TITLE: Remembering To Trust
By Theresa Vogel Millward
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This was to be my first time singing at a funeral. I don’t like funerals; there is usually too much sorrow. I was also concerned about my own grief. I visualized myself standing in front of the congregation sniffling through a chorus of “Amazing Grace.” Putting feelings aside, I was doing this for Ida May’s family. Little did I know that this would be the most memorable funeral service that I would ever attend, let alone participate.
The funeral service was held near Westby, Wisconsin, a picturesque Scandinavian town in western Wisconsin where Ida May grew up. I stayed with the family at a local hotel until it was time to drive to the church; a local mortuary was delivering the casket. I was practicing my singing scales—do, rei, me, fa, so, la, etc., and wondering how the morning was going to progress.
Even though I had knots in my stomach, I kept thinking what the Bible said about trusting in the Lord. I whispered a quick prayer and decided that I was going to trust the Lord with the rest of the day.
It was time to drive to the church. It was really a beautiful winters day. It was cold, at least 15 degrees above zero, and about six inches of snow lay on the ground. What caught my eye was the sky. Not one cloud did I see, and it was the most brilliant turquoise blue sky I have ever seen. The sunrays bouncing off the snow made it appear as if there were diamonds embedded in the snow. I thanked God for such a dazzling day.
When I arrived at the church I was pleasantly surprised. The church was a small, white country church with an adjacent cemetery. Tall pine trees adorned the church property. I discovered that the church was built in the late 1800’s and that many of Ida May’s ancestors were laid to rest in that graveyard. Walking up the steps into the church I was impressed by the charm of the sanctuary. The sun was brightly streaming through the oblong windows making it unnecessary for extra light. One could even see the trees. The floor was polished bare hard wood. The pews were also an elegant hard wood. In the front of the sanctuary was a simple raised platform with a small lectern. A peace came over me as I sat down in a pew. I knew in my heart that I was destined to be there.
The family and friends who attended the service were very pleasant. During the service they talked fondly about Ida May; some even talking about heaven. When it was my turn to sing, the peace within me continued. I walked to the platform and sang, a cappella, "Amazing Grace." Even though I had no microphone, the acoustics in the church carried my voice so everyone could hear. It was a sacred occasion I’ll never forget. Remembering to trust in the Lord calmed my fears and allowed everything to fall into place.
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