Mixed Emotions on This Day
Today is a special day in the life of our family. Under normal circumstances, this would be a day of celebration. You see, on this day, April 9 my daughter, Hannah would have turned 24. The key phrase there is “would have,” but Hannah moved to heaven on October 18, 2016.
Now it is a day with mixed emotions!
Sorrow & Hope!
Dawn and I along with our boys, David and Jonathan continue to give thanks for Hannah. We are grateful she was born. We give thanks for all she has meant to us, and the gift she is and was to us. Yet, there is also sadness and sorrow, because she is no longer here. As much as we wish we could, we can not change the fact that she has gone on ahead of us to be with the Lord.
For believers mourning is strange, in that, on the one hand, we have hope. All is not lost. We will see Hannah again! Hallelujah! Hannah is experiencing the greatest celebration possible today! Yet, because we love her so dearly we miss her. Each of my family members wishes we could take her out for a meal today, buy her a birthday cake and watch her joyfully blow out the candles. We would love to buy a gift for her and watch her open it.
Rather we are forced to wait. It’s not easy to wait. We do grieve, we do mourn, but not as those without hope.
The strange thing is on these days that should be days of celebration they become days of reflection. Days to remember what once was, and even what we dreamt for together.
Don’t get me wrong there are many good memories when I think about my daughter’s short life. These good memories are mingled in with some painful moments as well. It’s a mixed bag.
I find that from time to time I want to ask, “Why?” “Why, Lord?” Why did this happen?” “Where were you in the midst of it all?”
I realize although these questions are inevitable, they are not good questions to focus on. The Lord was definitely with us in the midst of it all, even though it didn’t always seem like it. He has assured me of that, and he has said that he will never leave me nor forsake me. I believe those words are true.
The why questions are harder.
I’m not sure if the Lord will ever fully answer that question this side of heaven. We live in a broken world marred by sin. All of creation groans until the day of redemption. We are not the only ones who are crying out to the Lord as we grieve. We groan and we wait for the redemption as Romans 8:22-23 states.
Good Memories, Longing for More
On these days I find it harder to reflect on the good memories of Hannah. I’m not sure why? As I write this, I’m processing and in a sense thinking out loud. There are many good memories, but I think I just miss her so much, so even the good memories cause an ache of sorts.
My son, David wrote a wonderful reflection about his sister today. He shares many positive memories he has of Hannah. Although I cried as I read it, I found it encouraging. It’s worth checking out, My Little Sister.
I often think of King David after his young son died. David said he will not return to me, but one day I will go to him. That’s my hope to see my savior face to face and to see my daughter again one day.
The Lord is My Rock!
Thank you, Lord, that you are near the broken hearted. You are with my family and me in our pain. You are carrying us through the valley of the shadow of death. You have a purpose, and it is a good purpose even if I don’t understand it.
When I reflect and think about our life and our grief it always comes back to our rock. He’s the rock of our salvation!
For some reason, this reminds me that a dear friend today, who I love encouraged me to be strong. In some instances, it could be hurtful to say something like that, but as I read those words I felt loved. I started to cry as I read those words, because I know the friend that wrote them loves Dawn and me, and that they look up to us. They want to encourage us.
Also, I realize that being strong doesn’t mean that I don’t cry, or that I don’t get sad or mourn. It means that even though “my world” may be falling apart around me that I keep my eyes on Jesus. He’s my rock. He lifts me up. He says that when I am weak then I am strong! I rejoice in my refuge in whom I run to in times of need.
Thank you, Jesus, for loving me, for loving my family in the midst of all the pain, and what at times even seems like hell on earth. Yet, this is temporary. It will soon pass!
“For this momentary affliction is peparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparision, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17,18 ESV)
Dawn, David Jr., Jonathan and I thank you for going on this journey with us. It’s not an easy one, so thank you for staying with us through all the ups and downs. God is good! So Good!!
The Hannah Diaso Memorial Church
We are excited to build the church in Hannah’s memory this week. Please pray for us as we make the final preparations and work with our friends at Ministerios Transformación to see this new church bring the light of Christ into a community filled with many needs.
In His Loving Grip, Dave