Finding Moments of Grace Along Your Medical Journey

A family of three walks along the beach at sunset leaving footprints in the sand.
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Although the origin of this lovely and well-known spiritual poem is unknown, it’s helped many feel the Lord’s nearness during their times of greatest need. You’ve likely seen what has come to be known as “Footprints in the Sand:”

One night I had a dream…

I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord when across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonged to me, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of my life flashed before us, I looked back at the footprints and noticed that, at many times, there was only one set. This really bothered me, so I asked, “Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you would walk with me all the way; but I’ve noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there’s only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why you’d leave me.” The Lord replied, “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.”

When you’re faced with health issues — whatever your condition, and however long your path to healing — one thing is certain: you’ll have both difficult stretches and easier times. But since God promises to be at your side for every step of life, from delighting in your joys and triumphs to meeting you where you are in challenging times, you can rest easier knowing He’ll walk with you in lockstep (or carry you) through your medical journey.

What is Grace?

Grace is defined as “the unmerited love or help given to a person by God.” In other words, the many the ways He shows up for us.

While it’s easy to see His grace when your treatment, therapy or recovery is going well, it doesn’t stop there. In fact, if you look with your faith rather than your eyes, you’ll surely find His grace during your journey’s lowest points. It’s expressed in many ways.

It might be a conversation with your doctor about your prognosis that becomes deeply personal. A meal from a nurse that notices you missed dinner. A pleasant exchange with someone from housekeeping that lifts your spirit. An offer for organ or blood donation from someone you never dreamed of asking.

No matter how these moments happen, they make you feel more whole in body, mind and spirit. They envelop you with a gentleness and warmth that makes you feel — even if just for a moment — that everything will be okay.

Grace is that moment when you feel God’s presence and the extraordinary happens. You may not hear trumpets sounding. You may not see lightning flashing or a host of angels singing. But it will be life-changing or saving all the same.

Grace Has Two Parts

If you break the idea of grace down into two parts you can gain a full understanding of its depth and breadth.

The first part is not about you personally, but something bigger. It’s about the divine spirit that shows up when you’re not looking. You can’t force it. And you can’t ask for it.

The other part has everything to do with you: It’s about being an open and willing participant. In this sense, moments of grace are all about you — being able to recognize moments as they happen in your own life and allowing God to use you to play a part in moments for others.

Embracing Grace

No matter how bumpy the road to healing and recovery, you’ll find moments of grace along the way. Be ready and willing to accept this precious gift when it appears.

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