From the time we are born until the end of our lives all we really want is to be loved and accepted. In those who love and accept us we find encouragement, and they are our biggest cheerleaders.
One of my biggest cheerleaders was my dad. When you are daddies girl, his only child, you got it pretty good, and things can't go wrong with a love like that.
When I learned how to ride my first bike he was there, when I shot my first basket he was there for that one too. He was there when I put those keys in the ignition for the first time. It was him helping me at the wheel.
There are those special moments that still fill my heart with love today. When I was just a little thing I began playing softball. And yes, it was my daddy who taught me how to play. I did not learn to play with a softball, but in fact a baseball. We would play catch daily and during our time together he taught me how to bat, keeping my eye on the ball.
There was one particular day while he was barbecuing, the sun was over head, and I was standing ready with my glove on. My dad didn't throw easy cause I was a girl. He threw just like he was playing catch with one of the guys he played baseball with. My mom was always fearful I was going to get hurt. She was the protective one. I remember a day when she was going on about how I was going to get hurt, my dad spoke up and said, "Just cause she is a pretty little thing doesn't mean life is always going to be easy. She's gotta learn to keep her glove up." Well, about the time this conversation was going on he threw me a pitch and I didn't have my glove up. Yes, broke my nose right there in the yard! Just when I was feeling comfortable, just when I took my eye off the ball, it hit and blood was everywhere. Of course my mom came running over screaming. It really wasn't as bad as she thought, it just looked bad. I don't really remember the pain, I remember what my dad said next. He says, " Go on and take her in the house and get her cleaned up and we will try again."
That is exactly what we did, and I gotta tell ya I was ready next time and I never again got hit in the nose. As my daddy was teaching me to keep my glove up, he was teaching me so much more. He was preparing me for life to come. He was giving me encouragement to never give up and to keep my head up, and always try my best. I gotta tell ya even then on those warm summer days throwing the ball around with my dad, the Son was shining down upon me then.
I learned when I got knocked down and hit hard to get right back up, brush myself off, get cleaned up and get right back out there.
My dad being my biggest cheerleader helped me to learn to stand on my own feet, and taught me I could do anything I set my eyes on.
At a softball game he was always there sitting in his chair, cheering me on. When I came up to bat everyone knew who my daddy was. I remember a particular game in which when I came up to bat I smacked that second pitch(I was taught never to swing at that first one) and that ball flew right down the first base line. I took off running,but I was called out. My dad was furious. He knew I couldn't be out, it wasn't my third strike and no one tagged me out. He stood, letting this ump know that he was wrong in calling me out. Even my coach was angry, but I was still out, but the amazing thing is that I walked off that field with my head up, and a smile on my face. I knew without a doubt that I was loved.
My daddy was there for me through every episode in my young life until he turned ill and was dying from cancer. I lost him after a years battle at the age of 46. I was 19 when I lost my dad. That was a turning point in my life. My cheerleader was gone.
He had been there when I received my cosmetology licence, and he was my first hair cut. He was always there and I would no longer hear his cheers from the sidelines. I would not see his smile when when I achieved something grand. He may not have been there for me to see face to face, but I still to this day hear him cheering me on, he is just on a different sideline now. I can hear him telling me, "You can do it Rob, I know you can!" I can hear the words, "I am so proud you are my daughter." I feel his presence with me daily in my heart when those exciting things happen. Although I cannot run to him any longer, all I have to do is think about how excited he would be for me and that puts a smile on my face.
I have that relationship with my heavenly Father. He is always there cheering me on, telling me, "You can do it, I know you can." I know when I get hit and knocked down He is there to pick me up, brush me off and set me on my feet again. He is there saying, "Lets get you cleaned up and get you back out there again!"
Even when there is not always one there to cheer us on, He is always there. He is my biggest cheerleader now!He is there when I make those big plays, or take that first new step. He is the first One I run to now to tell my news to, no matter what it might be. He is always ready to listen and to cheer me on more.
Even in my daddies life and through his death he gives me encouragement. He has shown me forgiveness, grace and mercy in the days where he suffered most. He reached out his arms to me telling me he loved me.
In my heavenly Father's life I see those qualities shine to cheer me on through His example. Through His death he showed me love, grace and mercy. He reached out His arms to show me just how much He loves me.
In that I find all I need to carry on, all I need for encouragement and all I need to live life to the fullest. I am ready, standing with my feet firm waiting for that next fast pitch with all the encouragement I need!
Philippians 4:13 " I can do all things through Christ, because He gives me strength."