for when the church has let you down
Hello my dear,
Maybe you are reimagining what your faith looks like now because you have been hurt by church. Or maybe you are having to recreate what your relationship to church should look like. Maybe you feel the sting of unbelonging or you are grieving all that you’ve lost.
I am so sorry for your pain, hurt, and grief. I am sorry that it happened to you. We’ve curated this page with you in mind and we hope that you will be reminded of the bigger truth: You, at your very core, are worth cherishing. Sending you so much love.
a blessing for
when church breaks your heart
Blessed are you standing among the
ruins of a family of faith
that once felt so sturdy,
now turned to dust under your feet.
The certainty you once had, gone.
The community you loved, dissipated.
The hope you held dear, hard to find.
Instead, what’s taken up residence
is the very stuff that seems counter
to what you imagined:
Disappointment. Doubt. Disillusionment. Despair.
In this new landscape, may you practice
the courage to find the others
who make space for your questions
without easy answers,
who celebrate doubt when it makes room
for more faith,
who search high and low for a defiant
hope born amidst despair.
Bless you, dear one.
You who don’t give up wrestling.
Who have eyes to see something new
being rebuilt on top of what was.
Blessed are you who walk away
wounded, yes. But changed.
You are not the bad thing.
You are a gift.
And we love every bit of you.
Be the first to know when we release a new resource like this one.
When Faith Breaks Your Heart
Accidental Saints: Finding God in all the Wrong People
by Nadia Bolz-Weber
In a time when many have become disillusioned with Christianity, Nadia Bolz-Weber’s Accidental Saints demonstrates what happens when ordinary people share bread and wine, struggle with scripture together, and tell each other the truth about their real lives.
Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith
by Sarah Bessey
Sarah Bessey’s book: Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith teaches us to be comfortable with uncertainty as you ask tough questions about Christian issues.
The Lives We Actually Have
100 Blessings for Imperfect Days
In a world that demands relentless perfection, this book offers creative, faith-based blessings that center gratitude and hope without making light of our real, messy lives. Formatted like a prayer book, The Lives We Actually Have is an oasis and a landing spot for weary souls, with blessings that center on various moods, including Bless This Ordinary Day, Bless This Lovely Day, Bless This Mournful Day, and more.
If you or someone you love has been hurt by the church, consider this:
1. Dear one, I know what happened to you was not fair and doesn’t make sense. You don’t have to explain or justify what happened to anyone else—just know that your pain is valid. And we are so sorry. This is not what God had intended for the church to be. How hard is it to separate your church experience from your experience of God?
2. For many of us, there are questions that have yet to be answered. In scripture, we find that Jesus and the Jewish teachers loved (and still do) to teach their students by answering a question with a question. For example: “What is the church supposed to be?” A teacher might answer with “What is love?” What questions do you need to ask to go deeper in your faith even if they don’t have ready answers? What question might God ask you in response to your question?
3. We know when we have been hurt by church it can be difficult to trust people again or to venture into another faith community. And yet, we need people and community to support us, encourage us, carry us, and celebrate with us. How can you acknowledge what is holding you back from community? What small steps could you take to find people to be church to you? Can you write your fears in a journal? Could you pray to God to show you to a new place of belonging? Can you ask someone out to coffee and get to know more about their faith journey? Can you visit a new church or look on the internet at some options?
“Teach us to hold on to the truths that enliven our spirits and fill our souls and loosen our grip on the painful untruths. Like that we are alone or unlovable or that desire itself is the enemy. Teach us to hunger for what is good and be filled. There will be no easy addition or subtraction, we will lose and we will gain and almost none of it will make much sense at the time. And it forces our hands open in the ebb and flow of wins and losses, comings and goings we will look for divine love in the mystery of it all.”
Randy Balmer: Wrestling with the faith we Love
For when you are trying to maintain faith when you’ve been hurt by the church
Stanley Hauerwas: More Life, Fewer Explanations
For learning to have faith, when you don’t have explanations
Jeff Chu: Full Circle Faith
For when you feel like you don’t belong
Father Richard Rohr: Learning to Hold on, Learning to Let go
For learning how to stay present to God, Learning to Hold On, Learning to Let Go
Philip Yancey: The Scandal of Grace
For wrestling with deep questions of faith and doubt
Nadia Bolz-Weber: The Insight of Outsiders
For when you feel like an outsider