Over the last couple of days this poem has come back into my mind on many occasions, I first come across it some months ago, I enjoyed it when I first read through it, but couldn’t really connect with it at that point, now it has become the story of my last few weeks, when my strength to struggle through all but disappeared, He certainly carried me.
Footprints in the Sand by Mary Stevenson
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?”
The Lord replied,
“The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints,
is when I carried you.”
The early weeks of this second Mad March, were at times quite brutal, dealing with the grief of my Nanna’s passing and then the funeral, which took place on the one year anniversary of my relationship with Victoria coming to an abrupt end, dealing with the grief of loss of love and loved ones was a struggle, a struggle that I found I didn’t have the strength for.
I pushed myself to hard in those early days, I threw myself into helping at Church to keep my mind occupied, I knew if I stayed busy I would keep my mind out of the dark thoughts, then at work I just did everything I could to stay busy and as good work colleagues do, they let me do it all, their jobs as well to a certain extent. I didn’t actually tell everyone at work what I was going through, apart from my Boss, nobody else knew, I just stayed busy did everything I could and more.
Eventually it came to head on that Sunday morning two weeks ago, when although there had been natural periods over the previous weeks where I hit lows, that morning I hit the lowest I had been for almost a year, sad, angry thoughts consumed my tired mind and the darkness and shadows formed, remember I didn’t want to go to Church, but I got out of the house, against my honest wishes, I wanted to walk on by, but I turned the corner, against my honest desire, He carried me, in those moments when I wanted to run and hide, He carried me, so now when I look back at that morning, there will be one set of footprints and they won’t be my little size 7 trainers, those footprints weren’t there to be seen.
But now on reflection, not only times during the last few weeks or times over the last year, but I can see many periods of missing footprints, going back well before I prayed to God and accepted Jesus as my Saviour, so many times has He carried me, without me knowing and I’m sure there will be many more.
I guess we can all look back on our lives and find moments when there are one set of footprints, but who’s do we believe they are, well I know now they’re not mine, what about you?
I’m at the end of myself
I know I’ve got nothing left
Feels like I’m stuck in the valley of the shadow of death
And I’ve been down here so long
I just can’t find my way out
Oh God I don’t stand a chance
Unless You carry me now
God carry me now
(Carry Me by Josh Wilson)