I think I have mentioned recently that my church went through a terrible ordeal…it split. This has been a devastating occurrence in my life. And, coming so soon after Mom’s journey to Heaven, it has felt like another death to me.

I have written no less than 10 posts about what transpired. But, chose not to publish any of them. I wondered if they were too harsh. Or were they too angry. Maybe, they seemed too sad, or maybe, not really saying what I felt. I guess the truth of the matter has been…I haven’t known just exactly what I really have felt. All I could say for sure was that it hurt…big time.

I have been at Southside since I was in the 6th grade. I have become the person I am today within the walls of those buildings. I have formed my thoughts on life and the way to live it properly while listening to great men of God speak from the pulpit. I have struggled with problems in my life while being supported by the congregation there. I have faced my own personal battles while keeping ‘one foot in the door’ so to speak.

But, this, this breaking apart of the family of God is one of the hardest things I’ve ever faced. There has been anger and hateful and hurtful talk between both groups. It is so hard to take. It has split up friendships, partnerships, families. It has driven wedges between people where none has ever existed before. It has devastated.

In examining why I feel compelled to address this on my blog…I think it is because I have wanted to document every major life occurrence here. But, I have agonized over this incident and how to best explain it. I am usually not so careful with what I write. While I am always on guard to never knowingly write something that would hurt another person, I tend to pretty much write the way I talk. And, that is usually speaking my mind and saying whatever comes up. But, I am so aware in this matter, that I do not want to do or say or write anything that is not honest and true. I would never want to harm the cause of Christ. And, I think in the life of Southside Baptist Church, it has been harmed too much already.

And, so, I choose to not say anything about the particulars of this tragedy. Some of the dearest people in my life are now attending another church. And, I must respect that. Just as I wish them to respect my choice. Honestly, Don and I were torn in our decision. But, I will say this…this did not have to happen…and that is the biggest tragedy of all.

Pray for us…those who stayed and those who left. We all need it. We need to look closely at what has transpired. We need to ask questions, and get answers. We need to examine everything and make decisions based only on what God would do. I do know this: “…for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the Saints.” 1 Corinthians 14:33 NASB I know He is not pleased with this occurrence.

I hope that this will fill the need I have had to write about this. As I said earlier, I do not want to offend. Everyone who stayed or who left had their own decisions to make. And, we all had to come to our decisions based on our own set of criteria. And, that is as it should be. The pastor of Southside, before this happened; and the pastor now of this new church was very good to my family. He has a heart for hurting people. He was so kind and faithful to pray for Alex, and he was so comforting to us during Mom’s death and funeral. He was there as she died and was a source of peace and comfort to our family. We will always be grateful to him.

There is not a winner in a situation like this. We all lost something very precious. We lost fellowship with our church family. Those ‘ties that bind our hearts in Christian love’ were broken. I miss the people that have been in my life since I was a child. I miss those people that gave me a hug every Sunday. I miss those people who I knew could be called on for anything…anytime. I wonder if they miss the fellowship that we had at Southside. I wonder if they miss those of us that stayed. I wonder if think about those who were hurting before they left and are hurting still. I wonder about lot of things…

I miss my church…as it was.