Saturday, November 12, 2005

Tears have new meaning to me. Several people have said "Oh, I didn't mean to make you cry," but you need not say that. Instead, offer a hug. You and I cry because we're moved by a situation or what someone said or did in light of our experience. It's not a reason to apologize or feel uncomfortable. It IS a reason to feel a kinship with the person you're sharing them with. The day of the calling, I was surprised my heart was warmed when my friends (some who didn't get to know BJ in person) came through in tears, unable to speak. Words are so inadequate (and unnecessary) in loss. Tears are a very tender way of showing you care.

In the hospital I would cry when someone offered me a chair or some other small act of kindness. I loved so many of the nurses and I will never forget them, but Diana was very special. She and her husband are strong Christians and her card to us was filled with prayer, scripture and healing words. We shared a "cry" one day. She was talking about our family in a very kind way, how we were "dealing" with everything and I just lost it in tears. She felt badly that she "made" me cry, but by contrast I felt her sincere expression of love.

Sometimes our initial reaction when we're hurt and lost is to hurt back: Make others hurt as much as we do. If someone tailgates you, put on your brakes, instead of getting out of the way. Fight back. Be mad. Be angry. Don't talk to anyone. Why should I be "her" friend, she's got all her children close by? Let the resentment build up. Yes, this is the path the Great Deceiver would have us go down. Like Darth Vader (BJ would relate to this one - he used it in his journaling), "give in to the dark side." When we realize we're only hurting ourselves with this line of thinking and living, maybe we can let ourselves trust God a bit more. God is looking out for us. His Word makes so much sense. He can be trusted completely. His ways are true.

Giving into the hurt, anger and bitterness only brings more tears. Tears of defeat, hollow, gnawing emptiness...more bitterness...an entry point for Satan and sin. Tears of sorrow and loss (for the believer) can bring to a conclusion the debilitating ache in the stomach, that wrenches your physical, mental and emotional anguish without the bitterness that begs to abide within your soul. At least for a time...until in this case, it returns again in a few minutes, a few hours or a few days. Regardless, tears are such a blessed and needed outlet, and I praise the Lord once again for His provision, even in the cold shadow of perpetual pain and loss.

Psalm 56:8 & 9 "You number and record my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle - Are they not in Your book? Then shall my enemies turn back in the day that I cry out; This I know, for God is for me." (Amplified)

Mom (and Dad)

44 Comments:

At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Brent, Deanna, Lauren and whitney,

Your words have touched me once again. The depth of your pain must be immeasurable. Please know we continue to pray for our Lord's comfort and healing for all of you.

 
At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is what it means to be held.

Sharing tears and prayers (even without words) in pink,

Marti and the Pieper Family
Charleston, SC

 
At 10:09 AM, Blogger Lynn Andrews said...

Precious family,

I pray that your tears will give you comfort and release from the ache in your very soul. I, too, believe that the tears of those who care about you are a sincere reflection of their love. There are many times when I sit here and read your words and feel so inadequte to reply with words of my own - but the tears flow. Not only tears of sorrow and compassion, but also tears of joy for the inspiration and reinforcement of my walk with the Lord. It is so easy to let bitterness and resentment be our reaction when we feel wronged, but true peace comes from looking to the Light and seeking His love and guidance.

You continue to bless us all and we continue to pray for your comfort and for God's grace to ease your pain.

Brent, I'm so glad the deer are back!

Tara, Barbara Ann, and all of the other young people - keep the fire! You amaze me!

Love to you all!

Lynn
Macon, GA

 
At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW!! How you have just moved me!!
Tears can be wonderful and oh how I wish and pray mine would flow!!
My tear ducts are blocked and my right eye has become very blurred. I will soon find out exactly why. Anyway i used to have an abundance of tears. My body goes through the motion in deep moving emotions, lump in my throat and all. But, no tears will flow. Brothers and Sisters embrace your tears, I ask you.
Thank you Deanna for sharing such deep and moving feelings.
My prayers are with you Family.
I'm praying for your growing strength and peace within your hearts. I pray you stay in touch with all those feelings and embrace your gift to share as you do.
You are all such great people to share with.
Thank you Lord for our Blessings
Lisa
Indpls., IN

 
At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Toodie Schaper said...

Dear Bremt, Deanna, Lauren and Whitney,

I was one of those who went throught the line at the calling and could not speak. There was much I wanted to say but only my tears spoke for me.

Thank you, Deanna, for these words today. It is so important to not let a root of bitterness take root and you have expressed it so well.

Because I have always been so easily moved to tears I have always taken comfort knowing that our loving Heavenly Father saves our tears in a bottle. Thank you for including that Scripture today.

I am praying for the Lord to comfort you in a very special and tangible way today. You are still constantly on my mind and in my prayers.

Love,
Toodie

 
At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE ALL OF YOU!!!PRAYING EVERYDAY NOT BLOGING THAT MUCH BUT I STILL READ AND PRAY!!!PRAYING SO MUCH MY KNEES HURT! ALL OF YOU ARE WORTH IT!!!!mY PRAYERS ARE ALWAYS COMMING!!!
A FREIND OF MINE WAS SAYING THAT PEOPLE PASSING AWAY MAKES YOU STRONGER!
I WISH IT WAS ME ALL THE TIME!!!
I LOVE YOUR FAMILY SO MUCH!!!!
YOU ARE ALL AWSOME!!!!!

 
At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU ALL SHOULD MAKE A BOOK OF BJS LIFE!!!THAT WOULD BE AWSOME!
I THINK IT WOULD BE A BIG HIT!!
LIKE WITH PICURES!!! A NICE HUGE BOOK!!!IF YOU EVER SEEN THE HARRY POTTER BOOKS? WELL YOU ALL SHOULD TRY 2 MAKE IT THAT BIG!
LOVE YOUR FAMILY!!ALWAYS
PRAYERS ARE ALWAYS COMING!

 
At 11:34 AM, Blogger Barbara Ann said...

Good morning...

I'm so glad that you said again how tears are healing, comforting, encouraging. It blessed me that you cried when you opened the box. I appreciate real-ness. I believe that as believers, we all need to be that real with one another.

So I pray that today is just a relaxing day for you. Whatever you do today, whether it be sit in Beej's room, sit in the big room with looking at the feeder, whatever it is, I pray that you can just sense the presence of our Great and Awesome God!

Love you guys!!!

Barbara Ann

 
At 11:36 AM, Blogger Barbara Ann said...

Lynn- thanks for that note...you encouraged me!

 
At 11:36 AM, Anonymous On Our Knees... said...

Yes, continuing to cry and pray together as believers. He is faithful, oh so , faithful.

Much love,
Tammy

 
At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful, Deanna! More often than not I am moved to tears as I read this blog. Thank you for continuing to share your lives, your insights, your pain, your faith, with us.

(BTW, I've noticed that as I start to read each day's entry, I can usually tell within a few words which one of you is writing. Many of us have encouraged Brent to write a book someday, and I certainly agree he could and probably should, but I must say that you are an excellent writer, as well.)

Continuing to pray for all of you,

Anne (Marion)

 
At 12:21 PM, Blogger Aunt Maralyn & Uncle Ray said...

Deanna, how well you said it today.
Tears are so important in the midst of pain and hurt. If we kept it all bottled in we would be in sad shape. I have always been very easily moved to tears, both of gladness and sorrow. In my younger years it would bother me that I had tears so easily, not any more. I have come to realize how very important they are. I also agree that a hug can say more than words.
We love you and it is always good to see you post.
Aunt Maralyn

 
At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so good to read. Every time I have contact with you, I am scared to say the wrong thing, or do the wrong thing for fear that I will upset you. Your entry today is just what I needed to hear.

I too went through the line at the calling and could not speak. I mumbled some words in the midst of my tears. I didn't even know BJ, or your husband, or your girls for that matter, but I felt overwhelmed when I saw them.

I pray that you are doing well today. Love you.

 
At 1:34 PM, Blogger a schmaltzee life said...

Hi guys...

I'm so glad you are pouring out God's love and healing thru this site. I have passed it on to several friends who have had recent death in their family and a friend whos handicapped daughter was just attacked by a park.

So many questions and so much pain... but I have been excited to pass on this blogspot... I know it will comfort them... You guys are so honest with the pain...and yet still manage to point to Jesus and His amazing Love and Faithfulness...
which is where the HOPE is...even when we don't feel it.

Deanna...i had a time one sunday morning when i was sharing about BJ in our youth service. I got up to share and i started crying so hard I could hardly talk...i began feeling sooooo silly and awkward...but the whole point of what i was trying to say was that we trust and choose to say BLESSED BE THE NAME OF OUR GOD...even when we don't feel like it...we trust in his ways.... and encouraging the kids to live in the freedom and LIFE that God gives...and just go for it...at school and in life...like BJ seemed to do!
anyway...i did manage to muddle thru it...and told the kids..It's alright to cry....right? that's what we do with our families...and you are all my family...right?

well after that I had kids coming up to me that i don't even know very well...giving me hugs...
thanking me for sharing...and just wanting to talk to me about life.

So i agree tears are good...and healing...and they draw us closer to each other in such a tender way...that words never could...and then when the hug comes....yeah!!!

wish i could hug ya all right now...i think of you all day!!!
with much love...marla

 
At 1:49 PM, Anonymous kristin dutt said...

Mom--

Tears. My grandma used to tell me that crying was washing the windows of your soul. I come to believe thats true thru all of this. The tears bring comfort to the ache in my heart, and to yours as well!

i love you mom.. we're working on some dates! we'll get those to you soon!

~kristin

 
At 2:00 PM, Blogger Christina said...

Dear Friends:

Thank you for continuing to share your grief and healing with us. I read your postings everyday, but often don't know what to say. I have been blessed in my life and have only lost a handful of people close to me. It was not my mom or dad or sibling, spouse or child. So, I don't know the depth of sorrow you are feeling. I have learned a lot from you. When the day comes that I lose a close loved one, I will emulate you all. You have been so graceful, positive and honest. Yes, I know there has also been anger and fear, but those are normal. It takes a true believer to know that God is in control and He is the one calling the shots--not us.

May God continue to be with you. Please keep blogging. I can see where you are healing and I am grateful that I am going on the journey with you!

In His love, Christina

 
At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crying is a good outlet for me. I thank God he knows every tear that falls.
I love you both
-Brittany Allen

 
At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could someone explain what it means to "pray in pink?" I know about BJ liking pink and the shirts and all, just wondering why the one note always talks about "praying in pink." I am thinking it is just a cute phrase of remembrance - but curioius.

 
At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can tell which one is writing also, without ever looking. That is neat. Brents writings have alot of analogies which are awesome. Deanna's writings are warm and moving - which is equally awesome - sometimes even more so because it is coming from the heart of a mom. Dad's are great too - but our mom's - well, they are just so it!

 
At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loving you today! Praying for you!!
From Sydney!!

 
At 9:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your posts continue to touch my heart and encourage me to strive to be the daughter of the King that I should be. I am convicted and challenged with every post. Praying for you all...

Love in Him,
Hannah Lane

 
At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is absoultly okay to cry, u lost someone u love dearly. i cried when my cat ran away and died, i cant imagine losing my son or brother. just remember,
GOD IS THERE!!!!!!
and we will be praying for ya'll,
B.J. is sitting with God.
Your sister In Christ,
Emmy

 
At 10:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We love you Family

 
At 10:26 PM, Anonymous On Our Knees... said...

The "praying in pink" is because of the pink "PrayforBJ" shirts and a special gift BJ gave to Brent for Father's Day. You can check back in the Sept posts to read more detail. The shirts continue to be worn in memory of BJ, as an opening to witness to others through BJ's story, and because many of us continue to wear them, just because. We are reminded of BJ everytime we see pink...anything. Hope that helps a little bit.

 
At 11:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walker Moore mentioned at BJ's celebration service that he had feared losing his anonymous blogger status, and I confess to the same feeling. Actually, I had been thinking recently of changing mine from Anonymous to "praying in pink." After all, I don't think I'm exactly anonymous any more!

"On Our Knees" explained it very well (what a surprise, Tammy--NOT!). That phrase was one I used one day and it just stuck. I don't think I used it for the sake of cuteness, but more to emphasize the identification with the Higgins family, Beej, and hopefully with Christ that this blog experience has brought into our lives.

This post may not be very anonymous but is definitely from one who is blessed by the Higgins, by the blog family, by our great God and who continues

praying in pink,

Marti for the Pieper Family
Charleston, SC

 
At 1:54 AM, Blogger Ashley Reagan said...

And oh the many times I have cried... I cry a lot now. Seems like everywhere I go I find something that reminds me of BJ. I may not cry outwardly, but I'm almost always crying on the inside now. Through all of this, I've seen what is really important in life and it makes me so sad that so many people just don't get it at all. Gives me a passion for the lost even more.
I love you family. Thank you so much for sharing today. It really spoke to me.

One of your AweStar Daughters,
Ashley Dawn

 
At 3:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I miss BJ

 
At 8:31 AM, Blogger *kim said...

Deanna, I agree with you so much. Sometimes tears are the only way to express all the emotion inside - all that emotion that can't be put into words because what you are feeling is bigger than grief, bigger than sorrow, bigger than anguish. You are such a brave and beautiful family. Your steadfast faithfulness is the most incredible testament to God's power and love. I love you all - *Kim

 
At 8:33 AM, Anonymous cousin becky said...

Dear Deanna, Brent, Lauren, and Whitney,

My tears have continued to flow with you during these weeks following BJ's homegoing. While I have wanted to write so many times, I came home after the celebration service to a mountain of catching up to do from being away not only for that but also for our missionary conference in Austria just prior to BJ's death. The pages upon pages that I have written since then have been directed to my professors! Only now am I beginning to feel that I am about where I need to be in my semester work.

I praise God for the ways that He is walking with you through the myriad of emotions you experience. Tears are indeed a blessed gift from God that can release the pent-up emotions and cleanse the soul.

As I read your entry, Deanna, I thought of my dad. For years Grandma Higgins kept an old scrapbook in her little house in Marion. The pages were yellowed and brittle with age, but when we visited Grandma as I was growing up, that scrapbook was one of the fascinating and cherished treasures to which my heart was drawn. The reason? It was a scrapbook of poems my dad had written from the time he was a little boy to his college days. I now have that scrapbook in my possession. Several of the entries, written in a childish hand are about the animals on the farm. However, one of the poems that would have been written probably in Daddy's high school or early college years (although it's hard to say since it's undated)is titled simply "A Teardrop," in which he expressed the powerful meaning found in a tear.

A Teardrop

by Verdon Higgins

There are millions that fall from the heavens above--
They come dashing to earth from the sky;
But far greater the thought born by one little drop
As it trickles alone from an eye.

Oh, how oft' we rejoice for the millions of tears
As they come down to earth in a rain,
But this one little drop all alone on a cheek
Is a sign of a heart piereced with pain.

We may look at the tears that lie flooding the earth,
And our hearts are untouched by them there;
But the sight of that one little tear from an eye
Makes us breathe up to heaven a prayer.

Though we may never know the great pain there expressed--
It is caused by some sorrow, some fear;
And a story's concealed in that one little drop,
In that one little transparent tear.


There's a personal story my dad used to tell that gives a deeper perspective on his view of tears. Sometime during his college days in Marion, my dad decided that it wasn't manly to cry (I know--it's hard to imagine that my dad would have ever felt that way!). As a result, he began bottling his emotions--joy and pain. As time went on, he felt so oppressed by the enemy, but he couldn't cry or show any emotion and could not find release. It got so bad that he felt that he was dropping into the pit of hell. Finally, he went up to the upstairs of the house where they lived at that time on South Washington Street, got on his knees and prayed, "Lord, please release the emotions. I am willing to cry at the drop of a hat from now on if need be, but I don't ever want to experience again the agony of being unable to express emotions." There was a release that came that day as cleansing tears flowed, and the assurance of God's presence once again brought peace. For those of us who knew him best, whether family or students in his classrooms, we know that one of his distinctive characteristics was that tender spirit. His chin would quiver, his eyes would glisten with tears, and his voice would break--when he empathized with those who were hurting, when he was blessed and touched by the Spirit of God, when he expressed his care for family and students. At Daddy's homegoing celebration service the day before Easter in 2000, Jeff, one of his former students sang Ray Boltz's song "Thank You for Giving to the Lord." Jeff's face reflected the knowledge that comes from close relationship and a smile crossed his features as he sang the lines, "And I know that up in heaven we're not supposed to cry,
But I am almost sure there were tears in your eyes
As Jesus took your hand and you stood before the Lord.
He said, my child, look around you, for great is your reward."

And all of us listening to those words could somehow picture it happening just as the song described.

I pray that as you experience the wide range of emotions--as you are touched by the goodness of God even while feeling the pain of BJ's absence--that the blessed release of tears will continue to bring cleansing and healing.

I love you all, and my tears flow with yours.

Love,

Becky

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger a schmaltzee life said...

Becky

thanks for sharing the poem and story... i have so enjoyed getting a glimpse into BJ's life thru his writings...and Brent Deanna's and the girlees...and now into Uncle Verdons....
i can just picture his sweet face!

thanks...
with much love....to all
marla

 
At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today at First Baptist Church Mooresville I committed my life and heart to Jesus Christ! This was truly the best day of my life! Without the help of my great friends, Mark and Amanda Andrews, I would not have been able to take this step in my life, but I know I am ready. I attended BJ's celebration service and learning about his life really led me to think more about living my life for God, which I can admit I have not done up until now. Brent and Deanna came through the line and congratulated me on the new journey I have to look forward to! I just wanted to thank them and let them know that their son had an impact on my life although we never met. At 21 years old, I feel that it is finally the time when I can get my life on the road that leads to heaven. Thank you to everyone for your support!
-Emily Vaught
Indianapolis, IN

 
At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://jojolovesjesus.blogspot.com/ This blog had me crying, just as yours does. Your words are encouraging to others even now.

 
At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Deanna and Brent,

I know I've done my share of crying during all of this and I can't imagine how many tears you've all shed. I'm so glad that God shows us once again how much He cares for us by collecting our tears in a bottle. It reminds me that no experience we have while here on earth is wasted in God's plan. God is continuing to do something beautiful in you lives and many others through BJ's life and his homecoming. So let the healing tears flow and know that we're all crying with you as God continues to speak to us. We love you!!!

Praying you through the pain,

Lynne in Gray, Ga.

 
At 10:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Emily! I just cant tell you how thrilled I am that you are now my sister in Christ! Im praying for you!

 
At 11:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to both of you for explaining the "praying in pink" phrase - I didn't use the word "cute" as a bad thing, as I think it was taken wrong. I meant cute as in "endearing." For sure, it is endearing to be reminded of someone as special as Beej and his family. Keep praying for them, keep wearing your shirts, and keep being reminded of them everytime you see pink. It is good!

 
At 11:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be still and know that I am God! - I am praying that as you are still, watching for deer in the woods around your home, that God will reveal Himself to you, over and over again - reminding you that He is in the stillness, He is in the tears, He is in everything - holding, carrying, providing all that you need Him to be! Praying for God's blessings on you all!

 
At 11:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a privilege to pray any way we can! You are all a blessing - and God has taught you many things through this, as well as all the hundreds of people that read these blogs. Pardon us all for reading in on your notes - I know many are blessed!
Mary (Pierre, SD)

 
At 12:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise God Emily! There is a party in Heaven today celebrating your salvation - - - and guess who is rejoicing with the angels - that's right - B.J. - he is praising God for YOU!!! Keep strong!
And Becky - thank you a thousand times over for sharing the poem for Deanna. Wow ! What a blessing!

 
At 12:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blessed to be part of the "pink" team!! Anything to bring others to Christ, to share, and to remember.
No harm was meant by the inquirers comments - he just wanted to understand. Sometimes we have phrases that people in other cultures just don't understand - so thanks to Mrs. Pieper for the explanation and understanding.
God is good!
from Sydney

 
At 12:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound - A sinner has been saved today!! Bless you Emily!!
P.K., Rock Hill, S.C.

 
At 12:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Deanna for being so transparent! I am praying that this coming week is just all that you need it to be! God impresses you on my mind many times during the day and I always say a prayer.
I know that there are tough moments, and I am thankful that you can find a release through tears. How healing they are! Remember, they were created by God as well to cleanse the tear ducts AND the heart!!
Keep that song in your heart, and allow God to release emotion any way that He can to continue to work the healing within you.
Many people are praying for you, holding you up before the father!
You are loved more than you know!
Houston

 
At 12:24 AM, Blogger Ashley Reagan said...

Congratulations Emily! Welcome to the family!

Still wearing my pink shirt and I always think of my AweStar parents and sisters when I see pink.

 
At 12:46 AM, Anonymous On Our Knees... said...

Praise the Lord!! Emily, we are rejoicing with the kingdom of heaven that you are a part of the family now! You are in our prayers as you begin the adventure of a lifetime here on earth and for eternity!

Much love,
Tammy

 
At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So thankful for pink!

 

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