Blessing for when things don’t go as planned


Tell me about that person, again? The one whose life unfolded exactly as they’d hoped and planned it would? The one who by doing all the right and warranted and acceptable things, got exactly what she’d expected? No really, if she exists, please tell me about her.

My youngest didn’t make a sports team he wanted to recently, and I could feel his disappointment jabbing at every lost expectation I’ve ever had– from the similar experience of not making a team to the searing pain of pregnancy loss, to the countless pieces of art rejected by shows and juries. 

I resisted every urge in me that wanted to jump right over the pain and directly into the fanciful but empty silver lining. I wanted to tell him that maybe this was a good thing; that maybe he would work hard and make it next year. Instead I held onto him for too long and let him tell me how unfair it was, how much he wanted it, how important it was. “That sounds terrible,” was all I could offer, and a humble offering it was, indeed. Everything else I almost said was me wanting to fix what wasn’t fixable. I have more often than not tried to meet pain with control– they do not get along.

Disappointment feels so helpless. 

I wrote the blessing below because I wanted to comfort my child without dismissing him. I wanted to witness and hold his hurt, and I really wanted to say I have great hopes for you still even though this particular and precious one has turned to dust. 

The painting that starts this post is a little wrapped up in all of this, too. It’s called “Holding on, Letting Go”. I didn’t cover the subject’s eyes this time because there was a longing there I wanted to honor. And, appropriately, this painting started off quite differently but didn’t work out. It hung in the gallery as a mostly abstract piece before I took it from the wall and started again waiting for newness, which always seems to arrive but never seems to be in much of a hurry. 


Blessing for When Things Don’t go as Planned


How disappointing–

Your feet never touched the ground of your vision

Your ears never heard the music of your hope


Despite that chorus of well- meaning voices

Certain of 

Second, third, and fourth chances

Or, God forbid (yes, please, God, forbid it)

“Everything happens for a reason”


That path with those blades of grass

That song with those notes in that order


Is irrevocably lost


Blessed are you who longed for what never came

Blessed are those bold enough to seek glory 


May you know it


out of

not because of




May unimaginable newness be ever available to you

And may it be perpetually patient

As you mourn what mattered

What won’t be. 

Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

March 23, 2023

Share Post

6 Responses

  1. Lovely thoughts, Denise! I find myself in a similar position as you were to your son: wanting to listen and validate but feeling because of that approach that words fall flat.

Leave a Reply


Related Blog Posts

Day 31. If you want to go far…

  “If You Want to go Far” 24×30 inches, oil on canvas I started this month with a bike, and...

View Post
Day 30. Reteach a thing its loveliness.

“The Bud Stands for All Things” 24×24 inches, oil on paper I discovered this poem last week by Galway Kinnell...

View Post
Day 29. Intuition

“Follow Your Intuition” 9×12 inches, oil on paper My art studio is a 300 square foot storage room underneath our...

View Post

Privacy Policy

This following document sets forth the Privacy Policy for this website. We are bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Crh), which sets out a number of principles concerning the privacy of individuals using this website.

Collection of your personal information

We collect Non-Personally Identifiable Information from visitors to this Website. Non-Personally Identifiable Information is information that cannot by itself be used to identify a particular person or entity, and may include your IP host address, pages viewed, browser type, Internet browsing and usage habits, advertisements that you click on, Internet Service Provider, domain name, the time/date of your visit to this Website, the referring URL and your computer’s operating system.

Free offers & opt-ins

Participation in providing your email address in return for an offer from this site is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose your information. You may unsubscribe at any time so that you will not receive future emails.

Sharing of your personal information

Your personal information that we collect as a result of you purchasing our products & services, will NOT be shared with any third party, nor will it be used for unsolicited email marketing or spam. We may send you occasional marketing material in relation to our design services. What Information Do We Collect? If you choose to correspond with us through email, we may retain the content of your email messages together with your email address and our responses.