Family Ties

I have been very blessed throughout my life. I have a mother who loves me and siblings who I actually enjoy being around. I was born in a country where I have freedom to attend church and share my beliefs. I have no fear of being beaten because I’m a woman, and I have the opportunity to receive a good education. There is so much in my life that I don’t deserve and I try to spend every day being continually thankful for it.

I have also had my fair share of tragedy and suffering in my lifetime. My family has been hurt by someone we should have been able to trust, and some bad decisions have been made as the result. This brings me to the point of this article. Even though we are Christians, we are not guaranteed a perfect, easy life, but what we are guaranteed is the constant presence and love of God (Matt. 5:45).

When tragedy struck my family, my grandparents gave me a small foot-shaped keychain with words that I could never forget. It is a famous poem that many people have heard and it is written in many different versions, but the one I have always known goes something like this, “Lord, you said once I decided to follow you we would walk side by side through life. But when I needed you most I only saw one set of footprints in the sand.’ The Lord replied, ‘I love you and I would never leave you during your times of trial and suffering. When you saw only one set of footprints in the sand, it was then that I carried you.’” (Mary Stevenson, 1984)

These few sentences have stayed with me since the young age of six and have often reminded me where to turn. God is there whenever we need Him and gives us exactly what we need when it’s needed––just like He did when He put it on my grandparents’ hearts to buy me that keychain (Phil. 4:6-7). Because God knew that I would need it in my life and that it would help me press on through the hard stuff.

There have been times when I foolishly chose to pull away from God rather than strive to be closer and I always ended up regretting it (Romans 12:12).  So as a Christian I would have to say that when things are not going the way you have planned in your mind just remember God will take care of you and something good can come from it if you choose to let it (James 1:2-4).

Don’t be afraid to be confused or angry about the sad things that happen in your life, but do always remember that God doesn’t want you to be hurt or upset and He will help you get through it. God never leaves us, and when we work diligently at our relationship with Him we can become exactly what He designed us to be!

Shelby Garrett

Shelby Garrett

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