Excerpt from Liturgies for Hope

As you untangle the knotted history of your past
and sense the once-solid foundation shifting beneath your feet,
take courage—
for your beliefs may not be dying but awakening,
your faith may not be waning but strengthening.
You have reached the point of growth where pruning is
where uprooting is needed,
where sifting through rocks and weeds is essential
to cultivating rich, fertile soil for your soul.

Do not be afraid,
for many have traveled this road before you
and have returned with a deeper understanding of what
they know
and a profound peace about what they do not. 

Now is the time to be teachable,
to be circumspect without being cynical,
to learn and unlearn,
to be soft,
to listen,
to unravel the threads of what you were taught
and preserve the strands of truth—
weaving together a tapestry of wisdom. 

Though it pains you to no end,
now is the time to grow out of childhood,
to crave the meatiness of truth rather than drinking what is
easy to digest.
Now is the time to leave behind those who are always right, who trust in their minds above anyone else’s,
who leave no room for wonder and discovery. 

Now is the time to have hope,
for the truth will be found by those who seek it out.
Now is the time to probe the depths of wisdom,
to explore what is gray with a sharp, clear eye,
to courageously investigate what you do not yet
for a faith that asks questions is alive. 

Questioning your faith is not a shameful thing
but rather a beautiful opportunity to have your mind
your heart transformed,
your soul guided home
by the One who loves you. 

Many may try to discourage you,
but remember — you do not walk this valley alone. 

May you find compassionate companions
who are not blinded by bitterness but open to new
who are willing to wrestle with you and are anchored by
steady hearts.
May you surround yourself with wise teachers who are
able to guide you,
who may not have all the answers but will help you ask the
right questions,
who are themselves lifelong students of this infinitely
beautiful, eternally mysterious, and complex thing
we call faith. 

You are in a critical place, but take heart—
you could be on the cusp of becoming a new 
May you deconstruct in order to rebuild.
May you find steady ground and a solid rock
on which to plant your feet.
May the end of your story be deeply satisfying,
for God is leading you to the true foundation of your faith.
May you learn the sound of His clarifying voice
and follow your Good Shepherd when you do not know
where to turn.
May you ask for help when you need it
and whisper the words of this simple prayer— 

Oh God who does not rest until the lost sheep is found, would You come and find me? 


Psalm 1; 23:4; 27:4; 139:6 – 10 • Proverbs 3:7; 11:14; 28:26 • Isaiah 41:10 • Matthew 7:7 – 11, 24 – 27; 13:3 – 9 • Luke 15 • John 6:63 – 69; 10:27 – 28; 15:2 • Acts 17:27 • Ro- mans 12:22 Corinthians 5:7, 17 • Hebrews 5:13 – 6:3 • James 1:51 Peter 2:2 – 325 

Adapted from Liturgies for Hope: Sixty Prayers for the Highs, the Lows, and Everything in Between by Audrey Elledge and Elizabeth Moore. Copyright © 2022 by Audrey Elledge and Elizabeth Moore. Published by WaterBrook, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, on November 1, 2022. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Photo by Natalia Yakovleva on Unsplash

Text First Published November 2022 · Last Featured on Renovare.org November 2022