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. ūüôā

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!

Defeat Your Disappoinment

Disappointment.

Yuck. I don’t even like writing that word. Just looking at it makes me cringe a bit. How about ¬†you?

When something in life is disappointing, it fails to meet your expectation.

Plain and simple. No matter how high or low those expectations were set, something has fallen short of meeting them.

Everyone will experience disappointment at some point; whether it’s family, work, church, friends, school, even your goals and dreams. The KEY is… How are you going to respond? How are you going to face inevitable disappointment as it lurks around the corner like a schoolyard bully? Are you giving up your lunch money so easily? Or are you willing to FIGHT for it?

Isaiah 40:31 ¬†in the Amplified Bible says, “But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change¬†and¬†renew their strength¬†and¬†power; they shall lift their wings¬†and¬†mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint¬†or¬†become tired.”

Today, if you are facing disappointment of any kind. Be encouraged! God will give you peace and rest to soar over obstacles that may be holding you back. He will also give you strength and strategy to accomplish those things that you desire.

Don’t give up and don’t quit.

You are rare, and there is only one of you.

So, be you.

 

I Have Seen The Vision…

The other day, my husband and I were going through boxes of items we had in storage. We came across this…

Image

 

Memories came flooding in. This world map hung on my wall in that small dorm room in Columbus, Ohio. I remember speaking to another young woman who was also studying Missions. She said, “Brynn, you need to get a map and mark the countries you want to go to and start praying over them now. Watch what God will do.”

That day I went to the local Office Max, picked up my very own map and taped it up on my wall. I marked it with scriptures and promises from God. I began to pray and declare over the map and the nations God had laid on my heart.

I took that map to every apartment and home I have lived in since that tiny dorm room. It’s a bit worn and so now I keep it tucked away for safe keeping, but it is always a reminder of God’s promise. Psalm 2:8 (NIV) declares, “Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.”

At the top of the map I wrote a quote from The Challenge Of Missions, a¬†book I had been studying. When I read it, it burned within me. The inscription is blurred, but it reads: “I have seen the vision and for self I cannot live; life is less than worthless ’till my all I give.” – Oswald J. Smith

The One Thing Paul Did

Have you ever failed at something? Public or Private. You just felt alone and didn’t know how to get back on your feet? Read the following guest post by my hubs, Charlie Shamp. I know it will hit home for you.¬†

The full article can be viewed at http://www.destinyencounters.com under Prophet’s Loft. Or just click on this fab photo ūüôā

Image

Enjoy!