Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Year of Sorrow and The Sweetness of Jesus

Invitations I made for family for Haddon's 1st birthday

Isaiah 41:10 has been a verse I run to all year long:
    fear not, for I am with you;
        be not dismayed, for I am your God;
    I will strengthen you, I will help you,
        I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

This past weekend we were able to celebrate our precious son Haddon's first year with Jesus. As we were approaching the 31st of March I had no idea what the morning would feel like when I first woke up. Haddon would have had his first birthday, I would have loved to have rushed into his nursery and woken him up with a "happy birthday big boy!" and see him light up and giggle, not really understanding what a birthday means but just enjoying such a greeting from mommy.

But Saturday arrived and as I opened my eyes there was a peace from the Lord as I awoke in a quiet home that my heart longs to be filled with baby chatter; my son is with Jesus, where there is joy unending. It's been a whole year of delight for him that is unimaginable to me here on earth. I wouldn't exchange that for him to be present at a party, even when I miss him to a point that feels unbearable.

I opened God's word to Psalm 33, a chapter that has been a light in the darkness of this year. When we first lost Haddon this is what God used to remind me that all His work is done in faithfulness and that He loves righteousness. That's where I rested in many days of sorrow. I use the truths from Psalm 33 when I have to battle these sins: jealousy or envy of other parents with little precious newborns, when I'm so thankful a NICU baby makes it but my heart aches to compare how my son didn't, when I struggle to think the woman in the checkout lane could be more thankful for her children she snaps at, when I stand over Haddon's grave and when holidays come and I can't pick out a special outfit (ah the little plaid shirts and ties). But the Holy Spirit does his work, I'm so thankful, and reminds me that God's work for my child is done in faithfulness and he is not jeopardizing his righteousness to bring us through this deep sadness. Ever.

This weekend I reflected on how God brought me closer to himself because I was able to watch Haddon as he passed away. There is something about watching a life pass that came from your very own womb; it makes the fact that all things belong to the Lord permanently sealed in your mind. Haddon was loaned to us, 8 months in the womb, and two days to behold with our eyes. As for our other children to come, they too are only loaned to us by the Lord.

Here are some photos from Haddon's Birthday, March 31, 2012. A huge thanks to my sister in law Yvette for taking these for us:

Sketch by my dad given to us, it's from a photo we have of Ernie holding Haddons feet
Sketch by my dad given to us, it's from a photo we have of Haddon in his little NICU bed with his little dog Rufus
Sketch by my dad given to us, it's from our photo of Haddon holding Ernie's finger

The family surprised me with a framed original manuscript of a sermon from Charles Haddon Spurgeon, with his handwriting. It was in memory of Haddon Brooks Blanco.

Bailey loves Daniel

Talking about her cousin in Aunt Lisa's tummy.

Love talking with my dad and brother

Ernie with sweet little Nathan.
Probably the greatest picture of Truett

loving my gift

two precious friends to me plus their babies.

Rufus enjoying all the company.

My grandma and grandpa:)

Cupcakes I made for Haddon

Ernie reading scripture and taking a moment to remind us of Haddon's eternal life with Christ.

Here are some pictures from April 2nd, on this day last year is when Haddon died. We treasured it as we sat down by the grave together and read a sermon from Spurgeon titled: "The Spiritual Resurrection"

Baby Ernie Brooks visiting his brother's grave

For Christians who are reading this, my hope is that you do not fear sorrow or trials that will come in your life. The Lord is near to the broken hearted (Psalm 34:18) and there has been nothing sweeter in my life than to have to run to Jesus in my grief, when someone I loved more than anything was taken. You will love his word more. He brings deep comfort, as I know he holds all things together, with the same hand that formed Haddon and also the hand that brought him to his last breath.

Hebrews 13:20-21
    Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.


  1. this is beautiful Lisa. I am very blessed that I got to hear your voice on that day, and thankful for God's goodness as He has carried you and Ernie through this past year. He is so, so good.

  2. A sweet day is coming and we all get to be there. -- Love you, Mom

  3. I was so blessed to read everything you wrote here Lisa! I love the pictures of the party, and the gift your family gave you too! Also, your belly looks wonderful :)

  4. Read your blog through my "cousin in law" Bethany's link :)You have a true gift of words and what you wrote was beautiful! Sad and happy all at the same time. A great read for resurrection morning and a blessing to my heart. And I must say, seeing your baby belly brought such a smile to my face! God is so good!

  5. I have only read this five or six times since you have posted it.. :)

  6. I know Yvette and read about Haddon's story last year. Thank you for the update and for seeing God's goodness through trial. Thank you even more for communicating it so beautifully to encourage the rest of us. Delighting with you in the upcoming arrival of your newest little one.

  7. Dear Ernie & Lisa:

    Such a beautiful way to celebrate the life of precious Hadden! May God richly bless you as you continue to bless others!

    Doreen Sexton
    (Aunt of Brian & Yvette)