All of us have faced hardships in our lives. We may have experienced an illness, the loss of a loved one, abuse, addiction, the loss of a job. Eventually you will ask the questions. Why? Why me? What did I do to deserve this? I’m not going to pretend to have the answers to those questions and this isn’t going to be a religious rant, but there’s a great prayer that I like to read in those difficult times called Footprints in the Sand. If nothing else, it gives me hope.
I’m paraphrasing, but the poem describes a dream a person has of walking along the beach with the Lord. As they are walking, scenes from the person’s life are flashing across the sky. The man or woman notices two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to them, the other to the Lord. When the last scene flashes up, the person looks back and during the most troubling and saddest times of their lives they notice there is only one set of footprints. The persons asks the Lord, “You said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk with me all the way. Why in my darkest times did you leave me?” The Lord responds, “My precious precious child, I love you and I would never leave you during your times of trial and suffering. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
Someone once said that faith is the oil that takes the friction out of life. I love how that sounds. We will all be faced with situations and decisions, some grave, some life altering; know that you are not alone. Those are the times that will define who you are as a parent, as a sibling, as a friend, as a spouse. There will be days when you wake up and it pains you just to get out of bed and face another day. There will be the days when all you can possibly think about is the person you lost and how much you miss them. The days when all you want to do is cry or scream or beat on something all day because it hurts that bad. There are memories and regrets of the past that linger where we could have made better choices. By now you know I love quotes and I think this one suits, it says “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
Maybe, just maybe, that is the answer to all of this, I don’t know. My wish for all of you is that you find it in your hearts to let go. Just let go of all that baggage, of all that troubles you and find your faith, wherever it may be. Faith in something bigger than us, faith in your friends and family, and most importantly a belief and faith in yourselves so that you may find peace. My mentor Les Brown says that regardless of what challenge you may be facing know that it has not come to stay, it has come to pass.
Take solace in the fact that when you look back at those tough times, and you see those footprints in the sand, it was then that He carried you.