RSVP: Which box will you check? 

Christmas felt like it kind of snuck up on me this year. Is it just me or does it feel like time goes faster these days? We have had a great Christmas spent with family, and filled with great food and lots of fun.

Oh, and one magical trip to Disney World, which I will share about in another blog in the next few days, so stay tuned for that. I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday season filled with all things good.

The past few weeks have been eventful for me. Life changing even.
I made mention in my last few posts that God was repeatedly calling me out of my comfort zone this year.

First, with deciding to give my broken marriage another chance. Then, with sharing my life with the world in this blog.

Then with public speaking.

And then…

I quit my job.
It still feels weird to say it.
But I’d been feeling the pull for a while now. I knew the time was coming. And although I knew in my heart it was what God was leading me to do, it was still a little scary. And bittersweet.

I’d been there for over 20 years. I started there at the age of 17. Moved away when Jeff joined the military and then went back to work there when we came home several years later.

I’ve spent basically my entire adult life with these people. They’re my people. They’re my family, and it was with a combination of a heavy heart and a hopeful and expectant spirit that I left them.

So with complete trust that what He had planned for me was good, I have taken several big steps out of my comfort zones this year.
Outside of the walls I’d built around myself, around my life.

And each time , I’ve found goodness waiting for me there.

There is goodness in my marriage and in the person Jeff has become.
There is goodness in this blog and in the people all over the world that read it and find hope in it.
There is goodness in overcoming my fear of public speaking and in the opportunity to share what God has done in our lives.
And there is goodness in the new job I will start in the new year, where I will not only get to work with my sisters, but with a whole group of people that I already know and love.
Sometimes, the comfort zone is exactly where we are supposed to be. But the time may come where you’ll hear Him telling you that it’s time for a change.
We all fear change. And we all get into routines, and fall into this illusion that things will always be this way. And we get comfortable. And if we aren’t really careful, and really paying attention, we can become so accustomed and contented with where we are and how things are that we become complacent.
And so when opportunities arise, we ignore them. Because we are pretty comfy where we are. Because we feel safe where we are.

Happy? Sure.

Sure we are happy. Because we are comfortable, right? Because it’s scary to do things differently than what you’re used to. So we stay in our comfy little comfort zones, but we hear that still small voice whispering , “There’s more. There’s so much more. Step out here into the water and see the wonders beyond your walls.”

But we ignore it.

Because we are scared.

Because although we may not be completely fulfilled where we are, at least we know what to expect if we stay here.

But out there… what if we make the wrong decision? What if we take the wrong path?
I get it. I really, really get it.
But I’ve learned a few things this year.
First, one day, life WILL kick you swiftly and surely out of that comfort zone in one way or another. Because stuff happens.
Like it or not, change is inevitable.

And the truth is, even when the change that comes is bad, it’s important. And it’s even beneficial. Because change brings growth. And growth brings fruit. And the fruit it produces is where the good stuff is found.

Second, wherever life kicks you, God is already there to catch you.

He’s. Already. There.

And He isn’t scrambling to figure out how to fix your big mess. He’s already gone before you and made a way. All you have to do is keep your eyes on Him and follow.

And third, sometimes life doesn’t kick you out of your comfort zone, but instead, God INVITES you out of your comfort zone.
And as with any invitation , you have a choice to make.

You can RSVP yes, or you can RSVP no.
Yep, you can say no to God. You sure can. And you can stay right there. Right where you are. And things may stay the same. You’ll continue to wake up, go about your life, do all the same things you have always done. And life will be good. It will be just fine.
It will be exactly what it always was. Maybe not extraordinary. But good. And you’ll be comfy. You’ll never know what’s outside those walls. You’ll never know what you might be missing. But that’s ok. If that’s what you decide to choose.

Or you can say yes.
And let’s just be honest. Even though you’ve chosen to accept the invitation, you will wake up, freak the freak out for a bit and question if you are making the right choices or if you’ve absolutely LOST YOUR EVER LOVING MIND.

But then, you’ll remember that tug on your heart. That whisper in your spirit.
“Follow me. I’ll show you the way.”

And then watch the goodness unfold. Watch Him bring things into your life that you never imagined. Watch Him turn your mess into a miracle. Watch Him pour out blessings over you.
Watch your life become something extraordinary.

I’ve returned my RSVP.

I want to see the wonders that exist beyond my walls.

Which box will you check?
Amy Thurston Gordy

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Change is in the air

It’s been a minute! Have you missed me?;)
Let’s see if I can fill you in on the last couple of weeks.
I feel like the days have been long but time has been short, if that makes any sense. I’ve been working more, and it just feels like I’ve been low on free time. Which is why I haven’t written a new post until now. 

Other than being busy, the past few weeks have been overall good. Besides the fact that I’ve battled a sinus headache for a full week, and the exception of one really bad day. 

I guess I’ll start there. 

The other day my sweet husband came to my office and picked up my car to get my oil changed, and left me his. When I got in his car to go home that night, I look over and see a sunglasses case in the floorboard. 
INSTANT TRIGGER. 

Because of what used to be hidden in the case when he was having the affair.

Immediately the physical and emotional response to the trigger sets in. My heart starts racing. My stomach hurts. I can’t breathe. In my mind I can picture them in there. In my mind the images of him with her flash across the screen of my mind and torment me. And I HAVE to open it. I know that I know, that I KNOW there’s nothing in it now. But still I can’t help myself, I have to look just to be sure. It’s CRAZY how something as simple as a glasses case can send you spiraling. It took me nearly a full day to pull myself out of the sadness and exhaustion that set in from that one stupid reminder. It’s been a while since I’ve had one that was that hard to recover from. I don’t think it helped that I had been stressed about the changes at work and also that I wasn’t feeling well. So I think I was more susceptible to being pulled down by it because of already being emotional from those things. And when the triggers pop up, they bring the pain of what happened right back to the surface, and it’s just , for lack of a better word, rough. It’s physically and emotionally exhausting. Even though the rational part of your brain knows that it’s in the past, the physical and emotional reaction the other part of your brain activates feels devastatingly real and current. It’s hard to explain, but that’s the best way I can describe it. And so that rational side has to fight really hard to push that reactive side back. So you have to go through the process. Feel the pain. Face the pain. Focus on the current goodness to overcome the pain. 

The good news is, it took less time to recover this time, and the triggers have gotten fewer and farther between. So although I’m obviously still in the healing process, It means I AM healing, and I am so very thankful for that. 

And now for the good stuff. We have had a couple of Saturdays that Jeff was not on call, and the weather was perfect, so we decided to take some little road trips. We weren’t sure where we were headed. We just said “Saturdays are for adventure!”, and we hopped in the car, headed north towards the mountains and let Google be our guide.  
Jeff’s goal was to find some beautiful views.







 My goal was to find farm animals and country markets. 




Oh, and food.

Always the food!

We found everything we were looking for. Just look at all this goodness. 


I love cows. I could just watch them all day. There is something so peaceful about them. 

After spending a little bit of time at this beautiful farm, I decided that I just want to quit my job, buy a farm, and spend my days selling pumpkins and Christmas trees and produce and baked goods and jams and honey in an adorable little barn turned country market, and spend my evenings on a huge porch, in a porch swing watching my cows and other farm animals out in the fields. Perfection! 

Ahh. One day. 


So overall we are doing great. The kids are doing great. Kate has settled in perfectly at her new school, and the decision to put her there was definitely the right one. She is flourishing in every way. Emily is doing great in school too, and has been busy making plans for her continued education and future. I’m so, so proud of them both. I’m so thankful for this family of mine. 

So that pretty much catches you up to date on our past and current events. 
As for the future…

It’s fall and change is in the air. Blowing in like an inevitable cold front. I’ve never been a big fan of change. I like to be comfortable. Settled. I prefer my life to feel like a comfy worn in warm pair of pajamas. Dependable. Predictable. Don’t we all? 

But I believe I’m entering a season of change. Well, I guess in reality I entered it a year ago. My life looks very different than it did before that. And it’s been a painful season, but it’s also brought a lot of goodness. There is more change ahead. I can see it coming and I can feel it. The anticipation of it has a tendency to bring about fear and anxiety in me. I think that’s something that most of us grapple with when anticipating change. I’m trying to stay ahead of that, reminding myself that He works all things for our good, and trusting in that. 

He’s stretching me. Calling me out of my comfort zone in several areas. And I’m not going to lie. Looking out into those unknown waters is scary. But it’s out there where we find His presence. It’s out there where we find His goodness. It’s out there where His glory shines the brightest. And it’s out there, where we relinquish our control and push away our doubts that we find that where He takes us is better than we ever could have imagined or planned for ourselves. So, when He says step out of the boat, I’m stepping out of the boat. And I’m expecting to find so much goodness there. Change is scary. But He hasn’t let me down yet. He saw me through the darkest year of my life. He even somehow managed to bring goodness , no, greatness out of it. If He can do that, then He can certainly turn unknown waters into fields of flowers, and places that feel out of my comfort zone into places of security and purpose and blessing for me. 
I’m looking forward to seeing the goodness He has in store. 

Psalm 27:13-14 (NLT) 

13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.

14 Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

❤️
Amy Thurston Gordy

I told the God of the Universe that I was mad at Him

I’ve just been struggling internally these past few days. I couldn’t pinpoint what it was, depression maybe? I wasn’t sure. It’s not that I’m unhappy. There’s a lot of good in my life. How is it that a person can feel not unhappy, yet so very sad all at once?

As I was praying about it and trying to work through it and break through this sadness I was feeling, I came to the realization of something. Something that I’ve known but have pushed back.
Not acknowledged.
It was just too painful to acknowledge.
And ugly.
And terrifying to say out loud.

I’m struggling to even write it.

I was still angry.
Angry at what Jeff did. Angry at what she did.
But the thing I’ve been avoiding. Denying.
Pushing down to the most inner depths of myself so that it doesn’t see the light of day,
is that,
they aren’t the only ones I’ve been angry at.

As I still do, I prayed a lot in my old life. I prayed specific prayers.
“God, please free Jeff of his addiction so that He can be the person you made him to be.”
“God, please don’t let his addiction lead him to have an affair, and if he ever finds himself in that situation, do something to stop it. Don’t allow him to cross that line. Protect our marriage and our family.”

The movie “The War Room” is very popular right now. It inspires many to pray more intentionally and specifically for their families and their marriages. And I think that’s wonderful. But I also find it hard to watch. Because it’s a little too close to home. And because the wife in that movie prays those prayers. The very same ones I prayed.
And in the movie, (spoiler alert) when the husband is about to partake in an affair, God stops him. At the moment that he was about to go off with the other woman, he gets struck with a bout of terrible food poisoning, and is unable to go through with it.
It’s just a movie. But it strikes a chord in the deepest parts of me. Where I’d like to keep these thoughts hidden.

God didn’t stop Jeff.

I was faithful to Jeff.
And I was faithful to God.

And I felt betrayed by them both.

I felt betrayed by them BOTH.

I almost can’t breathe just typing the words.

No, I wasn’t just angry with Jeff or the other woman. I’ve been angry at God.

He could have stepped in. He could have smacked Jeff in the head and given him a divine revelation without having to go through all of this. He could have made his phone malfunction so he didn’t get her messages. He could have kept him from taking that stupid job in the first place. He could have hit him with such conviction as he walked to her car and turned him around and sent him home to me.
He could have given them food poisoning.
Anything.
He could have intervened. Because He’s God.

But He didn’t.

And I get it. I get that He knew that Jeff had to fall. He knew that was what it would take for him to become the person he was meant to be.

But what about me? Who was looking out for me? What about what this would do to me? Did I not matter?

We’ve all heard people say, “We have God looking out for us, protecting us from any harm that might come to us”. I’ve said it myself on many occasions.
But since all of this happened, when I would hear someone say that, sometimes I would think:
“but He didn’t protect me from this. He didn’t keep this from happening to me. God why did you not protect me from this?”

So God and I had a come to Jesus meeting last night. And I admitted it. All of it. And it was a scary thing to do.
Because He’s God.
And who am I to be mad at God? But there in the shower, I poured it all out.

And ever so softly, ever so tenderly, He reminded me who He is.

You’ve heard the saying, “when God closes one door, He opens another one”.
I believe that the truth is, that there are no closed doors. All the doors are open. Some of them lead to good things, and some of them hold all the things that are the very worst for us.
Now pay attention because I might just blow your mind with this next statement.

God’s not up there opening or closing any doors.
The doors are simply there.

And WE choose which to walk through and which not to.
He simply walks with us, no matter which door we choose.
Does He sometimes protect us from bodily harm, such as keeping us from an accident? Yes, I believe in those cases He sometimes does intervene. But when it comes to matters of the heart and of the soul, and whether or not we close those doors or walk through them,
the choices are always left to us.

God didn’t intervene.
He didn’t stop Jeff from making the choices to do the horrible things he did. He didn’t stop him from stepping through that door. Because that’s not who He is.
It’s not because God didn’t love me. It’s not because He didn’t want to spare me that pain.
It’s because He doesn’t force himself on anyone.
It’s because Jeff had to choose.
And I wasn’t the only one that was heartbroken. God was heartbroken too.

And He never turned away from me. He reminded me of the way He spoke to me, before I knew the truth. The way He clearly let my spirit know that all was not well. The way I answered that nudging by pleading with Him to show me what I was missing. To show me what I couldn’t see. He reminded me of his gentle whisper the next morning of what I would later learn was Luke 8:17, “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open”. He reminded me how He spoke that to me all day long. I didn’t know what it meant. Was that a scripture? Had I read that before? I wasn’t sure. But I heard Him speak it to me over and over, until I started repeating it aloud in the car that afternoon. And I said ” I don’t know why I’m hearing this. But I know it’s you. So let it be so. I know there’s more going on with him than I know. Reveal whatever this is that is hidden.”
A few days later, that’s exactly what came to pass. I picked up Jeff’s phone and what popped up on his screen at that very moment was all that had been hidden from me for all those months.

And then God reminded me how He was there. Through every excruciating second of it. He never left my side, and I remembered the sweetness of His presence in the midst of all that pain.

He never promised that bad things wouldn’t happen to us. He never promised that life would treat us fairly.

But He is who He says He is.

And He says that He will turn what is meant for our harm into good.
He says that He is always with us.
He says that when we hurt, He hurts.
He says that He’s my loving Father, and I’m his precious jewel.
Even when I’m angry at Him. Even when I don’t understand.

I told the God of the Universe that I was mad at Him.

And He responded with compassion, and with grace, and with the comfort that only He can give.

He loves me.

He LOVES me.

Oh how He loves me.

And I’m not angry at Him anymore.

Amy Thurston Gordy