Defining Moments: Pity or Praise?

With a couple years of marriage and a few arguments under our belts, Husband and I were ready for Baby. Months of waiting felt like years while trash cans cradled sticks of pee and disappointment.

Hopelessness should’ve taken hold, but an unlikely scenario spoke hope: an old friend at a party with a line about a doctor. God knew where infection silently grew, new life was being prevented. He provided a way.

Not two years later, while Baby sat in highchair eating early dinner, Daddy came home with news that rocked our world: Laid off. Two weeks ‘til last paycheck.

Caught off guard, fear could’ve moved in, but in the space it would’ve otherwise occupied, a seed of excitement was planted. Into the unknown.  Months later still, there we sat on the couch, tears in eyes, asking God to pay our next bill. His voice whispered to me; He knows I love an adventure. He birthed something new.

Five years later, Baby’s grandma suffered cancer, but a voice spurred us on: keep praying, keep praying. Friends and family begged beside us and dread knocked at our door. Then, in the middle of a very dark night, Son had a dream with a reminder of an almost-forgotten sister.

There she stood, in spite of her days-old death, and he began to wonder if his mom would soon see her. Weeks later we stood under a tent near a casket; the dreaded outcome had occurred. Anger and bitterness could’ve festered, but instead, comfort and peace took root. He’d tenderly prepared us.

Just months later, I looked in a full-length mirror and saw a bulge remain even though the baby who’d caused it no longer did. New life had met death and grief and sadness entered my heart.

A loss on top of a loss; we had to tell to our kids. How does one explain another death to Baby, now five, who’d just shared a birthday with the Grand Mot we’d just buried? We could’ve held a grudge, but instead, we allowed God to hold and comfort us. He walked us through.

Each of these moments represented a test of our faith: get stuck in panic and pity (walk by sight) or move forward in trust and choose to praise (walk by faith). There were scenes of despair, for sure. Crying and gnashing of teeth.

But as the God of the universe continued to pursue our hearts, we couldn’t help but be swept up in the romance. The road meant for our destruction became a bridge to greater intimacy. Moments meant to defy us, but instead, they defined us.

We became a family who’s risen from the ashes.

About the Author: Samantha Livingston thinks living more dangerously is the solution to most of our problems. Since God is both the safest and most dangerous person she knows, she loves to share fun and thought-provoking messages about doing life with Him and others at The Right Volume.


About the Author


This is a post by a guest author. To submit your own story of how you got wrecked, click here.


  1. Thanks so much for posting this Jeff. You’ve been a huge encouragement to me!!

  2. A precious story and beautifully told. Thank you, Samantha.

  3. Kelly

    Thanks for sharing your story Samantha – love seeing how God continued to love you and comfort you and whisper sweet somethings in your ear. He is Good.

  4. Leighton

    Samantha, just amazing how in just a few short paragraphs you were able to convey your story…so precisely, and soooo beautifully. I cried and smiled throughout because I could hear your voice telling it to me…

  5. Leighton, that’s so special for me to hear. You couldn’t have given me a better compliment because I’m trying to stay true to my own voice, which can sometimes be hard, and you would know it. Thanks! 🙂

  6. Becky White

    Great article. Your words bring hope for others going through difficult times.

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