A World Of “Firsts”

Our lives are filled with “firsts.” I think back over my life and have sweet memories of my first best friend, my first car and my first job. I’ll never forget my many “firsts” that were shared with Greg. My first love, my first kiss, our first date, the first time that he told me that he loved me, our first home. I remember the first time I found out I was pregnant, (and the second and third and the fourth!), the time I delivered our first child, (and the second and the third!). The first time we learned that the baby that I was carrying inside was no longer living. The first time we heard the words that our second child wasn’t breathing when she was born. The first time we heard the doctor say that our son might have cystic fibrosis. The first time that we realized that our son had been healed of cystic fibrosis! I remember our babies’ first smiles, first laughs, first steps. I remember the first time each of our children said that they wanted to ask Jesus into their hearts. I remember the first time I looked across the room at my husband and realized that he truly loved me as Christ loved the church. And I remember the first time I heard the words on the phone, “You’re husband has malignant melanoma.” My “firsts” from my past are a mixture of good and bad. A mixture of elation and hurt, excitement and heartbreak.

My present is also filled with “firsts”. unfortunately, my “firsts” these days are filled with pain. The first time I had to see my husband so sick and weak and in so much pain. The first time I realized that things were not looking good for Greg. The first time I had to call my children and family to tell them that the doctors said that Greg probably was not going to make it. The first time I walked into the room to see my husband in a coma and on a ventilator. The first time I had to say goodbye to him, knowing that it was not a “see you tonight” kind of goodbye. The first time I had to walk into my house, knowing that my husband would never be here again. The first time I signed a blog post Sandra, Katie, Emilie and Jacob. The first time the phone rang, and I heard his voice on the answering machine. The first time I had to answer “widowed”, when asked my marital status. The first time we went out for a family dinner without our husband/father. The first time we took communion at church as a family of four, rather than a family of five. The first time I woke up in the morning thinking I heard Greg in the bathroom getting ready for work….only to remember that he’s not here. The first time the phone rings and I think, “Oh, that’s probably Greg.” So many firsts….so much pain.

And I know that I have many more “firsts” in my future. Many of these firsts will be bittersweet. When Jacob graduates high school and begins college…and Greg’s not there. The first time we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas without Greg. The first time we take a family vacation without Greg. When we celebrate the weddings of my children and Greg’s not there. When I am an “empty nester” by myself. When birthdays and anniversaries roll around that make me sad. The first time I become a “single” grandparent. So many sweet, but painful firsts still in my future.

But…..praise God I don’t have to go through these “firsts” by myself, nor do my children! The Lord promises us that He will never leave us or forsake us! That is good news in the midst of painful “firsts!” He also tells us that He will be a father to the fatherless and a protector and defender of the widow. Not only that, but my God promises me glorious “firsts” that far outweigh the pain of these other firsts. I think about the first time that we will all be reunited again…me, Greg, Katie, Emilie, Jacob and the baby that I lost! The first time I step from this earth into my eternal home! The first time that I see my Jesus, the One that I love so much, face to face!! What a “first” that will be!

So, I press on through the painful “firsts” and cling to the promises of the glorious “firsts” that are yet to come!

Trusting His Plan,
Sandra, Katie, Emilie and Jacob

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kim Coffey
    Nov 21, 2013 @ 23:34:35

    Sandra, your words always leave a new feeling of the meaning of life in my own life. I’m sure I speak for others when I say, you are truly a Proverbs 31 wife & mother in your family. God has & is using you in so many others’ lives.

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  2. marykprather
    Nov 21, 2013 @ 23:35:02

    I’m praying for you, and trusting (as I know you are) that God’s plans for you and your children are BIG. I hope they involve many wonderful firsts. I know you are going through so much pain right now, and I am thankful His grace is sustaining you during this time. Hugs to you.

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  3. Claudia
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 00:39:41

    Thank you for continuing to share heart with us. Praying always, Claudia

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  4. Cathy Goddard
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 07:24:00

    Although we can’t take the place of Greg, and especially God, we are there for you also. Our many heartfelt prayers continue to be with you and your family through many firsts.

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  5. Faye
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 09:29:21

    How beautifully shared!

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  6. Bethany Johnson
    Nov 22, 2013 @ 10:09:36

    Thank you so much for your post! I pray that this first Thanksgiving will be sprinkled with laughter amidst the pain, and that your family time will be filled with the presence of our Lord. Love, Bethany

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  7. sonya
    Nov 24, 2013 @ 08:06:52

    Sandra, thank you again for sharing your heart! I continue to pray for you and think of you daily. I pray that each of you feel his strength and peace as you face each of these firsts! I love you guys Sandra!

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  8. Dorcas
    Nov 21, 2016 @ 14:55:48

    Your vulnerability in your journey has inspired me to be that kind of person in my own journey. You speak words of hope and life in spite of pain and suffering!!

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