Archive for the ‘Family Happenings’ Category

Writer’s Block or Just Grieving?
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Our last family photo with Hannah

Before my daughter went to her permanent residence in heaven I found it easier to write and post on my blog. I felt like it was cathartic in many ways. It helped me to get the word out and tell the story about all the wonderful things the Lord is doing on the Border, the Baja and Beyond. I also shared some of my personal musings and reflections as I deemed it appropriate.

I wouldn’t say that I don’t enjoy writing now, but I would say it’s harder. In some of the books I’ve read about grief, they mention how many of the things that used to bring us joy are now hollow. I feel that at times, and even though in a few days we will hit the five month mark there are still a rollercoaster of emotions that I experience. I wish there were another way, but I don’t think there is. I believe that all in all Dawn and I are doing well considering what we are passing through. Yet, it’s still painful. There are still those moments where we want to scream out, Why? Why? Why? Fortunately, the Lord doesn’t leave us there he comforts us, and many friends surround us.

God Does Sustain Us in Our Suffering!

A little over a week ago our friend and pastor, Stephen Phelan asked Dawn and me to share in church about how the Lord sustains us in our suffering. I thought I’d share some of that here with you as well, including a dream that our friend Marissa had.

I never really understood how horrible death was until our daughter died
I realize that this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be, and there’s not a day that goes by that Dawn and I don’t feel some sadness, some frustration and like a part of us is gone.
I Miss My Beautiful Radiant Daughter
Our beautiful daughter and beloved sister, Hannah

Our beautiful radiant daughter and much loved sister, Hannah. We miss her dearly

I miss my daughter. I’m glad Hannah is dancing and partying in heaven, whatever that looks like, but I want to hold her and hug her again. I want to see her beautiful radiant smile in living color. There is a hole now that can’t fully be filled. That is my grief, that is my mourning song. I’m learning firsthand how cruel death is.

There is a type of groaning. One of the hard things about death is there are no do overs. No second chances. It is final. When I see pictures of Hannah and I’m reminded of her for a moment I think there must be a way to see her again this side of heaven. Maybe it’s a longing God puts inside of me. A longing for eternity, and a longing for something more and something greater than what this life has to offer.
God is Good, He Holds Me Tight
My anchor and what I’ve had to remember:
God is good
God is love
God is in control
These are simple truths, but it’s what I keep going back to when I get confused and lost on this long and winding road that we are on.
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I love this picture because Hannah took it at Starbucks one of our favorite places to hang out, and she put it on my lock screen on my phone

There’s a lot I don’t understand. I don’t understand why my daughter had to die at such a young age? Now I wonder why just a few months after Hannah’s early home going, why does my dad have to have inoperable lung cancer? Why do we have to endure two hard things so close together?

God made it clear to me that it is good to grieve and it is right to grieve. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 says we grieve, but not as those without hope.
Grieving With My Mechanic
About a week after Hannah passed away I took my car in to my mechanic and he asked me how my family was doing. My mechanic is from Afghanistan, and he’s not a believer.
I told him how my daughter had died, and that it was hard. I said, “my faith gives me hope, and that I grieve, but not like those without hope.” He said, “that is easy to say,” and I responded, “no it’s not really, because I don’t get to hug my daughter anymore, I don’t get to kiss her and tell her I love her. I don’t get to go out for coffee or have any dates with her. I don’t get to walk her down the aisle at her wedding. All our dreams and aspirations are gone.”
He softened up after this, and told me of how he had been struggling with drinking , and his wife forced him to go get help. Then he told me he had a vacation home in Bajamar, which is near Ensenada and offered to let me use it. The Lord used him to encourage me, as he opened up.
Hannah’s home going  made me hate death more, and it made me long for heaven. If I’m honest a big reason I want to go to heaven is to see my daughter again and to give her a big kiss and a big hug. What a wonderful day that will be.
12362973_734515866680367_9062266216563511086_oMarissa’s Dream
I’d like to end this longer post than usual with a dream. An experience that Hannah’s good friend Marissa Irakoze shared with us.
I woke up today feeling a really intense feeling of happy and sad. I had a dream I saw both of you and Jon and David standing by a bench, we were in Heaven from how peaceful and joyful I felt. There was a girl sitting with her back turned towards me, but she had soft brown curled hair just like Hannah would wear hers when she lived with us. I thought “no, there’s no way that could be Hannah”. She turned around and immediately I burst into something that was crying, squealing and laughing all at the same time. I somehow managed to say “I really thought I would never see you again!! I really felt like this day would never come!! I can’t believe this is you!!” And she just looked SO healthy. Healthier, more joyful, incredibly at peace, and everything about her just glowed, and so so content. I wish I could describe it. She hugged me tight and just said “see? I told you it wouldn’t be long until I would see you guys again! I told you not to worry because I’m with Jesus!”
 
I feel encouraged and sad, because we’re still on the other side of this dream and it DOES feel like it’s taking forever to be able to join her. But in the dream, I could tell I had been waiting so long to see her, but once I looked back it was nothing compared to the eternity we now had to catch up. It was one of the strangest feeling I’ve had in a dream.
 
Praying for you all today ❤️❤️
I told Marissa that I shared this dream with our church, and she said that it was the clearest dream she’s ever had. I think it’s God graciously giving us a glimpse of heaven!
“For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭30:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬
Thank you so much for standing with us. Thank you so much for letting me share my heart with you. I pray the Lord’s rich and bountiful blessings on you!
In His Grip, Dave
God’s Reassurance
Hannah with Daisy near the flowers that bloom this time of year

Hannah with Daisy in front of the flowers that bloom this time of year near our home

I’ve gone back and forth as to whether I should share my experience via this site or not. I’m finding it hard to express in writing the power and the impact that a recent  encounter with the Lord has had on me. I pray that you find this story uplifting.

Last week the Lord met me in a special way. While Dawn and I were praying with a group of people I felt pressure like a hand on my back. I thought it might be another person, or Dawn. After a while I realized that there wasn’t a person laying their hand on me, so I continued to pray and press in. I asked the Lord what was going on.

I felt the Lord’s presence and comfort. Then he reminded me that not only was he with me at that moment, but he was also there with us when Hannah passed away. He escorted Hannah to heaven, and he came alongside Dawn and me to get us through the horrendous hours that we endured while we came to grips with what happened to our beautiful daughter. I started sobbing as the Lord revealed this too me.

The Peace of Christ
I saw these flowers blooming this week and it reminded me of Hannah and the photo above

I saw these flowers blooming this week and it reminded me of Hannah.

One of the issues I’ve struggled with is that I keep seeing in my mind how Hannah looked when she died. Sometimes I feel like this image haunts me. The Lord impressed upon me that Hannah no longer looks like that. It was a very emotional experience. I felt the Lord pouring his healing power into me, and his waves of his love over me.

We’ve had a number of friends of ours who have seen visions of our daughter in heaven. Those dreams and visions that our friends have shared with us have been a source of inspiration for us. Yet, for some reason we’ve not had any dreams or visions. I feel like there’s a part of me that needs a constant reassurance that my daughter is in heaven. That allows me to grieve, but not like those without hope. Hope is vital. We can’t live without it.

On Saturday during this time of prayer I saw a bright light, and then I saw trees with their green leaves and a beautiful blue sky. I didn’t see Hannah, but I had a sense that she was there, in heaven and in peace. I felt the Lord’s overwhelming peace during this time.

It was an unbelievable experience. On the way home I tried to explain to Dawn what happened, and I just couldn’t. Finally after some time and more tears I was able to share my experience with Dawn. Thank you Jesus for your overwhelming love, your care and your tender mercies.

I hope this story of how Jesus showed up and ministered to me in a deep and profound way will also lift you up. Thank you for joining us on this journey!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Travel, Hellos and Goodbyes
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David Jr. with Dawn and Dave in Napa, CA. Our last day together before David left for Connecticut

Last week Dawn and I were traveling in Northern California for a ministry meeting. We were also able to fit in a few days with our son, David before we said goodbye. He is moving to Connecticut for his job. After saying a tearful goodbye to David, we headed to Fresno. While in Fresno we saw my parents. My dad was in ICU after surgery on his lungs. We now know that he has cancer caused by asbestos from his days of working in construction when he was younger. Another unpleasant trial for our family.

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Dave & Dawn with Nadine

One of the highlights of the trip was my cousin Nadine’s daughter, Audra’s wedding. While at the wedding we saw a number of relatives we hadn’t seen in a while. Most of them weren’t able to come to Hannah’s funeral service. It was good to visit with my extended family again. They encouraged us through their heartfelt words.

We Have to Keep Moving Forward
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Dave and Dawn with the newlyweds, Michael and Audra Rodriguez  with Dave’s brother, John his wife, Treena and daughter, Baylee

One of my relatives who lost her husband a few years ago told me the first year was very difficult, and that all she could do was just keep trying to move forward. I feel that’s what Dawn and I are doing. We are staying busy, and we are traveling more than usual.

The Lord has ministered to us as we’ve been on the road, and it seems as we give to others it lifts up our spirits.

Yesterday (Saturday) marked four months since Hannah passed away. Our emotions are all over the place. We do feel the Lord’s presence and we believe he is bringing healing to us, but grieving has definitely been the hardest thing we’ve ever done.

O Lord, Make Our Lives Count for Eternity
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The Rainbow a beautiful reminder of God’s promise

Part of my prayer through this is that the Lord will make the time I have left on the earth count for eternity. It’s not necessarily a new prayer, but I do think it’s more focused and more intense. Hannah’s early home going made it crystal clear how short our time is. The Bible says the time we have on the earth is but a vapor. I didn’t think about that very often until my daughter’s life was cut short.

I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but one of the primary elements that the Lord has used to keep us afloat is the encouragement and prayers of our friends. All the notes are amazing. It’s been wonderful to have all the communication we’ve had on the Hannah Diaso Memorial on Facebook.

Dawn and I keep pouring our hearts out, and so many of you respond and love on us and tell us that you are praying. Hallelujah! Thank you Jesus for our friends. Thank you for letting us be real.

The Necessity of Prayer!

The Lord ministered to me in a very profound way through a time of prayer last night. I was going to write about it here, but I don’t want this post to be too long. I hope to write about how God met me and comforted me at my point of need in my next post later this week.

In the meantime I’d like to ask you to keep praying for us.

  • Pray for the Lord’s continued healing and grace
  • Pray for wisdom as we serve and plan out the upcoming months
  • Pray for my dad’s healing as he’s in rehab, and we are still waiting to find out what the treatment for his cancer will be.
  • Pray for the Lord’s protection as we are experiencing ongoing attack. We know that Christ is the victor and we trust in him.
  • This upcoming Saturday we are taking a youth group from Redeemer San Diego to Ensenada to work with our new church planting project, Renuevo. Pray also for Petri and Yudy as they lead the church plant.
  • Continue to pray for the pastors and leaders we work with in Tijuana.

Thanks so much dear friends!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A New Year with New Opportunities
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David Sr., Jonathan, Dawn & David Jr. Our new normal

There are some positives to starting a new year. It gives us a chance to recalibrate. We can look back on the past year, and see where we’ve come from. A new year means new opportunities. I must say, that I’ve never had a new year quite like this one.

Last year ended on such a rough note, with our beautiful daughter’s passing. The problem with death I’m finding is there’s no time limit on the pain. The sadness and frustration come at what seems like the oddest times.

Needless to say Dawn and I are starting this new year off still dealing with the aftershocks of Hannah’s death. We are hopeful for a better 2017!

Thankful for Community
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I like this photo, because it represents some of our community which extends from Mexico to Cuba to the U.S.A and Beyond. Our Lord has blessed us with many friends!

I think we are more mindful than ever of the need for community. The necessity for friends to surround us and lift us up in prayer.

We ended the new year traveling from the State of Washington through Oregon and we landed in Redding, California on New Year’s Eve. David and Jonathan were with us, and a friend, Jacob Betchol. On the first day of the year we had the privilege of going to church and worshipping the King of Kings. We attended a wonderful and joyous service. Our loving Father met us there in a special way.

God’s Promises for a Better Tomorrow
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We are Going to Give it #AHannahPercent this Year!    Hannah, we miss you and we love you.

My heavenly Father reminded me of some important truths regarding Hannah’s death. I needed to hear this. “It’s not your fault (that’s something I’ve struggled with). It was Hannah’s appointed time to go. I took her and I will take good care of her.” These are truths the Lord had already assured me of, but as a father who loves his daughter so dearly I needed to hear them again. It was a good way to start off the new year.

As I think of beginning a new year I realize that part of this year includes healing. My family and I still need the Lord’s healing touch. Yet, another thing that the Lord has assured me of is that this is not the end, but the beginning of something greater.

The Lord has reminded me that it is right to grieve Hannah’s loss. Weeping endures for the night, but we will see victory; daybreak is coming. “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5b). It’s like Jesus is saying to me personally, “Cease striving and know that I am God. Do not dwell on the pain. You are a testimony of my grace, and my strength is made perfect in your weakness. I will uphold you. You will not shrink back.”

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Hannah with her brothers, Jonathan & David

It is with this hope and assurance that we begin 2017. Yes, we are hurting. Yes, we are in pain, but God is our deliverer. He will not leave us here forever. In fact, he says that he will never leave us or forsake us!

This year we will begin to experience victory. The Lord is going to use our suffering and he will use our tears for his glory.

So I choose to be hopeful as we begin 2017. I continue to ask you to hold us up in prayer. We will not succeed without your loving support. Dawn and I give thanks for you!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God’s Work of Healing
Hannah #AHannahPercent

Hannah
We love you #AHannahPercent

Today marks four weeks since Hannah passed away. Our family has felt so loved, and so embraced by all the friends who have sent us cards and notes. Friends and family who are praying for us and holding us up.

In the midst of this I’m slowly starting to get back involved in our work of ministry. Dawn and I covet your prayers as we move forward, because it is one of the hardest if not the hardest thing we’ve every had to deal with. God is greater! God is stronger than all our fears! Hallelujah!

Starting today I will begin ministering with my friends in Mexico to evaluate potential church planters. I need your prayers and an extra measure of grace.

More Glimpses of Heaven

The Lord has been so good to us in showing us glimpses of heaven as I shared in my last post.

Hannah is excited to be starting IMPACT 195

Hannah on her first day at IMPACT 195

Here’s a message from one of Hannah’s friends from her IMPACT 195 school. Her name is Marta, and here’s what she wrote.

Beautiful Family,

I just want to say that your daughter was the sweetest person I ever met. She came right up to me the first time I met her and just started complimenting me without even knowing me. That never happened to me before. She brought so much joy, so much love every where she went. When they told me what happened we were at the prayer chapel at IMPACT and started to pray.

God speaks to me in visions and He gave me a vision of her wearing a white dress looking even more beautiful and dancing with Jesus. She had that freedom dance with her hair everywhere, turning and just glowing so much! Filled with love and joy! She will never be forgotten and I can’t wait to see her again. I want to say that you did an amazing job raising her. I’ll be praying for you that God will bring you peace, comfort and may you completely trust that it was His timing.

Love, Marta

These added measures of grace that the Lord gives us are a huge boost to our faith. It’s a glimpse into what awaits all of us who are called by His name.

Hannah Diaso Memorial Facebook Group

I created a Facebook group called, “Hannah Diaso Memorial” if you’d like to join the group click on the link and I’ll add you in.

Thank you dear friends for going with us on this deep and difficult journey!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Glimpses of God’s Grace
Chivis and Hannah

Chivis and Hannah

Since Hannah passed away the Lord has ministered to us, and shown us glimpses of grace. He has given us some previews of heaven.

One of Hannah’s best friends, Chivis. A friend that Hannah knew since they were about two years old. They first met each other in Mexico City, and that relationship continued through our years in Colorado and now on the San Diego/Tijuana border.

On the day Hannah died, Chivis had a dream. Hannah went to be with the Lord around midnight Pacific time on Tuesday, October 18th. Chivis had a dream at 2 AM Central time on the same day. Her dream is a very encouraging one, and gives us a glimpse into the Lord’s work.

Chivis’ Dream of Hannah
Hannah & Chivis in Mexico City

Hannah & Chivis in Mexico City

Here’s the dream that Chivis shared with us:

Hannah and I were in a beautiful garden, full of flowers. It was a beautiful and sunny day. When I saw Hannah’s face I was surprised, because she looked very young around 11 or 12 years old. Her face was radiant and it radiated such brilliance that I was sure that she had seen her Creator face to face (although I didn’t realize it at the time).

While we were together we laughed like we used to when we were younger. We shared jokes and we held hands. All of the sudden, I realized that the last time I saw Hannah in Mexico, she didn’t look like this. She was a little down, and she had gained weight and of course she was 22 years old.

When I remembered the last time I had seen her, it seemed strange so I turned to look at her again and there she was. She was young, smiling and full of joy. Then I fixed my sight on her, and I told her, “Hannah, sister, you are completely recovered!!!!!!” She turned to look at me with a smile and gave me a high-five. She said, “Yes, I feel very different, we made it!”

After exchanging hugs and some more time of chatting, Hannah said to me, “Chivita, I have to go, but I will see you soon. I love you very much.” I said goodbye too and gave her a big sister’s hug, and I told her that I loved her and she left.

Chivis & Hannah

Chivis & Hannah

Trusting God’s Goodness

This greatly encouraged Chivis, and when she shared it with us we felt that the Lord was giving us further confirmation that, although Hannah’s death is tragic in that she died so young, we see his hand was in it, and that he had a purpose in it. We may not understand that purpose, but we trust in the Lord’s wisdom.

There were also three or four others who shared visions that they had of Hannah. They saw her filled with joy, and at peace while she was enjoying being in heaven with her loving Father.

Thank you, Jesus for your kind graces to us, and thanks to all of those who love us and love our daughter, Hannah.

In his Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Our Princess Warrior – Hannah Diaso
Our beautiful daughter and beloved sister, Hannah

Our beautiful daughter and beloved sister, Hannah

On Tuesday, October 18th our beautiful daughter, and beloved sister went to be with the Lord. A tragic loss! Yet our refrain continues to be, “we grieve, but not as those without hope.” We are a hopeful family, surrounded by a wonderful community of hopeful people. The hope that the Lord has displayed to us is a Biblical hope, which is a hope of certainty that Hannah is with her heavenly Father, and that we will see her again in glory.

On Wednesday, October 26th we mourned Hannah’s loss and celebrated her life at the graveside service and the funeral service. One of Hannah’s close friends, Marissa Irakoze posted the following on Instagram,

Before this week, I never knew that joy and grief could be in the same place. Hannah, your service yesterday was incredible. You would have LOVED it. You lived such a beautiful life, it was an honor to have known you. See you soon, friend ❤️

The service was Christ centered celebration of life. While the service was a time to grieve, yet also a time to rejoice. We grieved that she is gone, and we don’t get to enjoy her presence anymore on this side of heaven. We rejoiced in the victory that Christ secured for us over death on the cross. We have victory through his death and resurrection. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!!!

The House of Mourning is Better

Another close family friend, Heidi Griffith shared a wonderful verse in Ecclesiastes that the Lord used to minister to Heidi when her mother passed away. We found it touched us as well, and I feel it’s a passage we will be chewing on and thinking through for a long time.

“It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.”

Ecclesiastes 7:2 ESV

It’s hard to understand how it can be better to mourn than to feast, but there it is. We are finding that the Lord is meeting us in a deep and profound way through the pain that we are enduring. God is present in this trial. He has not abandoned us. He will never leave us or forsake us.

Hannah with her brothers, Jonathan & David

Hannah with her brothers, Jonathan & David

Hannah’s brothers, David and Jonathan put in over 24 hours creating a beautiful slide show. They chose two songs from Rachel Platten that Hannah loved, and that carry a deep significance. The boys shared during the service that the first song, Better Place, speaks of how  Hannah made the world a better place from the moment that she entered this world to the moment that the Lord took her home. Several Friends shared that Hannah would not waste any time to show her love and would make you feel special the very first time you met her. The boys also shared that, Hannah touched many lives on this world and we are confident that her Impact and testimony will outlive her by continuing to bring those still on earth to a relationship with Christ.  Most importantly an assurance that the Lord has given us  is that Hannah is now in a better place. The second song, Fight Song, is a remembrance of Hannah’s fighting spirit. She was and is a princess warrior.

Video: Hannah-Celebration of Life

If you have trouble viewing this video on your browser you can view it by clicking on this YouTube link

We rejoice that death has been swallowed up in victory through the death and resurrection of Christ!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org