Am I bitter? Not usually. Do I have moments of "What if...?" Yes. What if there were bells on the door? What if there were cameras installed? What if cellular phones were popular like they are today? What if she worked her assigned shift and didn't put others first? What if? What if? What if?
The only thing I gain from dwelling on the "what ifs" of life is increased anxiety. Why dwell in the past and the things we can't change? It's so silly, yet, as humans, this is something we do often.
The facts are what they are, and in situations like this the verse from Psalms:
"You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."
Psalm 139:16 NLT
If our days are already determined, then why waste time with worry, wonder, and what if? I'm not doing it again! Okay, you know this isn't a true statement, my nature leads me into this negative, down swirl, and trap SO...I will modify my declaration. I will attempt to hide this Bible verse in my heart so when the w's try to claim my thoughts, I can rebuke them in Jesus name and keep moving forward in faith, hope, and love! A challenge? Yes, yet one worth accepting and reaching. Don't you think?
There are many things we think of and look forward to when the platinum anniversary is mentioned. But, in a situation like this, no one is going to pick out a new fine china set to gift or use to keep tradition. Instead of celebrating the kidnapping of Heidi M Allen on April third, we will remember her.
This anniversary is messing with my emotions and making concentration difficult. Twenty years ago I thought it was a mistake and Heidi would show up, but as the minutes transitioned into hours, days, weeks, years, and now decades...my thought is the same, "Who thought kidnapping could happen in a small town like New Haven, New York"? Sadly, kidnapping is not specific to any area, economic status, race, or country. Kidnapping and abduction do not discriminate.
In May of this year, Heidi would of celebrated her 20th college graduation but instead, a month prior this milestone, Heidi's memory will be honored and remembered at the New Haven Fire Department from 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. A candle light vigil will begin at 7:42 p.m., bring your own candle. Light refreshments will be provided. The Oswego County Sheriff's Department and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will be there to do finger printing and share information on how to keep your kiddos safe in today's ever changing society. This is one way we hope to encourage, promote, and share hope with our community.
This anniversary is difficult because instead of being a milestone of joyful celebration, it is a double decade remembrance of tragedy. One day we'll know where Heidi is. One day someone will step up and contact law enforcement with the information that will bring Heidi home. One day, the human conscience will erupt in the people guilty of stealing this eighteen year old girl from our community and lives. God is bigger, more powerful, more loving, and always forgiving. He, and only He, has the ability to bring the answer to the surface to bring our Heidi M Allen home - let's pray it's sooner rather than later.
Until then, let's NEVER GIVE UP HOPE! I feel more encouraged, inspired, and motivated today than I have in a week - God is answering your prayers. Thank you everyone.