I’m not sure I’m an expert on this, but I did want to address it as we are still currently living it… Though most of the pastors and leadership from the former church have no communication with us any longer and feel we are on a path leading to destruction 🙂 … We do still have some friends there and we still have complete respect for one pastor and his wife who have nothing but love in their hearts for people. They are some of the most genuine people we know and we will always keep in touch with them.
So, how do we balance our new life with our “old” life especially knowing all the reasons we left and the fact that I have this blog 🙂 It’s no joke that sometimes it’s very difficult! It’s hard because you don’t want to bring up either church in any conversation b/c they’re really not happy we left and certainly don’t understand the extense of the problems because we have always tried to be very diligent in staying quiet and allowing God to show people in His own timing if there’s anything they need to know. It’s also hard because we don’t want to hurt each other but eveybody really is curious about the other church. They’re a little curious about our new church even though they won’t ask and we’re a little curious to know what’s going on at our former church but we won’t ask. Other times it’s hard because we may always think “what are they thinking about us?”, “what do they really want to say to us?”, etc… This sometimes makes converstation a little awkward.
All I can tell you is that if a friendship is meant to survive the test of time it will. No doubt, you will loose some in the moving from an unhealthy church to a new one. After all, if the one you were leaving was healthy, everyone would be in prayer for you and want to keep in touch and want to know how your ministry is going, or your new job, your new life, all about your new friends, etc… There wouldn’t be any “mess” to wander about or question and some of you wouldn’t be leaving at all.
To be brave enough to start a new chapter in your life as the Lord leads you to do so, is giving Him complete authority in your life. You’re saying “Lord, no matter what happens, I trust you”, “no matter who leaves me for doing this, I know you won’t ever leave me or forsake me”, “no matter who chooses to move on with their lives and sweep me away as if I was mear dirt on the floor, I know you will never do that!”. You have to allow him to fill voids, be your friend before anybody else, be your pastor before anybody else, and be your spouse before anybody else! As long as you do this, everything will work out and the rest will be determined in time. Praise God we have the Word to grab hold of and the hand of God to hold on to!!