Monday, May 11, 2009

Footprints in the Sand

POST-EDIT: I didn't realize it until after I wrote this, that this was really applicable to my own life right now. This week, on Friday, it's the six year anniversary of an ultrasound that changed my life. I was a few months into my third pregnancy. I went in for an ultrasound and was shocked to learn that my baby didn't have a heartbeat. It devastated me. It changed me. It has always been painful. The Lord didn't take away the pain, He brought me through it. He carried me through it. It took years for me to understand the gospel message through my pain. I even miscarried the next year, again. A Christian for years, I didn't understand why this was happening. In Romans 5 Paul said, "while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me." It took me a long time to realize, I don't even deserve what Christ did for me and all these trials, even losing those babies I wanted so badly, happen so that I may become more Christ-like and He walks beside me the whole time, guiding me toward Him, even when I don't realize it. It's always hard to see in the midst of pain, but it's beautiful to look back and realize what you've gained because of it.

My original post:

Last week, my mother-in-law reminded me of the poem, Footprints. It was one of those poems I had read all my life, but as I've matured, I haven't really thought about. Penny was really touched by my husband's email to her, as she battles cancer. Since she's all the way in South Africa and though we wish so much we could be there caring for her, we mostly pray for her. Often. One day, my husband wrote to her about Footprints, how when we are at our lowest, when we feel alone, we must remember that the Lord is indeed with us. She later told me how much that meant to her and how she'd been pondering it for days since he wrote to her. It's made me consider that as well.

Sometimes, life is good and we don't even notice our lonesome footprints. We are too busy enjoying life. We wait for the next wave to come and we jump right in. Are we even paying attention to our footprints? Can we even see them or do they disappear because we aren't noticing?

Other times, life may be filled with good fun and God puts people in our lives that we share those good times with. Do we stop to notice our footprints? Perhaps we get caught up in the fun and our footprints aren't so visible to us.
Life may even get real loud and you end up having the best of times with friends or family members. You begin to notice their footprints, showing that they've been there with you. But, you probably don't notice your footprints. Isn't that the way it is, we don't notice those lonely footprints when we're distracted.

When hardship comes, it seems it's all too easy to see our own footprints, or at least what we think are our own footprints.

What a wonderful reminder Footprints is to us...that those lone footprints are really the Lord's carrying us through those rough patches. I always want to look for Him...whether life is good or bad...knowing He is carrying me, guiding me, allowing me or pushing me through it all.
Sometimes maybe, he just wants to tell me to pull my pants up!

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 was one only.
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 has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”
Mary Stevenson, 1936


Fifi said...

What a beautiful and very special post.

I too miscarried .... at 14 weeks. Same thing, they couldn't find a heart beat. I know that feeling of emptiness and unbearable shock and pain. I remember feeling covered with God's love.

emily said...

I have never lost a child, but I am so encouraged over and over again when I hear stories of loss turned around into sacrifices of praise. Not that you wouldn't give anything for things to be different. Not that you haven't questions and wondered and hated the way it turned out. But you still hope. So encouraging. Thank you for sharing it with us during Tuesdays Unwrapped

Kat said...

Our stories are similar. 6 years, lost heartbeats, yet because of Him still able to praise. I'm going to share this quote that I LOVE. One of my prayers after Beth's passing was, "Lord, I know I'll never understand, but help me learn something here." A couple of years later I ran across this quote in a Daily Bread Devotional and it's one of my favorite quotes ever:

"If God were small enough to be understood, He would not be big enough to be worshipped."