| from Suzanne Phillips |

The phone rang last week. A friend reached out, asking me if I would talk to her friend whose daughter was struggling at school. I told her I would be happy to do so and got a call later that day. The sweet mom on the other side of the call was desperate, stunned, confused and so, so grateful to talk to someone. I didn’t necessarily have the answer, but I did have some offerings and perspectives that seemed to resonate. After all, I have raised middle school girls and we have suffered and survived bullying.

The next morning, I received a call from another mom, a friend. In tears and hurting, she said she needed help. She was at a loss and did not know what to do for her daughter who didn’t want to go to school, had stomach aches, and was struggling with friends. She cried; I listened. I encouraged; she took a deep breath. 

Two days later I stepped out of the shower to see a text from a friend EARLY in the morning. Again, I was asked if I would speak with her friend. Another hurting mom. I agreed. We met for a coffee and three hours later, after yet another horrific story of bullying, the mom had peace that she was hearing the Lords leading and had direction. 

What in the world????

None of the stories have a bow with a beautiful ending right now. The circumstances didn’t change as we spoke. The children all have pain to work through. And so do the moms. What did change however, is these moms were heard, affirmed, challenged and comforted… they were not alone!! They had a friend to turn to, someone who would find someone who had walked the road before them. Everyone acted and did what they could! What a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ, a sisterhood of motherhood!! 

God created FAMILY, both the family under your roof and His family which spans the world and reaches into eternity. Mama’s, dear sisters, don’t be alone! Reach out, call out, cry out, but don’t be alone. Parenting is and has always been hard! In this chaotic time in history hard doesn’t even begin to touch our reality.  So, reach forward and reach backward and look upward to YOUR Father! Just don’t stop meeting together.

Gather together, grow together, and go together. We are all navigating unprecedented times, but the Holy Spirit is alive and well. Jesus speaks through His Word but He also speaks through others. The enemy loves nothing more than to find us isolated, scare, overwhelmed and discourage. We need others to remind us to remember God’s faithfulness in our life! 

Pray together! Love each other! And remind each other you are not alone! Please take time today to pause and ask the Lord to bring friends or families to mind who need prayer and encouragement. Pray for them. Encourage them. Then, stop and pray for your own family asking God to provide the support you need to stay in the game and fight for those you love and that He has entrusted to your care! Lift them up and then let your Heavenly Father carry them! Reach out to those who are who are leaning toward isolation. Remind them that they are loved and not alone because you are loved and not alone!

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.