My baby daughter is getting married. I want to sing her that song. I want to bless her with those words, but I’ll cry. I know I’ll cry.
Lyn’s thoughts swirled in and out like the ocean’s tide that welcomed her every morning on her drive to work. This morning, the ocean’s beauty once again arrested her progress. She stopped the car and got out. Air, fresh with the new day’s coolness, was tinged with the smell of salt and damp sand. Clouds, brightened to glory by the rising sun, allowed for a glimpse of blue sky to come.
Music from thirteen years before lilted inside until her heart could no longer hide the joy or the wish that she wanted to share with her daughter, Sarah, on her wedding day. Her voice rose to the words, “I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean . . . .”
Lee Ann Womack may have made it popular, but it was Sarah’s, song.
“Mom, will you sing, I Hope You Dance, for my graduation?” Lyn had met the depth in the eyes of her high school senior and never even noticed her smooth, naked scalp. Her baby was gorgeous. The fact that cancer’s cure had taken her hair, only proved how strong she was.
“You know, Mom, the part about never taking one single breath for granted? Wish you would sing it.”
Lyn, drove away from the ocean, its splendor saved on her iPhone.
I knew I couldn’t sing it then. I would have been an emotional basket case, and I’m afraid I can’t sing it now. But I want to surprise her at the reception. Lord, how can I sing for Sarah?
That night she conferred with Sarah’s brother. “Why don’t you make a recording, Mom, and then if you don’t think you can sing it, you can play the CD?”
Good idea, but who would do the recording? How much would it cost?
Lord, I want to rejoice over her with singing. It’s a miracle that I can sing at all, but that’s another story. Right now, how can I sing for Sarah? Will you give me this desire?
Days passed. Each one, with its ocean views, brought beauty but no answers.
It was her day off, one that she had set aside for study and prayer. Instead, she found herself at the office helping to finish monthly reports. A co-worker came in. The two chatted about health classes and nutrition and joining a gym and how hard it was to find time to exercise, what with family and church activities.
“I’m busy enough already,” Lyn said, “but there’s talk at my church of starting a choir. I would join if they did.”
“Oh, I wish I could sing. My husband would love it if I could. He writes songs and he needs a female voice.”
“He writes songs?”
“Yes, indeed. We have a recording studio right in our home.”
Lyn felt sure her heart stopped, but after discussing the details of how her friend’s husband could help her record her song for Sarah, she left the office dancing and delighting herself in the Lord. The ocean, resplendent as ever, reflected the glory in her heart.
God, your timing is so absolutely perfect! You, and you alone, know how to give us the desires of our hearts.
On July 3, 2014, Lyn was able to fulfill her dream of singing for Sarah. When she shared her story she wrote:
“I wondered for quite a while how and when to fit this into the events surrounding the wedding. I enlisted the help of my sons. We decided that during the reception, when the floor opened up for toasts, mine would be the last one…and we would play the song. I managed to introduce it without telling the whole story (and without crying). And I got to spend a moment with the bride and groom, my beautiful daughter and new son, wishing them the very best and letting them know that I wanted everything good for them.
Click play below to listen to the recording that Lyn made for Sarah’s wedding.
The points of light that Lyn’s story shine on our awesome God are numerous:
His timing is perfect.
He loves to give us the desires of our hearts.
He identifies closely with parents who joy over their children and who, like himself, love to sing over them.
When you think of the Father, know that he takes great delight in you. Let him quiet you with his love. Let him rejoice over you with singing.”
“The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you (rejoice over you with joy) He will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 2:17
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Psalms 37:4
If you have a story that has helped you see God in closer light, please share it on our Share Your God Story by clicking here.
Story contributed by Lyn Janssen and Written by Merita Atherly Engen. Ocean pictures taken by Lyn Janssen.