God wants to strengthen you through this. In fact, I am passing Marjorie's legacy on to you."
His reaction has forever shaped her life, and allowed her to see the amazing love of God. The newest book explains the path Ethridge took to learn to love and follow the path that Marjorie would have taken.
"I gradually went from feeling 'to blame' to feeling 'chosen,'" explains the author in the book, "chosen to carry the mantle of being a godly woman who loves Jesus beyond measure."
Completely His ties in with the other books that the coveted Christian speaker has written as it encourages woman to stop looking for love "in all the wrong places." The only true love is to search for God with all one's heart.
Ethridge hopes that her experience could also transform and inspire the life of another person to become a godly woman.