As I was walking through the park with my dog, I noticed that there were boot prints in the snow. The prints were quite large…..so I assume they were those of a man. The man’s boot prints made a path for me making my walk much easier. My foot fit perfectly into His. I followed them two days in a row. There were no others. I noticed that every once in a while the man’s boot prints were paired with those of a dog. My first thought was how sweet this man was for carrying his dog for part of the walk. I didn’t realize the true message that was being sent to me from above.
It was a few days later that I realized the message that God had given to me and the message that I chose to ignore. It was one that had been a huge part of my life yet one that had long been forgotten. Through my life’s journey, my relationship with God was placed on hiatus. Only recently has it been rekindled. I knew there was significance in the experience I had had in the park but I could not put my finger on what it was. I believe I was in denial thinking that God would give ME a message. Why me? Definitely, not a saint – I can swear with the best of them if need be.
Unbeknownst to me, over the last few years, God has been placing very specific people in my life to inch me back to Him. I was sharing my story at a women’s bible study that I attended for the first time in about 20 years – no, the walls did not shake. My priest jokes that when I attend mass, the walls of the church shake upon my arrival. One of my new friends reminded me of the poem “Footprints in the Sand” by Mary Stevenson. It was then that all the light bulbs, bells and whistles, and whatever else God could muster went off in this cobwebbed, faith-deprived brain.
God had been subtly letting me know that He is with me all the time. I chose to ignore His message TWO days in a row. You would think it would have registered the first day. Nope! This experience has taught me that His message is clear and precise. If only I open my eyes and ears, He will speak to me in the manner He deems necessary not in the way I want or think I need. He has a precise plan and message for each and every one of us. Footprints in the snow was a a reminder of that to me. I feel truly blessed.
One night I had a dream.
I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Across the sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me, and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that many times along the path of my life there was only one set of footprints. I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in my life.
This really bothered me and I questioned the Lord about it:
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I need you most you would leave me.”
The Lord replied:
“My precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
– Mary Stevenson –