One thing I share when I speak is that we've all lost someone. I physically "lost" my sister, Heidi M. Allen, when when she was abducted on Easter Sunday, April 3, 1994. You may have lost a sibling or loved one to death, disease, in an argument, or some other reason. This loss and absence from your life leaves an emptiness and void.
I try to keep my sister's name, story, and "who" she was alive through my writing and speaking. This was not a path I chose yet it's one God directed me towards and continues to open doors with. In April, on the twentieth anniversary of Heidi's disappearance I set a goal to have a draft of the sequel to Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey drafted so I could let it sit a few weeks until the first school break to take a read through.
While the goal was set, it wasn't achieved as different events and attention to Heidi's case developed. Instead of finding myself sitting on the deck enjoying the sunshine and relaxation, our family, friends, and community were thrust back to 1994 all over again. Once again, I found myself wrestling with emotions, feelings, and thoughts...mostly in isolation. Some of this alone time was by choice yet most was because people, even those closest to me, don't know what to say or how to act.
Why do I share this? Instead of beating myself up for missing a deadline I set for myself, I'm prayerfully considering the direction of the next book. Part of me wants to say, "I'm done. I'm not writing anymore." BUT I will not let the darkness of despair win. God called me to write and speak, to share hope and inspiration with others feeling the effects of loss, and to hold my head high as He walks with me every step of the way.
Does the future make me nervous? Of course it does BUT there is ONE Huge Difference this time, I'm never alone, even when I feel lonely. God is with me EVERY STEP OF EVERY DAY and I TRUST HIM!! Keeping hope alive and Heidi's memory is the very least I can do...I will not hide. In His strength, I Move Forward While We Wait.