(welcome to service)
By: Carol & Vance Gardner
Good afternoon. We want to thank all of you for joining us today to honor our daughter, Julia. We also want to thank you for showering our family with your love as you have provided us with meals, with cards, with gorgeous flowers, and offers of help. We are simply blown away by your kindness and are so grateful.
We pray that you will leave this service today knowing more about what an amazing daughter, granddaughter, sister, cousin, niece, and friend Julia was as well as our Heavenly Father who is the One giving us the strength to put one foot in front of the other each day. These songs and verses from Gods word have sustained us and will continue to do so. Our hope is in Jesus and He has promised that we will spend eternity with our precious Julia and with Him.
We would also like to thank Saddleback Church for this amazing facility and all of the volunteers from Watermark church who have helped so much with the logistics today. In addition, the reception has been completely handled by an army of family and friends and we thank you for that. We especially want to thank everyone for your prayers. Going through this, we’ve become very aware of the power of prayer. Every step of the way, our load has been lightened and our needs provided for, through active love and prayer. We have witnessed the Gospel lived out. Loving God and loving people. The goodness and kindness of God was brought, like an arrow into our lives, through the grace of Christ aimed at us by the supernatural power of prayer. Of course, we have had many moments of deep sadness and mourning. But God is good. He has provided so many times of joyful reflection with friends, family, extended family, church family, neighbors and co-workers. As we gathered constantly, we couldn’t get together too long without cracking up about a Julia story. So in the midst of lament…..there is joy.
The life of our amazing daughter has been celebrated these past 10 days and we thank you for doing it with us on this day also. So once again, thank you for bringing God’s mysterious, saving, helping, comforting, encouraging, loving, and sovereign grace into our lives. He has sustained us beyond measure. May the presence of the Holy Spirit, the ultimate comforter, be so obvious to everyone today!
Poem for Jules
Its Monday night football again
And I’m waiting for your laugh so strong.
So you brought your stats and fantasy team,
But you ain’t provin my bets are wrong!
I was driving your car today to work.
Oh yeah, thanks for the loan.
Zepplin was singing Stairway real loud
And we high fived, then I groaned.
You see, most of the time I get it
The grief will start to fade…so they say
But you come and I stop what I’m doing.
And I don’t want your presence taken away.
Just writing this game-time poem
Has me itching to see you again.
I can always turn on the video
But people say that’s looking at what’s been.
But often that’s where I want to be
If I’m honest with myself and my LORD.
I want you sitting shotgun and singing
And us trying to harmonize a chord.
Yea! It’s your birthday!…girl!
30 years since being born up North.
So much love has gone between
Who says it can’t continue to go forth?
Charles Darwin had a daughter named Annie
Who died and it wrecked him for years.
NPR says it gave him more faith in his theory
That life is nothing…so just get over it, ya hear?
I know Charles was right about a lot
And his theories are known far and above
But time and space have been created for us
By our relational God who loves.
So Jules…love is what you left behind,
You graced my life with so much.
Your smile, your laugh and even your sneer
Is embedded in my brain with your touch.
So let’s party tonight like its 1999.
Time to play Robyn and start prancing.
Cuz everyone knows the next line will be….
That’s right ya’ll….. I KEEP DANCING!
Love you Jules!