Reader Voices: Being a positive 'cheerleader' is good

By Sandra Nazar

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, Feb. 3 2013 5:00 a.m. MST

The other day, a friend of mine thanked me for being a cheerleader. Her words really got me thinking. The more I thought about it, the more I decided that I really liked the idea of being a cheerleader.

The world today is filled with many negative messages. These messages are often amplified by our own negative self-talk. We tend to compare our own weaknesses to the strengths of those around us. We convince ourselves that we are not good enough.

Our Heavenly Father wants us to succeed so he has blessed us with cheerleaders in our lives. They are there to encourage, support and cheer us on. When the world is telling us that we are destined to fail, they are telling us that we are meant to succeed!

The first cheerleaders in our lives are usually our parents. Heavenly Father has entrusted them with the care of his children here on earth. They feed, clothe, teach and yes, cheer for their children.

From the time we are small, almost from birth, our parents cheer us on. They cheer when we learn to crawl, when we take our first steps, when we learn to read. They cheer when we do well on a test, when we get a good report card and when we graduate. They are our first and best cheerleaders.

We also find cheerleaders in other relatives and in other adults such as teachers and leaders. Most of our cheerleaders, however, will be found among our friends. Think back to one of the lowest times in your life. Wasn't there a friend cheering you on? Wasn't there a friend telling you that you could do it, that you could make it? Our friends can be some of the greatest cheerleaders we will have.

The reverse is also true. We can be some of the greatest cheerleaders our friends will have. We can be that voice cheering our friends on to victory. If we will ask for our Heavenly Father’s help and listen for his promptings, he will lead us to those friends who are in need of our support and encouragement. He will give us the words to say that will cheer our friends and help them believe that they can succeed.

I have been richly blessed throughout my life with many choice friends who have been there to cheer me on. They have sent me cards and emails and made phone calls and visits during some of my lowest times. They have cheered for me when I was down and cheered with me when I was up.

Our Heavenly Father loves us. He wants us to return to him, to live with him again. If we will seek for his guidance, he will use us as his cheerleaders. We will be able to help our brothers and sisters become the successes he intends for them to be.

I am grateful for all of the cheerleaders that have cheered for me throughout my life and for all of the people for whom I have been privileged to cheer. I am glad my friend thought of me as her cheerleader and hope that I can cheer enough to cause all of my friends to feel the same way.

Sandra Nazar lives in Oklahoma with her husband and five grown children. Email: snazar@pldi.net

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