While great hope and promise accompanies most births, not every child is given the same set of advantages. Those differences may be in the area of the family’s financial situation, whether the child is born into a one or two parent household, the support (or lack thereof) of a strong extended family, and so on. In other words, we don’t all start out the same.

Sometimes, even those who begin life set-up well for success, squander opportunities, make poor life choices, and find themselves in a completely different place than anticipated. It is sometimes easy to settle for less than the ideal and even give up on making the most out of their lives.

However, as General Colin Powell writes, “It isn’t where you start in life that counts, it is where you end up. So, believe in yourself, work hard, study hard, be your own role model, believe that anything is possible, and always do your best. Remember that your past is not necessarily your future.”

You may think, “Well, you don’t know my situation,” and you would be correct. But what I do know is that I have seen troubled teenagers, expelled from school with failing grades, make different choices and graduate with honors. I have seen grown men come out of prison after 20 years because of horrific choices they have made and discover that God has plans for them and uses them to impact lives in ways they never thought possible.

So, be encouraged today. Remember, your past does not have to be your future. It is where you end up that counts!

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