This was it. This was the moment an eighth grade cheerleader both anticipated and dreaded, all tangled up in hormonal confusion. The door opened and, like a fence gate opening for a litter of over-eager, peppy, happy little puppies, the handful of cheerleaders burst out onto the gym floor. With bouncy jumps, big bows, and arms in crisp extension, school spirit was thrown freely for everyone to receive.
This was it. With intentions to impress, her “go-to” trick was a cart-wheel (I know…I hear your snickers). So, a quick hop. Left hand. Right hand. Feet twirling through the air. And…THUD. Thud-thud. Bam.
She was on… the floor.
400 eyes and 200 mouths were targeted on her in wide, open astonishment. With horrifying clarity, she quietly mumbled, “What. Just. Happened?”
In that moment, she had a choice: bounce up and keep going. OR run out tears spewing? She had a choice. In that moment.
Moments of opportunity are sporadically punctured within the fabric of our every day.
Moments to choose who we believe ourselves to be and who we hope to become.
In the pages of history, Leah (the older, ugly sister from yesterday) chose to believe that IF she gave her husband what he wanted, THEN he would love her. She would finally be prized, loved, whole, complete, validated. Listen:
- “Surely my husband will love me now,” after the birth of her first son.
- “God gave me this son because He sees I am unloved,” after the birth of her second son.
- “Now at last my husband will be attached to me,” after the birth of her third son.
I too can put on that mistaken identity:
- IF I give my husband what he wants, THEN…
- IF I become who my friend needs me to be, THEN…
- IF I give my children the fun times or grand experiences that they ask for, THEN…
- IF I produce beyond the expectations of my boss or co-workers, THEN…
When I calibrate my value based on someone else’s happiness or approval, I -thud, thud, bam- land on the floor and utter “What. Just. Happened?” I wonder if you do that too.
We can learn from Leah. After her fourth son was born, instead of wearing the mistaken identity of “IF/THEN,” she made a choice.
“This time, I will praise the Lord.”
It may have sounded like, “God, You are love. God, You love me. God, You give me good things. God, my value is in You. I praise you.”
And as we choose to bounce up and keep going in the love of who God is, He will use us in the lives of others beyond what we could have done on our own.
Bounce up within your moments today and choose to settle in God’s love for you.
With my pompom in hand (I won’t fall this time), I’m cheering you on!
Go. Go. Go!