Eternity Matters: There Is A First Time For Everything

By Norma Shull Smith

Sometimes it is difficult for me to put my heart into words and I am forced to reach deep into my soul to bring the words to the surface. I have been pondering the word FIRST, for some time now. Perhaps it is because I know I am about to face another first in my life. Kind of ironic my husband, Dan, and I were married on the first day of the month. As you read this column, I will have celebrated for the first time, what would have been our 54th Anniversary, alone.
In all the material and advice I’ve heard on grieving, the common agreement is that the first holidays, birthdays and anniversaries are the hardest. We have all heard the adage, “First things First!” There is a lot of wisdom in that 3 – word sentence. We must learn to attend to that which is most important first and the most important is usually the most difficult. Once we face it, rather than fight it or try avoiding it, we find freedom in getting through the process, even if we come through it with a few tears, bumps and bruises.
As I thought on this word, my mind was taken to the First date we had and how awkward first dates often are. I was reminded of how excited we were as our first child took his very first steps, yet remembered how many times he had to fall to succeed. I was reminded of the first time I rode a bike, of how the bike weaved back and forth and I had a few spills before I was able to go solo. I remembered the first day on every job I ever had and how nervous I was inside, wondering if I would be able to satisfy my employers.
I am determined to face the FIRST head on. In Dan’s Eulogy, I referred to him as a Lion, for his middle name in Spanish means just that. Lions do not back down, rather they protect, and move forward, using the power that was instilled within to do what they need to do to survive.
I was thinking of Adam, the first human on earth. He was never a baby or a teen. He never had parents or siblings, aunts, uncles or cousins like we do. Can you imagine how alone he must have felt in this world? I use this illustration, as it is how a person feels when they lose a loved one that is very close to them. Even though most of us have family, we still feel awkward without that soulmate we counted and oftentimes depended upon. God knew Adams heart and how alone he felt and that is why out of HIS love HE created a help meet named Eve.
As I approached my first wedding anniversary alone, I was reminded that I wasn’t really, for the very same God that created the first man, also sent us the second Adam, Jesus Christ! Through Jesus came salvation, redemption, and perfect love through birth, death and resurrection. Jesus comforted HIS disciples when HE told them, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever.” John 14:16 That advocate is the 3rd person of the Trinity; the Holy Spirit.
When you face any FIRSTS in your life, just ask HIM to come along side you and HE will see you through. Eternity Matters!

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