Celebrating Dad’s Life

A year ago, I spoke at my dad’s celebration of life.

It was one of the most difficult and easiest things I’ve done. Difficult, because I had to choose what to say. Easy, because I had a lot of options to choose from. Difficult, because I didn’t know if I could emotionally get through it. Easy, because I knew Dad would want me to speak.

I woke up that morning with two thoughts:

“It’s not everyday I get to speak about my dad’s life.”

And “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

I realized I was wrong about the first thought. Yes, I’d only get one chance to speak about my dad’s life here on earth, but I get to speak about my heavenly Dad’s life every single day. And what I needed to say that day had to do with both. I had to honor both. I didn’t need to make it more spiritual or create a sermon. It needed to be authentic with doses of hope and laughter. I realized the words I’d say were way less important than the reasons I said them.

I couldn’t say them in my own wisdom or strength.

My dad had given me all the wisdom and strength he could while he was living. I still carry it with me.

And God continues to give me the wisdom and strength I need for every day and every situation.

On that day, I stood at the intersection where all that wisdom and strength collided.

What I said wasn’t perfect. Others could have done a better job. But that’s okay with me.

I celebrated dad’s life with the people who loved him the most. And as I looked at some of the faces in the church that day, I saw God’s love for me in the faces of people who love me. And I felt comfortably weak, because He is strong.


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