The Comeback

comeback (n.): return to a former position

Recently I browsed through a book written by a professional athlete who at one time had been number one in the world in her chosen sport.  At the very beginning of the book, she relays how she had retired from competition but decided to make a comeback.  She proclaimed that ANYONE can make a comeback in their lives.

The word “comeback” continued to resonate in my spirit during the last part of 2006 and still remains in this new year.  I really liked the word because it sounded so positive.  It felt different than saying that I was setting a goal or making a resolution.  It sounded like there was motion attached to it.  When Carl would inquire why I had my work out clothes on…I would simply answer, “I am making a comeback.”  Somehow it carried more promise than saying I need to move my tail and get in better shape.  How many times had I said that before?

As the definition states a comeback means that there was a place in time where you once occupied that space.  I was an athlete in my childhood…I still have the mentality of an athlete, the competitive drive of an athlete but for some reason I literally and figuratively hung up my spikes over the years.

During the Christmas holiday, my family travelled to be with my parents and grandparents.  One evening, Carl and I took a personality test, of which both of us have taken our fair share.  But it was in good fun yet I struggled with how to answer some of the questions as the test instructed to answer how you were as a child.  When my personality type was “revealed”, I felt that it was correct but my parents and my husband were surprised and all three of them jointly selected the type they felt I belonged.  I was stunned and quickly disregarded their assessments.  But as I read the description, it was in many ways music to my ears because it possessed so many qualities that I longed to emcompass.  As we talked longer, my parents pointed to scenario after scenario that illustrated these personality traits.  Carl also agreed and added his insights. 

I was baffled…how could I “be” something that I completely didn’t feel yet desperately desire to be…

Where had I gone?  When did I start to hide the true me?  Why did I put her away and who said that it was necessary?  When will she come out and play again?

I have spent a lot of time thinking about those questions and asking God what His answer is.  During this time, I have recalled Carl and I getting married and honeymooning on our way to Minnesota so that I could begin physical therapy school at the Mayo Clinic.  I remember the exhilaration of being a new bride and all that this meant to me.  I also remember the deep amount of fear that I had entering this very intensive program.  I recall that nothing resembled what I had dreamed about the first year of marriage.    I was in school all day, needing to study most of the night and Carl could only find evening employment at Godfather’s Pizza.  He would leave for work before I returned from my school day and often HE would leave me a skillet full of Hamburger Helper and a note.  I can remember sitting on the floor of our wedding cake apartment (it literally was a four tier cake…the living room, the kitchen, the bedroom and the bathroom on top) and sobbing because I felt like I was failing in all facets of my life.  I was not doing as well academically as I had been accustomed, I was not being the wife that I had dreamed of being and I was not spending much time with God either.  I always knew that this time in my life had been extremely pivotal and although there was much that was good, but looking at it with fresh eyes I see that a part of me began to fade.

I began to doubt myself in school. I began to wonder how in the world could Carl be happy with a wife he never saw.  I knew that God couldn’t be pleased with me either because I was not doing a very good job of balancing my life and He was anything but first.  I know that I left Minnesota very differently than I had arrived.  There is a part of me that is very sad to know that  I began to leave the true Helen behind some 20 years ago, somewhere in one of the 10,000 lakes, I suppose.  What started in the Midwest continued its work in the Pacific Northwest as I slowly allowed piece by piece of myself to drift away.  I still don’t fully know if it was from fear, disappointments, trials, comparisons or a combination of all of the above.  I do know that the person I outwardly convey today is not who I was at one time.

Each year, I ask God for a scripture and this year is no exception.  I think you will see that if I allow these verses to wash over my mind, heart and soul….a comeback is possible!

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom).
And all of us, as with unveiled face, because we continued to behold in the Word of God as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, Who is the Spirit.”
                                 II Corinthians 3 : 17, 18 (Amplified) 

I want to come back to who God made me to be…not who I think or thought I should be.  I want to cast off that which doesn’t fit me and wear my Helen clothes that fit  me to a “t” and are oh, so fashionable!

I am so thankful that this process is not about me doing the work…it is about allowing God to work in me but also seeing myself through His eyes.  He loves me just the way I am today yet as I behold Him…I become like Him and that will bring about all the splendor that I richly desire because ultimately it brings glory to Him…that is truly a full circle!

Where in your life do you need to make a comeback?  It could be as easy as coming back to the Lord.  It could be speaking out loud your passions and asking God if they still line up with His plans and purposes for you.  Maybe you need to come back to seeing yourself as God does.  Only you and God can answer if you need a “comeback” and what it is, if anything at all.

I really enjoy listening to Crystal Lewis and lately the song “Image of God” has gotten plenty of rotation in my car.  May each of us believe deeper each day the words of the chorus:

I am a reflection
of the One
Who loves me most
created in His image, on purpose,
I’m supposed to be me
and no one else could ever,
No one else could ever take my place
After all,
I was made in the image of God.

Amen and Amen!

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2 thoughts on “The Comeback

  1. ci says:

    I am so grateful that God has given me the priviledge of seeing you run your race so well. I promise to be one of your greatest cheerleaders….Blessings.

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  2. Helen, thanks for the link leading me back here 🙂

    It’s so good to see what God’s been doing in your life. Often, I’ve felt like a failure too, wondering who I was or what God wanted. I still may not understand the direction He is taking me, but as I submit to His will and Word, I’m finding that wherever that may be, it’s going to be all right.

    Love you much my friend! Our God is the God of comebacks! Take down those spikes my friend, we’ll run together.

    From one former athlete to another,
    Susan

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