Thursday, October 24

{my favorite are Everett's chubby toes, so delicious| 

Happy Fall sweet friends:) I always love this season...right now in my hometown in Northern California the trees are bursting in beautiful hues of red, orange and yellow. It takes my breath away and reminds me of God's incredible creativity.

But I will open my heart today and say I am grieving, and here's why...

Almost four years ago we moved back to my hometown, and quickly settled back in to the church I grew up in. The community literally welcomed use with open arms, dinner invitations and dates with friends were numerous. People really did pour love into us as we made the transition, and we were so blessed by the instant community we had. It was the church at it's finest...welcoming, hospitable, nourishing.

The last four years I have made this church my home.  I have been involved on the women's ministry team, spoke at the women's retreat, planned a handmade market (Fall craft fair) two years in a row, was the emcee at our huge Christmas tea, and was involved in both the moms group and Bible Studies. To say I loved my church was an understatement. Truly, I loved my church family.

And then this summer we got an email that changed our life.

The church was splitting.

The church I literally learned to walk in.
The church I was baptized in.
The church I was married in.

And suddenly there was a choice, do I go with the new church, or do I stay with the old.
Friends, it was heart wrenching.

This split made everyone choose.
Some friends have stayed, some friends have come with us, and some have completely switched gears and have gone somewhere new.

And all of a sudden I feel displaced. I feel disjointed. I feel sad.
I have really been wrestling with God on this one. As I was praying about it the other day, I heard the Lord speak to me some truth. He reminded me of a few things...

1) Transition is to be human- If you look at the life of so many characters in the Bible, you see that their life is unexpected and they are constantly transitioning. Joseph comes to mind, Noah, Adam...really everyone I can think of had drastic seasons in their life of change and hardship and things so out of their control happen to them. And God uses that. I think I wanted my church to be a constant rock in my life, because it was that. But nothing, I repeat nothing, can be a constant in our life except the Lord Jesus.

2) God can use multiplication for his glory- The new church we are a part of is going to be used by God, just as the church we left is going to be used by God. If churches didn't multiply, then we wouldn't be fulfilling the great commission.We may see a church split as negative, but God's economy is so much bigger and will use it all to bring people to him.

3) I can choose to jump in and serve my church, even if it's not the same OR I can pity my circumstance and stay stagnant. Yep, good point God.

Change is hard. Especially when the whole world feels like it's changing and church was a constant that felt safe and secure. But I'm realizing I have to trust God in the midst of this and choose to continue to advance his love and grace as I move forward. And God is big enough to handle my emotions. Grief is a complicated tangle of emotions and they are all OK! So I will continue to grieve, but I will also continue to look forward and rejoice in the work God has set before me:)

Have any of you been through a church split? Any words of wisdom for me and my feeble heart? xoxo