I can still remember my first set of pom poms. (Well, actually I just had one pom pom – it was all I could afford) ~ but I would still use it and cheer with all my might. I dressed my dolls in cheerleading outfits. I hung cheerleading posters on my wall, went to cheerleading camp in the summer. There was nothing like cheerleading to me!
I wish I could tell you I was a varsity cheerleader in high school, that I went to college on a cheering scholarship, and still get phone calls when they need a cheerleader fill-in. :)
Unfortunately, that’s not my story. I did make it as a freshman football cheerleader…alternate. I did make it as a freshman basketball cheerleader. And when I tried out for JV cheerleading, I found there were 10 girls trying out for 10 spots. I could already see myself in the new JV cheerleading uniform. :)
But unfortunately, after tryouts, I received a call – I didn’t make the team. I wasn’t good enough, to them. I didn’t have what it would take, they said. The coaches decided they would rather go with 9 cheerleaders that season.
On that day, I made myself a promise. Never would I cheer again. Never. Never would I set myself up for such pain, humiliation, rejection. That part of me was done.
And unfortuately, I allowed my cheerleading experience to shape much of my identity....and went through high school and college thinking that's who I was ~ unwanted, rejected, not good enough. It was empty and defeated living.
And then in July of 1996 at the age of 26, I met Jesus Christ...and everything changed.
Jesus says that I am Beautiful. Just the way that I am.
Jesus says that I am Chosen. Handpicked by Him. He wants me on His team.
Jesus says that in Him I am complete. More than enough. Dearly and lavishly loved.
And regardless of how I feel, I am choosing to take Jesus at His Word.
Isn't it fun how God brings special people into our lives to be voices of His Truth?
Monday night during Bible study, my dear friends "got me good" with an amazing surprise. :) In the middle of our study, the "ringleader" Natasha comes running into the room with a purple megaphone, while 5 friends bounce in the room carrying cards with the letters C - I - N - D -Y. Suddenly I look around the room, and everyone in the room is holding pom poms and cheering with all their might. For me. They are cheering because it is my birthday and I am on their team.
Natasha shares..."There were a lot of "not enoughs" for Cindy. But the Truth is that Cindy was and is "More than ENOUGH" and God has truly used her, to share that truth with other women. For her Birthday we just wanted to remind her of that...Happy Birthday Cindy!!!"
Only God could take a shy, insecure wanna-be cheerleader and fill her to overflowing with peace and joy and confidence in Him. Only God. And only God could orchestrate an amazing birthday filled with so much joy, celebration, and healing. Only God. Isn't He good??!
Let's pray...Thank You, God, that You do not waste our pain. Thank You for being a God of Truth and Hope and Redemption. Thank You for the beauty of sisterhood and friendship. Thank You for life in Your Name. Thank You that in Christ we are loved and forgiven and chosen. Please use us, O Lord, to remind others of the JOY that is found in life in You. For Your Glory Alone. Amen.