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From this Day Forward: A Love Story of Faith, Hope, and Forgiveness Paperback – International Edition, September 2, 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 20 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Matt Baumgardner was born in Clearfield, PA, located in central Pennsylvania.  He is the son of a public school teacher and registered nurse.  He is the oldest of three siblings.  Matt attended Bloomsburg University where he acquired a B.S. degree in Elementary Education.  Later, he completed his Masters degree at Wilmington University with an M.Ed. in School Leadership.  Matt currently teaches middle-school American history in a southeastern PA suburban school district.


Amy Baumgardner is a freelance writer, mother and wife.  She was born in Philadelphia and holds a Master's degree in Educational School Counseling. Amy attributes her happiness to her faith and devoted husband.  She has been sober for three years.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Introduction 

Amy

I did a very bad thing. An unforgiveable thing. A thing that destines you to be a leper, someone with an A branded across your chest (though mine could also be a D), a person whom people talk about with disgust and awe and an 'aren't you so glad you're not her' tone.

I drove drunk. With my two children in the car.

And we got in an accident.

The details are horrible and scary and shameful. I still cannot believe it happened.

And yet I can. Because for two years, I was owned. Shackled by alcohol.

So this should be a story of sadness and regret and despair. And it is. But it's also a story of hope. And forgiveness. And second chances.

It's a story of miracles.

Because today, four years after that fateful day when I did the ultimate wrong, I have a beautiful life. And I have a passion to tell the world that there is light at the end of even the darkest tunnel. Even if you've messed up in the most epic way, you can move forward.

The fact is, I was a liar, a cheat, a negligent mother, and an abusive wife. The pages that follow are me at my darkest. But I show them to you because I know that it is possible to change; it is possible to remake your life and build a new path that leads someplace entirely . . . magical.

This is our story. 

CHAPTER 1 Matt

As I pulled into the driveway, I dreaded the scene before me. I wracked my brain yet again to see if there was some other errand, anything I could do to delay my return. But I knew, no matter what state Amy was in, my children would run up to me with joy, so happy to see me. So that thought propelled me forward as I turned off the car, opened the door, and dragged myself to the front door.

It wasn't always like this. Amy was my childhood sweetheart, someone I had loved my whole life. I couldn't imagine my life without her. But the person she had become in the last two years was unfamiliar, a total stranger. Our fights had gotten vicious, curse words thrown like grenades, aimed to do the ultimate harm.

How many times had I thought about leaving in the last year? Too many to count. But divorce was unheard of in my family. And as much as I felt like I was living in hell, the thought of picking up and leaving was just as scary as staying.

Amy was the love of my life. I'd first met her in middle school, on a typical day like any other. I was walking to my school bus, thinking about the upcoming weekend. As I climbed aboard, I headed to my usual spot at the back of the bus. It was where the cool kids sat, the who's who of middle school. Being an eighth grader gave you some privileges, and sitting in the back of the bus was one of them.

But as I strutted to the back row, I came up short. There was a brown-haired girl sitting on my throne.

I looked at my friends in confusion. Who let this girl take my seat? What was she doing there? I mean, sure, she was cute, but shouldn't one of them have said something? They looked at me, shrugged their shoulders, and kept their mouths shut.

As the bus lunged forward, there was nothing to do but sit down in the only seat still available, much closer to the middle of the bus than I was comfortable with.

My stop was the first stop, so I knew I didn't have long to question this new girl and explain that, though I was letting her have that seat for now, it wasn't going to be a regular thing. Luckily, as I glanced back at my friend Todd, he took the bait and started questioning her.

What's your name?

Where are you from?

Where do you live?

This was the usual questioning for a new kid. The girl answered each one openly, like she'd been doing this all her life. She was not shy, at least not in the way one would expect from a new girl in an unfamiliar setting. In fact, she commanded respect and made everyone listening feel like there was a new sheriff in town.

Her name was Amy and she'd just moved from Philadelphia. Her mother had kicked her out and she had come to live with her aunt.

I stared. What had this girl done that was so terrible to get kicked out of her house? We lived in Oxford, a small town, a place that didn't know scandal, where everyone knew each other, and we could hardly imagine being separated from our families who tethered us to them like dogs on a leash. No one ever got too far.

Someone was brave enough to ask, 'Why did she kick you out?'

The girl smirked and looked me directly in the eye. 'I'm pregnant,' she said proudly.

The bus was silent. My guy friends exchanged shocked looks. Being eighth graders, we all knew how someone got pregnant, but no one we knew was actually having sex!

As the bus approached my stop, I didn't want to get off. I wanted to hear more. Someone, please ask the question we're dying to know, I thought, as I gathered my backpack and shifted its heavy weight onto my shoulders. With one last glance back, I started inching toward the front of the bus. Finally, I heard the question: 'So, who's the father?'

 

 

©2014  Amy Baumgardner, Matt Baumgardner. All rights reserved. Reprinted from From this Day Forward: A Love Story of Faith, Hope, and Forgiveness. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

 


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HCI; 1st edition (September 2, 2014)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 264 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0757318053
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0757318054
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 9.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.75 x 8.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 20 ratings

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