I had quite the adventure this morning.

So I’m attending an in-person baptism this coming weekend! And I am so excited. (Remember that time not too long ago, when these things were over Zoom?? That’ll be something wild we reminisce about with a chuckle down the road.)

But anywho – it’s at Mass this Sunday, and I wanted to get a gift! (After all, it is my special gentleman’s baby nephew who will be in the “Font of Honor.”)

So I decided that I was going to get up bright and early and bike to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. They have a really wonderful gift shop with trinkets and things for every Catholic occasion. And so at 9am, I was browsing the shelves at, not only the largest Gothic-style Church in the United States, but arguably the center of Catholic life in America.

And to my surprise, it was poppin! There were eight people in the store, which — for before 10 am in New York, and at a church gift shop no less — was pretty impressive.

I ended up getting a lovely baptismal cross, and a few holy cards.

But as I was perusing the shelves, I came across a beautiful painting of Jesus with the “Footprints” prayer on the back.

And looking at it, my eyes welled up a little bit, because this prayer has been so meaningful in my life, and particularly my recovery.

For those who may have never heard it, or need a quick refresher, the prayer goes like this:

“One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonging to him, and the other to the Lord.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he 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 needed you most, you would 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 see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

This prayer was so instrumental to my healing from anorexia. Because for so long during that destructive season, I felt like I was in a vacuum, a vortex, a sound-proof room where I was trapped with the walls closing in.

I was suffocating in my own skin, feeling completely alone, clinging to the safety and security I believed I had with my eating disorder.

I was desperately clinging to that “control,” while in the meantime, destroying not only my health and body, but my relationships, my future, my faith life and my spirit.

I remember the first time I read this at inpatient, truly feeling the most alone, terrified and abandoned in my entire life. It was one of the first nights, and I was on my cot that they had set up at the nurses’ station, so they could monitor my vitals, for fear I would go into cardiac arrest overnight.

I remember reading that, and just silently crying, realizing that God had been carrying me that entire time. All those sleepless nights, frantic days, that petrified day-in-day-out existence that was my anorexia: God was the only reason I got through it.

I remember my heart just breaking, realizing what I had been doing to my Father in Heaven who loved me so much. I pictured Him carrying my gaunt, skeletal, lifeless 78-pound body along the beach with the waves crashing, trudging through that terrible season of pain and strife.

All the while, sustaining me, while I was actively pushing Him out of my life, to make room for my new savior: my eating disorder.

Praise God He broke through that stone fortress around my heart, and loved me back to life.

This episode was one of great significance to my ultimate healing and recovery. And today, 13 years strong in that dedication to a new life, I still will think about this Footprints prayer, and remember the degree to which God loves me and you.

So I got that Footprints prayer from the gift shop for my special gentleman. I wanted to share with him what was so meaningful and instrumental to my recovery, and becoming the woman I am today.

And I also wanted to share it with you tonight, too.

Sending so much love and hugs.


“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5


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54 responses to “Footprints”

  1. I remember the first time I saw that poster. It had quite an impact on me. I can imagine that happened for you by an order of magnitude! It’s great how you and Steven are integrating into each others families; your family’s beach house, his nephew’s baptism. It’s a very exciting time.

    Do you have time this evening to chat about your visit? Or sometime tomorrow?

  2. Another of your wonderful stories. Thank you for telling it and I hope it helps someone that needs the same comforting message.

    • Hi Monica! Oh my gosh wow for sure! He’s bringing it to the forefront! Thanks foot stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  3. Caralyn, I love what you chose to give as your baptismal gift. And especially the gift you chose to give to Stephen. What a blessing it is that you desire to share your most vulnerable moments with him. I would say this is a testament to you trusting him (completely) with your heart. 💗 Praise be for the answered prayers you prayed for…a man you could give your heart to & share with Jesus.

    • Hi Dawn!! aw, thank you so much 🙂 the baptism was so beautiful, oh my gosh. brought a tear to my eye! and yes! it was so special to share that with Steven 🙂 he’s a great guy and my heart definitely feels safe with him! yes!! God is good! hope you’re well! thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  4. I love that Ezekiel passage. It describes so vividly how God renews us with his Spirit, breathing new life into us. Thank you for sharing your story and encouraging others. You are a testimony to God’s saving power. Indeed, Christ is with us always, carrying us through the difficult times. Blessings to you.

    • isn’t it such a beautiful passage? it’s one of my favorites. thanks for stopping by CG! Hugs and love xox

  5. Caralyn, your story is beautiful and powerful. In your young life you have learned many lessons and your stories will give inspiration to those who are hurting. Take care. Scott

    • hi Scott, gosh thank you so much for your wonderfully kind words! it really means a lot! Hugs and love xox

  6. Hi Caralyn! I first heard this story in 1979. My beloved grandmother, who was a believer but didn’t speak much about her faith, gathered our family at her table for lunch on Mother’s Day. When we were finished, she asked for our attention…and told us this story, following it with these words: “I want to leave this story with my grandchildren.” She passed away suddenly about two weeks later. I think she knew her time was short, and wanted to make sure we knew Jesus would be walking beside us, all through our lives. This has always been a meaningful analogy to me, and I’m so glad it has encouraged you in your walk with our Lord!

    • hi friend! thank you so much for sharing this. what an incredibly powerful message she left you with. i think you’re right about that. what an incredible woman. Hugs and love xox

  7. I love that prayer! Thank you for sharing.

    As I care for one who was starving, not by choice but at that hands of another, and now has severe dementia, you have reminded me, once again, that it is He who carries us through each day. He is our Sustainer, our refuge, our Redeemer, and our Friend.

    May I rely on Him as I walk through today.

    • thank you Kathleen. Gosh, I will be praying for the person you are caring for. goodness, my heart goes out to that person. You are a blessing to them! Hugs and love xox

    • thank you Amy! oh yes – this poem is so incredibly uplifting and applicable to so many situations. i mean, even just surviving the pandemic, i think we ALL could hear it! hahha Hugs and love xox

  8. I think of the Footprints poem/story every now and then. It’s a good reminder of God’s love, for sure. Plus… the beach is always a great place to be 🙂

    • thank you so much Ben! it really is a beautiful reminder, isn’t it? thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  9. I heard the rest of the quote goes a little longer: “During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you. And those long grooves in the sand are when I was dragging you while you were kicking and screaming.” 😂 Well, maybe that was just MY dream.

    • hahahahha oh my gosh i LOVE THAT!!!! too funny — and accurate hehe. thakns for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  10. I think we all need to learn to let go of control and trust to God. Ultimately only He is in control. We all express it in different ways. Glad that you found healing in His love.

    • I think you’re right about that – let go and let God! thank you so much! Hugs and love xox

  11. I wish I had read this on my the day of it being published as it was on my birthday. I’m 37 now, going through a nasty divorce that I wish I wasn’t. However, God has blessed me with many things since my “inpatient” moment of my life and hasn’t ceased either. God has been carrying me all this since ever since. What a gentle reminder, that the LORD always pull through.


    “Don’t let your problems override the Promise” – Kirk Franklin

    • thank you Los – you’re so right – the Lord always pulls through. I’m sorry you’re having to walk that difficult road right now. praying for you! Hugs and love xox

  12. Yes that has been around for a long time and I always enjoy having it come around again on the internet. It is a beautiful statement to encourage when people are going through one of those valley experiences and wonder if there is anyone who cares.

    • thank you so much Ian, it really is a great poem, isn’t it? Hugs and love xox

  13. Great choice to share with him. Y’all look happy together and make such a beautiful couple. Every shared moment and/or memory is a building block for your relationship. Part of my daily prayer is for your “peace and happiness” throughout your life. Hugs and kisses 🤗 & 😘!

    • thank you friend! 🙂 Gosh, that’s kind of you to say. yeah, he is a great guy and i feel very blessed! Thank you!!! same for you!!! Hugs and love xox

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