Monday, May 4, 2009

A rosebush and a dream

I thought of our daughter when I plucked the lovely rose pictured here. We bought the "Double Delight" rosebush for her 21st birthday as a way of encouraging her heart...

When Melissa was in her first year of college, many of her friends were either dating or already engaged. It was hard, she confided, to see them walking hand-in-hand across campus, because she had determined (ahead of time) to focus on her piano studies and "wait on the Lord." She wanted to be content to wait for the right time and the right man -- if that was God's plan for her life.

We knew our daughter had a tender, loving heart and struggled with loneliness at times, so my dear hubby made it a point to send her roses for Valentines' day, recitals and other special occasions to "fill the gap." Don't get me wrong ... there were plenty of boys on campus that vied for our daughter's attention. But she didn't just want to "date" a bunch of guys and go through the date-and-break up process. She wanted to save her heart for the one man she would spend her life with. So her date, for special occasions, was always her daddy, a favorite uncle or one of her handsome brothers!

Sometimes, when Melissa was home for a visit, she would sit in the porch swing with her head on Phillip's shoulder and sigh. They would talk awhile -- about boys, relationships, waiting on the Lord, and all those things that daddies and daughters talk about. She would sometimes cry a few tears, but in the end, she'd get up from her seat with a mega-watt smile, hug him and say, "I'm so glad I have you to talk with, Daddy."

On Melissa's 21st birthday, she was finishing her sophomore year in college. It had been a grueling year of studies and piano practice, but she hung in there and finished well. Summer was spent on campus taking yet more classes and some intense piano sessions. At age 21, she had never dated and kept trusting that God could bring the right man her way at the right time.

The rose was our a way of reminding Melissa how lovely she was in our eyes. Her Dad promised he would continue to hold her heart and hand as she walked toward the future with a heart full of hope and trust. We believed she would one day have a home and family of her own, and the rosebush would go with her. So while her friends were marrying, Melissa was still pounding the ivories day in and day out, studying hard and waiting...

Four years of college and two years of grad school later, Melissa's "perfect match" walked onto campus at Southern Seminary and into the music office. After introducing himself, Luke mentioned where he lived -- and it was in the same state we lived. A few moments later, he said his grandmother lived in such-and-such a town -- only 20 minutes away from us.

Who else but the Lord can coordinate things so perfectly? They had so much more in common as their friendship progressed, and after six months, he asked her Daddy for permission to marry her. The've been married nearly three years now -- and when she comes home to visit, another man is in the swing with our daughter -- her husband!

In August, Melissa, Luke and baby Ethan will be moving to a new home. I suppose the rose bush will follow. But that's okay ... all these years, it's been a wonderful reminder that God answers prayer in His own time. It's been such a lovely rose -- for such a lovely daughter.


  1. What a touching story of patience, commitment, love, and faith. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thanks ... I'm thinking the sequel to this post should include wedding photos of the happy couple.

  3. That is such a hard thing to commit to--purity of heart, body, and mind, but such a worthy one, and one that pleases God so very much. Love the rose you gave her... right now I bet she'd say she has her own double delight of hubby and son, huh? Sounds like a Sundae. Now I'm hungry. :-)

  4. Yes, she's got a double-delight in her hubby and son. Good thought -- I'll have to share that with her! This will make the rosebush even more meaningful.

  5. This is such a sweet story. The rose is beautiful and I can see so much joy radiating from your daughter. Thank you for sharing her story. It is an encouragement. I must share with my girls as well.

    Thank you also for sharing Helium with me and sending your sunny smiles to my email box. I did sign up. Now I will just poke around a bit and see what happens.

    blessings to you!


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