I had a very brief span of my life marked by the sleeveless shell top and pleated skirt. To give it my own jr. high flare I wore it with my cool white tube socks and my hair slicked back with half a can of hairspray doused on it. My sincere apologies planet earth for the massive hole I put into your atmosphere between grades 6 and 10.
The point was, I wasn’t really that great at it. I had a lot of energy, a loud mouth, and could try to gracefully throw my legs up into the air and hope that it was a herkie but majority of the time it looked like a mix of self defense against a flying insect. No part of it was smooth or graceful. I tried, I really did, but I was awkward and not that great at it.
I’m on the verge of turning 30 yall, and I’m so excited. I have barely lived my life, but I have lived just enough to have a small amount of wisdom and a deep desire for the future, and today, this past week, these next few years I want to be a cheerleader. Last week in Bible study we dug into the relationship of David and Nathan and I know with full confidence that Nathan was a cheerleader of David.
I have grown up in the church majority of my life. 2/3rds of it have been in ministry, and as I look around at the faces that I see each week, as I scroll across facebook day after day, and as I let some of the deeper parts of my soul into the Light, I’m grieved, challenged, and hopeful to find more cheerleaders.
For whatever reason, we have taken the liberty of social media and the overwhelming blessing of information and study to result in a battle of “Quien es mas macho?” We draw lines on whether or not a woman works full time or stays at home. We draw lines on whether or not certain abbreviations are used in their kids up bringing like BPA and YLEO. Lines on whether or not someone dresses a certain way, or how friendly they are, or heaven
forbid they just have a bad day. Instead of cheerleaders we have become skeptics of one another. Doubting, judging, and waiting for others to meet a huge array of unsaid expectations that in reality we ourselves don’t meet.
When I think of women who are cheerleaders, I think of women who actually celebrate the victories that others have had instead of jealousy. Cheerleaders know one anthers strengths and weaknesses and push each other on in the game both in the times of victory and in the moments of defeat. They take a knee when someone is hurt and silently pray waiting until they see a weak and unsteady lifting of the head and body and then are the first to start the applaud. They yell and scream in warning for the defensive attacks and blind spots.
And one aspect that we may not realize or think about until we see it happening in slow motion, is that Cheerleaders might get hurt in the action. Come on, you know you’ve seen it. Girl jumping up and down focused on her routine, when all of a sudden massive manly men come tackling into her. There is nothing easy or even safe about being a cheerleader. It takes lots of energy, risk, and it may even leave you flat on your back trying to count fingers, but ya know what…..we still need them.
This thing called community, or church, is real and needed. Each of us need women that will come alongside and risk the injury and stand beside us in our victories, and kneel in hand in our failures,and stand back up in our grace moments. We need women who aren’t afraid to be women. Women who pursue one another even when its doesn’t feel real natural. Women who truthfully and graciously speak when they see sin and call it sin, and then pray for the Gospel to have freedom. Women who KNOW their Bibles and are able to speak Truth into each others lives instead of emotional opinions.
We need women who choose to not act like girls and who choose to be cheerleaders instead of skeptics.
So think of someone this week that you know needs someone to cheer them on. Yes it will be awkward because for some sad reason our culture has lost the art of a compliment and encouragement without some string attached to it, but do it anyway.
If you can’t think of anyone, go and start cheering for some random person. We have far too few breaths to sit on the bleachers pouting because no one has a “Team Me” shirt on. Go start cheering….start pursuing, and I promise you others will follow.
Lets do this. You can do this! I’m for you, I’m cheering you on…..I’m your number 1 fan………
Go. Fight. Cheer