When I was 12 years old, I wanted to be a cheerleader. I can’t remember the details of how I found out about the try outs, but I signed up, went to the camp where I learned the cheers, practiced, and then tried out. I made the squad for 7th grade… as an alternate. Raub Junior High Indians. I didn’t get to wear the regular uniform. I wore this really cute mascot costume, with moccasins and feather. My pride made me feel less than, not good enough. Then my pride made me complain about the experience for all of 7th grade. I didn’t want to participate in any of the cheerleader extracurricular events that solidify a team. At the age of 12/13, I was not a team player. From my perspective, I saw those girls as being silly and snobby toward others. I saw them look down on others who weren’t cool enough to be cheerleaders. I didn’t like what I saw because I saw others as being equally special and important. My junior high cheerleading career may have ended after only 1 season, but my lifetime cheerleading career developed and is strong.
Son#2 married the girl of his dreams this past weekend. The day was absolutely beautiful. The weather was overcast. Processing my emotions is always a challenge. Milestones leave me feeling joy and grief at the same time. Milestones are signposts marking the end of one era, the beginning of the next. If I’m not careful, I get stuck at the sign for too long, looking back on all that has been, feeling like I’ve lost instead of gained, longing to go back and do it again.
But my sons are men now. And as a friend pointed out to me recently, I have successfully led them through childhood to adulthood, which is exactly what a parent hopes to accomplish. As their personal cheerleader, and biggest fan, I did it!
When I feel sad, I have to keep reminding myself that the milestone isn’t just an ending, it’s also a beginning. My cheerleader skills are still needed. This life isn’t over yet. It’s just beginning.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 ESV
Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy! Psalms 47:1 ESV
We’re celebrating this weekend!
Son#2 is getting married. Next week! I get to welcome a new daughter into my family. But really, I welcomed her as my daughter the day I met her in July. I loved her from the minute I met her. Because my son loves her. Because she loves him. Because I saw first hand how she brings out this joy in him that I hadn’t seen in many years, a child like joy. My heart nearly burst with happiness to see this side of him again.
I recently shared with my son that I knew from the minute he asked her on their first date that she was going to be his wife. I just knew. I knew before he knew. I prayed like crazy for the Lord to make this happen and he heard my prayers and said YES.
I am thrilled for her to be part of my family, to get to know her over the lifetime she will spend with us, to love her unconditionally, to bless her unconditionally, to make sacrifices for her unconditionally. I get to be a new mom, to a grown up daughter. My Dilly. I am so blessed!
‘And standing beside you, glistening in your pure and golden glory, is the beautiful bride-to-be! Now listen, daughter, pay attention, and forget about your past. Put behind you every attachment to the familiar, even those who once were close to you! For your royal Bridegroom is ravished by your beautiful brightness. Bow in reverence before him, for he is your Lord! Wedding presents pour in from those of great wealth. The royal friends of the Bridegroom shower you with gifts. As the princess bride enters the palace, how glorious she appears within the holy chamber, robed with a wedding dress embroidered with pure gold! Lovely and stunning she leads the procession with all her bridesmaids as they come before you, her Bridegroom King. What a grand, majestic entrance! A joyful, glad procession as they enter the palace gates! Your many sons will one day be kings, just like their Father. They will sit on royal thrones all around the world. I will make sure the fame of your name is honored in every generation as all the people praise you, giving you thanks forever and ever!’ Psalms 45:9-17
Unconditional, fantastical, marvelous joy!