Guest Blog by Elizabeth Sutherland
Seeing Through Life’s Storms
APRIL showers bring MAY flowers is a phrase we all certainly know! It’s an expression that I’ve come to live by, but not for the simple reasons. APRIL, the month we are greeted by Mother Nature with open arms and she sprinkles us with her tears and her temper tantrums, known as storms. MAY, the month where Mother Nature makes sure we all feel the love by providing beautiful flowers to bloom, but, this wouldn’t happen without the storms from April!
“Each day, we are faced with storms… if we look hard enough, we will see MAY!”
None of our lives are perfect. Each day, we are faced with storms, some feel like a hurricane, some feel like a tornado, but at the end of the day, if we look hard enough, we will see MAY!
Speaking of MAY, did you know that it’s National Foster Care Month? A month set aside to celebrate families, agencies, and children in care. Do you think it’s a coincidence that this falls in MAY? I think not and here’s why!
Negative Storms Of A Foster Child
As a foster child/orphan, you are faced with overcoming so many different storms. Some you control. Some are out of your control. These storms can vary depending on what stages you are in the process. For me, my big black dark cloud started following me at 13. That was the age I had entered foster care and lost all contact with my siblings. With no knowledge of what I had just stepped into, I knew that I had no control of my life. That was scary for me. It was now in the hands of others. Who are these people? What were they going to do with me? Would I ever get to see my siblings again? The fear. The sadness. The frustration. All of it was swirling in me like a tornado. You betcha, I was mad. I hated life. I was throwing myself a pity party and no one joined me. Could you blame them? Negativity can turn sunshine into darkness. As I began to get familiar with my “new” life, I started to accept the cards that I was dealt with. Everything happens for a reason. Once, I did that, the dark clouds eventually moved on and I started to “blossom” into my own. The stars did align and I did reunite with my siblings later on in life at the most unusual places. Do you see my “April” showers? Without “May” flowers, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today!
“… I started to accept the cards that I was dealt with… Once, I did that, the dark clouds eventually moved on and I started to “blossom” into my own.”
One of my favorite quotes that is my daily motto: Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s about learning to dance in the rain. – Anonymous. We all are faced with different types of storms, some emotional, some relational and some physical. To everything, there is a season. These storms that we go through defines us as an individual. It makes us stronger and allows us to be resilient. No matter the condition, please know that you can’t have the sunshine without the rain, no stars without the moon, foster children can’t blossom without the guidance of strangers and MAY flowers can’t bloom without APRIL showers!
About Elizabeth Sutherland: Liz is a National IFS Experienced Recruiting Associate supporting the IFS functional groups at PwC. Liz is very passionate about the well-being of children in general and is a published author in the book, Growing Up In The Care Of Strangers, as well as sharing her thoughts and experiences in a new book, A Foster Care Manifesto: Defining the Alumni Movement. She has been featured on Spirit 90.5 FM radio to share her life story as well as Fostering Families Today magazine. In her free time, Liz enjoys volunteering in her community, taking spontaneous road trips to new and adventurous places, blogging, meeting new people, being out on the water and simply enjoy what life has to offer.