| from Suzanne Phillips |
I don’t know about you, but my life is VERY full right now. So many changes and so much movement. I was feeling a little overwhelmed last week and God reminded me of another season that “seemed” a little too full.
A little over a year ago our oldest daughter, Ansley, married the love of her life. Five short months from the weekend she got engaged to the aisle and, oh my, what a packed five months it was!
Do you ever look at the calendar and the events unfolding in your life and simply think…..NO WAY…. there is just no way? Then, while you are already busy thinking “no way,” an unexpected series of circumstances creeps up adding to the crunch that is already whispering “time isn’t on your side.” Maybe a birthday party you are planning around the holidays and the stomach bug hits? Or a work deadline that is closing in when your car breaks down on the way to carpool? You know what I’m talking about, those days or a week, month or season that just cause you to pause and really wonder if you are living in the twilight zone.
Well, wedding season was a bit like this for the Phillips 5. The clock was ticking and I, the “I don’t do details” mom, was already a little iffy about pulling this celebration off when circumstances began to taunt me.
My dear friend, who was planning the wedding and designing the flowers, faced a MAJOR crisis in her life about one month in. The crisis took priority for all of us. My dad had a stroke, and I spent a week in a hospital room in Kentucky. (Wouldn’t have been anywhere else!) The bride moved out of state and started her first job……one week to pack all of her belongings and get her moved into a future townhouse, current apartment for 2 months, and a classroom in Tennessee. I had an accident and tore my ACL, meniscus, and PLC exactly one month before the wedding which brought with it visions of me going down the aisle in a wheelchair. Not the look we were going for! All of this plus a 70% chance of rain (only on the day of the wedding with an outdoor venue), a broken-down car (which sat in the grocery parking lot for weeks), a florist who found out 2 days before the wedding that the flowers were not coming (strike in Ecuador, not kidding), and news that my mother-in- law fell shattering her shoulder which led to an MRI where they found masses on her lungs 2 days before the wedding.
If I’m being totally honest, I was opening my lips, but my mouth was begging for mercy rather than declaring the Lord’s praise. The circumstances were just coming faster than my little human brain could comprehend. Until… until the morning of the rehearsal dinner. Family and friends were in town. The work and the plans we had been so diligent with over the five months were in place. The circumstances that tried to rob our joy and cause doubt were beyond our control, and we weren’t going to get this weekend back. Game on!
As I began to get ready for the day a verse rose up in my spirit, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it.” And then I heard it again, “THIS is the day” Suzanne. “THIS is the day that I have chosen, fashioned and planned. THIS is THE day and everything the enemy has meant for harm I will use for good!” “THIS’ is MY day for Ansley, don’t miss what I have in store. Watch for me, be glad and rejoice IN THIS day!”
What a sweet gift from the Lord! He reminded me that He held the day in His hand and that no circumstance that threatened OUR plans would threaten HIS. As I heard myself repeat this verse to those who showed concern about the weather, my dad (who came and danced two weeks after a stroke and surgery), or my mother-in-law, I realized that my God, the God I love so much, had caused my lips to open and my mouth to declare His praise! He can do that you know.
I am SO grateful for a Lord whose name is The Lifter of My Head! He gently took my chin and lifted my eyes past the lingering rain clouds straight toward His face. When you see the face of Jesus everything else seems to come into focus. I needed this reminder today. Do you?
Do you need The Lifter of Your Head to tilt your chin upward? Share your concerns, confess your fears, express your hardships, and then declare THIS is the day that the LORD has made…. go ahead and be glad, rejoice in it…. He is with you!
Suzanne Phillips is a storyteller with a desire for connection, a teacher with a heart for transformation, and a visionary with a commitment to the family and discipleship. A season of trauma and the loss of a child led Suzanne to a radical conversion and a passionate pursuit of truth.
Suzanne is the co-founder of Ignite the Family, a ministry with a mission to help families live out God’s design for the family, that is now the conference division of Celebrate Kids. She is also a co-founder of Legacy Community Academy in Atlanta, GA, a unique hybrid academy and model of education with a vision to launch mission-minded student leaders who shape culture. Suzanne is wife to Lane, mama to Ansley, Ward, and Lilly, and mom-in-love to Will. At any given time you will find Suzanne with a book in her hand, people at her table, an idea on her mind, and family in her heart. She is motivated by seeing others live out their unique calling and loves serving as an associate for Celebrate Kids.