Don’t Dare Hope

My prayer list is very short.  It’s been whittled down to the basics.  I don’t ask for much and I expect less.

But today I will be waiting with bated breath to find out if a prayer that’s been lifted up for months will be answered.

It’s risky business to ask when the answer may be “no”.  If I’m honest, I’m not sure my heart can take it.

I am confident that I will see Dominic in heaven when I get there.  My heart rests assured that the blood of Christ is sufficient and my salvation sure.


I do not dare hope anymore that when I pray specifically for someone or something it will come to pass.  Oh, I believe God HEARS my prayer, that He knows the desire of my heart, that He COULD grant my request.  But I no longer rest my head on the pillow of peace, settled in my spirit that the “effectual fervent prayers  of a righteous man or woman availeth much.”

I will be the first to admit that to hold both thoughts simultaneously seems impossible and contradictory.  Yet I do.

Because I’ve learned the hard way that my prayers are not God’s “to do” list.  He is sovereign, not me.  His plans may or may not conform to mine.  His work in my life may very well include pain and sorrow and disappointment.

Sometimes I just want that old naive hope back.  I want to erase this dark knowledge from my heart.

Especially when someone I love needs my prayers.

I want to believe.  I want to trust.  I want to rest assured that not only is my prayer heard, but that it will be granted.  But it is oh, so hard!!!!

So I offer the only prayer I can still lift up with absolute confidence:  I plead mercy and grace.

I pray that God may have mercy on my fragile spirit, that He may grant my desire and strengthen my faith.  And I pray that regardless of the outcome, He will give me the grace to accept it.

It’s the best I can do.






Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

18 thoughts on “Don’t Dare Hope”

  1. I read this and the tears just flowed. Did you peek into my life? This couldn’t have been written any better. Your writings and Kim’s writings keep me afloat these days. God sure is using you and I’m thankful to be able to absorb your wisdom and grow through your experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What you said today echos my feelings. I did not lose a child, but both of my parents were murdered in a burglary situation. Recently in my husband’s family, the one son who held everyone together through 3 cancer deaths; himself died instantly of a heart attack. Are we safe, God? Do my prayers do any good? Like you, I still believe God can and does intervene. I still pray for situations, though. My chosen words for praying over a situation are, I pray “the best” over this situation.

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    1. I am so, so sorry for your pain and your loss! That is a terrible burden to bear. I like your prayer-that is one I can also embrace and pray honestly and with faith. ❤


  3. I seem to be doing a flip flop on this, Melanie. What you describe, the fear of a “no” answer was where I was at most of my Christian life. It made my prayer life more of a bargaining session or a committee meeting than an exercise in faith. Since Hans left us, I feel less anxious about how the Lord may answer me. It is obvious to me now since “the worst” has happened, that His will prevails. Perhaps the key is to accept whatever He has already chosen to do and to accept it at the very moment our petition leaves our lips.

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    1. Maybe that’s what my heart is really saying, Kim. Maybe asking for grace and mercy means to simply accept whatever God wills. I want to submit and remain pliable under the Potter’s hand.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I know this may sound a bit odd to some, but in some way…God saved my life by taking my son Home. I say this because in my despair, it all drove me deeper into the arms of our Lord. My despair was so far off the charts, that I would not be here today if not for ‘the fear’ that if I took my own life, I might not see my son again. That is not to say that in any way am I of the belief that one who dies by suicide automatically goes elsewhere. I do not believe that because I know that God desires for all to be saved, we can never judge one’s eternal destiny, and we have no clue what may transpire between a person and God even in a second. However, for me, I was unwilling to ‘throw the dice’ on that one. My son’s death also caused me to lose all appeal for this world and what it offers. My focus changed dramatically from the ‘here and now’…to eternity and my Heavenly Home. I also, for the most part :), stopped arguing with God and rather accepted and came to prefer: ‘Thy will be done’. (((HUGS)))

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Your comment about ‘surrender’ made me smile. I read a book titled: Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray back in the 70’s. We so often think we have ‘arrived’…could God possibly ask more from us? Yes, He can. Until I have reached the point of sweating blood, until I am facing as Stephen a moment of execution and am able to look up unto our Lord with Grace and gratitude, I have not surrendered all. I do so in ‘word’, but shall I do so in ‘deed’? I pray that God makes my heart willing for whatever He requires or asks of me. Phil. 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain…May it be so, Lord…may it be so. (((HUGS)))

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  4. Your words resonate with me as well. I too long for that “naive hope” that I used to have…. but then my thoughts spin off to the knowledge that I’m a much more mature Christian because of my grief. The blinders have been removed and I’ve slowly beginning the process of accepting God’s will. This has not been an easy process. I’ve fought it kicking and screaming… but with this acceptance has come the issue of daring to pray for others. Pray anyway.

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  5. Hey Melanie. We all react/respond differently when we have a child that has passed on. My Faith, my ‘knowing’, wasn’t shaken. But…my Trust was shattered. I prayed for the safety of my children daily. I didn’t question ‘Why?’ as often some do…however, I could no longer believe that God ‘cared’ to answer my prayers for me. For others? Yes….but not for me. Then I found a scribbled piece of paper amongst my son’s things on which he had written that the desire of his heart was to dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Then, I got angry…
    “You answer his prayers and not mine???” Sounds a bit silly to me now…but was very real at the time. Then, the Lord showed me that once again His thoughts are above mine. He told me: ‘I answered both’. It was then I understood that my son was exactly where he desired to be, in an everlasting state of Joy in the presence of our Lord…and for me, well, he was in the safest possible place he could be. (((HUGS)))

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My faith wasn’t really shaken either. I remained confident in the core truths of Who God is and His promises. But like you, my belief/faith/trust that God would answer my specific prayers was and still is, shaken. I am so glad you have that piece of paper to hold close to your heart and give you assurance that your son is right where he most longed to be. One day all this will be redeemed and restored and our faith made sight! What a wonderful day that will be.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. In awe of this!!! “The safest place he could possibly be.” Such amazing wisdom! I will share these words, as the Lord allows, with others who need the strength that pours from these.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you again. I think and you put it in print. I thank that our hearts are on the same timeline of grief. So often I read your words and relate to them as if they were my own. I’m sorry for your Journey with me, but I’m thankful for your words

    Liked by 2 people

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