In the months leading up to this past weekend's adventure in and to Texas, I prayed to bring the message of HOPE God had for everyone there. God is faithful and my heart was encouraged, inspired, and humbled many times during my time in San Antonio.
From the time of my first delay to leave Syracuse, blog topics were thrust at me. In light of three different flight plans to deliver me safely to Texas, my family at home was saying, "Lisa will have a lot to blog about next week." Thankfully, they waited until I returned to New York safe and sound before they shared this insight with me.
Yes, they are right, ample situations and reflections to blog about ~ it's all in the timing. Part of me wanted to tell you about them all this week but I'm going to safe some for later, and incorporate others into this week's blog series.
If you haven't figured it out yet, I used the letters in HOPE and expanded them into a message to encourage families missing their loved ones during this holiday season. Would you like a confession, I didn't come up with the clever word for each letter, my sweet friend, Crystal did.
During our different phone conversations, we talked about how they were building from their usual Christmas gathering and their desire to transition from a tree decorating and refreshments to an evening of hope to carry them through this holiday and into the next year. Crystal's desire to encourage the families of the missing and know they experience a little hope during a time when many are missing their loved one the most...is a priceless treasure for the center.
It was because of this that the "Help Other People Evolve...HOPE" came to be as the foundation for Crystal and Rose as they planned this year's banquet. My prayer was to come along side them and carry out their vision of HOPE, encourage the families, and be a blessing since God chose me s the messenger. I didn't share my presentation with Crystal ahead of time so when I listened to different family members share, then Crystal's introduction...I could only thank God for coordinating all the details for this event.
I never thought traveling to Texas as a speaker was a possibility yet with God, we need to look ahead and trust Him. I shipped copies of Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey ahead of time and shipped copies of When the Waves Subside: There is Hope with the goody bags I put together as gifts for the families and others coming to the banquet. After I spoke and the banquet came to an end, I assumed my seat at the "book signing" table.
It was here that the families of the missing encouraged me! Their response to the message I shared brought tears to my eyes with each new person. One couple in particular brought tears and goose bumps. They shared of their loved one's disappearance, the length, and then said this..."We haven't celebrated Christmas since...but you said so many things tonight and we wanted you to know, we're going home to decorate for Christmas." I had all I could do to mouth a "Thank you" with sound, instead we shared a hug.
The Heidi Search Center of San Antonio, Texas brought me to Texas to extend and share HOPE with them yet it was I who left encouraged and hopeful. Have you experienced a similar situation before, where y
H is for "Help", O is for "Other"...my message continues.
I remember a time when I didn’t think I could help myself, more or less someone else. Is there anyone feeling like this? Let me encourage you, YOU can, and probably ARE helping others.
In our lives, there are people we interact with each day. These are those in our “circle” if you will, like a rubber band – I remember the days and weeks after my sister disappeared, just to shower or brush my hair took great effort. It took the words of someone else to encourage me – one person said, “You look so good, I don’t know how you do it.” On the inside I was falling apart and felt helpless but to others, I was viewed strong.
There are people in your circle watching your strength, determination, perseverance, and actions in awe. You might not recognize the strength you have BUT those in your circle of life – do.
As you help others, let them help you. This was a great and difficult lesson for me – to receive and accept help yet a valuable lesson to learn, so I share it with all of you.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful
Who are the OTHERS you can think of?
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323