Make the space

I woke up early this morning, itching to write something. Anything really. It seems that it has become increasingly more difficult to find the time for it. Writing requires focus, and quiet, and time to reflect and sort your thoughts, and it seems that my days off either become so full with daily responsibilities or time made for family or friends….all really good things, but when I go too long, I start to feel like something is missing. I start to feel a little incomplete, maybe unfulfilled?

I’m not really sure what the word I’m looking for is. I think it’s just become so inherently a part of who I am, and what my purpose is, that when I set it aside for too long, maybe I just start to feel like I’m losing a part of myself.

Maybe sometimes I don’t write for good reasons, such as the ones mentioned above, and sometimes, if I’m being completely honest, I don’t write just because I get lazy, and choose to watch the last 2 episodes of This is Us instead of writing a new blog. I can’t say that isn’t a good reason either though, because that show is SO, SO good. There are some really good life lessons hidden away in some of these shows. I mean, if the Pearson’s don’t move your soul, I don’t know if we can be friends or not. 😂

But, at some point, if I don’t purposely chase down the time to write, the writing chases me, and I find myself unable to lie in bed for another minute, or turn that tv on, or do that laundry.

I guess that’s how you know the difference between a hobby and a calling. When something is just a hobby, you can live without it. But a calling, a calling chases you down. You can run from it, you can try to ignore it. You can fill up your time with all kinds of things so that there’s no room for it. But you can’t escape it. It will not stop coming for you. And you will find that you never feel as whole, as fulfilled, as when you choose to stop, and make the space for it. To step into that calling, your purpose, His purpose.

So today, I write.

Today I write about making space.

I was talking recently with one of the young ladies that I am helping navigate the early days of surviving infidelity. We were discussing how infidelity happens and what is going through the mind of the cheater that makes them able to justify going through with it, especially when the marriage seemed to be a fairly happy one. I explained to her that the choices people make, all go back to what they are making space for.

With Jeff, it happened like this:

Honestly, I would have to say Jeff and I were probably always a little disconnected. He had a porn issue and always had a flirty nature and tended to get close to people he worked with and such. I always kind of felt like I was a bit of an outsider. Like he had his life at home with me, and then his work life that I wasn’t really privy to. Not that he necessarily intentionally kept things from me, just that he kept things compartmentalized, and because of that I felt like sometimes, all I ever got was pieces of him. I was definitely an important piece of his life, but then, when the other woman came along, their friendship crossed the boundaries bit by bit. He slowly started having more conversations with her and less conversations with me. He began to share more of his thoughts and feelings with her and became less and less open with me. This went on until the pieces of him I did get became less and less, and the space I took up in his heart and mind got more and more crowded out by the fantasy world he created with her and so to him, in his mind, it felt like he had lost his connection with me. So he told himself that we weren’t really happy, that maybe we weren’t really compatible, that we didn’t have that spark anymore. When in reality, none of those things were really true. We had not lost our connection or our love for each other. He had just stopped making space for it by filling his head with the illusion of his life with her.

Little by little, he allowed the thoughts and the flirtations and the conversations to take up more and more space in his heart and mind until he couldn’t see me anymore through the cloud of it.

Thankfully, when he was no longer able to hide in that fantasy world he created, and everything was brought to light, he was able to break through that fog so he could see the truth of that. And the truth of the destruction that was caused because of his choice to make space for all the wrong things.

Now, he and I both make an effort to include each other in every part of our lives. We are definitely more connected now than we ever were before any of this happened and it’s because we’ve learned how to love each other and HOLD THAT SPACE for each other well.

Be careful of what you’re making space for. Don’t be fooled by that thing that maybe boosts your ego, or makes you feel good in the moment. Don’t be fooled by that thing that looks all shiny and sparkly and fun on the surface. Because before you know it, it will grab hold and grow like an unforgiving cancer and you will lose sight of everything that ever really mattered to you. It will fill you up until it eats away every piece of who God intended you to be. And you’ll be so blinded by the illusion of it, you won’t even realize it, until it may be too late.

So be careful, so very careful, with what you make space for.

But mostly, be intentional in what you make space for. Make the space for your spouse. You may feel like that spark is gone, or that you just don’t have the same connection that you used to have. But I am here to tell you, if it was ever truly there to begin with,

you did not lose your love for each other. You did not lose your connection to each other.

One or maybe both of you simply stopped making the space for it.

You have to choose what and who to make space for.

And if you need help with figuring out how to do that, come talk to me. Come talk to Jeff. We will do our best to help you find your way down this path. We may not be that far ahead of you, but we are far enough ahead to be able to tell you what it looks like. We know the traps, the detours, the potholes that can sometimes make it feel impossible to travel. But we are here, we made it through them all so far, and so can you. It’s a steep and narrow road, but you do not walk it alone. We will make the space for you.

Make the space for the things that really matter. Make the space for your family. Make the space for your spouse. Make the space for your health. Make the space for your spiritual life. Make the space for your healing. Make the space for your calling. Make the space for your purpose.

Make the space for every bit of goodness you can find. Just make the space for it, and God will fill you up with more goodness than you can hold.

Decide today what you need to clear out. Decide today what you need to make the space for.

Just make the space.

❤️

Amy Thurston Gordy

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The State of the Union

The state of the Union. It’s a serious analysis of where we stand. Where we came from. Where we are now. Where we are headed. Are we stable? Are we strong? Are we vulnerable?

Are we putting ourselves in a dangerous position or are we protecting our most important relationships?

Are we constantly taking inventory of the state of our union?

Or are we simply going through our days, oblivious and complacent. Ignoring the warning signs. Brushing off those tiny little promptings we keep feeling that something is not quite right. Disregarding those occasional thoughts that things are not the way we wish they were. Telling ourselves that all relationships feel like this. That the distance is normal. Constantly telling ourselves that this coexistence, that the lack of true connection, is fine. We are fine.

But that’s not true. You’re not fine. It’s not fine. You’re in the danger zone. And maybe you don’t even know it.

Because it is in our complacency, it is in our in-attentiveness, that things fall apart. It is there where relationships slowly disintegrate. It is there , where we feel the most comfortable, that our worlds can cave in on us.

There is never an excuse to have an affair. No matter the state of your relationship, it’s inexcusable to betray someone that way. There has never existed an excuse that would validate doing that.
If you ask someone that cheated why they did it, more often than not they aren’t really even sure. When it comes down to it, they don’t know specifically why they went through with it. It’s hard for them to pinpoint the moment they really made that decision and why. They usually end up saying it was a mixture of things or that they simply got caught up in the moment. And maybe the real question that we need to ask is not “How did you come to the decision to have an affair?” but “What kept you from coming to a decision not to?”
While there is never a good excuse, there are always contributing factors. Things that maybe created the environment where you or your spouse were more vulnerable to an affair. Things that weakened the armor protecting your relationship. So many things, situations, and sometimes even people, both inside and outside your marriage can put kinks in that armor.
The questions we should all be asking ourselves are:
Are you present in your relationship?

Do you communicate with each other?

Do you try to respect each other’s opinions?

Can you agree that you won’t always agree and not let those things tear you apart?

Do you make your spouse and time with them a priority?

Are you affectionate with each other?

Do you try to make your spouse feel special? Feel treasured? Loved and secure?

Do you feel treasured, loved and secure?

Are you encouraging to each other?

Do you flirt with each other?

Do you flirt with others?

Is there anyone outside your marriage that actively, subtly or maybe even blatantly pursues you?

Do you allow a friendship outside your marriage to meet or exceed the level of friendship you have within your marriage?

Do you allow yourself to be put in situations where an affair could be tempting or possible?

Do you hide texts, phone calls, phone apps, or websites from your spouse?

Do you surround yourself with other people that are committed to their relationships, that believe in faithfulness, or do you spend your time with people that don’t value marriage in that way?

Are there addictions in your life that cause issues for you or those around you?

Do you make an effort to think positive thoughts about each other throughout the day?

Do you wear your wedding band?

Do you have insecure feelings about yourself which makes it easier for that outside person to make you feel good about yourself, making it easier to want to take that risk because of how that makes you feel?

Are you frequently away from your spouse? If so, have you discussed how you will handle that distance, and how you will handle tempting situations?

Is your relationship under major stress, such as finances or health issues? Are you supporting each other through it or blaming and resenting each other for it?

No, there is never, ever a good excuse for an affair. Not ever. Not one single reason that would be justified for inflicting the kind of pain and emotional trauma that comes along with it. The seemingly never completely healed wound that it leaves in its aftermath. Nothing on this earth could justify it. It’s cruel. It’s selfish and thoughtless and inexcusable. But it’s not unforgivable.
If you don’t want to find yourself in a place where you either have to be the one that needs to be forgiven of this offense, or the one choosing whether or not to forgive, Whether you’ve never had to deal with the effects of an affair or are trying to move forward from one, you have to address the state of your Union. Not occasionally. Not once a year, or once a quarter, or just when things get tough.
Constantly.

Always.

Every. Single. Day.

Be aware. Be present. Be proactive. Be intentional.

How do we save our marriages from complacency, from being just alright but not truly fulfilling? How do we go from just “living together”, to truly “living,together”?
How do we save our relationships from spiraling out of control, from life changing destruction?

We pay attention. We never stop making an effort to value each other. We never let go of gratitude. We focus on the positive aspects of the ones we love. When things get tough, we do the work. And we safeguard our hearts , our minds, our eyes. Never let all the distractions blind you from the truth of what your relationship can and should be. Never believe the lies that the grass would be greener somewhere else. Most times, that green grass is just an illusion, a grand mirage created in a fantasy world void of the pressures of stress, bills, kids and everything else in real life. You can’t live there in that fantasy land forever. Once the light of truth shines in and you’ve moved onto that seemingly greener grass, and it becomes your new reality, all of those stressors are still there and the fantasy disappears and you are truly no better off, and now you’ve damaged so many hearts and lives in your blind state. Open your eyes.

What is the state of your Union? Maybe you are in that place of complacency. Don’t stay there. There’s so much more. Your relationship can be so much richer and fuller. Do the work. Make the effort. Don’t settle for just ok. Commit to being better together.

Maybe your relationship already failed. Maybe there’s no moving forward, maybe that ship has sailed. That’s ok. Do better with your next one. Use the lessons you’ve learned to make sure the next relationship you have is amazing.

Maybe you are just starting out in your life together. You can’t even imagine yet losing that spark, or taking each other for granted. But life creeps in. Life gets busy and hectic and it just happens. You don’t even notice it at first.

Be vigilant. Never stop paying attention. Never stop valuing each other.

Our relationships, our marriages, they are everything. They are what makes up this thing we call life. They can make our lives incredibly rewarding, or incredibly painful. They are not something we can undervalue or take for granted. We have to treasure them. We have to actively protect them.

What is the state of your Union? It’s up to you.                                   Take good care of it.

Amy Thurston Gordy