By Tammy Phillips
Contributions by: Kris, Brayden and Parker Phillips
Father’s Day June 21,2020
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9 ESV
Our family maxim is simple. Phillips NEVER quit. Quitting is not an option. It does not exist in our vocabulary. I am not sure when this became our family hashtag. It was long before the pound sign was a symbol for a hash tag. Kris led the way. He instilled this precept in all of us.
I asked Kris, Brayden and Parker to remember one time when they wanted to “give up,” but instead remembered our motto. Their answers surprised me. I had my own recollections. I think of a long list where each of them persevered and endured, when it would have been much easier to quit.
Kris is an exercise beast. He plays tennis, runs and works out hard. It is how he deals with life, stress and eats whatever he wants. As long as I have known him, he has been a runner. Have you seen those calves? Nobody has better legs than my husband! He not only runs, but he races for the fun of it. He has run the St. Jude Half Marathon, the last 3 out of 4 years. His work responsibilities hindered him last year. In 2018, the race was delayed for two hours because of a storm and it was a hot December day. Kris recalled reaching mile marker 10. He cramped up and had to walk. He first thought he was done, but then remembered, #phillipsNEVER quit. He completed the race by running through the finish line. (As I write this, he chose to run in 90-degree weather, to and from a 45-minute workout.)
Brayden, our oldest son, has endured!! I wish I could tell you every single time he has overcome, but I am writing an encouragement and not a book of tears. The time he recalled is funny to me because I never even knew it was a struggle for hiim. That’s Brayden! He has an unbelievably high tolerance for physical and emotional pain. In high school, he sought the trainer after a football game for a hurt wrist. The trainer was unavailable and Bray did not want to go to the doctor. They taped up his wrists for practice and the remaining playoff games. He played through the pain. After the season, we learned it had been broken. #phillipsNEVERquit.
Brayden is also the most driven man I know. He was picked 1 out of 500 applicants for a football internship withCreative Artists Agency. When the internship ended, he patiently waited one and a half months for his job to materialize. Unknown to us, he said he became discouraged. If the job had not worked out, he was unsure what he was going to do with his life. He had always known his next step. However, he had put all his eggs in one basket. He chose not to grow weary, nor faint. He persevered and attained his dream job because #phillipsNEVERquit. (Last year, he questioned, “I do not know why I have been so blessed?” I said, “The favor of God and you work really hard!”)
Parker, our youngest son, surprised me with his response! His recollection was an 1,125-word text which moved me to tears. His experiences are different, but he could write a book, too. Parker is a “State Championship, Division 1 All-American, drafted by the Minnesota Twins,” baseball player. Like my husband and oldest son, he has had a lot of success in his career, but it has not been an easy road. Parker said: “I think about #phillipsNEVERquit every day. It was in my back pocket all throughout college. Playing college baseball was a lot of fun. Do not get me wrong! There’s a lot of stuff people do not see that goes on behind closed doors that is not so fun.”
His freshmen season was disastrous. He started out great. He volunteered to catch in attempt to make his way onto a field of very talented players. His first scrimmage, he broke his toe. Doctors told him he could do everything but squat. Catcher’s squat. #phillipsNEVERquit. The very next week, he overcompensated for the toe and badly tore his hamstring. It almost required surgery. Parker said, “I had worked hard my whole life to get to this point. I was barely able to stand on two feet. It was a time that this Phillips was ready to quit, but I remembered…#phillipsNEVERquit.” He rehabbed about one month. The very day he was released, he took infield practice and fractured his left foot. He could only laugh and repeat, “#phillipsNEVERquit.” He accepted his career as a player was paused. He took on the role of encourager and water boy. He did not grow weary of doing good. The next season, 2017, he became an All-American catcher. He didn’t catch in the 2018 season, but hit a lot of home runs and was invited to the NCAA Collegiate Home Run Derby. In his final season, he led the NCAA with the most home runs in the nation (25), only behind Vanderbilt’s J.J. Bleday (27). He broke the single season and all-time home run record at APSU because #phillipsNEVERquit. (Parker knows he is nothing without God and can do all things through Him.)
Most importantly, Jesus never quit. In Mathew 26, the night before Jesus went to the cross, he said, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.” And He asked the Father, if there was any other way, yet He did not quit! He endured. Our Father God never quits on us.
[It is of] the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. – Lamentations 3:22 KJV
Jesus said of Peter, “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not:” (Luke 22:32 KJV) If he prayed for Peter not to fail, don’t you think he prays the same for you? God is love and Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:8 KJV)
For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5 NLT)
God Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down, relax My hold on you! Assuredly not! (Hebrew 13:5 AMPC)
I enCOURAGE you to NEVER QUIT. All this time, Kris was teaching us to follow Jesus and His example. #NEVERquit. All your life, Jesus has prayed for you. Do not give up on yourself or your life. Know that you CAN DO ALL things through Christ who gives you the strength. (#phillipsNEVERquit)