“Wimps lift Weights, Cheerleaders lift People”

(quote is by a cheerleader, Stephanie, from PA, USA)

My mom told me on my 21st birthday that she was proud of me for who I’d become and what I’d accomplished thus far. She told me that she would continue to be my biggest cheerleader in life, encouraging me to fulfill my potential and guiding me along the way.

I love the analogy of the cheerleader not just for the comical mental images of my mother in a cheerleading uniform with a big “H” on the front. I love it because it’s such a perfect representation of our relationship. She has always been on the sidelines of my life, cheering me towards my small victories. And she’s been there in my small failures, too, telling me to get back up and take the ball down the field.

But a cheerleader doesn’t just encourage the players. They rally around the players, waking up the fans in the stands, getting them to their feet to scream the player’s praises, and building the excitement on the field. It’s the player’s┬áresponsibility┬áto make the touchdown, to take that next step in life, but the cheerleader has a lot of power over the moral of the crowd and the players on the field. Without cheerleaders, the players and their performance would suffer, though it might be unknowingly.

I’ve been downright blessed to have the Mom that I do. She’s been my best friend and mentor, and she has set a wonderful example of how to be a friend that I feel obliged to follow and share with others. And she’s rallied people around me my entire life to help me make my dreams reachable. I still have to take those steps on my own, but she has helped me establish a “fanbase” of friends and family to be there on the sidelines.

As I look at the relationships in my life, I want nothing more than to be the biggest and loudest (and quite possibly the stupidest) cheerleader that my friends have ever seen. I want to be enraptured by the talents God has entrusted to them. I want to run around and show them off to the world. I want to be there on the sidelines, rallying people together and generating excitement for their unique talents, gifts, and abilities. It takes more than one encourager/cheerleader to make a difference in someone’s life: it takes a fanbase.