"Rejoice always, pray continually,
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
As I prayed, I watched Facebook for an update. Within moments I found myself watching the news in hopes of an update. Nothing. Finally someone posted the roads were closed between the two intersections where the child was missing but most didn't know why the roads were closed. I knew because a friend shared so I could pray. A few more precious moments go by, the missing toddler is now scrolling the screen but without a name or picture. The helicopters can still be heard in the distance.
My heart rate increases as the waiting continues. I pray and pray yet nothing. Within a few hours, my friend shares the child has been found safe and thanks me and many others for joining them in prayer.
No details were shared with the public other than the missing child was found. I lifted prayers of thanks to God and then cried. The adrenaline induced time of prayer drained me of both energy and hope.
Are you asking how I could lose hope when the little one was found safe? While her recovery brought relief, praise, and excitement...her recovery brought "Why not Heidi? Why not Suzie or Rose or Audrey or..." and the list went on.
A friend, and sister to one of America's missing, asked me a question a few weeks ago, she wanted to know if I ever felt jealous for the families whose loved one was recovered.
But, on this evening, the flood gates of jealousy opened up. Thank goodness Ed and Mags were at work because I had myself a nice, healthy, and over-needed cry. I cried out to God both audibly and with my thoughts. I expressed thanks for this sweet toddler being reunited and revisited the hurt that Heidi, in spite of the hundreds, if not thousands praying, remained missing...more than twenty years later. I owe my friend an apology, without knowing it, I am jealous when another missing person's family learns of their loved one's whereabouts.
Yet, I'm thankful to say, the joy and thanksgiving for their not knowing to end, far outweighs my moments of jealousy. With my eyes focused on God, the One who knows where Heidi is...I continue to pray for her be found. I pray all our missing are found and no more disappear. I hope you forgive my moment of weakness and selfishness.
I will continue to pray and advocate for our missing - adult and children both. I will lift praise and thanksgiving for each one found, whether recovered or discovered because each is an answer to prayer. I will never give up hope for my sister, Heidi M Allen, to be found!