Ephesians 3:14-21

“When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.  Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.  Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.”

There are far too many times in life when you feel weak and incapable of taking one more step, facing one more challenge, dealing with one more difficult person, handling one more disagreement with another family member, experiencing one more loss…  I know that sometimes life can feel overwhelming.  I also know that when these trials present themselves that it is then that you can feel so incredibly alone.

When you are facing such struggles, remember that God is the giver of all that is good.  In the midst of what seems to be all that is bad, please try to remember He is there with you.  I know that this isn’t always easy to do nor easy to remember, because quite honestly loss and pain hurt!  Hard times in life are difficult!  Loss seems to leave a big hole in our hearts!  Sometimes life just stinks!

I remember when I found out about my husband’s affair, I felt as if my entire world shook.  Then when I found out he didn’t want a divorce but also didn’t want to give up his girlfriend, my entire world changed some more.  I didn’t know what I was going to do.  I didn’t know what to think.  I really wanted to know why this was all happening.  But no answer came.  I felt defeated.

Then, I stumbled upon a copy of the poem Footprints In The Sand byMary Stevenson (1936).

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.”

I carried this poem with me for the next number of days…weeks…years…as I worked through the changes that came after losing a 19 year marriage.  I had to grieve the loss of my sons’ family unit – my family unit. I had to grieve the loss of my marriage.  I had to grieve the loss of half of my family and many of my friends.  I had to grieve the loss of my step-children and step-grandchildren.  I had to grieve the loss of the home that I designed and helped build.  I had to grieve the loss of my neighborhood and beautiful neighbors.  I had to grieve the loss of our dreams for retirement, grandchildren, the future we had dreamed about and planned.  It seemed that I had to grieve more than I had to hold on to as all of this loss was going on around me.  At times, I felt so alone.  It was a terribly difficult time in my life.  This poem served as a reminder that God was carrying me through all of my grief…all of these changes…all of the loss.

The verses in Ephesians reminded me, too that as life happened around me and to me, I was not alone.  I did not have to be strong – God’s strength would sustain me when I felt I had no more to give.  During those moments when I did not believe that I could take one more step, I was lovingly reminded that I didn’t have to.  God was carrying me.  I was not alone.

No matter what struggles you are facing today, may the words from Ephesians and the poem by Mary Stevenson be lights to your path.  My prayer for you is that during the hurt, sadness, pain and grief that you are working through today that you are lovingly reminded…

“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.”

You are not alone!