I was the black sheep of the family, the middle child, the irresponsible one.
My family migrated to Brisbane, Australia in 1991. I was 13, going on 14 that year.
It was hard for me, going into a new country and feeling that I had to go back to square 1. New friends. New home. New school. New lifestyle.
During my time in primary school, particularly towards the end of primary school (grades 5 to 7), I was bullied. Most probably because of my appearance.
I was short, fat, and wore glasses...the 3 worst things you can have in an all-boys exclusive private school in Manila.
But when we moved to Australia, I decided to be a new "me", leave my old "me" behind and start afresh.
I started to play basketball which resulted in hanging out with the "cool group" throughout high school in Brisbane.
This meant doing the wrong things and being in trouble by the teachers.
But I didn't care, I was at the top of my game and felt that I was invincible.
But when there is a high, there will definitely be a low.
One of the lowest part of my high school life and one that I will never forget is during year 12 when the guidance counselor of our school told me that I had no future.
That I wasn't going to make it in life.
OUCH! What was that now?! You are a guidance counselor, right???
Friends, I will share to you something SO IMPORTANT. Something that no-one has ever told me while growing up.
And if someone did, maybe (just maybe) I would've been a better person alot sooner.
Are you ready for this?
Do me a favour. I want you to write this verse down on large font on a piece of paper and stick in on your bedroom wall.
Let it be one of the 1st things that you see when you wake up.
Say it out loud if you can, repeatedly.
Let it be your prayer everyday for the rest of your life.
People will try to break you, they will try to tell you that you are not good enough.
They will try to hurt you and take you to their place where they are in pain and suffering.
This is life. I'm just being honest.
I used to get angry and retaliate. I used to feel so unworthy and broken. I used to come home grumpy and take it out on my wife and kids.
Let me tell you now that this is not what God has intended for us to be,
He wants nothing more than to give us all the joys of this world. But the devil on the other hand would love to see us suffer.
I have learnt to say "NO" to the devil and push him away. I do this by always seeking Jesus whenever I find myself in a negative situation.
I have learnt to say a simple prayer and just say His name "Jesus" many times.
My prayer to you is that you will realise how important you are to God.
That you will go forth in this world knowing that you are a child of God and that you can do all things through Christ! Amen!