This is a question that most of us will ask. In high school, my response would’ve been, “I am a cheerleader.” Cheerleading was my life. I was the captain of my high school squad and I cheered at Kentucky Elite Allstars. During my freshman year of college, I cheered for Gymtyme Allstars and worked out with the University of Louisville cheerleaders during the summer. Cheerleading gave me a sense of identity and acceptance. I knew 30 other girls depended on me, and I on them.
When I realized my cheerleading days were coming to an end, I had a hard time giving myself a new identity. I spent seven years of my life going to cheer practice and competing across the country. Shortly after I stopped cheering, I became an assistant coach for a middle school team and loved it, but that’s not the point. Why did I need to define myself with a sport? Who was I besides a cheerleader?
During my junior year of college I found the answer to that question. Two Mormon Missionaries knocked on my door to share a message about Jesus Christ and his restored church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In a later post, I will tell the entire story, but for now I would like to share one truth they taught me.
I did not have to identify myself as a cheerleader because I could define myself as a child of God. I am a child of God, the God of the Universe. Think about it, we are all spirit sons and daughters of Heavenly Father. We were created in His image, through His son Jesus Christ. Which means that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are two separate beings that dwell in Heaven together. And because Christ is our brother and atoned for our sins, we can return to live with both Christ and Heavenly Father as perfect beings.
This new perspective guided me through a difficult time. It taught me that not only was I a spirit daughter to my Heavenly Father, but that He knows who I am and Christ knows who I am and I am not alone. I guess I always knew that. I have a wonderful mother who has always been there for me. My brother and sister always put up with my crazy. My aunts, uncles and cousins show nothing but love to me!
Learning who I was without identifying myself with a physical activity was hard, but it was an immensity I needed to face. I wouldn’t always be a cheerleader or a cheer coach, but there is something else I would always be- A child of God.
I am a child of God. I am a daughter. A sister. A niece. An aunt. A roommate. A person who knows that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are real beings. I am a Mormon, a christian. “I know it. I live it. I love it.”