November 1, 2013 – Three Years

Three years.  Three dreadfully long slow years.  Three years of pain, isolation and longing for another world.  Three years of compartmentalizing and pretending.  Three years of being ignored and shunned by people of this world.  Three years of just getting through each day only to wake up the next day to go through it all over again.

Three years of watching our son suffer not only the loss of his best friend but his only sister and to walk through his new life with limited encouragement outside of family.  Three years of our own health issues both the nagging and the life threatening.  Three years of struggle in all areas of our human existence.

Three years since our first born and baby girl Hannah Helen Hasslen died in our arms.

Three years since we could talk to, walk with, hug and kiss our precious daughter!  Three years since we could actually laugh from our soul.  Three years.  Three years.  Three years ago our lives changed forever.

And as it is so hard to comprehend what we are about to say from human reasoning, we wouldn’t change one thing, not one thing even if we had the power to do so!

Why you ask (to the obviously delusional and sad couple….)?

Because we now intimately know and love God.  We understand and have a relationship with Jesus!  We can now feel and discern the guidance of the Holy Spirit!

Were we bad people before?  No.  Just normal sinful people trying to fit in to this crazy world. Were we not Christians before?  Yes, definitely we were!  But until we went through this intense suffering of the death of our daughter and the traumatic aftermath, we knew and believed in God but had never experienced God!

What is God like you may ask throughout our entire experience?  God is Good!  He is So Good!  So Good that words can’t exactly express our feelings adequately enough!  How do we describe it?  There is a recent song that has ministered to us like no other and has ignited our Spirit within about God’s goodness both now and forever!

This video was filmed at Gateway Church and in a “God only coincidence”, a friend of a friend had visited Hannah down in the hospital and brought other men who encouraged her, prayed with her and prayed over her.   Little did we know until recently that he was an elder from Gateway Church and one of his church’s praise and worship singers actually ministers to us so deeply through her voice and words of this great song!  Only God can orchestrate this blessing!  Here’s the link to this song from Kari Jobe called You Are Good that means so much to us!

What else have we learned and experienced through this three year journey?  That Jesus is real! Jesus is alive and returning sooner than we think! Jesus is who He said He is – God! Jesus is God! And Jesus loves us more than we can imagine!  And the good news for those who place their trust and faith in Him, we will have eternal life!  We will be reunited with Hannah and our other loved ones!  We now know Jesus!  We have experienced Jesus!  Praise be to you Jesus!

Prior to Hannah’s illness and death, we believed in Jesus as the Son of God but like so many in the church today, Jesus is treated not like the Messiah of the world who is coming back to rule & reign forever but rather Jesus as a great man who God created as a pseudo lucky rabbit’s foot.  Not an equal to God but rather some created being!  It is so surprising to me now how many self-professing Jesus followers really don’t treat and respect Him as God.  Jesus is God!  Yes, He is!

Greg Laurie and his ministry have been such an encouragement to us throughout due to awesome teaching but also due to his understanding of what it is like to lose a child, as he experienced the death of his son.

On his recent Facebook post October 18th, he wrote what we think is a wonderful depiction of who Jesus is!  Here’s what he said:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1–2).

In the original text, there is not a definite article before the word “beginning,” meaning you cannot pinpoint the moment in time where there was a beginning. This verse stretches back in time to eternity past—farther than our minds can imagine. Before there was a world, before there were planets, before there was light or darkness, before there was matter, before there was anything but the Godhead, there was Jesus.  Jesus Christ: coequal, coeternal, coexistent with the Father and Holy Spirit. He was “with God” and He “was God.”

Yet, Jesus did not stay in the safety of heaven. Jesus became “Deity in diapers.” He entered our world. He breathed our air. He shared our pain. He walked in our shoes, and then some. He lived our life and then He died our death.

Jesus did not become identical to us, but He did become identified with us. In fact, He could not have identified with us more closely than He did. It was total identification without any loss of Identity, for He became one of us without ceasing to be Himself.

He became human without ceasing to be God. The Bible is clear in pointing out that Jesus Christ was and is God Himself. Even before the creation of the universe, Jesus was always there, as God without beginning or end.  Jesus said of Himself, “I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” (Revelation 22:13).

With this in mind, there is no question that Jesus, who is our all-powerful God, can help us in our time of need!

Well, we can tell you with all honesty and humility, in our desperate time of need, JESUS was there!  When people ask us what has gotten us through these past three years, One name!  The name above all other names!  JESUS!

Our urgent plea to others who read this blog and are going through similar or worse situations, place your trust in HIM!  He is real!  He is Truth!  He is our Hope!  He is our Future!  He is Everything to those who place their faith in Him!

He won’t let you down and will carry you through adversity and place the Holy Spirit in you to lead you in these troubled days until He returns to get us or until we go to Him!

So what is our direction going forward in the future!  Regardless of circumstances in this temporary world, we are ALL IN FOR JESUS!

If we can ever be of help or encouragement to you, please let us know as our number one prayer to our Heavenly Father is for our family to minister to others going through grief and to be used by Him for HIS GLORY the remaining days of our lives!

Jesus has really ministered to us through both His Word in the Bible, through His follower’s words and through music.  As we finish this blog for now, attached is another music video from Shane & Shane with John Piper that really motivates us and highlights our theme as we move forward in this broken and temporary world:

Jesus!  Thank you for being Truth and for being there for us in our time of need!  And Lord, please let our sweet daughter know that we long for our reunion with her in our “real” home – Heaven!

In Hope,

Bill & Amy

Romans 12:12 – “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer”.

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