The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I guess you could say that I kind of dropped the ball here. It’s been a while since I’ve made a post.  I’ve honestly been a little all over the place recently. Which is really nothing new since all this happened. I just haven’t been sure what I needed to write, and have been asking God what the next post should be about. But as I sat here tonight, I remembered writing in an earlier post that I was dropping my guard. That I would be authentic, and share my heart. The good, the bad, and the ugly.  And if I’m being honest, the past couple of weeks I’ve had all three of those. That’s when I knew what today’s post would be.
The purpose of this blog is to share my life. To share the story of the breakdown of my marriage.  The aftermath, the sorrows and the triumphs, and also the continual restoration and replacement of our joy.  And to use that to bring healing to myself, and hopefully to some of you too. So the good, the bad, and the ugly, that’s what I’m going to share with you.

We should start with the good. One thing Jeff and I have resolved to do is to make quality time together a priority now. So, last weekend we booked a night at Chateau Elan. It was gorgeous! I can not tell you how much I fell in love with this place. Our room was beautiful. Y’all just don’t know how much I love a nice hotel room with fluffy covers on the bed. We went to a wine tasting, which was ridiculously fun. We had lots of yummy food, and just enjoyed spending time together. Things were great. Really great……Until they weren’t.

Something came up that triggered the bad thoughts and just like that, our wonderful time was interrupted by this awful memory. Which in turn brought sadness, anger, insecurity & defeat. When the sadness shows up, it likes to bring friends.😓

So there we have the bad. Sometimes it’s just a moment, and you shake it right off. Other times it snowballs, and you get stuck in this cycle trying to make sense of something that just can’t make sense and it’s a losing battle. I get really upset in those moments. The thought of them together is excruciating. Then I just get so angry at what they did, and what they took from me. I get angry in moments like this one especially, this was OUR weekend. Thoughts of her do not belong here. They don’t belong anywhere in our new life. I get so angry that she has this space now, right in the middle of our marriage. She doesn’t belong there. She never belonged there. But it happened and now our marriage isn’t just our marriage anymore. It’s our marriage/the affair/our marriage. And I can’t get that time back. And I can’t make it disappear.

And that is where the ugly comes in. Those thoughts and memories stir up all sorts of emotions and literally can make you feel a little crazy. Sometimes in those moments, I think of her, and my interaction with her. I think of the way she wouldn’t own up to the truth. Even when it was absolutely undeniable. The way she told me I was crazy. The way she simply did not seem to be sorry at all for having a part in destroying my family, my life. I think of the day I had to tell her sweet husband the awful news of how she betrayed him, and how much pain she caused him too. While I hold Jeff fully responsible for his own choices and actions, and he is the one that broke the vows he made to me, she certainly has a large share of responsibility in what happened too. I don’t know if she has changed or if she is sorry now. I have heard that she claims to have changed. I hope that is as true for her as it is for Jeff, for the sake of her family. But because of the way things happened, sometimes in the bad moments I imagine a smirk on her face, I imagine her laughing at me, at how I struggle with living with what they did. It’s a funny thing, our imagination. The way it can take a perception and make it seem like reality. And I’ve never hated anyone. It’s never been in my nature to truly dislike anyone even. I don’t want to hate anyone. But I know that the feeling I have had for her is something very, very close to it. Too close. I hate what they did and in these moments, though I don’t hate the person that Jeff is now, because he is NOT that person anymore, I hate the Jeff that did this to us. The one that made the awful choices that created this devastation and torment. And that right there, that is the ugly. I’m not proud of it. Not. at. all. And I have no intention of holding on to that. I don’t want that poisoning my life. It’s something that I am working on.

I’m working on finding a way to forgive her, this person that wasn’t sorry. Maybe she has changed and she is truly sorry now. Maybe she isn’t. I’ve accepted the fact that I may never know. I’ve accepted that I may never get that apology. Yet I know for my own sake I have to forgive her. It’s a tricky thing, forgiveness. I know that I want good things for her husband, and her kids. I want her to be the person they deserve. I want them to be happy, because they are wonderful, beautiful people. So because of that, I am able to want good things for her because I care about them. So I think that is progress and a big step towards forgiveness.

Surviving infidelity is no easy task. And while I post a lot about faith and goodness and having a positive mindset, and 100% believe every bit of that,  I’m still human and I’m not gonna lie to you. This is hard. Some days it feels easier. And then it feels awful again. And then things feel pretty great and you think, “Hey, we can do this. I can do this! And, not only can I do this, but I’m happy!” And just when you think you’ve got a handle on it, something reminds you that your husband was with someone else and suddenly the pain and the grief overwhelms you all over again. Like a roller coaster, It starts out with that initial terrifying drop. Then highs and lows, and twists and turns. You can’t see what’s coming next. Then things slow down, and the big drops become small hills. You look out from where you are and you see things clearer. You take your mind off the fact that you are terrified and you look out and see that there is so much beauty to see from up here, and you think, “This isn’t quite as awful anymore. That first terrifying part is done and I never have to go through it again.”
But occasionally, there’s a sudden loop thrown in there that turns you upside down, when those thoughts creep up on you, and you lose your perspective and you feel like you are right back in the worst part of the ride. Although you know you really aren’t. You’re safely held in your harness. You’re not really plummeting to the ground. But in the moment it feels as real and as awful as the first time you knew the truth. That’s when I have to remind myself that we aren’t living in that moment anymore. It’s over, it’s all in the past, and despite these flashes of pain, what we have now is good.

As time goes by, those hard moments happen a little less. Most of the time I’m pretty good at pulling myself back. Sometimes, especially if I am feeling stressed about other things, the sadness pulls me in a little deeper and it’s a bit more of a struggle to fight off. Jeff is amazing at helping me get out of the sadness and back to the light of day. I will be posting more on that later. I am truly so thankful for the heart that he has now for God, and for me and this family. And I know that these hard days are going to pass. I know that I may never forget the pain, but I also believe that I will live in that pain less and less and live more in the joy that comes from the deeper relationship we are building with God and each other.

So this is what it’s like, life after the affair, and as crazy as it makes me feel some days, I know all of the ups and downs are perfectly normal. It says so in the ridiculous number of books I’ve read on the subject, and the counselors I’ve talked to and the other people who have been through this before me. It helps to know that.

So there it is. We all have some good, some bad, and some ugly in our lives. If we can be honest about the bad and the ugly, we can deal with them. We can kick them to the curb. And then we can be free to enjoy the good.

So that’s where I’m at. I’m gonna keep fighting off the bad and the ugly. I’m gonna put them out here in the light, even though revealing them is scary. It is SCARY, sharing all of these things with the world. But I know it helps me. It helps me keep my perspective where it should be. And hopefully my brutal honesty helps some of you. Hopefully it helps you to know that if you are going through this , you are not alone, and you are not crazy.  So I’m going to keep putting it all out here, in the light. Because that’s where our power is. We have to be honest about our thoughts and emotions to be able to take control of them. Our power is in the light, and there is no darkness in the light. There’s only goodness there. And y’all know I’m all about some goodness. ❤️
Amy Thurston Gordy

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Things I know

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My Timehop app tells me that I posted that a year ago today. Little did I know the year that would be ahead for me. Little did I know that this was just the beginning of the things that would break, the things that would go wrong, the things that would turn my world upside down. Little did I know that around this very time, my husband had made a choice in his heart that would ultimately break mine. Little did I know that exactly 8 months later to the day, life as I knew it would be changed forever.

But here I am, a year later, and I still believe every single one of these things. That next day or even the months of days that followed it may not have been my best days or ones that I could honestly say were amazing. But what is amazing is that God was there through all of it, and that we have a better life now than what we had a year ago. What is amazing is that I could add so many more things that “I know” to this list now. TODAY is my tomorrow. And today is amazing. Miraculous even. And every day after this one will be too. Because no matter what each tomorrow brings, I know ,that I know ,that I know, God’s got me. And he’s got you too. So go enjoy this amazing day. And know, that you know, that you know, tomorrow will be even better.

The beauty in the Becoming

Sometimes we go through things. Horrible, terrible, incredibly painful things. Things that turn our world upside down. Things that make our heads spin and our hearts break until we’ve lost our equilibrium and nothing seems real, and we don’t know how we got there or how to escape it. Things that we want to wish away, or at the very least be wiped from our memories so we can wake up unshattered, in the world we once knew, as though it never happened. We want so desperately to understand why, or even how we ended up here, in this terrible dark place. Things like sickness, loss of a loved one, or as in my case, betrayal.

We’ve always tried to do what’s right. We put others before ourselves. We have tried to be an overall good person in general. We didn’t deserve this awful thing, you and I. We didn’t ask for this. We had no say in it, no control over it. We didn’t cause it. And the worst thing of all, is that there was absolutely nothing we could do to stop it.

We have a story now. A story that, when we tell it, feels so foreign to us that we have to remind ourselves that it’s actually our story. That we aren’t talking about someone else. It’s our story, and we didn’t want it. But it’s ours nonetheless, and we have no idea what to do with it. We have no idea how to survive it.

What we can’t see is that through our heartache, through this story that we did not want, God gives us purpose. Through this awful thing, we are being transformed. In our weakness, He is strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9  But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

There is beauty in our weakness, because there is beauty in His strength.

He is growing our character. We are becoming. Becoming who we have always been. What’s always existed inside of us, but we’ve never known we could be because we have listened to the lies that we have believed about ourselves for too long. We are becoming the people we were always supposed to be.

Romans 5:1-5  Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. More than that , we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame. Because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

There is beauty in our becoming.

The very pain that feels as if it is tearing us apart is being used to build us up, to bring healing. It is in our unmaking that He brings us not only the healing that we knew we needed, but healing so deep we didn’t even know we needed it.

Hosea 6:1  Come, let us return to the Lord; for He has torn us, that He may heal us; He has struck us down, and He will bind us up.

Psalm  147:3  He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.

There is beauty in His healing.

When we find ourselves crumpled and sobbing on the floor, so overwhelmed by our grief that we can not contain our sorrow, He weeps with us. He loves us so much that our pain is His pain.

Isaiah 53:4  Surely He has borne our sufferings and carried our sorrows.

Psalm 56:8  You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.

There is beauty in His love for us.

When we feel we just don’t have the strength to make it through the day, when we don’t have the strength to pick ourselves up and keep moving forward, He gives us strength.

Psalm 37:39  But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord: He is their strength in time of trouble.

Psalm 138:3  In the day when I cried out,You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.

Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

There is beauty in His strength.

In the moments that our hearts feel broken and shattered beyond repair, He is with us.

Psalm 34:18  The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those whose spirits are crushed.

Psalm 23:4  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me: your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

There is beauty in His presence.

When it seems your world has crumbled around you, when you’re in the pit of despair, when sacred promises are broken and you feel dishonored and insignificant and you desperately long for joy; He promises to restore it to you.

Isaiah 61:7  Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion: instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot: therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion: they shall have everlasting joy.

John 16:22  So all you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

Psalm 30:5  Weeping may  tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

There is beauty in His restoration.

In our moments of worry, when we have uncertainty about what the future holds for us, we can find peace in His promises.

John 10:10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly.

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 33:3  Call to me and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.

Isaiah 61:1-3  The spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion. To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

Hebrews 10:35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. for you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

There is beauty in His promises.

There are times when terrible thoughts and memories flood your mind like a tidal wave of torment that never seems to end, and the pain spreads through every corner of your being, and the heaviness of it all feels like it’s crushing you until you can hardly breathe.

Psalm 55:22  Give your worries to the Lord, and He will care for you. he will never let those who are good be defeated.

Isaiah 65:17  For behold, I create a new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.

Matthew 5:4  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

There is beauty in His comfort.

When you don’t know how to forgive the one that hurt you, when you realize that you don’t even know what it means, to forgive something that is so hard to forget; He shows us how to forgive.

Ephesians 4:32  Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Luke 6:36  Give love and mercy the same as your Father gives love and mercy.

Colossians 3:12-14  Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility,meekness and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. And above all these put on love,  which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

There is beauty in forgiveness.

It is a blessing when you allow yourself to see that God can take what was meant to utterly destroy you and instead turn it around and give you purpose. It is a blessing to see Him use it to give you the desires of your heart, which in my case were to be loved, valued, no longer taken for granted. To see my husband freed from bondage and made capable of loving me with his whole heart.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work  together for good to those that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.

Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

There is beauty in His gifts.

By the testimony of my trials,I can give hope to others.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4  Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

There is beauty in our testimony.

We can be thankful for all the people God has provided to help us, for all the love He surrounds us with, for His comfort and His voice, for His wisdom and discernment, for His provision and His faithfulness. We can be  thankful for the positive changes that have been born from our negative circumstances. We can be thankful for the beautiful future He promises to give us.

There is beauty in our gratitude.

We can trust in the fact that He is good. That no matter our circumstances, no matter which path we choose, as long as we keep our focus on Him we will be ok, because He has so much goodness for us. Even though all of our stories may find different endings; maybe your circumstances won’t see the same changes mine have, maybe your marriage  or whatever other situation you have hasn’t yet been or possibly won’t be restored. But you can rest assured that there is goodness ahead for you. And the goodness you find will be God’s very best for you.

Psalm 23:6  Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

There is beauty in His goodness.

In our worst moments, we can choose to let it destroy us. We can let the pain overtake us and the hate consume us. We can listen to the lies of the tormentor who reminds us daily of our pain and tells us we will never recover. Or we can ask God to lead us through it. We can ask what He wants us to learn from it and how He wants to use it. We can ask Him to give it purpose. We can choose to let Him transform us. We can focus on the pain, or we can look for the beauty. Because through it all we are becoming more like Him, and what could be more beautiful than that?

Ephesians 5:1-2 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. and walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

John 4:17  By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgement, because as He is so also are we in this world.

There is beauty in the becoming.

I have said that sometimes  I wish I could wake up in my old life. Before all of the bad stuff. But the truth is, that life wasn’t God’s best for me. I always knew He loved me, but it was only by going through this terrible time that I came to know the depth of His love for me. He showed up for me in a big way, and I felt His presence and heard His voice in a way I’ve never known before. In that way, the absolute worst and darkest time of my life was also the sweetest. Because of the way He drew me in. Because of the people He surrounded me with and the love He poured out on me through them. And in the way He gave Jeff a new heart, and set him free.

Ezekiel 36:26 I will take away your stubborn heart and give you a new heart and a desire to be faithful. You will have only pure thoughts.

There is beauty in His redemption.

I can see that God allowed us to go through it, and although it pained Him to let it unfold, He knew that we would be blessed because of it. Blessed with a deeper relationship with Him and a truer relationship with each other. So while I can’t say I am thankful for all the terrible things that happened, I can say I am thankful for how God used it to change our lives for the better. While I still have painful moments when I am reminded of the events of the past, and there are days when my heart still feels broken; I know that for every moment of pain, for everything that was taken from me, He will replace it with a double portion. Not only will I have what was stolen, but it will be replaced with something better. Something I never could have imagined. I know because of His indescribable love for me, every ounce of my pain will be replaced by a double portion of joy.

The more I look for God’s goodness, the more I find it. Maybe you are at a place in your own journey where you feel like you can’t see it yet. But it’s there if you will just look for it. Maybe you will see it first in the smallest things. The smallest acts of kindness or the smallest  blessing. Anything that makes your day just a little easier. When you do that, you begin to find His goodness everywhere, and in everything. And the more we focus on His goodness, the less apparent the pain becomes. In those moments that we begin to feel the heaviness of our pain, we can instead feel overwhelmed by His goodness. If we keep focusing on the goodness, one day we will find that the goodness outweighs the pain. Because that is how good He is.

So, that is how we survive it. We look beyond the pain, beyond the sadness, beyond the torment. We look to the light in the darkness, we search for the goodness, and we find the beauty in the becoming.

 

Amy Thurston Gordy

“Not my story”

I am overwhelmed at the response and the support you all have shown for this site. Absolutely blown away at the number of people it has already reached. For all those that have given me encouraging messages and comments about how the words I have written spoke to your heart, I have no words that could express how much that means and what a blessing it is to me.

This blog is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I love words. I love writing. I never followed through with it before because I was afraid. Because I worried. What if it’s not good enough? What if no one reads it? What if I run out of things to say? And maybe, if I’m being painfully honest, How can I write and not reveal too much of myself?

I have always been a fairly private person. One that tended not to share my real full self with many. Introverted with just enough extrovert qualities to put myself out there without ever really putting myself out there. Enough to be social and have fun but always holding a little back. Flying just under the radar. Only my family and a few select and carefully chosen friends got to really know me. I was always a bit guarded, afraid to be transparent. It’s a way of protecting yourself I guess. But at the same time you are putting limitations on yourself and your life that you can’t even see.

I’m not that person anymore. I’ve learned that in order to fully reach your God given potential, you have to allow yourself to be vulnerable. From going through something so painful and heartbreaking, I’ve learned that I don’t need to protect myself. God’s got me. He is all the protection I need. If you want people to see God in you, you’ve got to be willing to put yourself out there; flaws, insecurities, heartbreaks and all. I have realized that by withholding ourselves, we are withholding Him. By hiding parts of ourselves away, we are actually hiding Him, and He is not meant to be hidden.

So, this is me. The open book, guard down, authentic Amy. Yikes. 😉                I have to admit, pressing that publish button on that first post was slightly terrifying. And this one, well this one is feeling a bit like that dream you have where you show up to class and realize you are in your underwear, or you are standing at the door of an airplane 30,000 feet above the ground and you have to jump. But it is also liberating, and I felt a true sense of peace that this is what I’m supposed to do, and it’s time to jump.

Coming up with a name for my blog was a bit of a challenge. But this phrase from something I had written in my journal kept jumping out at me. So, why “Not my story”?  Well, it actually has a double meaning.

The first being that when I learned of my husband’s affair, and in the devastating months that followed, I would have to tell my story over and over again. Each time I would tell it, it was somewhat of an out of body experience, in the sense that it was just all so surreal to me. It was as if I could hear myself saying the words, but my mind would be thinking, “Oh, that’s awful. Who is she talking about?” It was as if I was listening to someone else talking about some other person. Because this was not my story. This couldn’t be my story. How could this possibly be MY story???

This isn’t supposed to happen to me. I’m not supposed to be that heartbroken woman crying in the corner after church. No, the Amy I know is happy, and has a sweet little family. That can’t be me. We aren’t supposed to be the subject of gossip and whispers. We were supposed to be the adorable 90 year old’s that have been together since they were teenagers, at a party celebrating our 70 some odd year wedding anniversary, where Jeff would give a toast to  me having been his one and only for all those years. And people would be saying how precious we were, and what a testament to true love.

And as I’m having those thoughts, I hear the voice telling the story, MY voice, and I hear it catch as a sob escapes and it pulls me back to reality. Sheer panic washes over me, because yes, it is my story. MINE. And I did not want it.

The second reason I chose this name, is that when it comes down to it, the real story is God’s goodness. Through the best of times and through the most awful of circumstances, His goodness is always, always there. So when I share my story, or post my thoughts, or have any interaction with you; whether in person or on this blog or social media, the story I really want you to see is His. The story of His goodness, His mercy, and his unfailing love for us. So, in that sense it really is “not my story”.

For those of you that didn’t yet know what my struggle was about before having read this post, you should know that our’s is a story of redemption. It’s a story of forgiveness. I don’t say that it’s a story of restoration, because God did not restore us to what we had before. What we have now is all new, and in so many ways, so much more. Through this awful thing, God is transforming the both of us. Jeff is becoming the man God always intended him to be, but never knew how. And I am becoming the woman God intended me to be, but was never brave or bold enough. This path is not without difficulty, but we are intent to look past the pain and focus on the positive things that have come from these negative circumstances. We move forward now with our eyes opened, our hearts thankful, and with full expectancy of the goodness to come.

Thank you all for being a part of this journey with us, and for making this blog a welcoming place for my thoughts to land.

Amy Thurston Gordy

Dear 2015

Dear 2015,

Well, it’s finally here. I tossed and turned last night, unable to sleep with thoughts of all of the events you brought swirling through my mind, bringing with them a portion of anxiety and also a portion of relief that you are finally coming to an end.

In the oh so eloquent words of Miley Cyrus, you came in like a wrecking ball. From day one you came out swinging for me. You came after my finances, my health, my marriage, my security, my sanity. You started out as a strong wind, breezing in from out of nowhere day after day and randomly knocking things down. Except it didn’t seem random. It was strangely methodical. I sensed the darkness and knew that the things that were happening were not random. I knew that something was terribly off, but I just couldn’t quite put my finger on what or why. Until one day those winds kicked up and I’m suddenly and unexpectedly swept up in the eye of this tornado you had become. Suspended there, watching my world spin out of control all around me. Suddenly unable to find my bearings or tell which way was up or down. Just watching the destruction in disbelief and stunned horror as my world twisted into something I no longer recognized.

You brought me chaos, sadness, pain, anger, anxiety and torment. But I have news for you. I’m not going out like that.

My brother posted a video this week. It was of a single small tree, in the rushing flood waters of High Falls. Storm waters raging all around it, the tree is whipping around in every direction. Yet, it hangs on. Still standing though the world is in chaos around it, and its branches are bending and heavy with the force of the storm swirling around it.

In my mind I picture there are stones in the ground surrounding that little tree. I imagine its roots, weaved around those rocks, anchoring the tree in the ground so that no matter what comes, it is able to weather the storm. And when those flood waters clear, it stands firm. Resilient and strong.

Adam’s quote on that video was simply, “Be the tree.”  The fact that the video was taken at High Falls is no small detail, and is not lost on me. Those of you that know the details of my story know that it’s on the list of places that trigger painful thoughts and anxiety for me. But I saw that video and I knew it was for me. I AM the tree.

2015 brought a storm of destruction that threatened everything I knew to be true about my life. But like that tree, my roots are wrapped around the Rock. And all of those stones that hold me in place, those stones are all of you. My unwavering, amazing and beautiful support system. Rooted in Christ, and surrounded by all the people He has placed in my life. And now that the storm has passed and the world becomes a little more peaceful and the flood waters recede, I will stand just as that tree does. My branches stronger from facing the resistance of adversity. All that water meant for my destruction, instead being used to create new growth, and causing my branches to bloom into something beautiful.

So goodbye 2015. You meant to destroy me, to steal my joy. You gave it your best shot. But you. do. not. win.

I’m looking forward to sunshine and happiness in 2016. May it bring us all a year filled with countless blessings and most of all, an abundance of joy.

Happy New Year, and thank you, thank you, thank you all for being the stones that held me.

Amy Thurston Gordy