The Falling away

It’s the first official day of Fall. It’s still pretty hot here in Georgia, but you can feel it coming. You can feel it in the crispness of the cooler air early in the morning, and in the dusk that sets in just a little earlier at the end of every day. It used to be my favorite time of the year. It brought a cool breeze. It brought beautiful warm colors. It brought the ability to throw on cozy sweaters and jeans. It brought warm comfort foods and everything pumpkin. It brought bonfires and roasted marshmallows and Saturday night football viewing parties. Don’t get confused, I know y’all know I really don’t care about the football games. I’m just there for the snacks and the company, yeah, mostly the snacks. Ha. 

But I CAN tell you which team will win the game with at least 95% accuracy, based on my personally developed “super scientific uniform theory”. I kid you not. This is a real thing. Basically, I pick the winning team based on the uniform they are wearing. The colors, the fit, the presentation, I take it all into account, all the way from the helmet down to the shoes. Laugh if you want, Jeff certainly doubted my “super scientific theory” too. Until he saw how many times I was right! I guess that’s a little off subject. So I’ll get back to what I was saying. Y’all just let me know if you want me to choose a winner for ya. 😂

Fall still brings all of those things. But two years ago, Fall brought me something else. Something that would change life as I knew it forever. Well, in reality, that one Fall day didn’t alter the course of my life. The day Jeff first entertained the thought of becoming involved with her is the day that my life changed forever. My world was dismantled bit by bit with every thought, every text, every conversation, every meeting between the two of them over the course of that year. So that particular September day was not the one day my world was destroyed, it was just the day that I came to the full realization of it. 

Last year, I struggled a lot with it. The triggers were everywhere. The thoughts and memories sometimes overwhelming. Because that same crispness in the air that I used to love so much was the same crisp air that I ran out into to try and catch my breath on that awful day. Because those football games reminded me of the one he was getting ready to go watch when I saw those messages on his phone that were proof of his betrayal. 

This year, it doesn’t have as strong of an effect. I can’t say the anniversary of that day hasn’t affected me at all. I still had some level of anxiety about it. But it was more of an annoying quiet hum than the load roar that it used to be. 

Last year, I had wanted to plan something to mark the day. Something to try and give it new meaning, and new memories. This year, I didn’t feel as strongly about it. Earlier in the year I bought tickets to go to a Kari Jobe concert. When I saw the announcement for the concert, and saw that it was local and just happened to be on September 10th, I figured what better way to spend that evening than filling it with worship music? I figured that would be a good way to drown out any negative feelings that crept in that day. 

As it turned out, D-day came and went without leaving much of a footprint this year. September 10th fell on a Sunday. We got up and went to church as usual. We went to lunch together , just the two of us. Jeff was actually the one to bring it up. “So, today’s our happy anniversary I guess? Well, more of an unhappy anniversary? But happy because we survived. And because our lives are so much better now than they were.”

And that was the extent of our acknowledgment of the day. As it turned out, the concert, which I had actually forgotten about until that afternoon, was cancelled last minute because of Hurricane Irma’s impending arrival. So we stayed home, cozy on our sofa with bowls of chili and watched some tv. 

I guess my feelings kind of go back and forth on what this day should be. A part of me wants to fill it up with new things and new memories to give it new meaning. But another part wants to let it pass with no acknowledgment at all. To take its power away by making it just another day on the calendar. 

I think the reality will fall somewhere between the two. Because in reality, I’ll most likely never forget the date, so it will always be acknowledged in some way. But I never want it to be in a way that glorifies the ugliness of that day, or gives those memories the power to ruin my present day. Because September 10th, 2017, is not September 10th, 2015. And September 10th, 2018 and every September 10th after that won’t be either. That day is gone. It happened, and we can’t change it. And every year, though the date may be the same, our lives are not the same. So we will acknowledge it, but only with a sense of gratitude of the goodness that we live in now, and that we have put one more year in between us and that terrible time in our lives. 

When I think about it, it’s kind of fitting that this day happened in the Fall. 

We don’t necessarily think about it, because it can be so deceivingly beautiful, but in essence, Fall is a process of death. The vibrant green trees slowly fade to warm shades of yellow, orange, and red. They look so lovely on the outside, that we don’t often think about what might be happening on the inside. 

Slowly, the colorful leaves begin to loosen, and one by one, fall to the ground. There’s only a few at first, so we just walk through them, hearing them crunch under our feet but not really giving them much thought. But as the wind gets stronger, the dying leaves become weaker, and suddenly they are everywhere, covering the ground. Smothering the grass beneath them. 

Hiding the walkways and covering the paths that we could once see clearly. 

It is messy, this falling away. And once the leaves have all fallen, the trees look painfully bare. The falling away is followed by a season of emptiness. Or at least that’s the way it seems. But it is the Fall, the shedding of the old, that makes way for the new. It’s a painful process. There’s no getting around that. But it’s the only way to shed what no longer belongs. To get rid of the diseased leaves. To reset. So that when the Spring comes, and it always comes, there’s nothing hindering its growth. And what grows from those empty branches is fuller, and more beautiful than what it was before. So much stronger than it was before the falling away. 

The seasons of life can be painful. But there is beauty in all of it. Even in the falling away. Even in the dead of the barren winter. Because it’s making way for the beauty of Spring, and the fullness of Summer. Some years it brings varying levels of death and life. Sometimes the changes are small, and we come through it mostly unscathed, barely even noticing that the seasons changed, and other times, the changing of the seasons of our lives is so sudden and so devastating that we wonder if the winter will ever end. 

Don’t lose hope. Spring is coming. It always comes. And in the meantime, look for the beauty in the season you’re in. It’s there. It’s always there. 

When the spring comes, you’ll be stronger. You’ll be fuller. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Yes, there may be losses to mourn. You’ll certainly never be the same. You may bear the scars of the storms you weathered through the winter. But that will be what sets you apart. It will be your mark of the goodness of God. A symbol of how we can survive bad things. How the storms can wound us, but that those wounds can heal. A symbol of how all that we know can fall away, lost forever, but that something beautiful can grow in its place. 

❤️

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