Country Roads with Kenny G

Caught off guard, I’m driving through misty rain in Alabama with tears streaming down my face. Memories of days long ago begin to flood me as saxophone music resonates inside my vehicle and my heart.

A few days ago Chris and I drove through Tyler TX on our way to Killeen TX. I shift back in time 30 years as I barely recognize the city where I went to college and lived for a year and a half. It was like my spirit was swelling up with joy to pass thru this place I haven’t seen in over 20 years. So hard to explain just how amazing it felt to be in a place that I loved but one that held some really painful memories.

Those same memories now beat a drum through my being as Kenny G’s saxophone trills up and down the scales. Again I’m transported back 30 years to a time of immense pain, hours spent driving every back country road around Tyler blasting this very same album with windows down, my 80’s big hair blowing in my face.

To this day I have no idea what it was about this man’s saxophone that would bring the tears and also ease the pain of my very broken heart. As I share my story of that season of my life with my best friend/husband he finds Kenny G’s album and hits play…

The tears flow…

My spirit rises up within me and soars once again.

I become aware of just how much pain I struggled with during those years…

Sobs quickly follow and i am aware that my heart breaks for that young lady. She’s me….and yet she isn’t me. Like looking through a window and eaves dropping on a perfect stranger. Yet she’s so close to me…..she is me.

30 years removed I can now see that I have experienced so much deep healing in my life and the excruciating pain that I sought to escape through long drives with Kenny G no longer haunts me.

But what is it about his music that hits my heart in such a deep place? How did it ease my pain? I have no idea.

Driving country roads still makes my spirit soar…so does a bit of Kenny G.

Bragging on God

I really love…

The sound of the wind through the trees.

The songs of the birds.

Watching squirrels running through the branches of trees.

Rain on a metal roof.

Brilliant colors found in nature.

The exuberant welcome of our dog when we return home.

The random smile from a stranger.

The sound of laughter.

Watching baby birds grow and leave their nest.

The taste of food cooked with love (there’s a difference!)

Even more than all of these I love taking the time to look and recognize the ways that our Creator is timely in His ways. Not MY time, mind you, HIS time.

After a year without a car, He GIVES me one.

After decades of wanting to build furniture, I run into a mentor and friends in the middle of Lowes. (Side note: we had been next door neighbors over a decade ago. God planned this one out more than 20 years in advance!!!)

In the midst of a desperate emotional struggle, He urges a few dear friends to reach out to me for support.

During my divorce when it should have been impossible, He made a way for me to have a horse that provided comfort and “therapy” to ease the pain of immense loss.

God is always good. We may not see it or understand His ways, but our lack of perception will NEVER change His nature. Even when we feel like He’s not there….He still works to prove that He is. I don’t believe that it’s Him that needs to change. It’s our perception that needs an upgrade.

Today is a good day to stop and consider things from a different angle.

~Amy

Love Is The Only Truth

Is there anything in existence more constant than Love?

Some might say fear leads the way. I contend that only Love is actually real.

I’ve been growing in a new perspective. Clearer vision of our Creator and His Creation. Gaining sight to see what I have not been able to see before.

How is it that we so often look at others through the filters of contempt and judgement? Is it because we are discerning clearly and that they are truly not good? Is it because we are deceived into only looking at their brokenness and blocked from seeing their God-breathed spirit that is just as beautiful as ours? Are we only willing to perceive another’s value based on our own understanding of who they are? Should we be asking ourselves the hard questions regarding our own brokenness and maybe step back to take a look in the mirror? Maybe the only mirror we have been looking in is broken to the point where the image that we see is so fractured as to distort the truth of our own condition.

I once heard, and I can see a lot of truth in this statement; “If you believe that you can’t be deceived, then you already are.”

That’s rather comforting…..NOT!

So what is the point of this?

LOVE!

Love created all that is. Love sustains all that is. Love is the only truth.

Each and EVERY human being is created in the image of Love. Each and every human being has a spirit within that resonates with the frequency of Love.

Are there those who have taken a path that leads them farther away from Love? Absolutely. All the more reason to send Love in their direction instead of judgements and hatred. Should we Love those who are intent on harming other’s for their own earthly gain? Pretty sure that a wise Teacher left us some wisdom….”But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)

Now as one who, like so many others, had a tough journey through sexual abuse, there are times in the healing process where we are not capable of this. The important thing to remember when we are in that place is to KEEP MOVING. Deal with it, look at it, dig into it. Don’t run from it. Don’t sit stagnate in that place and get stuck in all the negative emotions. There is ALWAYS Light to be had. We are NEVER without hope.

Our Creator promises us that He will never leave us without a way of escape. His promise of unconditional Love lets us know that no matter the horrors of our current existence, we are never alone nor are we without His Love. We only need to allow ourselves to reach out for it. Our circumstances may not change, but I believe our eternal spirit that is our true self, can always find and connect with that which Created it.

I contend that only Love is real.

~Amy

I’m Not The Only One

Buried by cultural rules of silence and shame; sometimes spoken, sometimes not, I believe there are too many to try to count.

Too many….way too many.

How, for so many years, decades, probably even centuries, have predators used and abused children, both male and female? Why did we all keep silent? For those brave enough to speak, why were they usually not believed? Even now I feel like there are more questions than answers.

The pain inflicted & emotional damage that is caused can’t truly ever be measured. The statistics at this time are 1 in 4 females and 1 in 5 males are sexually abused by the age of 18. This makes for a whole lot of messed up people.

Hi, my name is Amy and I was sexually abused at age 6 and date raped in college. I’m not the only one, nor is my story anywhere as horrific as many other’s stories. Honestly, I believe that mine is quite a bit more mild than many other’s that I’ve heard. I don’t say this to discount my own pain and struggle to heal, but I do acknowledge the incredible amount of pain and suffering that many people have had to survive that is way beyond my own.

Because of the abuse that I experienced, I was mildly Dissociative until very recently, I struggled in relationships with my family, my former husband and even my children. Friendships were hard for me. I desperately wanted close intimate friends, but then I would run them off and sabotage them if things got too close and uncomfortable. Shame haunted me. The funny thing is that I wasn’t afraid to tell people about the abuse. Yet shame would hold me captive in other areas.

It wasn’t until 10 years ago that I really began my journey to deep inner healing and wholeness. That journey though very challenging, has been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined, No longer forced to hide from fear of shame and exposure, I celebrate what I refused to let define me.

I AM NOT A VICTIM!               I AM NOT MERELY A SURVIOR!

I AM A CHAMPION!!!

No matter what your story is, or how horribly another person or person’s took advantage you, I want you to hear that there is HOPE! There is ALWAYS hope, Shame can only have power over you if it is kept in secret…in the dark. Light will always take aways it’s power. It’s time to talk. Tell your story. No matter your age, sex, race, culture. Tell your story to someone! If you like, tell me. I will listen.

~Amy Dudley