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There’s nothing quite as inspiring as a comeback story. Not because of the low and the high parts that make up these stories, but for the juicy middle part. The part that not many people are brave enough to share. I never get tired of hearing comeback stories, and I always wonder if one day I’ll have one of my own to share. Here are 3 of my favorites:

1. Abraham Lincoln

If the final score determined your success, Abe definitely would’ve lost…by a lot. He failed twice at business. He lost when he ran for Congress, twice when he ran for Senate, and again when he ran for Vice President. That’d be a 6-0 loss (if we were counting). Most people would take the easy way and forfeit, quit, or retire. Instead, he took the hard way and kept going. We all know how it ended – he was elected the 16th President of the United States and many consider him the greatest…ever.

2. Kurt Warner

If you don’t know football great Kurt Warner, I’m glad I get to be the one to introduce you. After being undrafted in the 1994 NFL Draft he was stuck stocking shelves in a grocery store for $5.50 an hour. Most people would’ve told him to find a new dream, but instead, he played arena football and then in the NFL Europe until the NFL finally took him. Then what did he do? He went on to win 2 Superbowls and 2 Superbowl MVPs.

3. My Dad

My dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic cancer in 2009 at the age of 55. Doctors gave him 3 months to live. It would’ve been easy to be swayed by the stress and hurt around him. It would’ve been easy to just do the things that didn’t require him to fight. My dad was never good at focusing on other people’s outcomes. He was however, really good at creating his own.  He turned his 3 months into 26 months. How? Love. Passion. Purpose. He made 11 electric guitars. He went on a dozen trips. He loved us – all day, every day. And he let us love him. Circumstances can’t hold a candle to that.

No matter how many comeback stories I hear, it seems like they all remind me of 3 important lessons.

1. It’s all about your ALL.

Sometimes what you think is your “all” really isn’t. When things seem like they just keep getting harder and all you’re hearing is “no’s”, it’s understandable that you’d resort to, “I gave my best and it’s just not meant to be”. But what if you fought just a little harder? I bet your best would get better. Abraham Lincoln’s did, and so did Kurt Warner’s.

2. Reasoning doesn’t have all the answers.

Joyce Meyer said it best when she said, “What God leads us to do does not always make logical sense.” There will be circumstances that will require us to make a personal sacrifice, or be an uncomfortable situation. Reasoning may tell us it’s not worth it, it’s too stressful and too hard, but reasoning doesn’t always have all the answers.

3. Decide who’s in charge.

Who’s calling your shots? Is it fear, family, friends, selfishness, self-sabotage, doubt, or doubters? Or do you let love call the shots no matter what circumstances you’re in? I know my dad would say, love wins.

But…the best lesson may come from my favorite book. You’ll find it in 1 Corinthians 13.

1 Corinthians 13: “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

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