In my almost 30 years, 9 years married, I’ve been through a lot of firsts. Firstborn in my family. First to decide to skip post-secondary school and just get married. Marrying my first true love. First of (most of) my friends to get married. First immediate family member (on both sides!) to get married. First of our friends to have kids – and the first grandchildren on both sides. First of most people we knew to homeschool. First to get involved in a new church plant as still fairly newly-wed, new parents.

First, first first.

First Base at night

flickr photo credit

It’s hard being first.

I don’t mean that in a prideful, self-exalting kind of way. But looking back over the years I can see the struggles I’ve had with being the first to do a lot of things.

It’s hard being a firstborn, because everything is tried out on you – including homeschooling! But I am grateful for the dedication and love my parents gave in raising me and my siblings, and I suppose I didn’t turn out so badly – I think :D

It’s hard being the first of friends to get married because there aren’t any examples to follow on how to do it – but that also means there aren’t as many expectations upon you and you can fall back on the tried and true traditions. There isn’t much I would change about our wedding day, I am grateful for that and the life-long memory it will be!

It’s hard being the first of friends and family to have kids, because that means that there’s no one to bounce ideas off of, ask the questions of “What did you do when…”, or even have loads of others at the same stage of life as you are. Because we got married young (20 and 23) and had kids young (15 months later!), most everyone else was still pursuing school, not even thinking of getting married, let alone starting a family.

It’s hard being the first of our friends to decide to homeschool. Support groups were difficult to find, most people we knew didn’t have kids yet, let alone were homeschooling. I was just diving into the online community and I didn’t know where to look for ideas and support.

But none of these situations or experiences was too big for God to handle.

In every one of them He has grown us and shown us His power, strength, wisdom and provision. Nothing is impossible or too difficult for Him, no matter the circumstances surrounding you.

Today, I am thankful that though being first in a lot of areas, the Lord has always met our needs and prayers.

  • He provided fantastic encouragement, new friendship and support in a church plant where we now attend as a family, 7 years later.
  • He provided in both my husband’s and my own mom the resources and experience (12 kids between the 2 of them!) and love to help and guide us along the blundering first years of parenthood.
  • Amazing church leaders to challenge my husband in leading his family.
  • Our moms again being the sounding board for beginning homeschooling (I’m so grateful we were both raised in homeschool families! It DOES help a bit, though the journey is different :D)
  • The fantastic co-op group we are now a part of where my children interact with friends and learn subjects and fine arts I can’t fit in to our daily schedules – yet :D
  • An amazing online community of homeschooling moms whom I can connect with, ask any questions, get any encouragement and prayers, and hug in real life!
  • Friendships he has brought about in the last few years – good, solid, godly, encouraging friendships – where we can mutually encourage each other and can now give back
  • Opportunities to share our experiences with newly weds, new parents, new homeschoolers, offering them so much of what we were blessed to receive along the way

In what areas of your life have you been a “pioneer” and struggled through learning, that God can now use YOU to help others?