6-Week Series: Against All Odds

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Jason Stevens is a star of Australian Rugby League. A giant front row forward he has represented his State and country on many occasions. But Stevens journey to the top of his sport was not easy. His mother migrated to Australia from Egypt when she was 17 years old. She married and had her four children, but then followed a horrific car accident that left Jason’s sister Vanessa seriously incapacitated, and a marriage break-up that left the family struggling financially and emotionally. When Jason was in primary school his mum bought him an Australian Rugby jersey. This was the first new item of clothing Stevens can ever remember owning. All his other clothes came from op-shops.

Reflecting back on his upbringing Stevens said he was struck by two things. First he learned that love involved sacrifice. He discovered this watching his mother work two jobs to make ends meet, yet still find the time to transport her children to and from sporting events.

Stevens also learned where he could find a sense of worth and self acceptance. He says that even though he knew his parent’s break-up wasn’t his fault, nevertheless he still felt a keen sense of rejection, that he wasn’t wanted by his father, not good enough for him.

So his sport became a source of self worth. Yet Jason soon came to realise it was a false sense of security, because it would pass with age. So where has Jason found a sense of security and worth? In God’s love for him. In an interview in the Sydney Morning Herald Steven’s says, "A lot of us get acceptance from sport of family or things like that, but ultimately you’ve got to base it on something stronger than that, something that will never change."

(Source: Reported in Sydney Morning Herald Sept 13, 2001).

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