Morning is coming 

Sometimes hope comes in the form of a gift basket.
September 24th,2015. 

My alarm is going off. I hit the snooze button, silencing it for 10 more minutes. I pull the covers over my head. Trying to hide from the day ahead of me. I had just endured the worst two weeks of my life. And I was exhausted. Just so very exhausted. 

I couldn’t remember the last time I slept. Like really slept. I certainly had not slept that night. The fear, the sadness and the anxiety eating away at my heart, my mind, and my body. 

So I laid there, considering just not getting up. I could just lay here. I could just stay right here, and hide. I could ignore my phone, ignore my responsibilities, avoid facing the realities of this day and this new life I’d been unwillingly thrown into. 

The alarm goes off again. 

I can’t do it. I can’t get up. I just can’t. I don’t want to. I just want it all to disappear. 

But responsibilities. Ughhh. 

I have responsibilities. I have to get my child up and off to school. I could hide here for a bit, and maybe get away with it. But she would be up in a few hours wanting food. Wanting to know why we didn’t get up. Wanting to know why I’m hiding in my bed. Wanting to know why she wasn’t at school. And my coworkers would be calling, worried about me if I didn’t show up for work or call. And so I would eventually have to get up and face it, this day. 

But the life and death gravity this particular day held, was just so terrifying. 

It was the day that Jeff would go to the doctor. I had insisted on it. He had assured me that they had been very careful, but we all know nothing is foolproof. And even if it was highly unlikely there was anything to worry about, I had to be sure. I needed to know that I didn’t have to worry about it, and I needed to know immediately. I had enough to deal with, I didn’t want this hanging over my head too. So I insisted. I knew we should both go, but he was the one that had put us in this position, and I just couldn’t do it yet. My heart couldn’t handle the humiliation of walking into my doctors office and telling them that I needed to get a full work up because my husband had been cheating on me.  

I was so angry. So angry that he had put us in this position. Angry that this was necessary. Angry that there was even a remote possibility that I might not only have to live with the emotional scars of what he had done, but although I had not been unfaithful, I could possibly have to bear physical consequences of HIS sin. 

So he would go first. To give me peace of mind, at least concerning this particular subject, that day he would walk into his doctors office and ask for a full screening. 
I was terrified at just the thought of it. Mortified. Angry. Sad. I felt physically ill. Nauseous. I was an absolute wreck. 
But as much as I wanted to lay in that bed, there was no hiding from this day. 

So I got up. I took my shower, got dressed, and got AK to school.

Then I put on my best “I’m ok” face, and walked into my office. 

I hadn’t told anyone what was happening that morning. They knew what I’d been going through, but they had no idea what I was facing on this particular day. 

We have a short meeting every morning before we see patients. 

I came in, sat down, and noticed that everyone got quiet. 

Why was everyone so quiet? Then I realize all eyes are on me. 

What is going on?

Then Dr. B. starts talking. He says, “The last couple of weeks have been rough for you, and we just all love you and we all wanted to do something for you, so we put together some things to help you and to encourage you as you start this new path of life you are on.” 

I lift my hand to my mouth and can barely get the words out..”wait..this is for me? Oh.. what did y’all do?” 

And they hand me this beautiful, overflowing gift basket. 

Filled with all my favorite snacks, a coffee mug, a bird house, a daily devotional, gift cards for several restaurants,the nail salon, the movies, department stores and boutiques. You name it, it was stuffed in that basket. And tucked throughout the basket, inside and out, were handwritten encouraging bible verses. There was so much love tucked into that basket. 

It was completely unexpected, and the sudden rush of emotion was more than I could hold back. 

Which is to say, I completely fell apart, y’all. I’m talking heaving, gasping sobs. 

Pretty sure I scared the heck out of them. As I pulled myself back together, one by one they came around to hug my neck. To tell me they cared. To cry with me. 

There was one more thing in that basket. I’m wearing it right now.

 A bracelet, with quotes about joy on it. Something else they didn’t know was the significance of that word during that time. I didn’t know what I wanted in my life at the time. I was unsure of everything. So anytime I thought about what I wanted my life to look like, the word I always came up with was joy. No matter what happened with my marriage, I just desperately wanted to have joy in my life. I just imagined a time coming when I wouldn’t be so enveloped by pain and instead have joy. It’s what I longed for. 

They didn’t have any idea of what I was facing that day. They had no idea how hard it was to even pull myself from my bed that morning. They didn’t know how much I needed that encouragement and to be wrapped up in love that morning. And they wrapped me up so well. That basket spoke volumes. It said “We can’t take your pain away. We can’t fix this for you. But we can do this. We can cover you with our prayers and our encouragement and our love. We can do that.” 

They had no idea how much I needed that on that particular day. But God knew. 

I am so very blessed to have such beautiful, amazing, kind hearted people to work with. They are not just co-workers and friends. They are truly family. I am forever grateful for the way they loved me through that time. For the way they picked up my slack when it was all I could do to get the bare minimum of my work done. For the way they checked on me, brought me meals, and just showed me every kindness they possibly could. There is big, big love in my heart for these people. 

And now when I wear that bracelet, I’m reminded. 

I’m reminded that sorrow comes but for a night, but joy, joy comes in the morning. 

Joy is coming. If you are in the dark of night, if you are in that place of sorrow, hold tight to that. Joy is coming. 
Don’t just hope for it. Hold tight to that promise and EXPECT it. 

If you know someone struggling through some of their darkest days, and you don’t know what to do to help them, just be there. Just show up. Give them a hug. An encouraging word. A gift. A meal. A prayer. Whatever you are able to do, big or small. You never know if that blessing could turn out to be exactly what they needed in that moment. Your action could very well be God’s divine appointment to provide exactly what that person needs. 

Sometimes things work out the way we want. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes, you’re like I was in that moment and don’t even know for sure what you really want. You just know you want joy. 

But no matter which way things work out, there’s goodness on the other side of it. Even if you can’t see it yet, even if you can’t possibly imagine that it could exist for you at the end of whatever path you choose. Joy is waiting there, and if you’ll just keep looking for it, it’s going to find you. I’m living proof. It found me.

So go ahead, climb on out of that bed and face whatever scary things you have looming ahead. Yes it’s dark. Yes it’s scary. But the darkness will lift. Just keep moving forward. 

Morning is coming. 

Psalm 30:5 

Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Amy Thurston Gordy

Chasing the light

So, last week’s post was tough. It was tough for me, because that day a year ago was so entrenched in pain, and writing about it, realizing that I remember every single moment and detail of that day… It was just difficult to go back there. It was tough for some of you too. I got lots of messages from people that have been through their own awful experience with infidelity, and reading my post took them back to their own D-day. For some it was comforting, knowing that they weren’t alone in their experience. That there was someone else out there that gets it. For others, their pain is still so fresh that it was just too painful of a trigger to get through it, the emotions of my words pulling them back into their own pain. For those, I wish I had thought to post a warning at the beginning, “proceed with caution, could be a trigger”. For those of you that were affected that way, I’m so sorry if my post added to your pain, and I pray that you keep pushing through the pain and find your healing. Because I get it. I get you. And I want goodness and peace and light and love and redemption for you all. 

It was tough for my friends and family. So many of you knew how things happened that day, some of you were there for it. But I’d never really talked or written about the day in the moment by moment detail, and it was hard for you to read it, and experience my pain firsthand that way. Because you love me so much that it was heartbreaking and nearly unbearable for you to envision me walking through the pain of that day. And for that, I love you. I love, love, love you. I am so thankful to be loved so well and so deeply by so many. 

Your love and support blesses me more than I can ever put into words. 

So revisiting that day was hard.
But that day is in the past. And I am working diligently every single day to leave the pain of it there. And with each passing day, I shed a little bit more of it. I try to picture it falling off of me and seeing it there, lying on the ground as I walk away, towards the goodness and light ahead. It’s not always easy, and it’s a continual process. But I am intent on pressing onward, chasing the light.

And then there was Jeff. I think it was hardest for him. 

He had to work that day last week when I wrote that post. I meant to warn him. I meant to send him a message telling him that I had posted a new blog but not to read it until after work. And then I got busy and distracted and totally forgot to send that message. Oops.😥

And then I got this. 

Bless him. 

He hates him. The guy that put me through that awful day. And it breaks his heart that he is him. 

Correction: he WAS him. Because he isn’t that “him” anymore. 

So yes, that post was especially hard for him, remembering the person he was and the hurtful choices he made.

Before he finished reading it, he asked me why I wanted to put myself through writing that, and revisiting that day. 

My first answer: 


Writing is therapy to my soul. 

To heal from the pain, you have to go through the pain. You can’t go around it, over it, or under it. The only way out of it is directly through it. In writing it, I am able to accept the pain. To acknowledge it, feel it, process it, and most importantly… purge it. 

It’s one of the biggest ways that I heal. 

Secondly, it’s a testimony. 

A testimony that with God all things truly are possible. A testimony that no matter your circumstances, no matter how bad your situation, no matter the outcomes, if you choose to look for the goodness, the goodness always wins. ALWAYS. 

And that is important. People need to know it. They need to know it and believe it and hold tight to it and never let it go. 

Because HOPE. 


Because LOVE. 

Because the world needs these things, and I want to have a part in giving it to them. 

I had been worried about the anniversary of that day. Worried that it would just be too hard. Worried about him being at work and me being left alone to endure the memories that would undoubtedly haunt me that day. And honestly, the anticipation leading up to the anniversary of that day was much worse than the actual day itself. 
Because I finally realized something very important. 

It’s just a date on a calendar. 

It only holds the power that I give to it. 
It’s in the past. We don’t live there anymore. 
And I could choose to let it be a hard day full of painful memories, and I could allow those memories to overcome me and focus on that, or I could acknowledge that it was a bad day in my past, acknowledge that it was painful, but then choose to leave that pain there and celebrate the goodness of THIS present day.
And that is what I did. 

We started the weekend off with a fun sushi/hibachi dinner double date with my oldest and her boyfriend. 

Then on Saturday, the actual anniversary, Jeff had to work, and I spent the day with my sisters, daughter and Mom by the pool. 

That night, after he left work, Jeff and I had a nice dinner date alone. Complete with this piece of celebratory pie to commemorate our “birthday”. 

And then on Sunday evening, we popped open a bottle of sparkling wine, and snuggled up on the sofa to watch our favorite Disney World vlogs. (Hi Adam and Gary! If you somehow find this blog, just know that you are both light and love and joy and fun and I’m obsessed with your vlog. You two are my favorites. 😍😂) 

If any of you weren’t aware, we are Disney fanatics around here. °o°

It was a great weekend. We filled it with goodness and love and food and fun and joy. 

But mostly, we filled it with gratitude. Gratitude for where we are now, instead of sorrow for where we once were. 

So what’s ahead for us? I don’t know. But I know it’s good. Because God’s promise says His plans are good. So I’m gonna rest in that. And His promise isn’t just for me. It’s for all of you, so you can rest in that too. 
There was pain in my yesterdays. But there was also goodness that came from that pain and there is goodness in today and there is goodness in tomorrow. 
So choose goodness. 

It’s always there but you have to consciously choose it. 

Focus on the goodness and the goodness grows. 

Here’s a little goodness for you. For all of you that loved me so much you had a hard time reading my post last week.

It’s us, at 10:30 at night, with a box of Kroger sushi, in a convertible waiting outside of a football game for our daughter. 

An impromptu late night date.

Because we intend to squeeze the good out of every moment of this life that we can. 

And because he’s cute. I mean come on, look at those twinkly smiling eyes. 😍
Now y’all go on out and find the good in YOUR day. There’s plenty of it to be found. ❤️
Amy Thurston Gordy

It was a Thursday

During those few weeks leading up to this particular Thursday, things had been strained between us, because of the discovery of flirtatious Facebook messages between Jeff and a younger co-worker and then finding all the phone records documenting Jeff’s admitted “emotional affair” with another co-worker. 
During those few weeks after that had been discovered, he went off on a church men’s retreat and then he took me to see the War Room movie. I told him I was done. I was done settling for less than what I deserved. That I wanted to save our marriage too, but it was going to require big changes. No more porn. No more close friendships or messages with other women. No more “harmless” flirting. And a stronger commitment and effort to make our marriage work. 

He took me on special dates and doted on me, basically, promising to be different and to focus on making our marriage work. And I think he wanted to mean it. He said he knew he had been wrong, and that he knew he had taken me for granted and that he had not been as committed to our marriage as he should have been. He said he wanted to be a better husband and for us to have a better relationship. 

And I think the intent was there. I don’t think he was completely faking all that. I think there was a big part of him that really wanted all of those things, but he had not fully broken free. 

During those few weeks he was being sweeter and more attentive, but he was also always nervous and anxiety ridden. I constantly questioned him. Looking for signs that he was withholding things, not telling me the truth about his betrayals. I knew in my heart there was more. I felt it in my bones that he wasn’t telling me the whole truth. That there was more to their relationship than just an inappropriately close friendship. But he was very convincing when he said he wanted to commit to our marriage and start fresh. He swore to me. He swore to God. It was just a friendship that had gotten too close. But he had not crossed the line. There had been no physical contact. There were no real emotional ties. And the Facebook girl, that was just nothing. He had just been flattered by it, and let it go too far. He was terrified to tell me the truth. He thought it was bad enough in my eyes that he was having an emotional affair, and believed that if I knew the whole truth, He would lose me forever. He saw how hurt I was and told himself he was being kind by sparing me from knowing the whole truth. 

We had been married for 23 years. I needed to believe he was telling the truth. I wanted to believe we could really have a better marriage and that he would finally be 100% committed to having a good relationship and making it a priority. I wanted to believe that getting so close to screwing things up had finally been a wake up call for him. I wanted to believe he had not actually crossed the line. 
So here we were on a Thursday evening. I had just come home from work. We always went out to eat on Thursdays. It was sort of a family tradition I guess.
I noticed immediately upon seeing him that something wasn’t quite right. He was acting strange, distant. There was something so off about his demeanor and I felt it instantly. My spirit knew something was so very wrong. 

He said he wasn’t going to dinner, that he was going to his cousin’s house to watch a football game. It wasn’t like him to bail on family dinner night at the last minute. I asked him what was wrong, that I was getting a weird vibe and something didn’t feel right. He said he was fine, that he had just told them he would come hang out with them and that he felt bad not going.

When he went to get in the shower, something told me to look at his phone. So I did, and saw that he had been in a game app. When I opened the game app, it was on the message page, and what I read there, changed everything. 

There were messages sent earlier that day. To her. 
He was still talking to her. He had sworn there was no more contact. 

One of them said, “I’m here at the park, in our special spot, thinking about you.” 
Another message asked her if he really meant anything to her or if he was just one of her many boyfriends.(she had had other affairs). 

I read them all again. I read the words over and over. 
“I’m at the park”

“Our special spot”

“Thinking of you”

“special to you” 

“Just one of your boyfriends”

OUR SPECIAL SPOT.           THINKING OF YOU.          BOYFRIEND.                 BOYFRIEND???                               OUR SPECIAL SPOT!?? 
The words jumped off of that screen like daggers to my soul. 
I think I died a little that day. 
I know I did. 

It was confirmation of everything I had suspected in my heart , but oh my goodness how I wanted to believe it wasn’t so. I know God had been preparing me for the possibility of it, deep down I already knew it, but I don’t think you can ever really be prepared for the reality. 

I’m not sure how to describe what that felt like. 

The all at once knowing.
It’s as if a speeding train has suddenly appeared out of nowhere and hits you full force. All at once excruciating, searing, unbearable pain that reaches every tiny crevice of your being but at the same time a numbness, a complete nothingness. 
It’s as if your body splits into two and somehow you feel everything and nothing all at once. 
The images in your head. Repulsive awful images. The monsoon of questions. So many questions. You start to question every moment of the past , wait, how long? You don’t even know how long so basically every memory is suddenly on a side by side screen, one the image of the life you thought you had, and the moment you thought you experienced, and the other screen full of the ugly awful deceit of this other life, the one you didn’t know about. Which of these is real? Your memories are now neither what you remember or the awful image on the other screen, but somehow both all at once, yet the two realities can not be reconciled and nothing, absolutely nothing makes sense. It’s as if your life ceases to exist because you don’t even know what it was. It was all an illusion. And suddenly you understand what insanity is. It is this. The inability to tell the difference between what parts are real and what parts are the illusion. 
My heart is racing. Or maybe it stopped? 
I can’t tell. 

I read it again. 
And again. 

I’m shaking. 
I can’t move. Yet I can’t stand still. 

I need to sit down. Or maybe I just need to run? 

I feel trapped. 

Like those times when you wake up but you’re not fully awake and you can’t move or talk and you are just stuck there. Immobilized and terrified. 

I can’t stop reading it. 
Maybe if I keep reading it, it will change. 

These can’t be his words. 
How are these his words?

What is happening? 
This isn’t happening. It’s not real. 
It’s not real. 

Wake up wake up wake up.
I can’t breathe. 
Read it again. 
No no no no no no.
No. God, please. 

He’s sleeping with her.                   He is sleeping with her.                     I was right all along. I didn’t want to believe it. 
How long? Oh God! How long has this been going on? 
I had searched back at least 4 months of the phone records before I had stopped looking. So it was at least that long. How far back did this start? How long have I been living a complete lie?

He met her 10 years ago. 

Has it been 4 months? 10 months? Could it even be years?

Oh my God. 
He’s having an affair. 

They are having a full blown, all out affair. 

No, not just an affair.                     Not just sex. Not just friendship.    This is a RELATIONSHIP. 

The realization is like a searing hot knife cutting through me. Dicing me painfully bit by bit into a million tiny pieces. 
What do I do?
I still can’t breathe.

He gets out of the shower. 
I’m sitting on the edge of the bed. Still staring at the phone. Willing what I’m seeing to disappear. 

He takes one look at me and he knows. 
He knows I know.

“You slept with her”
“Amy, just listen, please listen”

Oh my God. Oh my God.
“Answer the question. ANSWER THE QUESTION!!!”
Looking down, the shame keeping his voice barely above a whisper…”yes.”
“And you love her! Do you love her?”
He hangs his head again. “Please, I know it looks bad, just let me talk to you.”
No. No. No. No. 
Don’t come near me. 

“How long? How long has this been going on?

“I don’t know… Since the beginning of this year….Like 8 months. 9 months maybe…”
I need to get out of here. The walls are closing in. I’m sucked into this vortex and there’s no air in here and I CAN’T BREATHE. 
My heart and mind just couldn’t process that this was really happening. How is this real? This is not us. This can’t be us.
I think I’m in shock. 

I run out of the house. He’s yelling after me to please stop, please don’t go. I’m not sure what he’s saying really. The rushing noise I’m hearing in my ears is drowning everything else out. 
I pull out of the driveway. I’m not sure what I’m doing. What do I do? 
Melanie. My sister, Melanie lives closest. I can make it to Melanie’s house. It’s just up the street.

I pull in the driveway. 

She’s not there. 

Where is she? 

I’ll call her. She will get here.

Voicemail. I dial again. She always answers. 


Now I’m hyperventilating. 

Where are you? You’re always here. You always answer the phone. 

What do I do? I don’t know what to do. 

I suddenly realize I’m saying these things out loud. 

I think I’m losing it a little. 

I start driving again. Towards town. The tears are streaming. The sobs catching in my throat. I realize that I shouldn’t be driving. And where am I going? I should turn around. Marla’s house? No, Marla’s house is too far. And I can’t see. I can’t see where I’m going.

Mama. I need to go there. I need my Mama. It’s not far and she will be home. 
I have a key so I don’t even knock. I just walk in. 

Adam’s kids are there. Sweet babies. They are always happy to see me. They are all smiles. “Amy’s here!”

I just stand there. I can’t cry in front of the babies. I don’t want to scare them. So I’m a statue. 

She immediately says, “what’s wrong?”

All I can do is shake my head.          I can’t talk. I can’t move.              She knows. Just like that she knows. Without me having to say a word.                                          Because Mama’s have that gift. She asks the kids to go downstairs. And then I lose it.                                 I cry. She cries.                                She tells me to stay.                         Just stay here for a bit.                   But I have to go. 

Oh God I have to go back. My girls! 

My youngest was in her room when I left. She was getting ready for us to go out to dinner. I know she heard me leave. Jeff was upset when I left, Oh God I left her there. I left her there to find him falling apart. What would he tell her? How would he explain what was happening? She must be terrified. And my oldest is coming home. She’s going to walk into this. I have to get it together and go take care of my kids. 

How do I take care of my kids? 
Why did they have to be there for this? Why couldn’t they at least have been spared these moments? 
She’s texting me now. 
“Mama, daddy’s crying. Please come home. Where are you Mama?”

What does she know? What did he tell her?
My mind is spinning.                      My sweet babies.                                   I don’t know how to do this. 
I walk in. I see her face. My sweet precious girl’s face. Tear streaked and terrified. 
My oldest had just arrived and was putting her stuff in her room. She walks to her door as I meet her there and says,
“What is wrong? What happened?”

She thought someone had died. That’s what she expected me to say. 

In reality, I felt like I was dying. Minute by excruciating minute. Everything I’d ever known or believed about myself and my life was being crushed into dust. 
“I don’t know how to tell you this. It’s your dad, he’s been having an affair.”
A sudden look of confusion flashes across her face. 
This, she was not expecting. Those were not the words she thought were coming. 

“Wait, what?”

Then her confusion turns to anger, then a gentleness that shows the sweet, amazing spirit and the maturity of the young woman she had grown into. She says, “oh Mom. I’m so sorry Mama.” And she reaches up and kisses my forehead and wraps her arms around me. 

I’m supposed to be taking care of her, but instead, my beautiful sweet girl is taking care of me. 

We go into the living room and sit on the couch. She looks at him, the anger welling in her eyes. “What the hell, Dad?!!”
He just sits across the room on the other sofa, not able to look any of us in the eye, and cries. 

And I hate him. I hate him so much. He destroyed our family. I can’t stop thinking, ” How could you do this to me? To them?!!”

And we sit. We sit there for what seems like eternity. No one knows what to do. It’s as if we are trapped here in this never ending moment of pure hell. 
The silence is painful.

I thought when I saw those messages, I thought that was the moment. I thought that was the worst moment of my life. But this. This is so much worse. Seeing my girls so devastated, so confused. Knowing there is NOTHING I can do to protect them from this moment.                                                It is this moment that is the worst. 
The room is heavy. The air is literally so heavy I still haven’t figured out when I’m breathing and when I stop. 
Everything is soul crushing, heart breaking pain. 

And I can’t even think. I need to do something. We can’t just sit here. But I can’t think straight. Nothing feels right. Talking, not talking, staying, leaving. 

Nothing feels right. 

I don’t know what’s real. 

Surely this isn’t real. My kids have to live with this moment engrained in their minds forever? And I couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t protect them. It’s not fair. None of this is fair. None of this is right. Everything is just wrong.               So, so wrong. 

I suddenly realize we never ate. The thought of food makes me nauseous. I don’t care if I never eat again, but the girls, the girls should eat. That’s something Mom’s do to take care of their kids. I can do that. That’s one thing I can do. Feed the kids. I’ll do that. 
This is the only way my mind could process things in those early days. Grab one thought, focus, do this one little thing. One little thing at a time. It’s all I could handle. 
The pizza comes. They get pizza and I think they eat it. Maybe they ate it. I can’t remember. 
They go to bed. Jeff and I are alone now. I tell him I need him to get his stuff and go. He’s devastated.

 When I see him sitting there, I don’t even recognize him. This shell of a man on my sofa was not the man I knew. Or at least not the man I thought I knew. He literally doesn’t even look like my Jeff. He looks old. Weak. The heaviness of all the lies and all the deception and all of the sins of his past were like a visible shroud hanging over him. They had consumed the man that I thought I knew and made him into someone else. I don’t know this person sitting on my couch, and I’ve never been more confused. My whole life was a sham. And for how long? Nothing makes sense anymore.

It’s late. I tell him he can stay that night, For the girls sake, because they had been through enough trauma for one night. They didn’t need to have to watch him leave too. 
And I’m just so tired. I’ve never been so tired. I can’t handle any more big things. Not tonight. 

I don’t know what happens next. I don’t know how to do this. But I know I can’t look at you right now. Tomorrow, tomorrow you have to go. 

So I go to our bedroom. Alone. 
I lie there. And I look around and I realize I’m alone. Alone.                For almost 24 years he’s laid in that spot beside me. But not tonight. And not tomorrow. Not ever again. 

Our marriage is over. 

I can’t breathe. I have to keep reminding myself to breathe. 
I feel sick. 

This isn’t real. It can’t be real. 

Sleep did not find me that night, and the next morning, he tearfully packed his bags and walked out the door. 
That is the story of that day.        Just like that, our life was forever changed. And there was no way back. 

That was one year ago today. 
Thankfully, that wasn’t the end of our story. As sure as I was in that moment, it was not the end of our marriage. 
It was the beginning. 
Today I am thankful there was no way back to what we were before that day. 

I still hate that Thursday and all the pain it brought us. But the thing is, when you can’t go back, you can only go forward. 

And we did. Step by painful step we moved forward. We didn’t get our life back. We weren’t restored to what we once had. And I couldn’t be more grateful. 

That day was full of pain, the result of the decay of our marriage, the result of Jeff’s addiction, the result of a lifetime of bad choices and lack of real commitment and a result of not knowing who we really were and who God was in us. And we don’t want to go back. 

Not Ever. 

Today though, today is not just the anniversary of the worst day of our lives. 
I’ve called it D-day, because that is what people call it in infidelity victim’s circles, this club I didn’t want to be a member of. 

D-day is the common word used to label the day the truth is revealed. But I’m not going to call it that anymore. 

I’ve decided it’s kind of our birthday. 

It’s the day that everything that once was, ceased to exist, and made room for something new to come.

Birth is a painful process. But it also brings new life. Something completely new and full of possibilities. A new lease on life. A chance to begin again. An opportunity to get it right. 
So today we have reason to celebrate. We celebrate all our victories. We celebrate Jeff’s one year sobriety from his pornography addiction. We celebrate the new life we have built. We celebrate this new marriage, this new commitment we have to each other. Today we will remember the pain and the significance of the brokenness of that day, but only because it is in remembering that brokenness, that we can see how truly miraculous the new life we have now is. We endured so much darkness, but we faced it and we not only survived, but came out as better people, and with a better marriage than we’ve ever had before.
2 Corinthians 5:17                           The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

So today we will celebrate all these things. We celebrate all the goodness we have found since that terrible day, and all the goodness that lies ahead of us.
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.
Today we are thankful, for the goodness and the love and the blessings upon blessings that God has bestowed on us. And for all of you, near and far, that have walked with us through this past year. 
Today is not a day of sorrow. 
Today is a day of joy.                         🎂                                                           Today, is our first birthday. 
Amy Thurston Gordy 

Wake me up when September ends

I used to love it.
Still enough summer left to enjoy the pool, but also just a hint of fall in the air. There was always a kind of crispness to September. New school routines becoming more settled, pumpkins popping up in front of the stores. Scents of cinnamon and spice and pumpkin and baked goods signaling the impending arrival of fall and all the comforts that season brings. Cozy nights with a fire and a fluffy blanket. Chili, hot chocolate, apple cider, candy corn, caramel apples, pumpkin cupcakes, football food, fall festivals. Planning fall vacations. Holidays.
(And suddenly as I read this back I’m realizing that almost all of that consists of references to food. Ha;)
So much goodness.
These are the things I used to think of in September.

But now…well, I still think of all those things.
But September is also a terrible reminder of the worst day of my life.

And I know that I have to choose to not focus on that. I’m doing my best. But if I’m being honest, it’s not always particularly easy. I’m trying not to think about it. But it’s there. Always under the surface. Sometimes closer to the surface than others.
I don’t choose to have thoughts or memories pop up, I don’t choose to feel the sadness those things bring. But when they come I have to choose to fight them.
It’s still a struggle sometimes. Those thoughts and feelings are a pretty strong adversary, but I AM stronger.
And getting stronger by the day.

Things are good.
Really, really good. I know this. I’m happy.
I’m thankful. So thankful. Rebuilding this marriage, what we have been able to do, I do not take it for granted.
God continues to pour out His blessings on us every day.
One of my favorite songs at the moment has a verse that says “I know you hear me, I know you see me Lord. Your plans are for me, goodness you have in store.”
And He does. He has nothing but goodness for us.
That’s what I want to focus on.

But despite that, sometimes the ache still gets to me.
It’s like an old injury that you can almost forget you had.

Someone swings a bat, oblivious to anyone around them and it comes around and makes contact with your leg.
The sound is deafening.
Cracking, splintering, shattering. The pain is searing.
Nearly unbearable.
You go into shock. It immobilizes you.
Weeks and months pass. After many prayers, therapy, determination and hard work, you are back on your feet again. The fact that you are walking is nothing short of a miracle.
And the searing hot pain is gone….mostly.
Sometimes you almost forget about it. Except that there always seems to be that dull ache. You’ve become so accustom to it, that you almost don’t notice it.
It just is.
So you just learn to live with it. You learn coping mechanisms, some good, some probably not so good. But you just keep pushing through. You find a way to live with it. Because you decide, for you, there really is no other option. You could choose to wallow in the pain, which just intensifies the pain, or you suck it up and you push the pain away and focus on everything else so you can live your life.

And the person that caused you that injury, they are sorry. So very sorry. And you forgive them.
And it’s easy for them now. Easy for them to forget and live their lives. They don’t have any lingering pain or scars or after effects. They’ve become a new person. They aren’t that person that hurt you anymore.
Except for having to deal with the occasional moments you allow them to see your ache, they can easily wipe the memory of the person they used to be from their minds.
They are just a clean slate.
And you envy that.
You envy that so much that sometimes you secretly wish that you were them and they were you.
It’s so simple for them.

You want it to be that simple for you too.

The words ARE simple.

You’re healed.
You’re walking.
Life is great.
Let it go.

But although that bone has healed so much, it’s not the same. The fracture lines are still there, and there’s always that dull ache. And sometimes, with just the slightest change in the weather, that dull ache can become so loud, and so insistent that you just can’t block it out. It doesn’t happen quite as often anymore, but still, you find yourself wondering sometimes if these episodes of increased pain will ever completely stop. And you find yourself wondering if that deep dull ache ever truly ends, or if it’s there to stay.
It’s a constant reminder.
And you wonder if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Maybe it’s a little of both.

Bad because pain is, well…painful.
And distracting.
Makes it harder to focus.
But it’s also a constant reminder that despite how bad things were, how truly good things are now.

It’s a reminder of the fact that you didn’t stay there.
A reminder of how far you’ve come.
A reminder that you don’t live there anymore.

You live in light and joy and redemption.

So maybe one day the ache will completely disappear, or maybe you have to learn to view that ache as Paul did when God wouldn’t remove “the thorn in his flesh”. Maybe you have to learn to let that be a reminder of God’s grace and your gratitude and “count it all joy”.

Either way, the goodness wins. Either way, the goodness defeats the ache.

The day is coming. D-day. The anniversary of the worst day ever.
I don’t want to let it be that. It’s a date on a calendar. It shouldn’t own me or my emotions.
So I’m trying to think of something to do or somewhere to go. Some way to fill that day up this year with fun and happiness and joy. Just something to create some new memories for that day. (Suggestions and ideas are appreciated 🙂 I have thought that one day we might even use that day to renew our vows. But if I decide to do that, not this year. I want a little more prep time to plan for that!)
I just want to find some way to spend our day focusing on each other and all the things we have to celebrate. Our new and better marriage. His one year mark of being porn free. The many, many blessings we have been given in this past year. I want to celebrate the goodness.

If I fill that day up year after year with new and better memories, then the negative memories will fade more and more and the goodness will overtake the bad.

One day this season in our lives will be just a season. Just a fact in the story of our lives. One day I will be so far out from this injury my heart has endured, that I won’t notice the ache anymore. One day when I see my scars, I won’t think of the pain anymore. Only the beauty that came after the pain.

So I’m gonna retract the title of this blog. Don’t wake me up when September ends. I’m not hiding out or sleeping through it.

There’s goodness to be found, and I don’t want to waste a single day of it.

Bring it on September.
I think I’m ready for you.

Amy Thurston Gordy