The truth. Live in that.

Arguments. When two people live together, they are bound to happen from time to time. We had an argument a few weeks ago that lasted nearly 3 days. Yep. That bad.

The somewhat little issues that the argument started out about became simple background noise to what the argument grew into. That’s the way arguments can spiral into something so much bigger than the real issues at hand. It becomes more about the reactions, and the things we say to each other than about whatever incident the argument started out about. The negative thoughts start and they set off a chain reaction and the next thing you know things are being said like, ” I don’t know if we can ever really be happy.” 

“All we do is argue.”, 

“you never do (fill in the blank) or you always (fill in the blank).”,

“maybe we can’t make this work.” 

Can’t. Won’t. Shouldn’t. Frustrated. Mad. Sad. Angry. Scared. Broken.Backwards. Not making progress. 

Even the word, Divorce. 

All these negative words. 

And suddenly I hear it. I really hear it.

And I say, “wait, do you hear what we are saying to each other? What are we saying to each other? Why are we saying these things? None of them are true. 

NONE OF THEM ARE TRUE!

We are good. What we have is good. This incident or that incident doesn’t define who we are or where our relationship stands. 

Look at how far we’ve come. We are a vast distance from where we started. There is progress. 

We do love each other. We do value each other. We do appreciate the effort the other makes. We can do this. We HAVE done this. We are in a better place in our lives in every way. Relationally . Spiritually. Financially. Our lives are blessed and full. 

That’s the truth.  

We had a bad day. That’s all. But we let the negative thoughts find a place in our minds to stick and then they spread like a wildfire. Planting lies as they spread. Planting seeds of insecurity and doubt and filling our heads with so much smoke that the darkness started blocking out the light. 

It can happen that easily, and it can happen that fast. Just a couple of negative thoughts can quickly trick your mind into believing that all the goodness is gone. 

So you can’t let it. 

Because it’s lies. 

It’s ALL lies. 

The goodness didn’t go anywhere. You just chose to look at something else. And by looking at that one little bad thing, it changed the way you were able to see everything else. It’s like putting a filter on a photograph. It can change the way you perceive things. It can take a bright, vibrant photo, and make it appear dark and dreary. Even though the colorful, happy image is still there, suddenly the only things you can see is the darkness and all the vast goodness that filled the image blurs into the background and becomes small in the shadow of this filter of negativity.

So be careful. 

Arguments are going to happen. 

But listen carefully to the thoughts. Listen carefully to the words you are speaking from those thoughts. Then hold them up to the light of truth. 

Are they true? Or have you allowed the negative thoughts to spiral and distort the truth? 

The lie that Jeff’s negative thoughts turned into:

“We are right back where we started, and no matter what we do or how hard I try we will always end up back there.”

The truth:

We are nowhere near where we started. Not even close. And we grow and move even further forward with every single setback. 

The lie my negative thoughts turned into:

“He’s not really sorry. He doesn’t really value me. He can’t handle the time and the patience it takes to get through this process, and I’m just not worth it to him.”

The truth: 

He is sorry. Beyond sorry. He shows me he values me every single day. He’s human and this process is frustrating. For him and for me. But he’s still here. Because I am worth it to him. 
We had a bad day. When it comes down to it. That’s all it is. Just a bad day. They happen. 

The important thing we all have to learn is to not let that bad day become our undoing. 

Deal with whatever issue is at hand without letting the negative thoughts make it something much bigger. 

And once the issue has been acknowledged, remind yourself of the good stuff. Remind yourself of the truth. 

You have to pay attention, and you have to learn to recognize those negative thoughts for what they truly are. Lies. 

The truth is the goodness all around you. Live in that. 

Amy Thurston Gordy

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He goes before us.

Anxiety. Worry. Fear of the unknown.

We’ve all had it.

Some of us deal with it just on occasion. Others of us…well, we basically live in it. 24 hours a day.

And for those, it’s just exhausting.

And it’s a lie.

An illusion.

A tactic to steal our happiness.

To steal our security.

Our joy.

To steal our time. Precious, precious time.

We worry and we fret, and minute by minute it slips away.

Wasted.

On a lie.

But this is the truth:
God goes before us.
Whatever we are stepping into, He’s already there.
He has prepared the path.

Yes, our choices, and the choices of others may have set us on that path.

But no matter what turns that path takes,

He goes before us. 

When I found out about the affair,
One after another He put people and resources in my path to guide me through it.

Some I knew of, but didn’t really know personally, and they reached out and spoke words of hope and comfort to me. Others had been close to me forever. But they were all there for a purpose. As each one spoke into my life I remember being amazed at how they had been placed so strategically even before any of this happened.

Because He knew.

He knew I would need them.

And now I see how I’ve been placed in other people’s paths.

People that need to hear my story. People that I can give hope to. People that I never would have connected with otherwise.
Just last week, I got a message from a woman. She wanted to thank me for stepping out of my comfort zone and sharing my story. A few days after hearing me speak, she found out her husband was cheating.

God put me in her path, so that when she faced what I faced, she would remember the words I spoke and know that no matter what, whether the marriage survives or even if it doesn’t, if she will keep her focus on him, God will redeem her story and bring goodness to her.

He goes before us.
In another situation, I was dreading something hard that I knew I had to do this week.
I was filled with anxiety and worry about it, and about how the next few weeks would play out.

But when it came down to it, it went surprisingly well. It was still hard, but not in the way that I had expected. I know why it went so well.

It’s because He goes before us.

Jeff and I have prayed for new opportunities over the past few months. Opportunities to put our family in a better place financially. Opportunities to lower the stress in our lives.
And in the past week, we believe we are seeing those opportunities arise. I’ve had to step out of my comfort zone again, and make a decision in faith.

And we both feel good about it and have confidence that there is good stuff ahead in that area.

Because we know He goes before us.

He is making the way.

And not just in the big stuff.
In the little stuff too.

Last night we were headed out for a special early anniversary date. We got in the car after having dinner and headed towards Atlanta.
Suddenly, our headlights go out. BOTH of them…while we are driving on the expressway.

We can’t go to Atlanta with no headlights. And our tickets are date specific and non-refundable.

20 seconds later as we are preparing to pull over, I look up and on the corner at the next red-light, is an auto parts store.

We pull in, get the bulbs, and Jeff changes the headlights, and we are off safely to our special date.

If those lights had blown just a few minutes later after we left the expressway and gotten onto the interstate, it could have been disastrous. But instead they blew minutes before that and literally 30 seconds ahead of an auto parts store.

Because He goes before us.

I use to live in fear. A lot of fear. Of so many things. Of change. Of not being enough. Of worst case scenarios. Of what ifs.
But the past year has taught me a very important lesson. A lesson that is invaluable.

The lesson is this:
Anxiety is nothing more than a lie.

Worry is nothing more than a lie.

Fear is nothing more than a lie.

Because no matter what comes for us, He is there. No matter what hardship or sadness or pain our paths lead us through, He’s already there. He’s paved the path. He’s prepared the way. He’s put in place every single thing we need. All we have to do is trust Him.

He’s got us.

He LOVES us.

He works ALL things for our good.

We don’t have to worry. We don’t have to be afraid. We just have to trust Him. We just have to trust in His goodness.

And when we do, the goodness comes pouring in.

POURING in abundantly.

We can walk in the confidence that He has goodness for us.

That in Him we will find everything we need.

I am not afraid anymore. 
I don’t want you to be either.
Don’t let those fears hold you back.
The fear of change. Of worst case scenarios. Of not being enough. Of all the what ifs.

Some of you just need to let go of the anxiety and worry and rest in the fact that He knows the plans He has for you, and that they are always, always good.

Some of you need to take it a step further and step out of your comfort zone. Some of you need to know that there’s so much goodness out there if you’ll just get past taking that step. And that goodness may not be just for you. You may bring goodness to people that you wouldn’t have, had you not stepped out of your comfort zone. Scratch that. You WILL bring goodness to people that you otherwise would have never been in the position to before. That is a fact.
Stop letting the doubts and the worry keep you from becoming the person God intended you to be.
Stop letting the fear steal your happiness.

Your potential.

Your joy.

Your precious time.

Stop letting it steal the goodness of THIS day.

The goodness of THIS moment.

Don’t listen to the lies of fear and worry.

Listen to the truth.

Look for the goodness. Thank God for His love and His protection and His abundant favor.

It overwhelms me, this truth.
That He doesn’t miss a single detail.
That every single step we take,
He goes before us. 


Deutoronomy 31:8

“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Amy Thurston Gordy

Handing out Hope

Overall I’ve been feeling pretty good lately. Feeling hopeful. Expectant of good things. 

The past few weeks have gone pretty well. A few small triggers maybe, but not really any major ones. Going more than a week or two without any substantial triggers is a pretty big deal. The closest I came to it was when someone sent me pics of their day, not knowing that the location where they had taken those pics was one of “THE” places. And I will admit it bothered me. It triggered the bad thoughts. That heaviness dropped in on me the way it does. Like a lead blanket thrown over you in a dark murky lake, slowly pushing you under water and taking your breath from you. But I got control of it pretty quickly. The lead blanket was a little more like a thick cotton quilt this time. Still heavy, but slightly easier to push off. I’m not sure if the lead blanket is getting lighter, or if I’m just getting stronger. In any case, the effects were a little less than before. That’s progress. Slow moving… possibly…probably. 

But I’ll take it. 

Things were going well. We had a nice weekend at the lake with family. I even got myself a fishing license. Anyone who truly knows me recognizes the humor in that statement. Not a single one of ya ever thought you’d see the day that Amy Gordy wanted to go fishing. Or see me wearing a cap. I mean, I don’t even recognize myself. 
  
And lo and behold, I actually caught some fish. 

Teeny, tiny fish. 

Like really, really tiny. 

I mean, so very small, basically we could almost call it a goldfish.

But hey, a fish is a fish so it counts, right?  😉

We took our daughter and a friend to a Braves game. We ate hot dogs, fries, popcorn and Dippin Dots ice cream and even made an appearance on the Jumbotron not just once, but twice. I mean, lots of people end up on the Jumbotron at some point, but twice??!! That’s basically unheard of. I mean, obviously the cameras just love us, right?

( this is where y’all roll your eyes at each other and then turn to me and smile and agree that obviously, indeed the cameras do love us.)

Ha. I kid. I actually don’t go to a lot of games so I really don’t know if that’s true. It may not be uncommon at all. What do I know? But it’s more fun to think that it is so I’m going with it. 

We are Braves Jumbotron famous. Yep. I’m going with that. It’s kind of like being YouTube famous, except for the fact that it’s nothing like that at all. 😂

  
And somewhere in between all that goodness over the last few weeks, we had two big blow ups. I’m talking airplane taking a nose dive, car going over a cliff, train derailment type of arguments. 

It happens with a comment taken out of context, or maybe it starts out with just a conversation. Nothing really serious. Just a couple of questions. A couple of answers. And we are ok. 

But then the tone changes. The response changes. And suddenly we are no longer having a conversation. It’s a fight. A full fledged fight. 

The kind that seem to come out of nowhere and you’re not really sure what exactly caused this train to derail and send you careening off track. The kind that suddenly makes you wonder if you can really do this. The kind that suddenly makes you wonder if your marriage really can survive this. The kind that suddenly makes you wonder if he will continue to be able to handle dealing with your healing process and not eventually want to walk away. The kind that makes you question everything and stirs up your deepest fears. 

And the million dollar question, the one that drives all that fear the most: “Am I just going to end up hurt again? Will we have gone through all of this for nothing except more heartache and disappointment?” 

Responding to each other from a place of stress or frustration or fear instead of a place of empathy and love is what brings about these kind of arguments, and suddenly we find ourselves thrown into this place filled with doubt and fear. 
A WHOLE lot of fear.  

 And so I look at Jeff and I say, “WHAT is even happening right now? We were doing so well. Why are we suddenly doubting everything? How did we get back here?”

And with that, something clicks and we can both see that the conversation wasn’t heading anywhere good with this current trajectory. 
And so we calm down. We talk it through. We acknowledge that although we have progressed a lot in our healing, we definitely still have a good way to go. This isn’t an overnight thing. Trust takes a long time to restore. Scars take a long time to fade. 

Sometimes it’s hard to be patient.

Sometimes we forget how to communicate properly. Or sometimes, as I think happened with us this time, we are simply just tired, a little overworked, not getting enough sleep, maybe a little stressed out, and when you are feeling the effects of that, it’s easy to respond in a not so thoughtful fashion. You don’t process your thoughts correctly when you’re tired. Your sensitivity is heightened. Your perceptions are skewed. 

After clearing our heads, we were able to see where the breakdowns happened, and acknowledge them and apologize for both of our parts in that. And just like that, the fight is over, peace is restored, and we are back on track. 

We’re getting better at this. 

Then, yesterday morning, something strange happened. Well, I guess it’s not really so strange. God seems to speak to me this way a lot over the past year. 
I recently became part of a launch team, to help promote Cindy Beall’s new book. Within that group, we post messages to each other, and Cindy posts something each day for us to pray specifically about. Cindy’s message to us that day was about praying for each other as we promote this book and it’s message. The enemy doesn’t like seeing marriages restored. He doesn’t like seeing our messages of hope and healing spread to others. He would want to attack our marriages to try and kill our hope. To try and stop us from helping others find healing and restoration. So she encouraged us to pray protection over each other and our marriages. 

Our recent arguments immediately came to my mind. The ones that seemingly came out of nowhere. And then I realized that they didn’t come out of nowhere. 
Doubt and fear are not of God. 

Nope. Those things are the darts of the enemy. 

Ephesians 6:12 says:

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.

And in that moment I understood that during those fights that we had, we weren’t truly fighting with each other. We were in a fight with a common enemy. One that seeks to steal, kill and destroy. One that wants to rob us of our joy. 
After reading that message, I got in the car to run an errand. And a verse popped into my head. 
The one that says ” No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”

And I immediately smiled, thinking how God always brings to mind exactly what I need in these moments. Out of the blue. And I couldn’t even remember where in the Bible this verse was. 

I started the car, and turned my radio to the Christian music station. During commercial breaks, this station sometimes plays short 1-2 minute uplifting messages from a local pastor. One of these came on at this exact moment, and the first words he said were: 

“Romans 8:37 says : No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”

Yep. The exact same verse that had popped into my mind just moments before. And now I know what book it’s from too. Thanks for that Pastor Benny. 👍🏻
I love when God gives us a word, and then follows it up with such a precise confirmation. 
God’s message to me was crystal clear today:
We’ve got this. 
Overwhelming victory is ours. 

All of that doubt and all of that fear, all of that IS A LIE. 

He has equipped us with everything we need. 

We’ve got this. 

Because we’ve got Him. 

So attention all doubt and fear, you don’t win this round. 

Hope is alive and well. And I intend to keep spreading it around. I’ll be like Oprah, but with hope instead of cars. “You get some hope, and you get some hope, and you get some hope. Everyyyyybody gets some hope!!!” 

😄😄😄

Amy Thurston Gordy