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Footprints in the Sand

There's a story I heard a while ago, about a man walking along the beach with God, and how God promised to always be there for the man, and pointed to the two sets of tracks. Yet as the man's life went on, he found when times were hard for him, when he suffered, he saw only one set of footprints and he cried out to God, asking why God had abandoned him. To which God replied, "Those were the times I carried you."

I can't remember where or how I first heard this story but it's been coming back to me a lot lately. I Googled it this morning, and found that it was actually based upon a poem written by Mary Stevenson in the 1930s - you can read about it here: Footprints in the Sand.

Here's the original poem.

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 in the sand,
is when I carried you."

Mary Stevenson

I've decided to let God carry me for a while.

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Other Thinks (14)

I have loved this poem... there have been times in my life when you would have seen footprints dragging a reluctant body.

Surrender has never been my middle name.
Hang tough!

Lisa:

This kind of made me reflect about the conversation we had about G-d on the treadmill, when I thought I was left all alone to deal with my issues. This sounds like a much better approach.

Thank you for finding and posting the original poem.

Your travel plans sound wonderful! We're starting to plan a return trip to France in May 2009. If our 401k plans hadn't taken such a beating, we'd probably go back to Italy, too.

Cameron


Barb Cabot:

It's nice to be reminded of this passage. It's the kind of thought you tuck away like a folded piece of paper with a message you need to unfold and read every now and then. Thanks Kim.

Kimmer,
That story always makes me teary, and your last line pushed me over. Take Care of YOU.
XO, Colleen

That's lovely, Kim. Here's another one that might resonate...

After A While

Beautiful poem Kim. I haven't read it in a while now. Thanks for posting it. I am glad you are finding ways to deal with all of this.

ellen:

It's hard for type-A people, who are used to doing the carrying, to allow others to carry them. When you finally do, you realize how much they wanted to help all along but didn't know how to do it without intruding.

May you be carried gently into the new year.

I love this poem!
I carried a copy in my wallet for years. When my kids were teens, I also gave them each a book mark with this written on it...then a few years later I gave my son another one. He said, "Mum! You already GAVE this to me!" Must mean he actually read it the first time!

Sometimes the only thing we can do is to give it up and give it over...
Huge hugs,
Brenda
xox

nancyhol:

Hang in there, Kim!

2009 is going to be a better year!

Anne:

Oh I love that poem, thanks for posting it!

I hope you and your family a Happy and blessed New Year, and my prayers are with you as you walk through your journey toward a return of better health.

Teaberry:

I've never heard it before. Beautiful.

Jen:

Kim-what a beautiful post. Wishing you well in 2009.
Blessings-

Jen

Wendy and Rob:

I was not familiar with this poem, but its' message is so strong and yet soft at the same time. Thank you and may it help you. W.

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