Rebecca Duvall

Home » Encouragement » Worst of Times,Best of Times

Worst of Times,Best of Times

DianeSamsonHeadShotNot to long ago I met Diane Samson on Twitter. I was immediately drawn to her when I took the time to get to know her by checking out her website and reading her blog. I found that she too loves to share stories how God is working in her life. So I contacted her and asked her to share with us how God has gotten her to where she is today. Please join me on a journey through the heart-felt life of Diane Samson.

It Was the Worst of Times. It Was the Best of Times.

My mother stomped out of the car and stormed over to the man who was unaware and taken aback by this crazy woman. Her hands on her hips she yelled at the man for stealing her parking space. She wanted to fight.

And I’m thinking I just want to go to the library. I was dismayed at the course of events that was my life. My mother’s always making a scene.

I spent much of my childhood trying to please my parents, especially my mother. It was a futile task. I didn’t realize the impossibility of this until I was well into adulthood.

My 20’s were spent fighting my demons inside, mostly my mother. I not only wanted to please her but my main problem was I went to great depths to accomplish this.

I ended up hurting my husband and not being the best example in my parenting.

My 30’s were spent knowing this path wasn’t going to work anymore. I found myself in a state of depression. Who was I? What was my purpose? While homeschooling was my life in this decade, I felt unfulfilled and undirected. I was told I was living my purpose.

Homeschooling my beloved children became my sole focus. I was seeking fulfillment in the wrong places. Always trying to please. Please my mother. Please my husband. Create the happy family I didn’t have growing up.

When we moved to Idaho, I was ready. Ready to unleash. Ready to seek God. Ready to put much of my past behind me and move forward. I was starting. I was emerging. I was on my way.

In my 40’s life was pushed into an abyss, that I never knew I could enter, let alone survive. Others deal with rejection all the time. Why was mine so difficult? What was the hold my mother had on me, that I refused to let go?

I was pushed to the brink of my capabilities and stretched beyond my imagination. The rules I had lived by my whole life were not working anymore. It was as if my brain was programmed and it was time to push reset.

I was emerging. I was learning to find my wings. I was figuring out that God was truly the only one I can or should please. Not my mother. Not my children. Not even my husband.

We were busy making preparations for our son’s high school graduation. My mother had been acting a bit bizarre of late, more than usual. My brother and I had talked a time or two, and compared notes. She had talked about a man in her life, writing comic strips about her life. She took a surprise-driving trip to LA, 7 hours away. She hadn’t been living in her own house but with people I had never met. She was acting bizarre for sure, but hadn’t she always been a bit off?

And then my life changed that one day. I had hung up the phone with my mother, because someone was at the door. I got a phone call. It was my brother. We hadn’t been communicating much and so I was surprised. I heard the stress. I felt the turmoil. It took time for my head to catch up.

Our mother had been throwing money away. Over a fence. In a newspaper. For months. A good sum of money. A lot of money.

There were crossword puzzles in her house with codes and meanings, only she understood. She was surrounded in a mound of deceit, paranoia and coded meaning. She was communicating to unknown people, with astronomical burdens, hardly believable. Too impossible to be true.

My mother had always been fond of “The God Father” and her story unraveled to the tune of mobs, drugs and torture.

I was in unknown territory. My lifeboat was in the sea, circling round and round, nowhere to go. The waves consumed me and some days I felt I was drowning, barely able to lift my head above. A few more years and I was still amidst the ocean.

It was the worst time of my life. My brother lived in torment having told the cops to commit his mother.

Under the demise of getting her a physical, I brought her to the hospital, where she yelled and screamed to disown my son. Words cannot describe when your mother screams at you, your daughter and grandson, who’s only two years old. There are no words for the intensity. The pain. The betrayal. You are left in shock.

It was the worst time. It was the best time.

At the time my lifeboat was barely afloat. For days water filled my boat and almost drowned me. Some days I stayed sane, having others praying for me the prayers I could not utter. Some days I had nothing to grasp except that I knew God was there.

I believed it. I trusted it. My faith in who God is kept me afloat. My friends praying kept me from going too far adrift.Hebrews13: 5

On that day, my husband who was in a different country got on the phone and arranged friends to be there for me. My friends, who left everything that day, dropped their plans and came to my aid at the hospital. One of the elders from our church, who along with his wife are now very good friends of ours, met a need and never was afraid to walk the walk with me.

As I write tears stream down my face. I remember. It’s fresh like it was yesterday.

God met me during the worst time of my life. God used physical people with real skin, raw emotions, and a desire to meet a need, to be present for me.

God was there every step of the way. I didn’t even know I was taken care of. I didn’t even know that they were outside of the building, praying, waiting and ready to jump in. I didn’t know my son could be so strong in the face of adversity, having his grandmother practically disown him.

I didn’t know God would carry me through a horrific time.

It was the worst time. But I know it was the best.

For only in the worst could God show Himself to me that otherwise I couldn’t see. I couldn’t experience. I couldn’t even understand.

For only in the worst could He show me the community of friends who cared.

For only in the worst could He show me my husband loved me more than anything or anyone, even thousands of miles away.

I had to go through a long period of regrets. I regretted not breaking free earlier. I regretted not standing up to my mother earlier and saying NO! I regretted declaring she no longer had a hold of me. But today I was no longer in bondage.

I had to give myself permission to grieve of what I didn’t have. I had to give myself permission for what I wasn’t able to do earlier. And then I had to forgive myself. And when I could begin the forgiveness process, I could really then fly!

I don’t want my life to be defined by my mother, by my difficulties, by her crazy behavior.

I knew, after some time had passed, healing was secured. I had to move on.

The passion I had left since high school emerged. I began to write again. I poured out my heart.

I knew without a doubt I wasn’t alone. I was meant to travel this life with others and I needed to share my story. My difficulties. My hardships. My tears. My joys. My disasters. My victories. All centered on Him.

Now I blog. I write. I share. My God adventures. My dreams. My passions. Walk in community. Run the race hand in hand. Together. Never alone.

So please join me. Would love to see you around my tweeting, my facebook, but even more so, on my blog. I love to hear stories. Someday, when we’re all together, we’ll have one big story to share.

This is my story to share. Even when it was the worst of times, it was the best of times.

If you would like to know more about Diane and what she’s up to now, which I’m sure you do, you can find her at


  1. […] me over at and check out my […]

  2. “At the time my lifeboat was barely afloat. For days water filled my boat and almost drowned me. Some days I stayed sane, having others praying for me the prayers I could not utter. Some days I had nothing to grasp except that I knew God was there.”

    Diane- I too have been in the place of barely afloat. Your words speak life, hope, transparency and the grace of Abba who is always there.

    Thank you for sharing …for being Jesus with skin on for those of us who read these words today.

    Blessings !

    • Diane Samson says:

      It’s those prayers I believe that does keep us afloat, especially during those times when we can’t utter a word. I am convinced we need each other. I thank God I have a husband now and then, who saw that need and put it into action. And thank you for your sweet words, that gives me encouragement for another day. 🙂

  3. 4gilbert1 says:

    The first part of this post hooked me. I had similar experiences with my mother. At this point, I’m almost 40 and don’t have a relationship with my parents. I’ve spent the past 3 years trying to figure out how to live differently from them, so my own children have good experiences. Breaking the cycle is HARD and exhausting work. Thanks for sharing your encouraging story!

    • Diane Samson says:

      And thank you for sharing a frame of part of your life. It does take work and God requires effort on our end. But it’s so worth it. My brother was just here for two days. It wasn’t perfect. I still have needs that are not met. I wish we had more (in relationship). But…I need to remember what it was like before I could live in freedom. I need to remember what we have now is much more precious than our cyclical cycle of dysfunctional behavior. I will pray for you. Send a note someday my way. Love to hear from you! Blessings to you and your family, as you learn what it truly means to live according to His desires, and not past behavior.

  4. Lisa J says:

    Diane, thank you for your vulnerability and your strength. but especially your friendship. my story is different, but still routed in my childhood with parents who laid great responsibility on my small shoulders. That led to rebellion and following the wrong examples–leading to places I shudder to think about.

    In my great despair I reached out to God, who led me to his Son, my hope and salvation. I was 38 when I found new life in Christ (62 now). Lots of trials leading up to that and many more as He worked — and is working — to perfect me.
    Those old times seem like a different life. And they are! There truly is New Life in Christ.

    Sometimes Satan tries to haunt me with certain memories. I know they happened, but they’re not who I am today. When it happens I follow the powerful Word: I demolish all arguments and pretensions that set themselves up against the knowledge of God, and hold captive all thoughts in obedience to Christ.

    I’m far from perfect and I still sometimes succumb to lessor things, but the freedom I have in Christ, my Savior, is the most valuable “possession” I have. And the Glory is that it’s available to anyone who places their trust in Christ!
    Thanks for letting me share.
    Lisa J.

  5. Diane Samson says:

    I love your words of testimony Lisa and thanks for taking the time to share them. Our freedom in Christ is so very precious and it’s something I think about everyday. I pray that the words shared here and in the future will lead those who don’t know they can trust Him, to a place of ultimate trust in a Savior who is worth our complete adoration, trust and full confidence. Thanks Lisa! Blessings!

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