Forgiveness. It’s no Lifetime Christmas movie.

A few weeks ago I decided to face my struggle with forgiveness head on. I struggle with it a lot. There’s the rational side of me that says my anger and contempt for her is justified. Not to mention I just can’t figure out how I’m supposed to think of the woman that had an affair with my husband and have any kind of good feelings about her or not feel the anger or see her as anything but pure evil. I just can’t fathom how it’s possible. The other side says that I should be Christ like. Extending mercy and grace and forgiveness and seeing her as a child of God that simply made a bad decision. This side says that I should care about her soul just as much as anyone else’s. 
So it sounds simple enough. Choose to be the good side. In my mind I can choose it. I can say yes, I want to be that. But then I think of her, and feel nothing but anger. So I can say it. I can say it over and over, but it seems insincere. Because I don’t really feel any differently about her. 

Yep. Forgiveness is hard. 
Jeff and I are doing great. There’s been a lot of healing, a lot of moving forward, and a whole lot of happy. We have found an unimaginable amount of redemption in this past year and a half. So this unforgiveness I held for the other woman seemed to be the one major thing still holding me back. Keeping me shackled to the past. And the thing I hated most about it, was the fact that it gave her power over my feelings, my emotions, and ultimately my healing. And she doesn’t deserve to have that. 
So what does she deserve? That’s a loaded question. 

And probably not the best one to ask me. 

I should definitely not be the one to pull the trigger on that one. 

Because my first instinct is that she deserves a punch in the nose. 

Shame. 

Heartache.

Distress.

Unhappiness.

Bad luck. 

For her skin to shrivel up.

Her hair to fall out. 

Her tires to go flat.

For birds to poop on her head…

..Every. Single. Day.

To gain 50 pounds and undo every bit of that liposuction she had. 

Bed bugs. 

For her husband to leave her. 

For her friends to turn their back on her.

To be alone. 

Miserable and alone.

(And here y’all were all thinking that I was all sweet and precious. I am. Like 99.5% sweet and precious. But that other .5%…maybe not so much. You probably really don’t want to be on the receiving end of that .5% 😜)

But then…that voice of reason: 

“Well then, does Jeff deserve all of that too?”

Ugh. 

I don’t want any of those things for him. 

Did he deserve them? At one time, I’d have to say yes. Yes he did. All that and more. 

But he was sorry. He is sorry. And he isn’t just sorry, he’s changed. 

Reformed. Renewed. Rebuilt, reborn, transformed , whatever name you want to give it. He is that. He embodies it. He lives it out every single day. 

He’s not the same person that made those bad choices. I forgive him. I forgive him for being that person. And I am thankful for the person he is now. 

Sounds easy right? In some ways, I guess it is. Now. But in truth it’s been nearly two years of continual hard work, effort, and intentional persistence on both of our parts. It did not happen overnight.

I forgave him then, but every day when the reminders come I have to choose to remember who he is now instead of letting the memories be the filter of how I see him, and I have to choose to forgive him over and over and over again. 

In a conversation about infidelity recently, a friend made the comment that when incidents happen in which trust is broken or brought into question, “those things never really go away.” And a truer statement has never been spoken. They can’t be undone. They can’t be erased. 

Ever. 

If only people were reminded of the levity of that before making such a mistake, many hearts, lives, and marriages would still be intact.

But Jeff’s renewed sense of self, commitment to God, and dedication to our marriage makes it pretty easy to choose to forgive him. To love him more than ever before. Even when the reminders come. 

And they come less frequently. I mean, there’s probably not a day that goes by that I don’t have some thought about it. But not necessarily in the painful ways. It’s just a matter of fact. It’s my story. It’s our story. And it is what it is. I have to accept that. But occasionally I’ll still have a trigger. A few weeks ago it was a song I heard while driving home. I had never heard it before and I have yet to hear it since. So I couldn’t tell you what it was or who sings it. It was a duet, where the girl is singing something along the lines of “what if you’re not the one, what if you break my heart, what if you leave me… and the guy sings something like, “but what if I am the one, what if we grow old together, what if you’re my last first kiss”. I don’t know why any reference to that destroys me the way it does. But it just tears me apart. 

His last first kiss was supposed to be me. His last first everything was supposed to be me. It was mine. Mine. And she took it. And I can never be his last first kiss again. 

It will forever be her. 

And that’s a crack in my heart that can’t be easily repaired. You can’t restore that. Jeff can’t give me that back. That’s one of the cracks that only Jesus can fill in. And boy, does He ever have His work cut out for Him. Because the only thing I could think about in that moment listening to the words to that song about being his last first kiss was how much I hate her for that. 

I hate her for that. 
Wait…. I still hate her? I thought I’d moved beyond the level of hate. But that feeling I had when I thought of her taking that last first kiss, as much as I’d like to be able to deny it, is undeniable hatred.
The dictionary defines hatred as this: Extreme dislike, disgust, resentment. 

Yep, that pretty much covers it. 

I hate her for everything she stole from me. I hate her for never taking responsibility for her part in it and I hate her for never saying she was sorry and I hate her most of all for making me hate. I hate her for not wanting to do the right thing and for not having the decency or the conviction to reach out with a simple heartfelt apology for the pain she inflicted. 

Whew. That’s a lot. And here I had been thinking that I had made some progress in this area. I’d been praying about it. I’d been reading about it. And I don’t hate her at a level where I sit around constantly and think about how much I hate her. I’ve got way too much good stuff in my life to just sit and let thoughts of her consume my days. But in that moment, the hatred that I thought I had downgraded to a slightly less extreme dislike came back to the surface just as easily as a fizz bubble in a freshly poured Coca Cola. And I have to say, acknowledging this fact burns a little in the same way those fizzy bubbles sometimes do. 

And that’s when I realized that I’ve got a long way to go in this forgiveness stuff. 

And after hearing that song that day, I kind of put the whole subject on the back burner for a couple of weeks. 

Because it was….

Just. Too. Much. 

So I sat it aside and stopped thinking about forgiveness and stopped reading about forgiveness and basically just said “hey, I tried. Who needs it anyway? We’re doing really, really good.” 

And honestly I just enjoyed the heck out of these last couple of weeks. I had a week off of work and we did all kinds of things and I just gave myself a nice little break. 

Sometimes we need to do that. When a task is just a little too overwhelming, we just need to step back, lay it down, and let things settle. Sometimes we just need to give ourselves the time and space and grace to recharge.  

I guess I thought that if I just willed myself to make the decision to forgive her that it would be easy. That I’d somehow find the magic key to unlock the door and just let it all go.

And maybe one day I will. Or maybe it will just take time. And maybe part of the problem is that I’m just not ready yet to let her off the hook. Maybe, probably, if I’m being completely honest, there’s a part of me that doesn’t want to not hate her. A part of me that can’t really fathom not hating her. 

I mean come on. I think most of you could admit you’d most likely feel the same. She SLEPT WITH MY HUSBAND after all. Not only that, but she had a relationship with him. For 9 months. 9 MONTHS. And she helped set the stage for it to happen for months before that. Years really, in all actuality. She set out to take what was mine. She took something holy, and sacred. She had no regard for the pain and heartache she would cause not just me and my children, but her own husband and children. She lit the fire that destroyed the world as I knew it. 

Jeff took the bait, yes. He broke our vows. He utterly and completely broke my heart. 

The only difference between the two of them is that he owned it. Every bit of it. And he was sorry. He apologized to me. To God. To our children. To my family. To our friends. And to basically anyone and everyone that he came into contact with. He apologized to her husband. And he has spent every single day of his life since attempting to make amends to me and every one else for it and build a new life.

And yet, she is silent. 
Despite the fact that she knows how to contact me.

Still silent.
Despite the fact that I feel pretty certain that she got the message that I sent through one of her friends that accidentally sent me a friend request when checking out my Facebook page. (Yes, that happened. And yes it was awkward. Thankfully, her friend was kind and forgave me for my initial reaction to her accidental friend request.😳)
Still silent.
Despite the fact that I reached out last year and wrote her a letter.
No response. Still silent. 
Despite the fact that I feel sure she has read my posts on this blog. 
Still silent.
Despite the fact that I’ve given her opportunity after opportunity to show me she’s capable of being a decent human being. One that I could possibly learn not to hate.
Still, all there is, is silence. 
So, what then? At this point, am I to assume she truly has no remorse? Or at the very least, if she does, she has no intention of sharing that with me? Which again, makes me think that she isn’t truly remorseful. Because wouldn’t that a make a person want to do everything in their power to set things right, as much as possible anyway? I can’t imagine if I were in that position of having caused such damage to a person, and to life as they knew it, if I were truly sorry I don’t think I could live with myself if I didn’t tell them so. Is that just me? Am I wrong to think that when someone is truly sorry, they would be compelled to apologize? Or is it that she doesn’t have the nerve to reach out? Or does she indeed carry so much shame that she can’t bear the thought of facing me? (Texting or writing would do. It requires much less personal fortitude. I’m just sayin’ )
I’m pretty sure her marriage is still intact. So she’s apparently convinced her husband of her remorse. For his sake, I hope and pray it’s real. I really, really do. Honestly he’s the only person that makes me not truly wish all those horrible things I mentioned above on her, because he deserves a happy marriage. A happy life. I truly want her to be as remorseful as Jeff is, and to be able to build something new and real with her husband. He deserves absolutely nothing less. 

So many questions. Questions that she apparently has no intention to answer. 

Does it really even matter?

Would I be able to not hate her if I knew how sorry she was? Would it be easier to forgive her if I knew how sorry she was? I think so, but I guess I may never really know. Looks like she’s gonna make me have to do it the hard way. I’m just going to have to find a way to purge myself of the hatred that bubbles to the surface. 

I still believe one day I’m going to wake up and find that she is nothing more than a fact, an incident, a character in the story of our lives that is no longer capable of producing any real effect on my emotions, except for the gratefulness for the story that comes AFTER her brief but destructive presence in my life. 
One day the hatred WILL be overcome by grace. And the grace WILL allow for forgiveness. And forgiveness WILL allow for FULL redemption. 
As is evident by everything you’ve read in this post, I’m obviously not completely there yet. And I have kind of wanted to beat myself up about it. But I’m not going to. I’m just going to keep moving forward. And maybe not put so much pressure on myself to be able to do this overnight. Deep wounds require deep healing. You can’t just slap a bandaid on it or put some makeup on it to make it look pretty. Underneath the band aid or the makeup it’s still ugly, right up until the moment that it’s not. 
So I’ve still got a little ugly that I need to clean out of my wound. 

I think the real problem I’m having with forgiveness is that I’ve been trying too hard to figure out how “I” can do it. I’ve been looking to solve my own problem, to find my own answer, my own solution. I’ve been trying to find a logical equation that adds up to an answer that makes sense to me. But the truth is, forgiveness doesn’t make logical sense. 

Wikipedia says that forgiveness means letting go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well. (I can’t even believe I just quoted the wikipedia🤦🏻‍♀️but hey, they had a good definition) 

The hardest part for me has been that no matter how hard I try, I can’t figure out a way that it makes sense to me to not feel negatively towards her. Not of my own capacity anyway. I can read all the books in the world. I can comb over every logical written fact about the subject, and possibly even be able to make sense of it in my head, but all the while still be unable to reconcile that with the feelings in my heart. And I can beat myself up about it until I’m black and blue.

The fact of that matter is, I. Can’t. Do. It. 

If true forgiveness comes, it will not be because I’m a woman of such strength, or of such virtue. It will be because God himself stepped in and made it happen. It will be a true miracle of miracles. It’s going to take God working on my heart in a way I can’t even imagine. And I mean it when I say I literally. can’t. even. 

So I guess it’s a good thing we serve the God of miracles. 

I guess I’ve just painted a pretty ugly picture of myself here. Reading back through it, I can’t help but feel a little vulnerable. I can’t help but think that I probably should paint myself a little prettier. A little more like the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” or “Reader’s Digest” or “Lifetime Christmas movie” version of forgiveness and a quick tidy little story all wrapped up with a bow and life lesson. I could have come here and only written the things my head knows, without revealing the darkest corners of my heart. My head knows I need to forgive. And I could have just said that I did it. I’ve forgiven her. Easy peasey. Tied it all up in a pretty little package for you with a pretty little bow on top. I could have gone with that whole “Forgiving is the right thing to do so I’m just gonna say that I do forgive her” scenario. I could paint you a nice little tidy picture of perfect little me, easily offering forgiveness with not so much as a drop of sweat off my brow. I could have made myself look like the pillar of strength, Godly woman I’d surely like you all to perceive me as. 
But it wouldn’t be the truth. 
It would probably get me more blog followers. 
Probably a lot more Facebook shares. 

But it wouldn’t be real. 
Real isn’t always neat. Real isn’t always pretty. So even though I wish I had a pretty little easy package of forgiveness to present to you, I don’t. All I have is the reality of how truly hard it is. 

Those stories are out there. Those “forgiveness is easy” stories. Maybe they make some of you feel better, but I think the more likely truth is that if you find yourself on the forgiving end of heartache, those stories will just make you feel like you’re somehow not Godly enough or inadequate because it hasn’t come quite that easily to you. So I’m not going to hide my ugly. I’m going to share my truth. The truth is forgiveness is hard. And something tells me that I’m not the only one that needs to hear that it’s ok that it’s hard. It’s ok that it doesn’t come easy. It’s ok. We will get there when we get there. We just have to keep walking. 

As I was trying to finish this up tonight, I had to leave and go pick up my daughter. On the way home, the radio deejay said something about how sometimes there were scriptures that were just really hard to hear. He went on to quote several verses from Luke 6:27-36:
27 “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.

28 Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. 
31 Do to others as you would like them to do to you.
35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 

36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.”

🤔 Well, that was no coincidence. He was speaking directly to me. 

I got the message God. I did. But love? Love’s a strong word. How about just: slightly dislike but not completely hate? 
Or could we go with: not quite love but not wishing for birds to poop on her head daily either?
No? 
No. The message is clear. I have to find a way to not hate her. I don’t have to “love” her. Not like I love my husband or my kids or my very best friends. I don’t think that is what this verse is saying when it refers to love. I think it means that I have to not hold her in contempt, I have to find a way to see her through the eyes of God, and I have to find a way to truly wish her well. 
I don’t think God was calling me out on the way home. I don’t think he was saying “Hey. You’re gonna do this or else!” I think it was more of a “Hey kid. I feel ya. It’s hard. But it’s possible. Come with me. We’ll do this thing together.”
I know it’s possible. I’ve seen real live examples of it. Of people who truly no longer feel the feelings of hate for the affair partner. I’ve seen the example of a woman who has come to actually care for the well being of the one night stand that had her husband’s baby. And truly want good things for her. You know why? It’s not because she’s a martyr. It’s not because she has some super human strength and the biggest heart on the face of the planet. I mean, don’t get me wrong, she’s pretty amazing. An awesome, awesome person. But the fact that she can do the one thing that I haven’t figured out how to do sincerely yet, is because of what I said before. It’s because God is a God of miracles. 
I’m not completely sure how to get there, to the point where I don’t feel the contempt and I sincerely wish her nothing but goodness, other than submitting this wounded heart of mine to the Father and asking Him to work His miracle in me. 
That, and simply, time. 
I just have to trust that the things I know about forgiveness in my head, will eventually soak into my heart, and fill in the space where that hatred hides. My head knows the truth. My head knows the answer. I’m just waiting for my heart to catch up. 

❤️

Amy Thurston Gordy

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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

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 

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

It’s complicated.

How am I?

I’m doing good. Aren’t I? I mean, I wake up intent on doing good. I get through my days and push past the bad stuff and put a smile on my face, and that smile, more often than not, is genuine. I’m thankful for everything God is doing in our lives. He really is so, so good. So in that sense, things are great.

So when people say “Are you doing ok?” , I say “I’m fine. I’m good.” And I mean it. I believe it’s (mostly) true. Honestly when it comes down to it, I don’t really have a choice. If I want to be fine, I just have to decide that I am, and go with it.

But sometimes I wonder. Sometimes I feel like there’s a fine line between positive thinking and downright suppression. Sometimes that line gets blurry and I realize that maybe I’m not dealing with something that I need to deal with and that isn’t healthy. So I try to pay attention. When someone asks me how I am, I’ve realized that sometimes maybe it’s because they perceive something that I’m suppressing. Something in my countenance that I’m not aware of. So at first my response is, “I’m doing great”, but later, I realize maybe I’m really not so great. So I deal with it the best ways I know how and I get up the next day and start fresh with the intent that I will have a good day.

Living in positivity, it’s so simple, yet also so complicated. Because the things that cause the negative thoughts are real. The pain is real. The heartache is real. And sometimes I feel like pretending that it’s not, for the sake of trying to be positive, is just not realistic or healthy. So yes there’s a fine line. I’m working on finding the balance. Being honest with myself about how I’m really feeling, so that it doesn’t eat me away inside, while keeping a positive mindset and believing with everything in me that I’m going to get there. That I am doing great. That the heartache will one day lose its sting. That one day I can truly let go of the anger.

 
Jeff and I had a conversation the other day. I asked him if there was any part of him that was glad that he had the affair. If there was maybe just a part of him that was a little bit glad that he got to have that experience. I mean it’s something that all guys think about whether they act on it or not. So, knowing now that he would end up getting everything back, that basically things would suck really bad for a while but in the end he is forgiven and gets his life and his family back. Was there any part of him that would go back to that moment and still go through with it? Was there any part of him that felt good that he got to have that experience, he got to be with someone else and he didn’t lose everything? Knowing now that things turn out pretty good for him, and that I was the only one really still paying the price? I was the one really feeling the consequences, and he really didn’t lose anything.

His response was “I lost a lot of things, but mostly, I lost you.”

I said “but I’m still here.”

He said, “You are, but also you’re not. I lost you. The real you. The you that existed before I did this. I get pieces of you, I get what you want me to see, but I never really have all of you.”
I said, “but it isn’t that I let you see what I want you to see, this is me now. These pieces…This is all that’s left.”
And he said, “and I have to look at the pain in your eyes. I have to look at you every day and see the parts that are gone, and know the reason those aren’t there anymore is because of me. I did that to you. I have to live with the fact that I did that to you. And you are a different person now. It’s not necessarily a bad thing because in so many ways you’re even better, but that’s because since I took those pieces out of you, you filled in those empty spaces and put pieces back in their place. But if I could go back, even knowing that we end up together, I would never hurt you like this again. There’s nothing on this earth worth seeing you cry, seeing you sad, nothing worth having to watch you feel that pain.”

 
Sometimes I forget. I forget that although he ended up getting everything back, he carries the guilt of what he did. It really wasn’t a fair question to ask. Just a thought in my head when I was feeling angry about how much this has cost me. Sometimes I look at him and think it must be nice. To walk around knowing you got to enjoy doing what you did, you had your fun, things got really bad for a little while and then you get to walk around forgiven and free and everything in your world goes on like it never even happened and so why wouldn’t you go back and choose that again.

But that’s not who he is. I know that’s not who he is and I know that he hates the person he had become. The person that did that. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of that thought process, but I know it’s not true. If he could go back, knowing what he knows now, I have to believe he would choose differently.

But I keep going back to what I said in that conversation.

“These pieces… This is all that’s left.”

It’s kind of like that movie “The Truman Show”. When you wake up one day and realize that things are not at all what you thought they were. When you realize that almost a year of your life is missing. That it was a deception.

That really messes with your head. It’s hard to make sense of it. You go back through those days and it’s so confusing, to see them the way you remember them and then to compare them with the light of truth shining on them. It’s hard to distinguish which parts were real and which parts were just part of the deception. That, along with the heartbreak. It changes you. Parts of you are broken, and while parts can be mended, they are never the same, and sometimes there are gaps. Pieces that just seem to be missing.

So like Jeff said, we fill those pieces in. So, who is the real me now? I’m still figuring that out. I’m still filling in those missing spots. Sometimes, like when I ask Jeff a question like I did the other day, I’m trying to fill them in with the wrong stuff. So I have to take that back out. I’m doing my best to fill them in with forgiveness, love, kindness, joy, and strength. A whole lot of strength.

 
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold. It takes something that has been broken, shattered, and it embraces the brokenness, and encourages an acceptance of the things we can not change. The philosophy is that brokenness is a thing of value, that there is more beauty in that brokenness than there was when the object was whole. Instead of hiding the broken parts, it illuminates them. There is an incredible beauty that can come from brokenness. When it’s pieced back together with care, and with the most precious of materials and resources, it takes on a new life. A new purpose. Fragile, yet incredibly resilient.

I like the way someone that wrote about this process once put it, that “in many ways , the true life of the bowl began the moment it was dropped.”

I like to think of my healing process as being similar to that.

 
So when you ask me how I am, I’m going to smile. And I’m going to tell you that I’m ok. That I’m getting better every day. And I’m going to mean it.
I want to be like that piece of pottery. Not trying to hide the brokenness. But instead illuminating it by being pieced back together with the goodness of God. Because there is no purer gold than his goodness. And when all the pieces are seamed back together, hopefully you’ll see his goodness shining through all the places I was broken. And I believe that I will find that I’m ok with who I’ve become. Some parts old, some parts new, once shattered but still shiny. Enriched by the brokenness instead of being destroyed by it.

So how am I doing? Well, it’s complicated. But, I think I’m doing just fine.

It’s a process

I told y’all in my last post that I had come to the realization that I wasn’t giving enough attention to my own healing process lately, so over these last couple of weeks I’ve made an effort to get back to that. 

I think part of the reason I was shutting down was that I just needed a break. The emotions involved in working through the healing process can be overwhelming at times and both mentally and physically exhausting. Jeff knew I wasn’t in a good place. I was quiet. Withdrawn. Distracted. My family noticed. My sisters said, “We’re a little worried about you. You seem different, and not in a good way.” Ouch. Yikes. Those sisters of mine. Y’all know they don’t miss anything, ha. And they have a gift of being able to say things to you that are harsh but necessary, but at the same time deliver it in the sweetest and most caring way. 😜Anyway, I knew I was spiraling, but that honesty coated in love and concern was part of what I needed to snap me back on track. So thanks for that. 😘  

There comes a time when a part of you just wants to shut down and shut it all out. You just want a minute. An hour. DARE you hope for a WHOLE blessed day…one day that this isn’t what your life is now. A day to pretend it never happened. A day to just feel normal again. And that’s fine. It’s fine to take a break. 

But in reality, you can’t really take a break from it. You can pretend all day long, but it’s there. It can never un-happen. (Yep, I just made that word up. Writers can do that and get away with it, right?) 😉 

So yes, a break is ok, but I’ve found its best to take your moment, then take a deep breath and jump back in. So I got my focus back and got back to working on me and things have gone so much better this week. Jeff and I have had some really good talks, and through those I’ve been able to come to terms with some of the things that I needed to clarify or resolve in my mind. 

I think we are both feeling a lot more peaceful this week. And hopeful. It’s not an easy process y’all. But we definitely believe there is even more goodness ahead of us. There’s been a whole lot of baby steps. There’s also been a couple of leaps, and even more steps backwards than I can count. But we are moving forward. There is progress. And it is good. It is so, so good. 

I have learned a lot. Lessons that I never wanted to be in the position to learn. Lessons that I wish had come about in a different way. But I am so grateful for them. Grateful for the changes they have brought. And especially grateful because I can share some of them with you, and hopefully that will mean that you can learn from them and apply them in your life without having to go through what I have. Or if you’ve already been through it, hopefully you can use what I share to help you move forward too. 

Thank you all for encouraging us. Thank you for showing Jeff grace and forgiveness. Thank you for all the support and encouragement you give to me. There is always a moment before I hit that publish button when I second guess myself, and I pause and think,”Am I sharing too much? Should I really put all this out there?” But the answer I get is always the same. People need to know the truth. The truth about how an affair affects everyone around you. The truth about the pain it causes. And the truth about a loving God that is full of forgiveness and grace and mercy and can walk with us through the darkest of places. The truth about just how good He really is. 

 So thank you for reading my blog, and thank you for sharing it with others. I’m still blown away when I see the far flung places my words have reached. Just blown away. I never would have imagined it and just thank God that I can use it to share His goodness. And y’all are a big part of making that possible. 

So thank you, thank you all for being goodness and love and light. I just love ya. ❤️
Amy Thurston Gordy