“God allows us to experience the low points of life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.” C.S. Lewis
Well internet if you’re expecting anything negative in this review of Coming Back Stronger, then you don’t even know me. A) The Saints and B) Drew Brees. We all know how I feel about the Saints and the jersey I own proudly displays #9.
But, to keep it real and unbiased, I would have loved this book even if I wasn’t a Saints fan. It’s a powerful and well-written story. I cried. Not only because of his personal story, but what New Orleans meant to him and his wife as well as what they meant for the city. I was once again reminded how sports can sometimes become more than just a game, but a vehicle that brings together a community through adversity.
In the aftermath of one of the most devastating natural disasters in U.S. history, the city of New Orleans needed a hero.
What they got was a Saint.
When a potentially career-ending shoulder injury left quarterback Drew Brees without a team—and facing the daunting task of having to learn to throw a football all over again—coaches around the NFL wondered, Will he ever come back? After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, leaving more than 80 percent of the city underwater, many wondered, Will the city ever come back? And with their stadium transformed into a makeshift refugee camp, forcing the Saints to play their entire 2005 season on the road, people questioned, Will the Saints ever come back? It takes a special person to turn adversity into success and despair into hope—yet that is exactly what Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees has done—and with the weight of an entire city on his shoulders. Coming Back Stronger is the ultimate comeback story, not only of one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks, but also of a city and a team that many had all but given up on. Brees’s inspiring message of hope and encouragement proves that with enough faith, determination, and heart, you can overcome any obstacle life throws your way and not only come back, but come back stronger.
“Was I going to quit or come back stronger? I chose to come back.”
The prologue kicks off with Brees sharing about the injury that changed his life and career. And Lord have mercy on all of ours souls, did I get the chills. Not because it’s overly gruesome or anything like that, but if you’ve ever had an injury in sports, you know that feeling. Not only the pain of the injury, but the emotions of it too.
“Adversity is actually an opportunity. It’s a gift, though it may not look like it in the moment. The difficulties life throws at you can be a doorway to something better-something you hadn’t even dreamed was possible.”
Throughout the book, Brees shares with refreshing honesty about his struggles, his faith, what brought them to New Orleans, giving back to the community, his family (definitely cried as he shared about his mom’s suicide) and there’s plenty of football goodness as well.
“God created each one of us for a purpose…When people think you’re not big enough, not smart enough, not wise enough, or not experienced enough for a task, remember that faith will carry you through. The test of adversity is one that is fought with faith.”
“God’s refining process is never easy. It’s kind of like a blacksmith creating a sword. The metal is strengthened when it is repeatedly put in the fire and then pounded with a hammer. But the end result is perfection. All the heat and pounding create a strength and beauty, not only on the outside, but especially on the inside.”
I know I’m a Saints fan, so I already love this team, but even if you aren’t, you can’t help but feel the emotions (or tear up on an airplane in my case), as Brees describes what it meant to return to the Dome for the first time since Katrina hit, watching a video of Katrina devastation, and what the team meant to the city.
Any sports fan will appreciate and enjoy this book and I definitely recommend it! If interested in finding out more about the Brees Dream Foundation, be sure to check it out! Who is one of your favorite sports personalities? Or if sports aren’t your thing, who would you love to read an autobiography of?
Oh and Who Dat!!