Is there one special Christmas that you remember? Or maybe special traditions that you will never forget?
During this time of year, I always remember a very special Christmas that I will never forget….the Christmas of 1996.
A recent college graduate, I was spending my last Christmas living at home. Many changes were taking place in my life. Some of my own doing, and others that caught me completely off guard.
A new job.
A new love.
Can you guess which one caught me off guard?
On Christmas Day in 1996, all of the packages had been unwrapped, and I sat down to enjoy another cup of coffee before I got to work. I had much to do, many lists to make and a lot of packing to complete. You see, I was moving cross-country from North Louisiana to Southern California to begin a position with a music ministry organization.
As I sat down to begin making my lists, my mom walked down the steps and handed me an enormous box.
I thought, “All the gifts have been opened. What could this be?”
Since I had just arrived home from a three month music tour and because stuff was always forgotten, I thought, perhaps, it was something that I had left on the tour bus. But why had my my mom waited to give it to me on Christmas Day?
My mind was racing with a million questions, especially when I noticed the return address: Issaquah, WA. Was it from him?
As soon as the question entered my mind, the logical, practical Jada took over saying,”Don’t get excited. Don’t get your hopes up!”
You see, the ‘him’ to which I was referring was not only the tour’s director, but also my supervisor and someone I deeply respected. He had become a very dear friend. And maybe, just maybe I had developed a little crush on him! Okay, there was nothing little about it! No, it was an enormous one! Actually, it was more than a crush! Can’t even deny it! (But no one on tour knew because that wasn’t allowed, especially if you were in leadership! It was a LONG three months!)
As I opened the box, I found many thoughtful items:
And a card, picturing this sweet boy, filled with sentiments written in the handwriting of this very close friend.
There were other surprises, too. But the most special, most thoughtful surprise was printed on antiqued paper, rolled up and tied with a red satin ribbon.
You see, this friend knew that nearly everyday I prayed for God to make his desires for my life, my heart’s desires, and to make them obvious, and plain before me. And that I would learn to trust him with all of my life and relinquish the control, which I found next to impossible to release.
This friend also knew my life’s verses:
Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
So, what was rolled up in the scroll, tied with a red bow? Well, it was a musical composition for solo piano. For the last three months of tour, this friend spent his free time composing a song for ME, and it was based upon my life’s verses. Never before had I received such a personal, thoughtful, and creative gift.
As my eyes scanned the music notes on each page, I discovered this was a complex composition. One that even I wouldn’t merely be able to sit down and play myself. I wondered how I would know what it sounded like. But he had thought of everything. There in the very bottom of the box was a case that held a cassette tape (Yes, these were the days of cassette tapes). On this tape was a recording of this special musical composition–
Jada: Psalm 37:4-5
Quickly, I found a tape player, so I could listen to the composition. And I listened to it over and over and over again.
And then, he called me!
One week later on New Year’s Eve, he flew from Seattle to Louisiana (via Dallas TX) to profess his love to me and to drive me cross-country, so I could begin my new job. All of this greatly impressed my parents, especially since they didn’t want their daughter driving 20+ hours all by herself.
Prior to us heading out on our journey, my dad told this man he had permission to MARRY ME! At that very moment, I wanted to instantly be swallowed up by the spot on the floor where I was standing.
I thought, “Well, that was good while it lasted!”
And it was good. In fact, it is still good. Great, actually. Adventure-filled, faith-building, risk-taking and life-changing.
But what about that Christmas song? Well, on May 22, 1999 that very song was played as I walked down the aisle to marry the composer.
And to this day, the music continues…