The sum of Joy

At the first church service of the year, our pastor passed out little slips of paper. He asked us to write down one word for the new year. One word that represented what we were asking God for. One word that represented what we wanted to have or learn or do or become in the new year.
At that point in time, we were in a very, very early stage of trying to put our broken marriage, and our broken selves, back together.

Jeff had only been back home a matter of weeks, and there were still more hard days than good days at that point.
As I sat and thought about what my word would be, there were just so many. The last year had brought me such terrible, awful words.

Pain.

Heartache.

Anxiety.

Sadness.

Insecurity.

Confusion.

Doubt.

Fear.

Anger.

Hate.
It was so hard to narrow down what I wanted this new year to be. I wanted it to be the exact opposite of all those awful words that 2015 had brought me.
I wanted happiness.

A mended heart.

Peace.

Clarity.

Security.

Stability.

Love.
But the one thing, the one thing I wanted most, was,

Joy.
I just wanted to feel joy.

I craved it with every ounce of my being. The sadness was just so overwhelmingly heavy and I just desperately wanted to feel the lightness that joy brings.
So that was the word I wrote down that day.

Now we have reached the middle of 2016, and our pastor revisited that sermon today.
On the curtain behind the pulpit at our church, hang large letters that spell the word “[be]ing.”

It represents Acts 17:28,

“In Him we live and move and have our being.”

It is a reminder that we aren’t just of Him, we are in Him and He in us and so we aren’t here to just talk about His mercy, His grace, and His love, but we are here to BE those things.
So today, instead of writing our words on a slip of paper, they took those big letters off the wall. And we all wrote our words on those letters.

It could be the same word you wrote at the beginning of the year, or you could choose to write a new one.

I kept hearing two words go through my mind.
The first word was:

Goodness

From the first days after I discovered the affair, when I was so entrenched in the pain of all that had happened, God kept telling me He had goodness for me. That no matter what happened, there was goodness waiting for me on the other side of this.
Throughout this past year, I’ve held tight to that. And not just as a promise for the future, but as something to get me through each and every day.

When things got bad, I’d remind myself to look for the goodness. And that’s what would pull me through. Sometimes it was little things, sometimes it was big things, but there was always goodness there, even in the darkest days. You just have to look for it. You have to acknowledge it, you have to be thankful for it, and then keep your focus on it.

It’s not always easy, and there were some days that have been harder than others for me to carry out this principle for sure. But if you focus on everything that’s going wrong, and everything that’s bad, you just end up with more bad. On the flip side of that, if you look for the goodness, the goodness grows.

Even when our lives aren’t going the way we wanted or expected, God is still so very good. He has so much goodness for us. We just have to choose to see it.
I see it everywhere, and I’m so very thankful. His goodness overwhelms me. And once we see His goodness, we can then turn around and BE His goodness for someone else. And so it grows, and it grows. His goodness knows no end.

Which brings me to my second word:

Expectation

Hope is a wonderful thing. It gets us through many heartaches and trials.
But I have found that I don’t just have to hope that everything will work out for my good.

I can fully expect it.

Because of God’s goodness.

Because He promises in His word that He will work ALL things for my good.

That He will take even what was meant for my harm and turn it around.

And that not only will He turn it around, but He won’t waste one single bit of it. He will bring His goodness and light into my situation and use it for His glory. He will put my broken pieces back together and then use that brokenness to bring hope and goodness to others.
I don’t have to just hope for the best.

I can come before God with expectation of the best.

Because that is what He promises. I can trust that He always has my best interest in mind and that He always has more goodness in store for me.

Psalm 31:19

“How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.”

So then, what about my original word, Joy?
I can sum it up this way:
Goodness+Expectation       multiplied by Gratitude=

JOY
That’s where we can find our joy. When we look for the goodness. When we trust in God’s promises and fully expect that He is who He says He is and will do what He has promised, and when our hearts overflow with gratitude for His goodness and grace and His infinite love for us.
That’s when He turns all those bad words the last year brought me around.
That’s where I’ll find my happiness.

My mended heart.

Peace.

Clarity.

Security.

Stability.

Love.

That’s where I’ll find my joy.

It’s where you can find yours too.❤️

 

Amy Thurston Gordy

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Handing out Hope

Overall I’ve been feeling pretty good lately. Feeling hopeful. Expectant of good things. 

The past few weeks have gone pretty well. A few small triggers maybe, but not really any major ones. Going more than a week or two without any substantial triggers is a pretty big deal. The closest I came to it was when someone sent me pics of their day, not knowing that the location where they had taken those pics was one of “THE” places. And I will admit it bothered me. It triggered the bad thoughts. That heaviness dropped in on me the way it does. Like a lead blanket thrown over you in a dark murky lake, slowly pushing you under water and taking your breath from you. But I got control of it pretty quickly. The lead blanket was a little more like a thick cotton quilt this time. Still heavy, but slightly easier to push off. I’m not sure if the lead blanket is getting lighter, or if I’m just getting stronger. In any case, the effects were a little less than before. That’s progress. Slow moving… possibly…probably. 

But I’ll take it. 

Things were going well. We had a nice weekend at the lake with family. I even got myself a fishing license. Anyone who truly knows me recognizes the humor in that statement. Not a single one of ya ever thought you’d see the day that Amy Gordy wanted to go fishing. Or see me wearing a cap. I mean, I don’t even recognize myself. 
  
And lo and behold, I actually caught some fish. 

Teeny, tiny fish. 

Like really, really tiny. 

I mean, so very small, basically we could almost call it a goldfish.

But hey, a fish is a fish so it counts, right?  😉

We took our daughter and a friend to a Braves game. We ate hot dogs, fries, popcorn and Dippin Dots ice cream and even made an appearance on the Jumbotron not just once, but twice. I mean, lots of people end up on the Jumbotron at some point, but twice??!! That’s basically unheard of. I mean, obviously the cameras just love us, right?

( this is where y’all roll your eyes at each other and then turn to me and smile and agree that obviously, indeed the cameras do love us.)

Ha. I kid. I actually don’t go to a lot of games so I really don’t know if that’s true. It may not be uncommon at all. What do I know? But it’s more fun to think that it is so I’m going with it. 

We are Braves Jumbotron famous. Yep. I’m going with that. It’s kind of like being YouTube famous, except for the fact that it’s nothing like that at all. 😂

  
And somewhere in between all that goodness over the last few weeks, we had two big blow ups. I’m talking airplane taking a nose dive, car going over a cliff, train derailment type of arguments. 

It happens with a comment taken out of context, or maybe it starts out with just a conversation. Nothing really serious. Just a couple of questions. A couple of answers. And we are ok. 

But then the tone changes. The response changes. And suddenly we are no longer having a conversation. It’s a fight. A full fledged fight. 

The kind that seem to come out of nowhere and you’re not really sure what exactly caused this train to derail and send you careening off track. The kind that suddenly makes you wonder if you can really do this. The kind that suddenly makes you wonder if your marriage really can survive this. The kind that suddenly makes you wonder if he will continue to be able to handle dealing with your healing process and not eventually want to walk away. The kind that makes you question everything and stirs up your deepest fears. 

And the million dollar question, the one that drives all that fear the most: “Am I just going to end up hurt again? Will we have gone through all of this for nothing except more heartache and disappointment?” 

Responding to each other from a place of stress or frustration or fear instead of a place of empathy and love is what brings about these kind of arguments, and suddenly we find ourselves thrown into this place filled with doubt and fear. 
A WHOLE lot of fear.  

 And so I look at Jeff and I say, “WHAT is even happening right now? We were doing so well. Why are we suddenly doubting everything? How did we get back here?”

And with that, something clicks and we can both see that the conversation wasn’t heading anywhere good with this current trajectory. 
And so we calm down. We talk it through. We acknowledge that although we have progressed a lot in our healing, we definitely still have a good way to go. This isn’t an overnight thing. Trust takes a long time to restore. Scars take a long time to fade. 

Sometimes it’s hard to be patient.

Sometimes we forget how to communicate properly. Or sometimes, as I think happened with us this time, we are simply just tired, a little overworked, not getting enough sleep, maybe a little stressed out, and when you are feeling the effects of that, it’s easy to respond in a not so thoughtful fashion. You don’t process your thoughts correctly when you’re tired. Your sensitivity is heightened. Your perceptions are skewed. 

After clearing our heads, we were able to see where the breakdowns happened, and acknowledge them and apologize for both of our parts in that. And just like that, the fight is over, peace is restored, and we are back on track. 

We’re getting better at this. 

Then, yesterday morning, something strange happened. Well, I guess it’s not really so strange. God seems to speak to me this way a lot over the past year. 
I recently became part of a launch team, to help promote Cindy Beall’s new book. Within that group, we post messages to each other, and Cindy posts something each day for us to pray specifically about. Cindy’s message to us that day was about praying for each other as we promote this book and it’s message. The enemy doesn’t like seeing marriages restored. He doesn’t like seeing our messages of hope and healing spread to others. He would want to attack our marriages to try and kill our hope. To try and stop us from helping others find healing and restoration. So she encouraged us to pray protection over each other and our marriages. 

Our recent arguments immediately came to my mind. The ones that seemingly came out of nowhere. And then I realized that they didn’t come out of nowhere. 
Doubt and fear are not of God. 

Nope. Those things are the darts of the enemy. 

Ephesians 6:12 says:

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

And in that moment I understood that during those fights that we had, we weren’t truly fighting with each other. We were in a fight with a common enemy. One that seeks to steal, kill and destroy. One that wants to rob us of our joy. 
After reading that message, I got in the car to run an errand. And a verse popped into my head. 
The one that says ” No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”

And I immediately smiled, thinking how God always brings to mind exactly what I need in these moments. Out of the blue. And I couldn’t even remember where in the Bible this verse was. 

I started the car, and turned my radio to the Christian music station. During commercial breaks, this station sometimes plays short 1-2 minute uplifting messages from a local pastor. One of these came on at this exact moment, and the first words he said were: 

“Romans 8:37 says : No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”

Yep. The exact same verse that had popped into my mind just moments before. And now I know what book it’s from too. Thanks for that Pastor Benny. 👍🏻
I love when God gives us a word, and then follows it up with such a precise confirmation. 
God’s message to me was crystal clear today:
We’ve got this. 
Overwhelming victory is ours. 

All of that doubt and all of that fear, all of that IS A LIE. 

He has equipped us with everything we need. 

We’ve got this. 

Because we’ve got Him. 

So attention all doubt and fear, you don’t win this round. 

Hope is alive and well. And I intend to keep spreading it around. I’ll be like Oprah, but with hope instead of cars. “You get some hope, and you get some hope, and you get some hope. Everyyyyybody gets some hope!!!” 

😄😄😄

Amy Thurston Gordy 

The Bigger Picture

I’m beginning to see it, the bigger picture. The bigger picture, in the every day, in the little moments, it’s something we cannot see.

In the moments of pain, of sorrow, of grief. In the moments of disappointment, we just can’t see it. We can’t understand why. We can’t possibly understand what purpose this incredible pain could have. And as I did, so often we find ourselves asking those seemingly unanswerable questions. The ones I’ve written about so much in my blogs. The ones I’ve found myself searching, desperate for the answers to. 

The questions of why. 

Why did this happen to me? 

And so often we find ourselves not only feeling heartbroken that God didn’t stop it, but angry. Angry that he allowed this thing we didn’t feel we deserved to happen to us. Angry that he didn’t use His almighty power to save us from this misery. And questioning why He didn’t love us enough to spare us this heartache. 
His answer to that question is that He couldn’t possibly love us more. His love for us is infinite and pure. But just because He loves us doesn’t mean He will always step in. 

Could he? Yes. He most definitely could. 

But does He always choose to? No. 

And we want to understand why. 
I’ve asked all of those questions. And for a long time I’ve believed that they don’t have an answer. But over the past few weeks I’ve come to realize that they do. 

The answer is the bigger picture. The one we can’t see. 

But He sees it. 
Jeremiah 29:11 says that He knows the plans He has for me, and that they are for good. 
The reason why He allowed life as I know it to be destroyed, the reason He allowed my heart to be shattered, is because He could see the bigger picture. He could see that the pain of that tearing down would allow something better to be built up in its place. He could see that by the testimony of our story, countless others would find hope and healing, and that they would see Him. 
Someone told me many years ago that God told them to tell me to read the story of Joseph. That I should read it because God saw me as he saw him, and our lives were very similar. I was intrigued, because what I remembered of Joseph didn’t stand out as anything I saw mirrored in my life at the time. 
So I read about Joseph. I read of how he was highly favored. I read of how he was mistreated, and how he was betrayed by the very people that were supposed to love him the most. The people he should have been able to trust. And I read of his forgiveness for those people. And how God took everything that was meant for his harm to bring blessings to his life. To put him in places he never dreamed he would be. To put him in a position to help others. 

I read all of that and… 

I. did. not. understand. 

I thought surely this person was mistaken. 

I was NOT AT ALL like Joseph. 

No one I loved had hurt me. I couldn’t imagine that anyone I loved would ever betray me the way he was betrayed. No one would toss me in a pit and then make me a slave, throwing away my very sense of self, everything that made me who I am. That kind of thing doesn’t happen to me. There must be some mistake, I thought. That message wasn’t for me. 

And so for all these years, I’d had that tucked away. Certain it had nothing to do with me. 
The story of Joseph has come back up in my mind on several occasions lately. Most recently in Cindy Beall’s new book. 

(Y’all should get that, by the way. “Rebuilding a marriage better than new”. You can order it on Amazon😄)

I know it was not by mistake that she included this story, I know that it was confirmation of what God has been speaking to me over the past few weeks. She wrote about the story of Joseph and how loved he was by God. She wrote about how God did not intervene and allowed all of the terrible things to happen to him. And she wrote about how God redeemed Joseph’s story. How He freed him from slavery and put him in a position of influence that he never would have imagined. How everything bad that happened was used for the good of Joseph, his family, and so many others. She wrote about how if Joseph had not gone through all those painful things, he would never have ended up in the position that he did, where he was able to bring so much goodness to so many. 
And now I see it. That story, Joseph’s story, it was not a mistake. It WAS meant for me. 
Jeff betrayed me. And I found myself in a virtual pit. A pit filled with despair, sadness, anger, self doubt, and fear. 

What he did made me a slave. A slave to anxiety, fear, depression, post traumatic triggers, sadness, insecurity, uncertainty and doubt. 

And it all seemed so wrong. So incredibly unfair. 
But just as God allowed these things to happen to Joseph, he allowed bad things to happen to me. Not because He didn’t love me. Not because He didn’t want to spare me the heartache. His heart ached too. And just as He was with Joseph, He never left me. He saw me through that heartache. He cried with me in that pit. And just as He did with Joseph, he’s used this awful experience to bring goodness to my life. To bring goodness to my marriage. And He is using my story to help others. So that others can see His goodness and His faithfulness and His love. So that others can see how He makes all things new. 
Joseph had a choice. He could choose to let his situation take the very best of him. He could choose to be defeated. He could choose to drown in the misery of the sea of “why me’s?”. 

Or he could choose to trust that there was a bigger picture. He could choose to trust that he would see the goodness of God. That the goodness of God would find him, even there, in that pit of despair. 

Joseph chose to believe God had his best interest in mind, he chose to believe in the bigger picture. 

I’m choosing to believe there is a bigger picture for me too. 
There is a purpose in my pain. God will not waste a single one of my tears. He is redeeming my story, and He will redeem yours too. Yours may look different than mine, but in His way, in the way He knows will be the best for you and the good of others, you can count on the fact that it will be redeemed. 
We may not understand it, and we may not see it yet, but He sees it. 

The bigger picture. 

And it’s so much bigger than our minds can even fathom. 
His love for us is endless. His mercy and grace for us is matchless. 
We can’t be assured that we aren’t going to have pain and heartache in our lives. But we can be sure that He knows the bigger picture. He knows the plans He has for us. And they are always, always good. 

We can trust Him. 

This revelation has brought me so much peace. I hope it brings you some peace too. ❤️
Amy Thurston Gordy

The Ledge

We were in a room. A large room with nice furnishings. Shiny floors. Big windows. We were going somewhere, I don’t know where. Someone comes and tells us it’s time to go, and to follow her, she knows a quicker way. She opens one of the big windows, and steps outside. We follow. 

I suddenly realize we are in a high rise building. Not just any high rise building, but one so tall that as I look out, I can’t even see the ground. Just clouds. 

We are now standing on a ledge. The ledge is several feet wide, plenty wide enough to stay away from the edge. Yet suddenly I feel a wave of panic wash over me. 

She continues to walk across the ledge, around one L shaped inside corner and then disappears out of my view as she turns the second corner to the other side of the building. I’m still standing there, frozen. Afraid to move. I don’t want to move. I don’t want to be here. 

We are on a ledge. 

Why did we come out on this ledge? Why would anyone think it was a good idea to come out here? What were we thinking? 

We should not be here. 

There are no rails. No boundaries. Nothing at all to keep us from falling. The only thing between the two of us and falling into nothingness and certain death is a few feet of an open ledge. What are we doing out here? Why didn’t we just take the hallway, the elevator, the stairs? 

Anything but this.

I tell Jeff we need to go back. We shouldn’t be here. It’s not safe. 

I have the worst feeling that something is going to go terribly wrong. 

He smiles. 

He says “Amy, you’re fine. We’re fine. There’s plenty of room out here. Just go. It’s going to be fine.”

I say, “No. I’m not going that way. I want to go back in. It’s windy. It’s not safe out here. What were we thinking? Why would we come out here? Let’s go back inside.” 

Jeff says, “Calm down, you’re being silly. It’s not that far and there’s plenty of room. Here, I’ll come around you and show you that it’s not a big deal.”

“No!” I say. “Don’t do that! You’re too close to the edge! What if you fall?!! ”

He smiles again. 

Lets out a little laugh. 

He says, “Stop worrying. I’m good. I’m not going to fall. I’ll be fine. I know how close to the edge I can get without falling. I’ve got this.”

He begins to maneuver around me. I plead with him to just go back inside. He is insistent though. Sure of himself. A little too sure. A little too confident in his belief in his inability to fall, sure that it would never happen to him. So confident that he can get close to the edge without falling that he almost ignores the edge, as if it isn’t even there. As if it has no effect on him. As if he isn’t just mere inches from certain death. He really believes he’s got this, and he is intent on proving it.

He goes around me. 

I protest.

“Stop! You’re getting too close to the edge!”

He smiles as he starts to take the first corner, leaning just a little farther out over the edge and says, “It’s not a big deal, see? There’s even these little notches here on the wall you can grab on to.” 

He reaches for one, and right about then he lurches, a little off balance.

I scream. “You almost fell! Stop getting so close to edge. It’s too risky.”

He regains his balance, grins at me and says, “See, I told you I’ve got this.”

But a burst of wind comes, and he loses his balance again. I see him wobbling. About to fall over the edge. At the last second he looks back at me. Just for a split second, but it was as if I was watching in slow motion.

No time for words, just a look. 

A look of disbelief on his face. 

A look that said “Oh no. Crap. I didn’t have this. That was so dumb of me to risk everything like that. I really thought I had it all under control. I thought I knew where the danger zone started. Crap. Oh crap. I screwed up. I really misjudged that. I got cocky. I was wrong. And look what I’ve done. It wasn’t safe. I’m so sorry.” 

The look on his face, it was as if it somehow said all of those things in that split second. 
And then, he fell. 
And suddenly he’s gone, and I see nothing. 

Only clouds. 

I’m screaming. I’m screaming his name. 

Then it comes over me. 

The realization of the fact of what just happened. 

And there’s no going back. 

No more second chances. 

No control.

Again. 

I couldn’t stop this terrible thing from happening. 

And so I stopped screaming his name. 

It was over. 
And then there was silence. 

So much silence. 

No sound, except the sound of my pounding heart and my thoughts: 

That’s it.

There’s no coming back from that. 

You can’t survive that. 

No one could survive that.

He’s gone. 

Gone. 

What do I do now? 

I’m confused. 

I don’t understand.

Is this really how our story ends? What was the purpose of it all if this is how it ends?

This is it? 

Oh my God. 

God? I’m standing on a ledge. Alone. With no idea of what to do next. 
And then I woke up. 
I tell Jeff I didn’t sleep well. He says he woke up in the middle of the night because I was calling out his name. 
I rarely remember my dreams. So on the rare occasion that I do, I tend to pay attention. 

While I believe sometimes a dream is just a dream, all throughout the Bible, God used dreams to send messages. 

Sometimes He used them for revelation, and other times, He used them for warning. 

I believe He still does. 
A week before I found out about Jeff’s affair, a friend of Jeff’s told him he had a dream about him. Jeff was driving a car, and going too fast. And there was a dangerous sharp curve coming up ahead that Jeff couldn’t see. Beyond the guard rails was a cliff, and he was headed for it. His friend told him that he had never had anything like this happen before, but that he felt like God wanted him to tell him about his dream, and warn him that a dangerous curve was up ahead, and that how he handled that curve would determine how his life turned out. 

So I’m a firm believer in the messages God sends sometimes through our dreams. 
My dream stayed fresh in my mind all day that day. I couldn’t shake it. There are dreams in which you are conscious of the fact that it’s a dream, and then there are these kinds of dreams. The ones where you feel everything. The wind on your face. The sensations, the emotions, are so real. 
Maybe it was just a dream. Maybe it was just my mind processing everything that has already happened.

Or maybe it was just my subconscious working through my innermost fears. That Jeff would fall again. That I give him more of my life and he turns around and betrays me again. Or that we put all this work into rebuilding our marriage, and for whatever reason it just doesn’t work. Fear that I made the wrong choice. I hear that voice of fear from time to time. Telling me that I’m a fool. 

I don’t believe that. Believing in the changes he’s made, believing in the man he has become, believing in what God has done in him, in what God is doing through us, that is not a mistake and I’m no fool for believing in forgiveness, for believing in redemption. 

But I know he’s still human. And I guess somewhere deep down I still worry. I worry that I could ever have to feel that pain again. I don’t dwell on it. I push those fears back and choose to believe the best. 

So maybe that’s what my dream was about. 
But what if it wasn’t. 

What if it was a warning. 

A warning for him to always mind the boundaries. 

A warning not to take stupid risks. Not to step beyond the guard rails. Not to become so confident in his commitment to being this new person that he believes he can make good choices without the boundaries. 

That because of the things he has learned he is somehow immune to the danger now.

A warning not to get so relaxed or comfortable that he forgets. 

Not to ignore the warning signs. 

A warning not to get so confident that the boundaries seem unnecessary. 

Because without those boundaries, the edge gets blurred. You can’t always tell that you’ve crossed into the danger zone until it’s too late. 
That’s how affairs happen in the first place after all. Ask anyone that has had an affair how it happened, and more times than not their response is, “I didn’t mean for it to happen, it just kind of happened.” 

But that’s not true. Not really. 

It happened because of one of two things. Either you never put any guard rails up and you didn’t have the boundaries in place to stop you, or the guard rails had been there but you decided you didn’t need them. You took them down, confident that you could handle it without them,because you would never cross the line. You think you are safe out there. But all it takes, when you are out there on the edge, is one puff of wind. Just one small unexpected puff of wind can send you right over the edge. 
Jeff thought: “we are just friends. This is just a friendship. We aren’t doing anything wrong. Amy wouldn’t like it, us being this close. But, we aren’t doing anything and what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.”

But everyday they talked just a little more. Texted a little more, and before he knew it he was talking to her more than he was talking to me. And the flirting kicked in, or really just kicked up a notch. It had always kind of been there. But they were “just friends”, so it was harmless, right? 

And then the nude pics start coming. 

“Well”, he thought, “this is probably crossing a line. But we won’t take it any further. I know my boundaries. We’re just having a little fun.”

And then the invitation. 

And the acceptance of the invitation.
And the line is crossed. 
There’s no taking it back. 
But the line was actually crossed way before the act itself occurred. He just couldn’t see it because he had convinced himself that he didn’t need the actual boundaries, that he knew where the danger zone was. But without the boundaries, the line is blurred. He couldn’t see it for what it was. He thought he had more room. Right up until the moment he went careening over the edge. 

So we had a talk about it. 

And he said that he does feel pretty confident in his progress and how he handles himself now. That he did still know the importance of minding the boundaries and not putting himself or our relationship at risk, but that he would heed the message, and make sure he stays alert and mindful. 
So maybe it was just a reminder. A reminder to be aware, and to be intentional, and not to take anything for granted or let his guard down. 
Or maybe the warning wasn’t necessarily for him. 
Maybe it’s for one of you. 
Don’t go out on the ledge. 

Don’t put yourself in a danger zone. Be mindful of the boundaries. 

Protect yourself. Protect your relationship. It could be the difference between living a life of happiness, and falling into something you may not be able to come back from. 
Put the guard rails back up. 
Don’t let the seemingly lovely view beyond the rails distract you. Because while you are putting your focus out beyond those rails, you don’t see the drop off. You don’t see the danger. You don’t see that you could lose everything that really matters. 
Mind the boundaries….
Step away from the ledge. 
Amy Thurston Gordy