5 more days!
Track 6. For All The Ways
©2013 Jen Haugland
Jen Haugland Music (ASCAP)
I had just sat down at the keys to pout. I had sent a song to my producer and he told me he didn’t like it. It was still fairly early, pacific coast time and it was a beautiful summer morning. My window was down half way here in the Great Room, the sun was shining and a light breeze was blowing through. I was bummed that I wasn’t coming up with a good song worth pursuing. I complained to God. Then I sat there in silence.
All of the sudden, I heard a bird sing through my window. It was profound and hit me like a ton of bricks:
Little bird that sings outside my window, a melody to brighten up my day. You were sent from Heaven just so I’d know, I was on His heart in special ways.
For all the ways the wind blows, to carry on your song…nothing is more precious than, to know where I belong.
I started to think about Christina Nevill. She had married a young man that was in the same youth group that my daughters had attended when they were growing up. My daughters’ husbands were also really good friends with him, too. Then I learned from the kids that Doug was marrying this Christina and that she had a history of brain tumors and had been treated for them. After they married, they decided to be brave. They decided to face life head on and have a baby. Christina was now pregnant and I am not sure when it happened, but sometime in there, she found out the tumor returned, but now there was more than one. The baby would have to be delivered early, so that she could face treatment again. So Isaiah was born prematurely.
One of my daughters told me that Christina had a blog that she was keeping updated with her faith journey as she faced having the brain tumors. Christina faced fear head on and was very honest in her blogs. After her surgery and treatments, the tumors didn’t go away. I started reading her blogs around this same time and saw the pictures that were posted when baby Isaiah was born. I was so amazed and profoundly touched in my heart by Christina’s blogs. I would cry as I read some of them. I wanted to find a strength in myself like I saw in her. I tried to put myself in her shoes, so to speak. I imagined she was living every moment in the moment with her new baby. Christina had an unknown number of days left with her newborn son, her loving, self-sacrificing husband, and her family and friends. But they were not unknown to God.
That morning as I sat there at the piano bench, listening to the bird singing through my window, I heard the message loud and clear. And a new song was taking shape at my keyboard:
Tiny hand that wraps around my finger, bright and wondrous eyes that stare at me. Curious thoughts of life that lilt and linger…you were woven intricate and free.
For all the ways the wind blows to carry on your song, nothing is more precious than to know where I belong. For all the ways you touch me, so innocent and true, nothing is more precious than to be right here with you.
Why can’t we see this? There is nothing more important in life than people. We are the only ones of His creation that are made in His image. People matter to God. He died for us. I had a neighbor who put a reminder in his cell phone that said, people are more important. It was his way of keeping things in perspective, whenever someone had a need. I like that. Christina knew what was important. She knew she would be meeting Jesus very soon. Her priorities were set in the correct order.
Life is so much simpler when we’re still enough to see and cherish tiny moments for all the ways they’re meant to be…
On June 13, 2013, Christina surrendered her life here on this earth, according to her mom, what she referred to as being “swallowed up by life” to be with her Savior. 2 Corinthians 5:4 “For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” (quote from JoDee Ahmann’s blog, Christina’s mom).
You were sent from Heaven just so I’d know, I was on Your heart in special ways…
For all the ways the wind blows, to carry on Your song, nothing is more precious than to know where I belong…For all the ways You touch me, so innocent and true, nothing is more precious than to be right here with you.
Mark Baldwin (guitar)
Mark Hill (bass)
Jeff Roach (keys)
Ken Lewis (drums)
Steve Dady (engineer)
Sunset Blvd Studios, Brentwood, TN
I was so blessed and honored that Christina was able to hear a scratch demo of For All The Ways around the end of April 2013, just weeks before she passed. Both she and her husband Doug loved the song and they were honored that I wrote it for them. I asked them if they would mind if I dedicated it to them and baby Isaiah. They gave me their blessing and said they hoped it would bring God glory. So here it is. I pray this song brings glory to God, the Sustainer of all life who created us for His own pleasure.
By they way, this is Isaiah. Yep, he really is bigger than life itself! ;p
I finally met him this Easter weekend at his grandma JoJo’s house. I shared the finished album and song with JoDee. It was a very special day for me. I got to observe Isaiah watch videos of his mommy singing to him. He LOVES watching his mommy. He is growing up knowing how much he is loved by her. God has big plans for Isaiah and Doug. Just like God has big plans for you and me.
Isaiah has the bravest and most loving parents in the whole world. They looked beyond fear and trusted in God’s good plan for their lives. The story may not have ended the way we think it should have, but it was perfect in God’s eyes. The grave is not the end for us. Hallelujah!
You can find Christina’s blog here. Her mom, JoDee’s blog will soon be embedded into Christina’s blog. Reading both of them, you get an incredible story of this amazing woman of God and how she overcame her fears for the sake of her testimony, which lives on today through the blog, her family, her friends, her husband and her son.