Yet, after writing the blog, then posting it...I was released from the bondage of my author envy. Will I struggle with it again, probably, I am human after all BUT my focus and eyes are fixed on the One who blesses, encourages, humbles, loves, inspires, and leads me ~ so instead of living in the "what" and "why" questions, I'll continue to say thank you and lift praises.
Does the graphic give you a clue? This other area of envy is hard to convey without you misunderstanding my heart. If there is ever a time to excel at my writing, it is right now. In case I don't do a good job initially, please read the entire blog before you think ill of me.
On the news daily there are reports of "recovered body", "bones discovered", or "cold case solved". This is exciting stuff! Thanks to new DNA and technologies, cold cases are being solved and unidentified bodies are being identified and returned to their families. Each news heading sharing of a body or bones found heightens my prayers for Heidi, and the missing persons whose families I know personally - especially if its in the area of a loved ones last known whereabouts.
Sometimes I'm praying with the family before the news goes live to the public and others I learn of through news coverage online or the television. For those not directly affected by abduction or kidnapping, you may instantly pray for it to be the missing person the media suggests it could be. Yet as the family, the prayer is not this simple.
There is part of you praying with all your heart for it to be your loved one because this means the "search" aspect of your loved one's disappearance is over and the next part of the journey begins. Then there is the other aspect, praying with an equal amount of strength that it isn't your loved one because then there is still hope, even if it is ever so small, or next to nothing - it's still a hope they are alive. So what do we pray? I can't speak for others but I know personally, my prayer varies and is exhausting. I find myself praying the following Bible verse more often or not:
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don't know what
God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that
cannot be expressed in words.
Romans 8:26 NLT
On one level, based on the definition of "envy", I envy the families getting answers when we continue to wait, hope, pray, and wonder.
I envy the other siblings who won't have their parents last words to them be, "Tell your brother/sister we couldn't wait" or "We'll know where he/she is now", before they close their eyes for the last time on earth. I've heard these words from too many family members in the past few years, and the thought that these could be my parents' last words to me, rips at my heart. So yes, I envy the families getting answers.
BUT I also life joyful praises for the family getting the answer to their daily sorry and prayer...thanksgiving and praise for God bringing one of the missing home. I thank God more than I envy the family yet the "why not Heidi" creeps in.
I don't envy the families who have waited weeks before the media learned of the possible match because we too, know the difficulty of this time. There are times the Oswego County Sheriff's have contacted my parents because there is a possible match based on DNA or the age and sex of the bones found. The family is notified first in case there is a match because when there is, it'll be on the news or social medias quicker than the Sheriff could drive to my parent's home. We wait, and wait...and then learn it wasn't Heidi. I find myself thanking God for the family who got answers and then crying because it wasn't Heidi.
So do I envy families getting answers...you decide. Based on the definition, some could argue that I do envy the most precious answered prayer a family of the missing can receive from God yet on a deeper level - I'm thankful it wasn't Heidi because then maybe there is a slim, less than .1% chance I'll see my sister again. But then is that the better alternative? To live through nearly twenty years of torment and being held against her will? I don't know the answers to these questions.
The one thing I do know, I'm thankful God continues to bring our missing hone. Each day God is answering prayers when bodies are found and identified. God answers prayers with new technologies and DNA capabilities that are solving cold cases and connecting pieces missed 10, 20, and 30 years ago. God is answering prayers everyday.
To say I envy the family getting answers might be better worded, if I was to say "I mourn the loss of my only sister, Heidi M Allen, each time another family is blessed with answers. My heart grieves the time we lost, the memories never made, and the pain she must of endured. My heart breaks for each moment we don't know."
I don't envy the families starting the next part of their journey, instead I grieve not moving to the next part of our journey and having Heidi home with us.
Does this make sense? I pray you understand my heart - I thank God daily for each recovered or discovered missing person.
I thank God for the families of the missing I've met over the years, and the ones I've yet to meet. Some day we'll know where Heidi is...I pray for that day and I pray for all the families, friends, and communities of the missing who mourn the loss of those precious to them. May God bring all our missing home and stop future abductions.
Special prayers to the family of Matthew Straton for their loss.
Additional prayers to the other families, like ours,
who are watching the news as it unfolds.
No envy - hope, love, and prayers for our friends
who might be one of the one's waiting for the phone to ring today.
And double prayers for them when the phone does ring...