There was a time in my life when the “Footprints” poem resonated with me fairly deeply. It was back in the day when I was going through cancer treatments and faced some pretty lonely moments–those times when there was no one who could step in and take my pain away, or make things any better. The thought that God/Jesus was with me then was quite comforting. I wasn’t ready to think that I was on my own in this big (and scary and painful) world:
“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?”
Certainly that’s why I found the following tweet so amusing (as did many of my twitter and Facebook followers who re-tweeted and “liked” my post)…
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be alone, and about how much I’ve been craving autonomy for the past several years. In my marriage I was kept rather close by my spouse, which I struggled with. In reaction, I developed a habit of ‘accidentally’ turning off my cellphone or letting the battery run down so I could be free from monitoring (I wanted to be out of contact). Not that I was doing anything wrong, but I chafed at the feeling of surveillance and wanted to be where no one knew me and no one knew where I was. It was certainly a reaction to mothering for so many years–always being accompanied by children (and/or spouse). And it’s just one more reason that I began to enjoy traveling so much. When I was in a different time zone and far away from the familiar, I had even more autonomy.
This past year I’ve had so many delicious hours of being alone. Certainly there’ve been moments where being with someone meant everything to me and was perfect for the moment (and, oh, I’ve had me some fantastic adventures with new friends and romantic partners–what a time of life to be single & exploring every new possibility!)…But, for the first time, I’m feeling the power that comes from making my own choices and standing alone in life’s circumstances. I’m making some mistakes along the way, learning lots, and making progress–one step at a time. What a great feeling.