A Liturgy for Those Whose Hopes Have Been Dashed

“We had hoped…” 

Oh Lord, I wish it were so,
that I didn’t have to live between the Kingdom to come and this one,
that I didn’t have to know the burn of hoping for something good
and not having that hope realized. 

That I didn’t have to catch cries in my throat.
That I didn’t have to grieve what never was.
That I didn’t have to spend so many hours imagining a future I thought would come.

And yet, here You find me:
wondering about You,
questioning Your goodness,
Your plan,
Your attentiveness;

Suddenly aware of a Jeremiah 29:11 faith
that didn’t take into account
a world so unpredictable,
bodies so frail,
emotions so fraught,
futures so uncertain.

Lord, hold me.

When my emotions can’t handle this broken world:
Hold me.

When I have no words for prayers:
Hold me.

When the future seems bleak:
Hold me.

When I dismantle the spaces I created for what I thought would come:
Hold me.

When I deliver the news I never thought I would have to:
Hold me.

This moment reveals my weakness,
my unpreparedness,
my frailty,
my humanness,
and I cringe at the thought that I’m not enough to face this alone.

“Yet I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”

Though I despair, I will hold on to hope.
Though I doubt, I will trust what I know.
Though I weep, I will hold out for joy.
Though I worry, I will trust that You are with me.

You are with me:
in this moment,
in this depth,
in this silence,
in this room,
in this future,
however unknown and terrifying it may be.

And so, I will trust You.
I will trust that You cannot be shaken as I am;
That this foundation will yet still hold me,
and everything I bring to it as a result of this moment.
I will trust that You not only listen to my cries,
but love my honesty;
That You come close to my pain
even when it feels foreign.

In the aftermath of this moment,
in the rubble of hopes dashed,
I will hold on to the only thing I know: You.

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