There have been a few challenges recently that got me…
Intro by Skip Cohen
This is very different from what we normally share, but there’s a reason I chose this post from Suzette Allen’s 2015 archives. We all go through “seasons” of change in our lives, and it’s so important to ride them out and not give up hope.
There’s a great quote that both Ross Perot and Vince Lombardi most often get credit for:
“Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one-yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown.”
Life is anything but routine. We’re often caught in changes we can’t control, and I love the way Suzette’s has openly shared her own dark moments from the past. Suzette couldn’t be more sincere and honest about her love for the craft, her family, her friends, her clients, vendors and God. In fact, these are just a few reasons why she’s become such a great friend to so many of us.
By Suzette Allen
One thing my mom said to me years ago that I will never forget is, “There’s one thing you can count on being consistent: Change.” How profound and frustrating that is. And how comforting, too, at times! When things are bad, you can be sure that things will change. It’s just a season.
Many people say “this too, shall pass”. But remember too, that even if things are great, it is a season of life, and while I’m not being fatalistic and predicting doom, everything changes because it is a season. Change is required to stay fresh, grow and become who we are meant to be!
Years ago, I spent a lot of time with a beautiful young girl, Allie. She was about 15 or 16 and a delightful highlight in my life—such a bubbly and fun person to hang out with! Tragically, her father died of cancer and sent Allie into a spin for a few years. Of course, the normal process of loss includes denial, anger, bargaining, numbness and depression and eventually acceptance– in no particular order–and she was no different.
For a season, she was just mad at the world and everything that went on in the world and it broke my heart to see her ravaged by sadness, blinded to all the wonderful things around her. We loved her, accepted and supported her, listened to and prayed for her, and little by little, she came around and one day she was back! Her bleak and bitter winter of pain and loss subsided and spring came once again. Now she is on her own two feet, bubbly and optimistic, and ever so much stronger. We watched over her and tenderly supported her until she could take root again and embrace a new season of fresh growth. She’s living, growing and thriving in the sunshine today…
But the transitions are the hardest because we want things to stay the same, but they (and we) cannot. We have to adapt and change with the seasons of life, the sunny days, the stormy rains, the blah drizzles and the hurricanes too. The growth seasons of painful stretching, the glorious days of flourishing and bearing fruit, the dormant seasons of being lost, the depressed seasons of winter hanging on sooooo lonnnnnnggg!
As a survivor of a head injury in 1989 that took me 8 years to recover from, I know very well how depressing it can be when things have gone wrong and then they DON’T change nearly fast enough and you lose hope that it will ever be OK again. Or just lose hope, period. I was there.
For months I cried myself to sleep every day and prayed for a murderer to kill me because I didn’t have the guts to take my own life. It was a very dark season for a very long time. I was sad and angry and depressed, but I surrounded myself with people who loved me and supported me and anchored my faith in a few things I knew to be unchanging.
Like God’s Word that says “ALL things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” I couldn’t see ANY good working out anywhere, but I determined to outlast the season and believe. Little by little, things worked out and…[long story short] it is miraculous today that I have NO impairments whatsoever from my brain injury and my life has taken a huge swing in the positive, just like He said. Wow, what a lot of seasons of change. I felt like I had to relive my life from a 2-year-old to an adult all over again in triple-time. I did have to relearn a LOT of things and that process taught me that there are many seasons of life, and, Thank God,
Everything Changes. That includes me. So today I will choose to feel good about myself and not be overly critical or negative because I am changing too—becoming a better me—stronger, more patient, more wise, more experienced, more compassionate, more resilient, and more optimistic because I have seen so many seasons come and go… The cycle of life [change] is the way we live, thrive and become something beautiful.