Now for the Rest of the Story – Part I

After reading this, this, and this, a friend commented that I wasn’t finished. She had been anticipating Part IV. I’m really not trying to make my life into this dramatic mini-series, but I realized that she was right. We were having this conversation on a charter bus headed toward the NewSpring Anderson campus, and my narrative did fail to relay how it was that I found myself occupying that seat.

My tale kinda concluded with me discovering my passion in the midst of a nurturing and supportive church family. Well, September 10, 2006, rolled around – Black Sunday as I call it. As churches sometimes do, our church exploded and our church family was destroyed. Our church family had become as vital to our lives as our biological families – perhaps even to a fault (finding security and purpose in the church and not truly in Him). To some of you this may sound melodramatic, but it was devastating. There were many, many people there who had loved on our girls literally from the days they were born. They had rocked them and changed them and fed them and sang to them and taught them Bible stories, and we had shared hundreds of meals and shed gallons of tears together through the years. Approximately two hundred people displaced in a day. An entire staff of families without jobs. A mass of brokenhearted people wandering. Some are still wandering. Some are still hurting. Some are still angry. Some still carry their tears very close to the surface, and they spill over easily. And this is two years later…

I remember getting into bed after church that afternoon and sobbing over the loss of relationships. No matter what happened or how this thing worked out, it would never be the same. And I was right; it never will be. A very real time of mourning began. Foolishly we attended another church the following Sunday, and I wept through the entire service – not quietly. The kind of crying where you can barely breathe and you kinda shake like you’re having a seizure. Chris sat there stewing and steaming; he was so angry I thought he was going to deck the offering guy. I can honestly say the churches in this area are phenomenal; they rushed to wrap their arms around us, but that was the last thing we wanted. We didn’t want to be loved by their church; we just wanted our own church back.

And to this day, it is an absolute treat to run into someone from that time. To those of you who are reading, you must know that I love you as much today as I ever did and I miss you!!!

So we began the daunting prospect of visiting churches. We learned that Florence is blessed with some fantastic churches who are pastored by awesome men of God and comprised of godly men and women. We prayed each Sunday, with each new church, that we would find a home. We were desperate for something to feel right; we were desperate to feel like God was showing us something – desperate for a spark of hope. Nothing! Nothing Sunday after Sunday… Why was He being silent? Why couldn’t He just give us something to grab on to?

He was up to something new, and He just needed us to simmer in our desperation for Him for a while…

To be continued (where I’ll really wrap it up this time)…

Now for the Rest of the Story - Part II
And this I know...


  1. Anonymous
    August 4, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Thanks Cookie! Crystal

  2. Scarlett
    August 4, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Just like biological families….your brothers and sisters still love you very much even if you are not all together in the same place 🙂 There is nothing that I would not do for you little sis…love you, glad to hear a spark of renewed happiness in your blog..can’t wait to see what God is gonna do with the passion you all have!!

  3. Erika Chapman
    August 5, 2008 at 3:11 am

    Love this!!! Even though I know the end of this story, I just love reading it:) You are great!

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