Rebecca Duvall

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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 www.dianesamson.com

In Memory of…

Burning CandleIt’s been 11 years since my mom passed of Breast Cancer.  It seems like one day she was feisty and full of life and the next she was horrifically ill, fighting for her life.  Her battle was only 9 months long.  At the time it felt like forever. Looking back, it was the blink of an eye.  I’m thankful she didn’t have to go through it any longer than she did.

I was very close to my mom.  We didn’t always get along or see eye to eye, but we were close.  I told her everything.  Yes, everything.  Well, except for maybe a year or two while I was in High School I might have left out a few minor details about a couple of things. 😉 Even when I did things I knew she wouldn’t like.  Whether I was happy, sad, angry or excited I shared it with her.  She always knew how I should handle things.  Unfortunately, I rarely took her advice.

The first few years after my mom passed I would often think to call her to tell her something about my day.  Then realize she was gone.  Talking to my mom, almost every day, to no talking at all was hard.  I suddenly had no one to tell me what to do.  Yes, I know I said I rarely listened, but it helped me know where to stand with things.  If she said I should get my hair cut and let my natural curl show I would keep it long and straighten it.  If she told me the fastest way to get somewhere was by the freeway I would use the city streets.  Of course that sounds corny, but that’s how I did things when it came to my mom.  I drove her nuts!

I remember dancing around to music with my mom when I was little, maybe 4 or 5 years old.  Back then it was Jim Reeves ‘Yonder Comes a Sucker’ or ‘Mexican Joe’.  My mom enjoyed music.  When I got older and moved out I continued to listen to some of the same music she did, butdance Twist NEVER would have admitted it.  Music from Abba, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.  To this day I still enjoy listening to it.  It brings back such wonderful memories, especially Jim Reeves.  I have all of these songs on my ipod and usually have it on shuffle so I can be pleasantly surprised when it comes on.  It instantly brings me back to my mom and me dancing around in the living room.  The Twist was her favorite dance, which we did quite often.

I wasn’t a Christian when my mom passed.  So we didn’t talk about eternal life in heaven or Jesus before she passed.  I do know she meet with a Pastor of a local church a few times during the last few months of her life.  Based on what the Pastor said after she passed, I do believe she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior.  I look forward to one day being reunited with her to catch up on things.

It’s hard to lose a family member or close friend.  It’s easy to get upset with God for taking them from us.  What I do when I miss my mom, so much it hurts, is think back on the times we did have together.  It always puts a smile on my face and feels as if she is still there.  I like to guess what she would say to me when I do something odd or stupid, which is quite often.  That always makes me laugh.  What do you do to help when you miss someone you’ve lost?

I find this passage of scripture comforting.  I hope you do as well.

‘Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.  According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.  For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage one another with these words. ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

heaven

My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the gift of life. I pray we love each other the way you love us and we appreciate each and every moment we have with one another, Amen.

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