Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to fly in space. On June 16, 1963 her space capsule Vostok 6 launched, and history was made! She logged over 70 hours in space and orbited the Earth 48 times. [www.space.com/21571-valentina-tereshkova.html] Reading the article, Tereshkova did not originally want to even be a pilot, but she applied for a space program meant for only women. Out of the small group of four or five women, she was the only one who ever went to space, and that was her only trip. Part of why she was chosen was her experience as a sky diver. Back then, the Russian cosmonauts had to parachute out of their shuttles. You can say what you want about the great Space Race, that she was a loyal Soviet, etc., but ...SHE WAS THE FIRST WOMAN IN SPACE! Being an astronaut is one of my dream jobs. She saw the Earth from above, and was mesmerized by it! Most of us will only be able to enjoy pictures of Earth taken by satellites.
Speaking of first women, how about THE First Woman. You know, EVE. She saw the Earth when it was new. We do not know of her name until the end of chapter 3 of the book of Genesis. We learn how God created all of the world, how He created the first man and how He created the first woman from the man's own rib so that he would have a helpmate. No other creature on Earth was fit for this duty. Adam (the man) was in charge of naming all of the creatures, including his wife. He named her "Eve" because she was the mother of all living. In Hebrew, Eve sounds like the Hebrew for "life-giver". The Hebrew characters look like the word for "living".
I do not want to get into The Fall in the Garden of Eden today. What I do want to talk about is the fact that Eve was the first mother. She had absolutely no female human role models. I had almost all of my female relatives, people in my neighborhood, churches, my co-workers, and the many women who wrote the parenting books and articles I have studied. I tried to study how to be a mother by not only reading, but I also looked to as many examples as possible, both good and bad. I served in the church nursery before I even became a mother and talked the ears off of my fellow volunteers and Nursery Director, constantly asking questions about babies, pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood.
Eve had no other women around when she gave birth to Cain, her firstborn. I have given birth to four babies, but I was allowed some sort of anesthesia for all of them. Because of her sin, God promised Eve that she would have more pain than He originally planned in childbearing. She didn't have a friendly anesthesiologist to ease any of her labor pains. Yet, she gave birth to more children than we know. Her husband named her the giver of life. She was not the Creator, but she had a unique role because of what her body and soul could do. God entrusted her to be a mother. Motherhood can be hard, lonely, scary, and often undervalued. The pursuit of becoming a mother can be all of those things, and more. Just like Eve, I will succeed at some things, but I will also have times of failure.
God offered grace to Eve. She messed up in the Garden, but she was not completely written off by God. He did not replace her. He was still able to use her, flaws and all. She experienced childbirth first, lost a child (Abel), and was even kicked out of her home. Yet, she was still protected by God. He still helped her in becoming a mother (over and over and over again), and she trusted Him. I hope that we can do the same. We were created in His image, and He has a purpose for all of us. He offers His Grace and Mercy.
Genesis 1:27 (English Standard Version)
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Hebrews 4:16 English Standard Version
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.