One of the greatest joys of parenting is watching your children become who God created them to BE. I vividly remember the day It began to really “click” with Ansley. Ansley tried so many sports and activities as a child, one after the next she would give it a go. Nothing really seemed to take hold, but I was proud of her for exploring. Finally, in middle school, she found a sport that she enjoyed and began to compete. She was a contributing part of a team and loved it. Until, she wasn’t. As she approached her final year in middle school she geared up for tryouts only to be told she didn’t make the team. It was devastating. For her, and to be honest, for me. 

I’m pretty quick to let my kids know life isn’t fair and adversity is good for growth. (Maybe too quick sometimes.) I don’t run to the rescue, but instead try to do a 360 and be objective.

But for some reason this one didn’t make sense. To her. To us. To her friends. To the other parents. And even to one of the coaches. 

In her sadness and defeat she decided to take a dance class (not classical), she tried voice coaching (she had never sung) and she began making jewelry to earn money to go to Africa. Each game that passed hurt, but she kept moving forward. 

One day, a few weeks in, I was in my room and heard a loud voice coming down the hall…..”Mooommmm…” 

“What Ansley, are you ok? “ I replied.

“Yes, I get it!!! Mom, I am not an athlete, I am an artist!!!! God made me an artist!” she said with great enthusiasm and relief! 

I cried. I cried because she didn’t give up. She wanted a place to belong, a purpose. She wanted to contribute and to know who she was when her contribution looked a little different than that of her friends. Well, she found out in the most beautiful way not only who she was, but whose she was. God seemingly closed some doors so she would walk through the one designed for HER! She was Created by her Creator to express herself creatively! And, she has not stopped since that summer before 8th grade! 

As a parent, I learned a valuable lesson. It’s ok to weep with your child who weeps, after all, Jesus wept with those who wept. But, don’t lose hope in their disappointments. God is good and faithful and has a great plan for His children, all of them. I am so grateful for the opportunity to watch each of my children discover what causes them to come alive!!! They are uniquely designed on purpose, for purpose and with purpose. And we, as parents, get VIP seating! What an honor. 

Suzanne 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. 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.