Plans to Prosper

My life as a child was picture perfect. Everything was provided for me by my parents. I excelled in my academics and sports at the same time being loved by all the people around me. Being raised in a Christ-centered home, placed in a Christian school, and was brought up in a Sunday school, I already knew God at a very young age. I thought that my typical childhood life would never change not until I entered my high school life.

Although I was raised to be a Godly person, it wasn’t enough for me to be ready for this kind of life. My world and my surroundings totally changed. Not having the full guidance from my parents, I tried things that any typical teenager would be curious of. Relationships, sex, “barkada”, and addiction pertaining to smoking and drinking.

I entered my first “serious relationship” on my third year along with drinking and smoking which I’m getting addicted with. Even though I excelled in my sports and performing arts in my school, all my grades went down. I even reached a maximum of five failing subjects a quarter.

I became a rebellious son and a bully at my school. I often steal money from my grandmother and used it for my own pleasure and to manipulate other people. At this time, I was forced by my father to join a ministry which became a foothold for the devil to use it as a time for me to drink. I enter the house of the Lord drunk and I didn’t even mind people seeing me like that.

This kind of lifestyle continued as I grew deeper into my addiction. My drinking spree continued and not only through good times but it also became a temporary solution to every problem that I had. Having a distorted image about sex led me to sexual immorality and that led me to be expelled in my fourth year of schooling. Both of my parents were called to go to my school and at that time my mother had a breakdown knowing what had happened to me.

The bright and brilliant boy that I was, was gone. The only thing that I can see that time is a person filled with anger, hatred, resentment and fear. I started cursing God and blame Him for everything that happened to me so I started to backslide.

Though I was given a chance to study again to finish my fourth year in a different school on June of 2008, I continued hating God and my family because I blame them for what had happened. I stopped going to the ministry my dad had brought me as I entered into another relationship with my cousins best friend hoping that it could change my life and to cover up for my past.

Everything seemed to be going well for me that time since I got a chance to study again, to have a relationship which I thought that it would last this time, and a new set of good friends that accepted me knowing what had occurred in my past. I was blessed to win a series of championships in my bowling career and performances in my singing career which led me to be more prideful than ever.

Not long, my relationship with my girlfriend that time started to fall apart. I started my drinking spree again and I became a negative influence to my new set of friends. I started initiating drinking sessions in their houses and mine as well. My drinking did not only become a weekly basis but almost a daily basis for me to numb the pain that I feel inside of me.

Everything in my past became a daily nightmare as I lived by it in the present. God is nowhere to be found in my life as I depend on my own willpower, on my relationships, and on my addiction.

As time goes by, I finally managed to finish my last year in high school. Finally I said to myself, “Yes! I’ll get a taste of freedom in the coming years of my life”. “College it is!” I was accepted at Enderun Colleges where I took up culinary arts. It was then I experienced everything the world could offer.

I was able to manage my studies well at the first few weeks of my term there not until I became a part of a group called “TUS”. It was there where I find the comfort and acceptance maybe because all of us have common wants, which is to party, to get high and to get wasted. They gave me a name which is “The Wanderer” for the reason that my mind always wanders because I’m always under the influence of alcohol.

I started to cut my classes, make excuses to my parents just for me to have my drinking sessions. I always used my maximum cuts in most of my subjects which led me to two failing marks in the end of my first term.

I thought to myself, is this the life that I really wanted? Well yeah of course since this makes me feel I have the power, the riches, and the fame.

At that time, I fell in love in one of my high school friends which led into another relationship but this time I took it as if my life depends on it. I loved the girl too much more than my family, my God, and myself. I sacrificed everything that I had for her. Whenever we had problems I go straight to drinking which affected my classes and even my singing and bowling career.

At the end of my second term, my status at my school got worst than ever. I failed five of my subjects, lost my competitions and my relationship with my family became a disaster. I always thought that my life would be better having these things (addiction, relationships and power) in it but it didn’t. My parents decided to pull me out because they can’t afford to see me waste time and a lot of money in that school.

A second chance was given to me as I enrolled on my next school. Life at first was great as always but after a few weeks I got back to my old ways. I became a lot more worst as I started to drink morning till the end of the class daily. My relationship didn’t last as well as me and my Japanese girl broke up and it affected me a lot. I didn’t even went home for my mothers birthday and I just drank at my friends house.

Trying to put myself in place again with my own lifestyle, my parents decided to put me to rehab not me knowing. On one afternoon to my surprise I was brought by my driver to detox which I thought was a school so I went in and there I finally accepted the fact that I was there and I humbly submitted to the people there.

After two weeks and two days of staying there, the people there informed me that I was to be transferred into another facility which made me uncomfortable at first. I hesitated but there’s nothing that I could do about it. Finally I agreed to go there and that was the first right decision that I made in my life.

Knowing that I will be confined at Penuel for six months made me uncomfortable but despite of that feeling, I was warmly welcomed by my brothers there. I accepted the program as it is and God started working in my life. There I accepted that I’m an addict and I needed help. I took our serenity prayer by heart and that prayer changed my life.

I learned to respect people for who they are, submit to the rules of the house, and I learned to love again. My relationship with God came back and as my father in heaven forgave me, I learned to forgive all the people who have hurted me in the past. I learned to accept my mistakes, pray for those who persecute me, and make God my first priority of my life. My relationship with my family was restored as I admitted everything and as I ask for forgiveness for all the terrible things I have done. This was really a life changing experience for me and I thank my father in heaven for it.

I would like to thank the management and staff and my brothers here in Penuel for all their support. Without them, my recovery wouldn’t be complete. Every single moment I had with them I would cherish that for the rest of my life. Jeremiah 29:11 says: For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. This verse serves as a reminder in my heart that everything that happened in my life, God meant it for good and for His glory.

As I continue my journey to recovery in the outside world, I trust in my higher power for guidance and direction for the right path in my life. To God be all the glory!!

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