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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. Not for the excuse to stuff yourself like a turkey with all the wonderful food you prepare for the day, but because it’s a day to look back and see all the good things in your life.
Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks, and I don’t think you can truly give thanks without looking back and acknowledging the bad, or not so good, in your life and seeing the good surrounding it. To me, Thanksgiving is a yearly opportunity to see past our circumstances and see the ‘sunshine and rainbows’ in our life.
I love scrolling through Facebook and other social media sites this time of year, because there are regular postings about why people are thankful. You can tell when it’s from someone who has truly pondered what they have been through and see what they have received from it.
If you know me, you’ve heard me say, “I need sunshine and rainbows”. I need to see the good. Good in people, things and circumstances. It helps me take my focus on the ‘not so good’ going on in my life. It helps me keep my focus on God and how much He loves me. It helps me to see Him and His mighty out-stretched hand in my everyday life.
Some of my sunshine & rainbows……
- How I learn from my family just as much as I teach them.
- I always have people to pray for me, and with me, in times of need.
- The ability God gives to create medicine to help heal.
- The skill surgeons are given, and taught, to perform organ transplants to prolong people’s lives.
- How God uses the trials in our lives to bring encouragement to others.
- Technology and how it allows us to reach out to others around the world.
- The beautiful colors that come with the cooler weather.
- The beauty that is to come in the spring from the rain we receive throughout fall and winter.
- The people placed in my path to be an encouragement at the perfect moment.
- The opportunity to help others with the gifts I have been given.
- Knowing I am never alone, because God will never leave me.
- In my times of weakness, I can call upon the Lord who will give me strength.
- Friends who will speak God’s truth to me, when I seem to have forgotten.
What sunshine do you see in your day? Where do you see the rainbow that is breaking through the darkness, or trial, you are in right now?
Seeing your sunshine and rainbow can help you through your circumstances, as well as be a powerful ripple in the lives of others when you share it. Where can you be a ripple this holiday season?
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the sunshine and rainbows you provide to each of us in the midst of our trails. I pray we see you in them and give thanks for them daily, Amen.
Not 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.
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 www.dianesamson.com