“I wish I could make that into a grand piano for you,” said the lady from church after complimenting my performance on a digital piano. Little did she know that comment would play a major role in leading me to my grand piano . . .

It was Christmas Eve. I was a junior in high school and had just finished playing “We Three Kings” at my church’s Christmas Eve service. You know that painful performance on a digital piano with a squeaky pedal connected to a sound system? It was one of those. At the time, I had been practicing on a digital piano myself for years, only getting to play on a grand for my lessons and performances. My family couldn’t afford to buy a piano, so I prayed. I was praying for God to provide me with a beautiful grand piano—even a Steinway if that was His will—and saving the money I made from teaching toward my “piano fund.” By this time I think I had a measly $300 or so. That January at the youth winter retreat, I remember sharing with a friend what I was praying. Little did I know that by the next winter retreat I would be thanking God for giving me a grand piano!

. . . “I’ve been praying for one!” I responded to the kind lady who had spoken to me at the Christmas Eve service. “Oh, really?” She told me that she knew a friend who was looking to get rid of a piano, maybe even give it away! She didn’t have much info though, so she would look into it and get back to me.

Seeing My Piano For the First Time

The piano was owned by a sweet old lady who lived in a retirement home, whose husband, the one who played the piano, had recently passed away. Sometime that winter my dad and I were able to go look at the piano, a Knabe baby grand that had been tuned regularly and was recently appraised. I really liked it, but she wasn’t looking to give it away, and we didn’t feel comfortable making an offer that wouldn’t come close to what it was worth, so that was the end of that. I kept praying. My mom also prayed for that specific piano to be released.

My Piano_Image1

Craigslist Pianos

I really wanted a nice grand and had faith that God could provide one, so I regularly checked craigslist. I even sent a few crazy emails in faith in response to listings for really nice pianos, hoping God might put it on someone’s heart to donate a piano. We even went to look at a few grands, but I never liked them as much as that first grand I went to see. (I don’t know how someone expects to sell a piano that’s so out of tune you can’t tell what it sounds like!)

At some point I found out that the sweet old lady who owned the Knabe had moved into higher care in the retirement home, but her friend from my church didn’t know what had happened to the piano. Then one day I came across a posting on craigslist: “Knabe Baby Grand Piano – Price Negociable – $3000.” “I think this is the piano we went to see!” I told my family. So I inquired about it, and it was! The lady’s daughter was trying to help her mom, who was moving and really needed to get rid of it. She wanted to talk on the phone.

Finally Bringing My Piano Home

My sister and brother-in-law had just gotten back from their honeymoon and were spending a few days with us and packing before moving across the country. We were outside with them when we got the phone call. I explained my situation to her and ended up making an offer—an amount I could pay from my “piano fund” and other savings I had for my future. She thought her mom would be happy to have the piano go to a young musician who would take good care of it, but she needed to consult her and would get back to me.

My Piano_Image2

Then I got an email. Yes! She accepted the offer! They wanted it moved as soon as possible, and I did too. Wow! I had just gotten a nice grand piano for $1500. What a miracle! And on top of that, they gave me a box full of music books. God answered my extravagant prayer; He really didn’t have to! The piano was moved to our house the same day my sister and brother-in-law left, so it was a bittersweet moment. That weekend, I had the privilege of having the lady who had owned the piano attend my junior recital. As I wrote at the time, “Thank you Jesus for an answer to several years of prayer! May this piano always be used for Your glory, and Yours alone!”

That is the story of my piano.