Posts Tagged ‘Hope’

The Pain of Loss
The Cross on Mount Soledad in San Diego

The Cross on Mount Soledad in San Diego

Recently I was conversing with some of my missionary colleagues about death and grieving, and how most of us struggle with working through the sorrow of losing someone we love. The Bible tells us to not grieve as those without hope, but it does not tell us not to grieve. One of the phrases that was said a few times just a few days after Hannah had passed away is that “Hannah is more alive than ever.” While that is true, I didn’t feel that it helped me at the time. That phrase in some way seemed to make me feel like I shouldn’t be sad. I know it wasn’t meant that way, but I didn’t find it comforting. That is not to say that I lost hope entirely. Yet, I felt that it minimized the pain and the deep loss I had just experienced.

I should add that I’m more able to receive that word, and I find it more comforting now that I’ve had some time to grieve and process Hannah’s home going.

I still feel the sadness at times, and it hits me at unexpected times. It’s not as frequent as it once was. In some way, I find it hard to explain the emotions that I go through. The realization that my daughter is no longer here, and that I can’t talk to her anymore. We can’t do together any of those things we had dreamed of.

Lessons from the Cross
Dave with Hannah - My beautiful daughter that I love

Dave with Hannah – My beautiful daughter that I love

As I conversed with my missionary friends, one of them, Bill Yarbrough brought up some thoughts of a friend of his, who just happens to be a nun. She said that she feels we move on from the cross too quickly to the resurrection. We forget the pain involved in Jesus’s death on the cross, and that his mother and his friends felt deep sorrow. They didn’t realize at the time of his death that Jesus would rise from the dead. Thanks be to God that Jesus did rise on the third day!

Now that I lost my daughter, and I have suffered deep loss I am grateful for the man of sorrows, who’s acquainted with grief. He comforts me in my loss. He stays with me. He gives me hope, and lifts me out of the pit when I fall in. I believe the Lord has some awesome and wonderful mysteries for me to learn as He embraces me in my loss.

All of the Creation Groans for Redemption
Dave & Dawn - Thankful for my wife and that I don't have to go on this journey alone

Dave & Dawn – Thankful for my wife and that I don’t have to go on this journey alone

We live in this broken world, scarred by sin.

The enemy of our soul comes to kill, steal and destroy, and he will do anything he can to hurt us. This too is one of the effects of the fallen world we live in.

That is why all of creation groans for redemption. We long for the new creation. We long to be in the place where there will be no more loss, no more suffering, no more sorrow. The place where we will see our Savior, the lover of our soul face to face. We will be reunited with those we love.

I can’t wait to see my daughter again. I can’t wait to hug her again. If there are any tears they will be tears of joy!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

God Has Blessed Us With Some Amazing Friends
Dave & Dawn with the Cisneros family

Dave & Dawn with the Cisneros family

Some of my favorite friends are the Cisneros family. I first met them when I was a young, fledgling seminary student in 1985. I came down to Mexico City with Dr. William Iverson and 16 other students and professors. That was a life changing trip for me, because it was there that the Lord first called me to serve in Mexico.

Through the years Dawn and I have been able to stay in touch with the Cisneros’s. We’ve prayed for each other, and encouraged one another. They are a family that is deeply committed to Christ. I first met them, because of they were serving with Campus Crusade for Christ, now Cru. Then later they began to work with Operation Mobilization. They continue to serve in missions in Mexico, and other countries.

They are like family to Dawn and me, and we have a strong love for one another.

The Impact of Hannah’s Life!
Dave & Angel on the street outside Angel's home

Dave & Angel on the street outside Angel’s home

This reunion was special in many ways, as it was the first time Dawn and I have seen them since Hannah passed away. They made a special effort to love on us and encourage us.

Angel's daughter, Ana Rut

Angel’s daughter, Ana Rut

Angel Cisneros who is now like the patriarch of the family had three of his children with us. All of them were sharing how Hannah’s life and death impacted them. One of them, Ana Rut said she remembered Hannah being happy as a small child, and she saw how she grew to love Christ as she became a young woman. She said that Hannah’s death really impacted her, and made her think about her own life and her own devotion to Christ. She shared this through her tears, which brought Dawn and me to tears.

They were healthy, cleansing tears, and we felt so much better after we had cried together. One of my prayers has been and continues to be that Hannah’s death was not in vain. I suppose I know in the grand scheme of things God uses even death, so it’s not in vain, but I want to see an impact left by my beautiful daughter’s life. Ana Rut’s story was an answer to this longing that I’ve had. She told me as well as the family told both Dawn and me that Hannah’s life and example touch many people’s lives.

The Lord Met Us in a Special Way

After a wonderful meal we were able to sing together, and then pray together. They asked us if we would pray for them and pray over them, and it was a very special time. We all sensed the presence of the Lord as he ministered in us and through us. Hallelujah!

Thank you Jesus for the Cisneros family. Wonderful servants of yours, and we do pray your rich and bountiful blessing over them.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

I Need God’s Grace
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The Cross on Mt. Soledad in San Diego

This year more than past years remembering that Christ was called a man of sorrows acquainted with grief has ministered to me. “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief…” (Isaiah 53:3)

I recognize more than ever that I need the Lord’s grace and tender mercies. I long for His healing touch.

Our Ongoing Mourning

My family and I continue to struggle with Hannah’s passing, or as we’ve begun to say her moving to heaven. Recently the thought occurred to me that it doesn’t matter if I get angry or sad or somewhere in between, none of that will bring my daughter back to me. As King David said after washing his face, changing his clothes and worshipping the Lord in reference to his son who had passed away in 2 Samuel 12:23, “Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”

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We Miss Our Beautiful Hannah, but We are Glad She is Celebrating Now

No matter how much I long for it, Hannah will not return to me. I do miss her every day. I do long to see her and hug her again.

These are some of the reasons why I love that the Bible says that Jesus was a man of sorrows acquainted with grief. I feel through all of this the Lord is saying to me in a very personal and tender way, “I know your pain, I know your anguish. Hannah’s death was not in vain.” What a wonderful comfort. What a wonderful savior!

The Pain of the Ultimate Loss
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Our family in Mexico City

A few weeks ago Dawn and I went to see the movie, The Shack. I read the book a number of years ago, but I didn’t remember the story all that well. I’m aware of the controversy surrounding both, but that is not my purpose for mentioning it here.

As I watched the movie with Dawn I was surprised by how much the story ministered to me. It touched me as I saw a father grapple with the loss of his daughter. His sorrow, his anger and even his disappointment with God. There was a point in the movie where one of the characters playing God said, “It’s not your fault.” That is something I’ve wrestled with in pondering the why’s behind Hannah’s passing. I too sensed during a time of prayer that the Lord said to me, “It’s not your fault.” I think they are words that I need to be reminded of often.

A father is supposed to protect his child from harm, so when the ultimate harm comes there is a sense of failure. I wasn’t able to protect and keep my daughter from the tragedy of death. That’s so painful! Thank you for the man of sorrows, who is acquainted with grief. Thank you for being there for me.

Thank you for this day when we remember how Christ suffered on the cross for our sins. Good Friday seems like an oxymoron when we consider what it is referring to, but as many have said before, “It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming. Hallelujah!”

This hope that we have in Christ. This hope that David declared in recognizing that one day he would go to see his son, that is the hope that sustains us! We give thanks to the Lord for such a wonderful hope!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Thrilled by the Growth of the Gospel
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Prayer & Planning Meeting in Monterrey, Mexico 

The church is growing in Mexico, and we are thrilled to be a part of that. When we moved to the border almost 5 years ago, and even before that we prayed and dreamed about what we hoped the Lord would do in Mexico. We asked the Lord to use us to see His church grow and flourish.

Last week we had the wonderful privilege of meeting together as leaders and ministers with Mission to the World in Mexico. Leaders from our various teams came: Monterrey, Guadalajara, El Paso/Juarez, McAllen/Reynosa, Baja. It was a great time to pray, hear testimonies and celebrate what the Lord is doing through our teams in Mexico. The church is growing, and the gospel is going forth.

More of Jesus, More Transformed Lives!

One of my great desires is that we will come together as a larger team in Mexico for prayer and to join forces as we seek to partner with the church in Mexico to see many people won for Christ, and to see lives transformed. This was the first time we had a meeting like this in Mexico in a number of years. We want more of Jesus, and more of his Spirit. O Lord, do your mighty work in and among us. We want to see the church expand all across the country.

God is already doing some very encouraging works through our missionaries and our partners, but we long for more. We don’t want to be satisfied, because there is still much work to do. Content in all things, but yet striving for more and for all that the Lord has for us.

Join Us in Prayer!

Please join us in prayer as we look to the Lord to continue his mighty work, and that we will see even greater works of the Lord.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

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
The Commissioning
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Petri with his core team behind him during commissioning service

Today (Sunday) was both an exhilarating and a painful day. Dawn and I went to Ensenada today to be with our friends. I’ve tried to keep you updated about the new church planting project in Ensenada, Renuevo that Jesus ‘Petri’ Petrikowski is leading. The Lord gave us the opportunity to participate in the commissioning of Petri and Yudy and their team as they leave La Nueva Jerusalén to start their new church.

They’ve been meeting as a core group now for a number of months, and the group is growing and coming together. Petri and Yudy felt like it was time for them to start meeting on Sundays as they continue to move forward on this new church plant. I’ve been concerned for Petri and Yudy, because I’ve not been able to support them as much as I would have liked to since Hannah passed away. Yet, they’ve just kept on going.

Surprised Again by God’s Good Work
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It was a privilege for me to pray for Petri & Yudy and the church planting core team  of Renuevo

I’m pleasantly surprised by the progress they are making, and it brings me great joy to see the Lord working through them.

The ministry continues and I know it’s not dependent on me, which is a good thing.

After the commissioning service Dawn and I were able to meet with the core group, and they are excited for what lies ahead. We enjoyed the opportunity to plan, dream and pray with them. They are all very special friends who love us and they love Hannah.

Another Painful First

In a sense that was the painful part of the day. Today marked the first day that Dawn had been to Ensenada since Hannah went to be with the Lord. She woke up today feeling sad and heavy.

I will let Dawn share the story herself from what she wrote.

Dave wrote at the bottom of this post (referring to a post on the Hannah Diaso Memorial page on Facebook) the verse that says, “joy comes in the morning.” Unfortunately, the joy has not yet come for me yet this morning. Dave wants to go to Ensenada today to a special church service, because of an upcoming new church plant. I am hating the idea to have to face another first going to Ensenada for the first time now without Hannah.

She loved going to Ensenada to minister with us there, and Ensenada was the last place she went to minister with us in Mexico before she died.

I woke up crying today and I am missing Hannah terribly. Recently it seems like the longer that it has been since she “moved to heaven”, the harder it has been for me.

Please pray that God shows me what I should do with myself during these upcoming challenging days. This morning all I want to do is go to heaven. Life on earth can be so very painful and difficult– seemingly unbearable at times.😰

God Loves Us and He Cares for Us
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Dawn and I enjoyed spending some time with our friends and eating some good fish tacos after the service

The Lord did minister to Dawn today, really to both of us. When she got out of the car to go into the church she started sobbing, but we were met there by some loving friends that knew Hannah. Our friends loved on Dawn, and they lifted up Dawn’s spirit and we both ended up feeling much better.

This day was a little harder than most, but we are still in the thick of the grieving process. Still a number of difficult firsts to pass through. Jesus is with us in these moments and he uses his people to love on us and minister to us. Thank you so much for praying for us and for praying for this amazing work in Ensenada!

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