“Think what I’ve needed more than anything is love and encouragement, and God you’ve put cheerleaders in my life, thank you,” I had written in my journal the next day. Little did I realize how very true this statement has been – for decades.
Little did I understand until my walk with God today how vital this need for cheerleaders is for all people, not to mention how many people walk through their lives without cheerleaders.
Pom poms, mini skirts, shouts, gymnastics, and acrobatics aside, cheerleaders aren’t just for football, basketball, hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and baseball games. I am not talking about fun and games at all; I am referring to life.
I spent so much of my life being judged, criticized, rejected, abandoned, and ignored that it became second nature to me to do the exact same thing to myself. I have been so hard on myself for so many decades, I have received so much hurt from the world around me, and I have so willingly allowed the attacks from the devil that I became a living, walking, and breathing defeated, dejected, depressed, despairing, think-nothing-good-about-myself, often self-pitying, victim of life instead of victor in Christ. The thought of cheerleaders in my life did not even cross my mind until the past few days.
When I met with my new friend just days ago, she was bound and determined to encourage me to the point I would not be able to turn away the love God wanted to pour through her into me.
“You don’t believe what I’m telling you, do you?” she asked.
“I can’t really receive it,” I admitted. “I hear the words. Sometimes I can even look in the mirror and see it from the outside. But in my heart, no, I don’t believe it.”
I had known just hours before that something life-changing would happen that day. I had been absolutely certain that something wonderful would happen. But I figured I would be blessed with a material gift, something physical, something tangible, something so obvious I would not be able to miss it.
Believe it or not, I almost missed the gift. The Lord had not only sent a cheerleader; He had sent a cheerleader with a wake-up call. If I wanted to love and serve the Lord as desperately as I have for so very long, I would have to change my attitude not only about my circumstances and the world around me; I would have to change my attitude about myself.
If the truth be told, I had rejected, abandoned, hurt, mistreated, abused, neglected, and ignored myself as much – if not more – than the world around me. And I realized I had a choice. I could thank God for the cheerleaders He has sent my way and learn how to love and take care of me the way He desires, or I could miss the beautiful life the Lord has for me.
The Bible may not use the word “cheerleader”, but it is abundantly clear about the need for us to build up both others and ourselves with the love of the Lord. If we do not lift one another up, and if we live with the downtrodden spirit I have lived so much of my life, imagine the picture we portray to the world of Christ’s love.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I want my life to reflect the love and light of Jesus Christ. I thank God for the cheerleaders He has and will continue to send my way, and I pray through my words, my actions, my deeds, my thoughts, and my feelings that I can be a cheerleader to a world in desperate need of Christ’s love.
Who are your cheerleaders? My number one cheerleader is Jesus Christ. My others are the ones He sends me. I thank God for each and every one. I am just now learning to receive the cheers, and I can see and feel the difference already!
“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Jud 1:20-21 KJV
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edification, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” Eph 4:29 KJV
“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” 1 Th 5:11 KJV
“Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify edify another.” Rom. 14:19 KJV