Last year, Dr. Mary Starr, invited me over for a video interview to share with her readers and clients. We laughed, cried, and remembered Heidi. You see, Dr. Mary is more than the knowledgeable and wonderful doctor most know her as. She was a dear friend to my sister, Heidi Allen, and over the years has become a dear friend to us too. I'm thankful for her love to share hope with others, to remember her friend (and my sister), and her faith in God that guides her through each step.
Easter weekend starts with loss as we reflect and remember Jesus died on the cross for our sins. He didn't just die, He was crucified...not because of anything He did wrong but for me, and for you. We mourn his death on Friday yet when Sunday comes, we celebrate His resurrection and the hope we have for eternity in Heaven through our relationship with Him. This is the grief most relate to when they think of Easter, yet there is an additional grief that revisits me each year, at least since 1994.
The day my little sister was kidnapped from the D & W Convenience Store in New Haven, New York. She remains missing twenty years later. So while I mourn the loss of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ...I also mourn the loss of my only sister and pray for her return. In hindsight, the first ten years following Heidi's kidnapping, we barely celebrated Easter because of what the day represented...loss. Thankfully, today, I can celebrate Jesus' resurrection and the joyous time of Easter and still respect my sister's memory. It's a bittersweet weekend, and day.
It is because of Easter we have hope. If you believe in prophecy, then you would love the Bible. It's full of it. You can read in the Old Testament of things to come, and sometimes even Who will be coming. Jesus' birth, life, crucifixion, and resurrection were prophesized and came to be. What does this mean to you and me? It means we have Hope for eternal life, with God.
Another reason I have hope this weekend is because of one small way God continues to show His love for me, and my family. On April third, we gathered with family, friends, and community to remember Heidi. We were, and are, so thankful for the outpouring of love, encouragement, and hope we witnessed during that difficult week, day, and the days that have followed. Thank you so much for your prayers, words, and hugs. I pray you are blessed in return.
Love isn't an emotion per say, it's a verb, yet it's something surrounding me, my family, and all of you. I feel such love when I think of the sacrifice Jesus gave to accept death on the cross. Love for a God who had the ability to save His Son from death yet chose to let Him suffer so we can receive forgiveness and spend eternity with Him in heaven. Love for my sister who I miss each day. Love for my parents who never give up and exhibit strength and endurance on a daily basis, living each parent's worst nightmare...the loss of their child. Love for families as they gather for the holiday, setting aside their differences to enjoy and celebrate the gift of family. Love is in the air, it's spring!
In the days leading up to April third, I did an interview with one of Dr. Mary Starr's staff, Claudia, for an upcoming article in her Moms of Faith blog.
I was humbled when asked because Dr. Mary interviewed me last year for a video interview, so to be asked for another one, I was very touched. After I read the questions, I knew God orchestrated this interview. I have notes and ideas in notebooks, on pieces of paper, and even on scraps of papers throughout the house. One of the ideas I've been tossing around for a mini-book or blog or something was on "Fear".
As I read Claudia and Dr. Mary's questions, I smiled as God tugged at my heart, reminding me to "not fear". I prayed before responding and took longer than normal to respond. Part of the reason for the delay was due to the time of year it was and the other, I wanted to answer the way God desired. I hope you'll visit Dr. Mary's Moms of Faith to read more. Click on any of the links or photographs on this page for direct links to today's article, last year's Vimeo interview, or to Amazon to purchase your copy of Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey. If you purchase the print copy of this book, you can get the Kindle copy for only $.99