A blessing for when your family disappoints you - Kate Bowler

Complicated Grief and Complicated Love with

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A blessing for when your family disappoints you

God, I am angry and hurt and so incredibly sad.
The very people who were supposed to love me and know me best
have let me down.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to let this go
or find a way forward.
I am losing my sense of home.

And the reality of it all fills me with a kind of fear.
However big, however small,
this pain always feels… unforgivable.

I know they are only human (really, I know),
but their mistakes feel like they echo through me.
They strike a painful chord that rings on and on.
I feel convinced, all at once,
that I am not loved, not known, not safe.

I feel small, all over again.

So bless me, God, when tears prick at my eyes,
and I feel lost to myself.
Bring me home.
Remind me of the places you’ve brought me,
the person I’ve become, when I feel your light and peace.
Forgive them for me when I can’t
and send some grace for this moment,
to keep my heart from breaking
or my temper from rising,
or any sentence from starting with “YOU ALWAYS…”

You remember me when I am a stranger to myself,
and an outsider at my own address.

This blessing is from our NEW book of blessings, “The Lives We Actually Have” (coming 2/14/23) and a huge thank you to Julia Samuel for offering us such wisdom and grace for how to navigate complicated family dynamics. Listen to my conversation with Julia here.

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jill keller
4 months ago

perfectly said for how I feel some times. Help me not to be a stranger to myself

Dee Decheubel
4 months ago

Well thank goodness I chose not to wear mascara today. Need this before the big Turkey day!

4 months ago

I have spent decades saying:”It doesn’t really matter. I am fine.”
This is a year of acknowledging that it does matter and hurt, so I recited this blessing aloud [maybe more than one time]. What a painful yet lovely relief. I know Immanuel hears and will help; HE never leaves nor forsakes.

4 months ago

This is such a beautiful prayer. So very timely as I experienced these exact feelings yesterday evening. I have tears in my eyes as I write this. The only way forward for me is to live my life with dignity and grace.

3 months ago

This is just what I needed… grace for this very moment..”Forgive them for me when I can’t and send
some grace for this moment, to keep my heart from breaking…”
Thank you.

Just me
3 months ago

this precious prayer hits home with me. Daily, perpetually living with the disabling wounds dealt by the ones closest to me, with whom i am supposed to be safe…is such a crushing grief with no escape in this life. Healing may come, but scars remain…. not to mention the anxiety of expected future woundings.

Heather Roberts
3 months ago

Thank you for this Blessing. Family upsets can pounce unexpectedly as it did this weekend. Your words summed up my feelings exactly. Thank you Heather

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