The pained whisper

About a month ago I had a dream. I was in a house, and there was a demon there. I knew it was there, I could feel the presence of it, and I knew it had an awareness of me also. I dreamed of being in the rooms of that house, and I would try to walk out of a room, and as I went to push a door open, I would feel it pushing back. Trying to keep me from getting the door all the way open and leaving the room. I would push harder and the resistance on the other side would grow stronger. Then I would suddenly skip ahead and find myself in a hallway, and would come across a door, and when I would try to open a door to enter a room, the demon again would pull from the other side, trying to keep me from entering. Again and again I would find myself in this tug of war at every door. Trying to enter a room that I couldn’t get in, or trying to exit a room that I couldn’t get out of. Until I finally found myself walking into a kitchen/ living area. And I saw Jeff standing there. And then suddenly, the demon was in him. He is coming at me. Swinging for me. Trying to get to me so he can put his hands around my throat. He wants to hurt me and he wants to use Jeff to do it. I know what I need to do. I just have to tell the demon that he doesn’t belong here. That he’s not welcome here. I have to tell him that he can’t have Jeff. I know exactly what to do. I know I have the authority. And so I try to speak. I have the words. But my throat feels like it’s closing up. The strength I’m using to push the words out should be creating a loud shout, but I can barely push them out. I am straining so hard to make the noise come out that it literally causes me physical pain. There is definitely a little trepidation in me, for I know the seriousness of facing this demon. But there’s a boldness within me that pushes back that fear, and pushes me to fight. I dig deep and try to pull as much strength and authority as I can muster into my voice as I try to speak. But all that I hear coming from my mouth is barely more than a hoarse whisper.

“You can’t be here. You can’t have him. Get out. You’re not allowed to harm me. You leave in the name of Jesus! Go and don’t come back. You’re not welcome here. Get out. Get out. In the name of Jesus, GET OUT!!!”

Over and over I try to speak the words. Sometimes managing to barely make the sounds, and sometimes only able to push out the air as I mouth the words.

But I keep trying. I keep fighting that demon. Wishing I could get the strong shout of rebuke that I have within me to come out as more than a whisper. Fighting off the fear that maybe I don’t have as much authority over him as I had believed. Beginning to wonder why my shout keeps coming out as a strained, painful whisper. But even still, refusing to back down. Grasping hold of the promise that no weapon formed against me shall prosper. Holding tight to the hope that my voice may be nothing more than a whisper, but that the power of God in that pained whisper is enough to defeat that demon.

It’s not the first time I’ve had that dream, or some version of it. There are variations of it, each one slightly different, in a different location, or with the demon taunting me in different ways, but always ending the same, with me staring him down, and struggling to make my voice reflect the power behind the words I’m trying to get out.

I have spiritual dreams every once in a while. It’s not completely out of the norm for me. So I didn’t think too much about this one when I woke up.

But looking back, I can see now that this dream, along with every other one I’ve had like it over the years, is usually a reflection of something going on in our lives. They come as a warning sometimes. A warning that something is not right. A warning that we are under attack, and to be vigilant. Other times they come just as a reminder. A reminder that the fight can be hard, and that the fight may take more out of us than we think we can handle.

A reminder that sometimes even when it feels impossible, even when it seems we are drawing on what feels like our last breaths just to force out a battle cry, no matter how small our voices, no matter how weak our shouts, we only need the slightest whisper of His name.

I always wake up in the midst of the fight. Usually just as the demon in whatever form he has taken has me just within his reach. But I never wake up afraid. Or feeling defeated.

And so I’ve often wondered if it was enough, those pained whispers. Enough to drive the demon out.

And as I thought about it today, I realized that is why I wake up. Right in the middle of the fight, just as the tip of his fingers nearly reach me, at a point where I should be terrified, I always wake up, completely unafraid. Able to go right back to sleep.

And so it occurred to me finally, that maybe it was enough. Maybe, the pained whisper was all I needed to defeat him. The pained whisper of the name of Jesus was enough to drive him away and wake me from the nightmare and bring me peace.

I didn’t realize it when I had that dream, but we were in fact, facing a spiritual battle. The past couple of months had been stressful. The usual things that affect most families. There had been some financial stress. I had also been under a good deal of stress because of an abnormal mammogram result, which was followed by a couple of follow up appointments spread over a few of what seemed like very LONG weeks. It turned out to be nothing to worry about, thankfully. There was also some college stuff for both girls that needed to be worked out. I’d not been sleeping well due to some leg pain from my old back injury. In the middle of all that, we also had some serious trust issues resurface. And somewhere in the midst of all that busy-ness and stress, there had grown a distance between us. I felt it, he felt it. Neither one of us quite sure what initially caused it or when it started growing, but both painfully aware that something just wasn’t right.

And to say that my PTSD-like reactions were triggered by all of that would be an understatement.

He felt defeated. I felt panicked. And sad. And slightly terrified.

Two months ago we were fine. Better than ever. We felt like we were in a really good place. And I can’t really tell you where or when things went wrong specifically. All I know is that we got complacent. Maybe a little lazy. We let one too many things slide. And it didn’t seem like we were that far off track. Except for that dream I had. Except for this gnawing feeling that things just weren’t right. This overwhelming prompting to perk up and pay attention. A feeling that we somehow ended up unintentionally perched on the edge of a cliff, because of our lack of intention.

And I’m not gonna lie to y’all. It got kind of bad. Actually it got really bad. It was the second big fight in the past few months that had us both feeling like we were reaching our breaking point. It culminated in an emotionally charged discussion in which Jeff hinted at the possibility that he might be ready to give up, and me suggesting that if that was truly the case that he should maybe go pack his bags.

Yep. That bad.

And just like that, we had fallen off the edge of that cliff.

All it took was for us to stop paying attention to where we were standing, just for a little bit, to stop paying attention to where we were headed. We stopped talking to each other as we walked down that road and yet somehow were still surprised when we found ourselves on the edge of that cliff. And by the time we got there, we were so disconnected and so frustrated and feeling a little lost as to how to find our way back to the path we were on before we went so far off course.

And looking over that edge was so dizzying. So disorienting. And so we tumbled right on over.

But we didn’t die there.

We found a ledge on our tumble down, and we grabbed it.

Suddenly, painfully aware of this precarious position we’d gotten ourselves into, we began to face the hard truths of what got us there. What are we doing out here, hanging on by our fingertips? We don’t belong here. And so, we climbed.

With admitting that we had both taken our eyes off the ball.

With him apologizing for some not so great choices.

With me admitting that my reactions to situations can sometimes be bigger than the situation warrants because I’m not really reacting to whatever is going on at the moment necessarily, but am actually reacting to the fear that whatever the thing we are fighting about triggered inside of me.

We pulled ourselves back over the top of that cliff by acknowledging that all of this stress, and this downfall was really a fight with the enemy, and not so much with each other. We pulled ourselves back up by realizing that to get where we want to go, to have the relationship we want to have, and be the people we want to be, we’ve got to fight together, instead of against each other.

We’re a bit exhausted, if I’m being honest. These past two months have been A LOT.

A lot of me facing my biggest fears.

Fear for my health.

Fear of lack of provision.

Fear of being deceived.

Fear that Jeff would let me down again.

Fear that these past few years, all of our hard work, everything we’ve put in to rebuilding this marriage, would end because of a bad decision, or because one or both of us just couldn’t push through one more hard day. That we would do all of this, only to fail. To end up with nothing.

And then there’s the fear that we would let all of you down.

I looked at Jeff, in the middle of our fight, and said, “This is not just about us. We’re at a crossroads here. There’s something big ahead, bigger than just us, I can feel it. And I feel like we need to be real careful how we move forward. A lot of people look to us. They look to us as an example of hope. The choices we make here, now, don’t just have the potential to affect us, there’s a whole lot of other people we would be letting down too.”

We’ve been given this platform, and we don’t take it lightly. So, yes, besides the fear of being hurt again, letting you all down or failing you in any way is one of my biggest ones.

But the truth is, we’re human. We don’t have the magic formula for repairing a broken marriage. I’m not an expert. We aren’t licensed therapists. We aren’t ordained pastors. We are just Jeff and Amy. We are two people that walked through a very dark place. We’re the guy that made the worst mistake of his life. We’re the girl who’s heart was broken. We’re a couple that found our way through the brokenness to forgiveness. We chose goodness. We chose the hard path of refinement and redemption. And I’m just the girl, following the pull on her heart to share it all with you. To be real…and sometimes painfully, raw, with sharing our story with you in a way that most people wouldn’t. Because I feel so strongly that this world needs more people willing to share their truth. Not in a vague way. Not in a glossed over highlight reel. But in the details, in the hard truth of the trenches, and the bright light of the mountaintops, and all the highs and lows of the moments in between. The world needs more people willing to shine a light in ALL the dark places, to admit that you’ve been there before, and help others see that there’s a way out.

It’s become painfully apparent to me that my biggest struggle is with fear.

I constantly have to remind myself that the fear, all that fear that I fight on a daily basis, is a liar.

He’s the demon in my dreams trying to hold the doors and keep me stuck in a place where I can’t share God’s goodness. Trying to strike out at me and wrap his wiry fingers around my throat and choke the light, God’s light, right out of me. He’s the one I see in the face of Jeff at the end of my dreams, the one telling him that he might as well give in. That he’ll never win this fight, that he’s not the man God says he can be.

The truth is, even if we failed, even if, after all these years of work and hope and sweat and joy and tears, we end up falling over the edge of the cliff, God is still there.

And He will no doubt have a path full of goodness mapped out for us. He will hold out his hand, and pull us up, and show us the way out, whether that be together, or apart. All we have to do is look to Him. I’ve seen many, many examples of God’s goodness in situations where a marriage ultimately doesn’t work out. And so while I won’t stop fighting, I also shouldn’t be afraid of letting you all down if we fail. Because while this blog is about restoration and redemption and hope for broken relationships, it’s also about restoration and redemption on a personal level. My hope, our hope, the true hope of God is that He has a plan for you, no matter the decisions of someone you love. We can’t control the actions or choices of others. All we can do is look to Him and trust in His presence and His goodness.

He’s there on the good path. He’s there on the easy days. He’s also there in the midst of those really, really hard ones. He’s there on the edge of that cliff.

And if we happen to find ourselves falling over that cliff and ending up crumpled and broken at the bottom of that canyon, He’ll be there too.

I know, because I’ve been there.

We survived the initial fall all the way to the bottom several years ago. And the climb back up has been hard, and exhausting, but also rewarding, and full of joy. We’ve had more good days than bad ones. I could have chosen not to share any of this latest struggle with you. I could have given in to the fear that to continue to give you the hope you need, and to “promote the brand” or keep up a certain image that we need to have a perfect marriage from here on out, with the appearance of neither of us failing and only having good days. But the truth is, we aren’t perfect. And a dishonest version of redemption is not a story of redemption at all. I don’t write this blog to create a brand or to gain followers. I write it to show you that we all have good days, we all have bad days, we all have victories and struggles, and that God is right there through all of it. I share our setbacks and our failures with you so you know you’re not alone. So you know that just because you’ve pushed through your hardest days, you still have to be intentional and fight for your family, for yourself, for your marriage, for the life you want. I do it so you’ll know that the goodness is worth the fight. And I do it so that you know that even if you get off course, and take a little tumble, that it’s ok. It happens to all of us. You can still grab on to that ledge and make your way back up to steady ground.

We took a little tumble. But we climbed back up. And we woke up the next morning with a renewed sense of purpose. A reminder to be intentional.

And also with great expectation. Because when the devil comes at you like that, it’s usually because God has something in the works. There’s something ahead that God wants for us that the devil does not want us to have, and maybe something that God wants us to do that the devil does not want to see come to fruition. So he came swinging at us, aiming for all the places we are the most vulnerable.

And we have just a couple of words for him:

Not today.

Jeff had a dream of his own last night. He dreamed that he and I were both in basic training.

I don’t think that was just a dream either.

Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)

12 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.

Sometimes we all have setbacks. Just because we’ve come so far and healed so much does not make us immune to the attacks of the devil or immune to simply making a mistake. But we can win those battles and overcome those hurdles. And I strongly believe that most of our setbacks are really just setups for something on a grander scale in our future. We just have to see them for what they really are and keep our focus in the right place.

So we’re gonna keep fighting.

We’re going to keep fighting for us. We’re going to keep fighting for you. And we can’t wait to see the good that God will bring from it.

Don’t give up.

Don’t lose hope.

Don’t give in to the fear.

Just keep fighting.

Even when it’s hard. Even when you barely have enough breath to push the words out. Even when all you can manage, is a pained whisper of His name.

There’s power in that pained whisper.

That pained whisper is enough, and it’s all you need to win the fight.

❤️

Amy Thurston Gordy

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Finding the magic

I’ve always had a soft spot for all things Disney. There’s just something about the fairy tales, the dreams come true, the good overcoming evil, the hope that all his stories inspire.

I love everything about Disney World. The sights, the smells, (there is nothing in the world quite like the glorious smell of walking down Main Street USA) the rides, the food. Even the lines.

Because it forces you to stand still in an ever moving world. To stop and talk to the people you love. To watch and see the people going by, and imagine what their stories are.

Disney World has always been a special place for our family. Jeff and I were supposed to honeymoon there. We had it all planned out. We were going to stay in the Contemporary resort, with a view of the castle from our room. The nasty flu I came down with on our wedding day ruined those plans, and that honeymoon never happened. But when Emily turned 5, we planned our first family adventure.

We stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort. Emily learned to swim there in the resort pool.

I’ll never forget the magic in her eyes and the joy on her face as we walked down Main Street for the first time and she caught view of that castle. Pure magic.


Then Anna Kate came along. And when she turned 5, we planned a special first trip for her.

And again, the joy and wonder I saw in her eyes was something I’ll never forget.


After that year, we returned almost every year for our family vacation. We’d been bitten by the Disney bug. We would always say, “we should go somewhere else this year”, but always ended up feeling the pull to go back.

There was just something about the magic it brought to our family and we just couldn’t stay away.

In 2013, we took our last family trip to Disney. It was Emily’s 16th birthday.

The next year, 2014, we didn’t go because we had planned a California coast trip. We finally did something other than Disney that year because we wanted to do something grand and memorable, knowing that Emily would be graduating the next spring and we wanted to do something special.

And the year after that, well… 2015 happened. The affair happened.

And after the affair, it felt like everything about our world changed.

There was no family vacation.

That October, Anna Kate and I joined my parents and family at the beach. Emily couldn’t leave school and Jeff and I were separated, and I remember thinking that we should have been at Disney World.

I remember the grief I felt over the realization that we would never do that as a family again.

It was one of the first things that Anna Kate said when she realized that we were getting a divorce.

“But we will never go to Disney all together again.”

So this year, after all we had been through, it seemed right that we should plan a trip to Disney World. It’s such an inherent part of who we are, and who we are as a family. And it’s one of the very few parts of the old us that we actually wanted to keep.

So back in the spring I started planning. And this year, since all things are new, I decided to switch it up a bit. Instead of October, which is when we would normally go, we would go in December. I’ve always wanted to go at Christmas time. We were supposed to have gone at Christmas time for our Honeymoon, so this year, 25 years later, we would finally get to do that.

And as it turned out, this time we ended up staying at the same resort that we stayed in on that very first trip with Emily.

It didn’t really happen that way purposefully, it’s just where they had available rooms, but I like the symbolism of it. Full circle.

Jeff’s sister, his cousin, and their families joined us, and Emily’s boyfriend also came along. It was his first visit ever. Which was great because there’s just something magical about watching someone experience Disney for the first time.


We spent time together with the whole group and we had time alone for just our family.

And Anna Kate’s boyfriend’s family was vacationing there for a couple of days too, so we got to spend some time with him also, which made her super happy.


It was definitely a little different seeing them there, so grown up now with boyfriends, holding their hands instead of ours, but sweet to see how you never really outgrow the magic. It stays with you.

It was a little more crowded than what we are use to, but being the Disney expert that I am, we were able to plan out our days to avoid the crowds and long waits and make the best use of our time there. If y’all need tips, let me know. They don’t call me Mrs. Disney for nothing.

And the food. Oh the glorious food!

Steaks, lobster, gourmet sandwiches, pasta, sticky wings and dumplings, bananas foster bread pudding, creme brûlée. And the snacks! Ohhh the snacks!


Pretzels, churros, fresh caramel corn, ice cream, and the amazing Dole Whip pineapple float.


And there is nothing in this world as good as a Mickey waffle. You can’t go to Disney World and not have a Mickey waffle.


Have y’all figured out yet that the food is a good 75% of the reason I go? That percentage may or may not actually be higher, but we will go with 75% so as not to make me look like a complete glutton. Ha.

It was an amazing trip. I wish we could have had just a couple more days to fit in a few more things we didn’t get around to doing.


The decorations were beautiful.

The food was amazing.

The Christmas spirit was everywhere.

And standing there, in the midst of all that magic, I couldn’t help but feel it.



Being there, as a family again, in a place so full of memories. All of the really good ones. The ones where we were whole. The ones where we were hopeful. The ones where we were the best parts of our former selves. Realizing that we didn’t lose all of who we were. We kept a little bit, that little bit of magic within us.

And finding that little bit of magic, there in that magical place with the people I love the most, felt like everything was right in the world again.

It felt like joy.

It felt like a gift.

It felt like reclaiming something that had been stolen, and thought to be lost forever.

It felt like….

Redemption.

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