Cheerleaders.

Who remembers high school?

You know. The completely awkward time in your life where you thought you had everything figured out and knew exactly who you were and what you wanted out of life.

Now, who remembers the high school cheerleaders?

I do. Well, I can’t name them all to you now… But there was a time that I could.

As a Freshman in a mid-size private school located in Upstate New York, I desperately wanted to be a Cheerleader for the basketball team. We were too small to have a football team, so this was the only time there were cheerleaders. They were so fabulous with their long hair in bows, shiny lip gloss and glittery smiles… Pretty much everything I was NOT.

When try outs came, my friends and I went to the gym as prepared as we thought possible. I’m going to go ahead and skip through the devastatingly awkward try out I had and just let you know that the days after were torture… We must have waited about a week to call in to a RECORDING of a list of the girls that made the squad.

It was a time before cell phones… So on that Wednesday night I slipped out of Youth Group with one if my best friends. We crept downstairs to the church kitchen where a phone hung on the wall. Standing there, in the doorway of the kitchen, we called the recording. I may have dialed twice… Why? Because I heard ALL my friend’s names including the one next to me, but I didn’t hear mine.

Thud.

That was my teenage heart getting crammed into my throat as I tried not to cry my eyes out.

Failure. It happens. Sometimes you just don’t make the squad…

Is this the time when you give up, get depressed and eat a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream? Yes. Well, maybe… I probably did that. BUT I was 15 and we just can’t do that in adult life. 🙂

So, I will tell you what happened next…

Another year went by and Basketball season was quickly approaching. That meant Cheerleaders… But this time, I didn’t want to try out.  I didn’t know if I could face rejection again. That’s the weird thing about failure or rejection… it teases you. It tells you, You can’t face me. But the thing is, you already have. So who cares if it shows up again? How will you respond to its taunts?

Convinced by a  friend that had been on the squad 2 years in a row,  I  tried out again. But first I wanted to make sure I was really truly prepared. So  I asked her to help me create a cheer. We met after school and practiced, going over the moves until it was solid. I went into that gym with confidence I didn’t know I could have and made the squad that year.

What am I trying to say in all this?

In life, not everyone is going to be your cheerleader. They won’t all line up on the sidelines with pom-pom in hand cheering your name. In fact, sometimes it’s Failure that shows up, cheering the loudest. In those moments, grab your own bag of glitter and pom-pom’s and cheer for yourself. Don’t let the taunts from the crowd stop you from trying again. Go after your dreams and don’t ever give up. Quiet the voices of failure by facing them head-on and going for it anyway!

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Brynn Leigh Shamp is the Creator & Author of Diary of a Preacher’s Wife. She is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Destiny Encounters International, a ministry formed in 2009 with her husband, Charlie Shamp. Her blog was designed to tell her story and to inspire others in their own life’s journey. Her articles include topics such as faith, family, marriage, ministry and world travel. When she’s not out canvassing the globe, she resides with her husband and two children (whom she home-educates) in Nashville, TN. Her favorite things include: Books, books and more books; all things Jane Austen; Italian Food; Making her Mother laugh; Journals, Planners & Details…

3 thoughts on “Cheerleaders.

  1. Thankyou. Right now it was something inspirational like this I needed to read. You have no idea how much this has helped me in the short amount of time it has taken to read it. I will remember this when I need to return to work and face the unhappiness that has forced me to be off sick for so long. I need to cheer for myself and take a step at a time. I know I’ll get there in the end. Just as you did back then.
    Thanks again 🙂

  2. I LOVE this, Brynn. It brought back memories for me since I went through almost that same exact thing. I didn’t want to face rejection again, but when I prepared and worked harder… I made the squad that following year! This is an on-time word for me that I needed to hear, Brynn. Thank you, and now I know what I need to do next… take that same risk again. Like you said:

    ” I didn’t know if I could face rejection again. That’s the weird thing about failure or rejection… it teases you. It tells you, You can’t face me. But the thing is, you already have. So who cares if it shows up again? How will you respond to its taunts?”

    Preach! I know how I’ll respond now. Thank you for that gentle God-inspired nudge.

    – Leti

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