Going into it, I really dreaded Leah's funeral. I didn't know how we were going to make it through. What I discovered, though, was something I've experienced many times before. God gives strength right when you need it. (He doesn't give the strength BEFOREHAND -- only when you need it. That's where faith comes in.)
Half the town showed up, bringing their love with them. We all cried together (holy water.)
It ended up being a beautiful celebration of Leah's life. We had the whole worship team -- drums, bass, guitars, flute -- and sang her songs (There are two kinds of singing, I told them -- singing when you're happy, and singing when you're sad, which gives you comfort and strength.)
We sang "Reign in Me", "In Christ Alone", and "When Its All Been Said and Done".
Four pastors read passages of Scripture (John 14, Psalm 139, II Cor. 5, Rev. 21)
Several people shared beautiful thoughts and memories. We had a moving slide presentation (to the music of "You are My Sunshine" and "Lifesong" )
I, then, shared a Message from Leah to all of us. It was based on the last e-mail she sent to me, just a few days before she died.
We sang "It is Well with My Soul" and "I Can Only Imagine", then joined hands and prayed together.
Finally, we exited the sanctuary with Amazing Grace as our postlude (It had also been the prelude -- reminding us that we are surrounded by grace. God's love goes before us, His mercy follows us. His grace will lead us home.)