You weren’t there when they laid her on my chest for the very first time or for the very first diaper change. 

You weren’t there when I rode next to her on her very first car ride home or for the very first bath. 

You weren’t there to feed her the very first bottle or to give the first bite of baby food. 

You weren’t in any of the hospital pictures or newborn photos.

You missed those things, and for a long time, my heart ached that she didn’t have you.

During those moments, I often caught myself questioning the timing of the Lord.

She was a victim of an incident she didn’t ask for, and yet I felt she was paying the price. 

I wondered if maybe, just maybe, God had forgotten about me. 

If, in the trenches of my teenage mama desperation, He looked down at the world and somehow didn’t notice the pain in my soul and the guilt that wrecked me.

And I remember having thoughts, visions in my mind even, of what it would look like if it was me and her for the rest of my life. 

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But then, He sent you.

And you were there.

You were there the first time she said “mama,” and as just a 17-year-old kid yourself, you happily embraced the first time she called you “dada.”

You were there when she took her first step and when we discovered her favorite food was tomatoes.

You were there on the first day of school and when she finally started wearing her hair in a ponytail. 

You taught her to ride a bike without training wheels and how love looks beyond skin tone.

And when she came to you and said she was ready to know Jesus, you lead her to Him. 

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I’ve often wished you would’ve been there for those firsts, but oh, how thankful I am you are here for all of the lasts. 

Previously published on the author’s Facebook page

Hannah Dunaway

My name is Hannah! I am a mama to four awesome kids and a wife to a super special husband. He is a youth and music minister and also works for another company. I am a stay at home mom to our two youngest children! Due to a lack of adult communication during the day, writing is my outlet! I am so glad to be here.