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

📚 The 2022 – 23 Ren­o­varé Book Club

This year’s nine-month, soul-shap­ing jour­ney fea­tures four books, old and new, prayer­ful­ly curat­ed by Ren­o­varé. Now under­way and there’s still time to join.

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