The Comeback Mom: How to Wield Your Courage as a Weapon for Good
Everyone loves a good comeback story. We root for the underdogs and cheer wildly when they rally for the win. (I’m looking at you, any NFL team that’s up against Tom Brady and the Patriots in the Super Bowl.)
Have you ever considered that from time to time, we are the underdogs in our own stories? The victims of our own poor choices or circumstances within and outside of our control and the lifeless, buried beneath a pile of dead dreams, shame, and insecurity.
Whoa. That just got real.
Now tell me this. Have you ever thought about wildly rooting for yourself in these situations? Or are you more comfortable hiding behind the “everything’s perfect” mask while secretly craving a do-over? Because let’s face it, sometimes playing the victim is easier than becoming our own hero.
Several months ago I grew weary of all the hiding I was doing and came up with a pretty unique solution (if I do say so myself.)
I introduce to you “Lisa Redemption Day” – which is basically a silly, made-up name for any day or season that I intentionally flip the script on a frustration, insecurity, or failure. Redemption, by definition, means to repurchase or buy back – like God’s plan of redemption for the world. And while I’m happy to participate in God’s big redemption plan for the whole wide world, I believe part of that includes God helping me redeem (buy back/reclaim) pieces of my story, little by little. I’ll give you a few examples.
Silly Story: A year or so ago, I bought a leather jacket on clearance at Target and tried it on all the time without ever wearing it out of the house. One of those mornings that started with me taking the jacket on and then off again, my Radio Theology co-host, Daron, wore a leather jacket. Near tears (because #me), I shared that I almost wore my leather jacket that day, too, but couldn’t decide how to wear it. In a way that only he could, he said, “What do you mean, how to wear it? You put it on over a shirt.”
That burst of tough love set me up perfectly to stage my very first “Lisa Redemption Day” – a day where I wore my leather jacket. It seems absolutely ridiculous now, but the freedom and courage I felt that day just from wearing an item of clothing set me on a fun journey of staging these days, naming, and celebrating them for what they were.
Serious Story: A few months back, I finally realized that my 4-year-old was ruling the roost. Her poor behavior was causing stress and a severe lack of peace in our home. This tough ah-ha moment led to a “Lisa Redemption Day” where I actually cracked open a parenting book. We’re in the process of learning how to re-parent our girl. It’s exhausting, challenging, and all-consuming. But every time we see a glimmer of hope, we know that this comeback is worth fighting for.
And as if that’s not enough, I’ve decided to stage another “Lisa Redemption Day” right smack dab in the middle of my chaos to reclaim an item from my bucket list that I aimed for and couldn’t accomplish. In the summer of 2016, I was training for a sprint triathlon (half-mile swim, 12.4 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run) when I tore the labrum in my left shoulder. 3-year-long story super-short: I couldn’t train or compete, got pregnant, delivered the man-child known as Calvin, had surgery to fix my shoulder, took a year to recover, and here we are! Phew!
I’m beginning to train this week for a sprint tri in mid-August. Clinton Lake, IL, I’m coming for you to redeem this bucket list item. (Just in case I’m losing your interest with all this talk about training and endurance, blah blah blah, I’ll have you know that the rest of this has absolutely NOTHING to do with running and EVERYTHING to do with YOU! So keep reading!)
As moms, women, humans, we’ve all had a variety of setbacks, some more heartbreaking than others. In the grand scheme of things, my sprint tri was not that big of a deal. Leather jacket burning a hole in my closet? Not at all a big deal. 4-year-old was running our household because of my own fear and insecurity? Devastating. But no matter the setback, the comeback is key.
You. Yes, YOU can stage your very own comeback. From what? Anything. Whatever it is, big or small, that you need to redeem.
Choose your setback, shortcoming, or flat-out failure. Listen, you can choose this however you want. If you’re like me, you may have a couple comebacks in the works. Right now, I’m training for a sprint tri AND learning how to better parent my daughter. Both epic comebacks in their own ways, but one is obviously more significant than the other. If you need to gain some confidence and courage, start out with an easy comeback like the redemption of my silly leather jacket.
Decide how you will reclaim it. Make a plan and stick to it. I can’t be the only one who has trouble sticking to a plan, but I usually have better luck when I tell everyone I know about it for extra accountability. And guess what?! It works. When I anticipate that friends and family will ask me about my progress, it gives me the extra boost I need to stay consistent.
Redeem it. Reclaim your dream. Forgive the friend. Find a counselor. Do the thing that needs to be done so you can become the woman you were created to be.
Celebrate every stinking milestone along the way. This is what the Mother of the Year movement is all about! Celebration at every step. Motherhood isn’t easy. Life isn’t easy. And when you’re putting extra time and effort into allowing God to redeem part of your story, whoa baby, things can feel messy and murky long before they feel satisfying. So keep your eyes on the prize and take note of your victories along the way. If you need help, have your BFFs on the lookout to celebrate you, too. There’s no shame in asking for help, even with the good stuff!
Choose your next comeback. I think you’re going to LOVE becoming the comeback mom. There is something so insanely beautiful about choosing love and freedom over self-doubt, apathy, and chaos. And that’s what we’re doing when we stage our comebacks. We are choosing to love ourselves and trust God in the way He created us. It’s agreeing with God about our purpose on this planet. Keep choosing redemption.