Preface: The definition of cheer-To encourage, urge, salute, applaud, to make happier.  Noun:  A source of joy, comfort, happiness.  A short rehearsed jingle shouted in unison by a squad of cheerleaders.  A shout of approval, congrats, encouragement.

When I think of cheerleader, in my  Washington Caucasion brain, I think of the following words (don’t judge me, this is just what I happen to think of, it’s not necessarily true):  Blonde, Tall, Beautiful, Loud, Thin, Female, Perfect, Smiling, Fake.

I remember being in a “drama” a few years ago where I played a cheerleader for a number of nights in a row.  I loved it!  It was the closest I ever got to actually being a cheerleader (as opposed to a cheer-follower)- for in high school, I did not fit my definition of cheerleader and thus, never was one (short, redhead, quiet, not fake, not perfect did not make the cut of the tryouts in my head).

I still remember some of the cheers from highschool.  “Go! Fight! Beat IKE!”,  “Be Agressive! B-E- Aggressive! B-E-A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E!”  And every now and then  shout them to myself to pump myself up.  Just kidding.  That’s weird.

A cheerleader is not necessarily someone who is blonde and beautiful.  A cheerleader is someone who verbally and loudly contradicts the barrage of lies thrown at a person using the truth.

I want to be the person who is shouting approval and appreciation.  I want to be The Reminder-er of all things good.  I want to see in you what others do not see.

The Bible says we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses-People who have gone before and who are now cheering us on-Well, that’s all fine and dandy but I can’t hear them.  But I can hear you and you can hear me.  What do you need to hear?  What lie do you need to have wrecked with the truth?

Who can I cheer on?  In this world that is so critical, rude, and opinionated, what can I do to make this journey easier for you? Do you need a cheerleader (even a short redhead?).  We all need cheerleaders-someone to lead the shout of encouragement.  Let’s be those people.  Let’s be the people who shout from the rooftops, “You can do it!  You can make a difference! You are not all that you want to be, but you sure aren’t what you use to be!  You are talented-look at what the Lord has done!  You are gifted!  You are strong!  The first few minutes (or hours) of getting into this world was not easy but you made it!  You are an overcomer!  A conquerer!  You can’t give up now!  You have come too far to quit!  You aren’t a quitter!”

I remember hiking up Pike’s Peak Mountain in Colorado 10 years ago.  I remember the group I was with, a great group of people.  I remember the blizzard weather, the cold, the hunger.  I remember the high altitude, the dehydration.  I remember finally getting to the top (we were the last group up for the day).  I remember crying and crying with joy and exhaustion because we made it.  I remember that I never would have made it without the team I was with-The team that said we were sticking together and we were going to make it.  We weren’t meant to live this life alone.  We were meant to share it with people. We are meant to encourage, comfort, and cheer each other on!

So, here is to all the leaders of the cheer in my life (mom!)-When I grow up, I want to be a cheerleader!