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Tradition & Innovation

Held in the Brokenness: A Prayer for Forgiveness

a black woman stands in the middle of a field of trees. She is wearing a read dress and her hair is long and dark. Her hands are clasped in front of her chest and her head is tilted up toward the sky in a prayer stance.
God, I know that life is not linear
that time is a spiral,
that every change
is a chance to try again. 
 
Each time I reach a new year, 
a new month, a new week, a new day
I tell myself, “This time will be different.”
 
And yet, each year, I find I’m still here,
facing a transition with hope and kavanot
the same fears, the same beliefs,
stories that have served me,
that continue to hurt me,
no matter how many times
I’ve tried to let them go.
 
God, I yearn to unlearn, to release this longing and loathing 
to believe the soul You’ve placed within me is pure,
to know, without a doubt, that I am good. 
 
But when I forget, when I repeat my mistakes, 
when I fail and fall, when I find myself here, tomorrow or next year,
God, teach me to see myself with compassion.
Help me forgive myself, as I have forgiven others,
and as You have always forgiven me. 
 
Hold me in my brokenness
because I am whole in my holiness
a human who is praisable, who is worthy,
who is loved. 
 
Blessed are You, God, who accepts and forgives me
even when I can’t accept or forgive myself.

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