Historically, I’m not a fan. Too often they are a depressing exercise and I can’t wait for them to end. But yesterday I had the rare privilege of experiencing a celebration service for a lady that I never met, yet I left wanting to hear more about this sweet woman. The lady, Christy Mosteller, passed away unexpectedly last week and I went to her service because her son, Justin, is the lead singer of a band that am blessed to work with, Carrollton.
Everything about her service was inspiring and Christ honoring. I don’t believe that I can capture the sweetness of the service in these few words – but there were several takeaways that I hope I don’t soon forget.
The Mosteller’s pastor shared one of the first truths in the early part of the service. As a part of the welcome, he stated that “everyone will have their day on the front row, but until you’ve been on the front row, you’ll never know how important the people behind you are.” I hope the Mosteller’s know that I was blessed today being one of the people behind the front row – and even more blessed just being in the room with such great people, and honoring Christy with them.
Another surprising reminder today came through the music. I have known and worked with Carrollton for over two years – and have had the pleasure of hearing the countless number of songs that they’ve been writing for the last two years. In February their EP, Breathe in Deep, was finally released with 6 great songs that I absolutely love – one of those songs was the first song played in the service, You are Faithful.
I’ve been in the music world for almost 20 years…….and was reminded again that God uses music to heal and stir our hearts. It is incredible that a song that Carrollton would write and record over a year ago would be used to start a service to celebrate Justin’s mom.
Even more poignant was the song that closed the service. Carrollton returned to the studio several weeks ago to record a new song that they had just written. An incredible testimony on the value of holding on to our God, “Holding on to You” has become one of my new favorite declarations – with the verse
I’ve been lookin’ for / Peace of mind / I’ve been lookin’ for / A reason why
and the chorus that ends –
When I can’t catch my breath and there’s nothing left to hold on to… I’m holdin’ on to you
Justin sent me the demo of the song on April 16th – 3.5 months before it would be used to close the celebration service for his mom. I know he never could have imagined how those words would ring true in his own life. The song will be released to radio in a few weeks – but regardless of how God uses the song around the country, it’s purpose was evident yesterday.
I will always marvel at the ways of our creator God and how he uses his children.
This was clear in the time that I spent yesterday in a small Kentucky town hearing the stories of a single mom who cared for her children, who met the man of her dreams, and with him, raised her two sons to love Jesus, and now both of those boys are making a difference for the Kingdom. I’m thankful for her oldest son Chad, a pastor in Louisville, KY, who gave perhaps the most incredible message I’ve ever heard at a celebration service. His mom would be glowing with pride to hear how he honored her, and more importantly honored his Lord today.
I left yesterday with a new view of funerals — and the way they are supposed to be!
I left also wishing I could have known her………but knowing I will one day!