Below is the version of Footprints in the Sand by Mary Stevenson, written in 1939. This version of the poem is the oldest version and on On May 3, 1997 proof of authenticity was given to Mary Stevenson for this poem.
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 were one set of footprints.
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 have only been
one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?”
The Lord replied,
“The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints,
is when I carried you.”
– Mary Stevenson