Wednesday, November 16, 2005

We found a picture we hadn't seen in some time, hidden among other things in BJ's room. Some of you are wondering how we keep finding new things. When we first got home from the hospital, we didn't touch or disturb much of anything. As time passed, I began to investigate his room a bit. I could only go so far, because the memories would flood into my mind, and I'd have to stop. Every now and then, I return, and dig a little more. Soon there will be little left to discover, but for now, I treasure each foray into his room.

There are things we look for that we cannot or have not found yet. This often brings grief by itself. There are things we do not know what to do with, and would struggle to part with, if we did. I know in time we will figure these things out. I am just tired of being hijacked by emotions.

Anyway,...the picture. It is of my dad, Beej and me. Dad is sitting in a chair, Beej is in his lap, and I am standing beside them. Three generations of Higgins men...well two generations of men, Beej is only 4. I remember looking at that picture many times after my father died (in 1994). How he loved his one and only (at that time) grandson. How Beej loved him. They had so much fun together.

Nestled near the picture I found an autobiography that BJ wrote in 2003 (for school). I'll let him tell you about their relationship.

"Oh no! You have a fever! Now you're going to have to get some shots!" I said excitedly to my grandpa as we played doctor. He and my gramma were visiting from their home in Marion. I always had an abundance of enjoyment when my grandpa came over, and he was always met with excitement and anticipation of the fun-filled activities that were ahead. When he came over, we would play games like doctor, cars, and "Lincoln Logs." One thing that I especially remember and enjoyed is how we would switch places in the car, and I would "drive" him around for awhile. Anytime we were together, fun was to be had.

Unfortunately, one day even my amazing junior doctoral skills couldn't fix his "fever." When I was four, he was diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas, and was too far along for surgery. Without undergoing any kind of treatment, he went home after recovering from a coma and was just waiting to die. On August 26, 1994, around 8:00 P.M., while my sisters and I were at a friend of the family's house, he passed away.


Looking at that picture in the days after this caused me to wonder at times, what Beej's son would look like? What games would we play together when I was grandpa? When would I go home to be with Jesus? How would Beej handle that? Of course, I never wondered aloud, just some of the secret thoughts I'd keep to myself.

Now as I look at this photograph there are only memories. Lives well lived. Two men who served the Lord their God with all of their hearts, with all of their souls, with all of their minds, and with all of their strength. And they each truly loved their neighbors as themselves. One man who longs for their company, but strives to serve as they did.

A grandfather who committed his life to Christ, and spent it meeting the needs of children, to serve his Lord. A grandson who committed his life to Christ, and shared the gospel with all who would listen and gave up his life for the cause of Christ. Their son/father who remains behind, who committed his life to Christ, and seeks to assure the next generation of missionaries are allowed to serve.

Things did not turn out the way I expected. They often don't. As I look once more at that picture I am aware the Lord Jesus has filled my life with the grace to endure such journeys, and the peace to know that though I feel alone, He is there!

son/dad/servant

28 Comments:

At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen

 
At 7:38 AM, Blogger the leaf family said...

praying for you today...
with all my love and prayers from KC-Tracy

 
At 7:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen and God Bless...
Greenfield, Indiana

 
At 8:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. I read this "devotion" every morning when I arrive to work. Every morning I am blessed. You have a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing your story, it is helping heal my heart over the sudden loss of my mother-in-law in March. God bless you and your family. I pray for you every day!
Your sister in Christ,
Noblesville, IN

 
At 8:41 AM, Blogger *kim said...

Praying for you everyday. May God continue to show you how to grieve, and to bear you up in your suffering. Love *Kim

 
At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a God-filled family you are! God personally chose your family to get His message out to so many in need. I believe that if the Bible was still being written, your family would have your own book! Thank you for sharing your lives with us!

 
At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Susie said...

Just when you think you may have a handle on "coping" you have experiences like this. Can you imagine going through this grief process without a loving Savior and the Comforter?
My heart is with you all during this time. Thank you, so much for continuing to share your personal feelings and to minister to so many through this blog.

 
At 9:24 AM, Anonymous On Our Knees... said...

Amen and continuing to pray for that endurance.

In His love,
The McMahans

 
At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even in the midst of grief, you resound such a love to serve.

Dear Lord, bless Brent, Deanna, Whitney and Lauren with continued hidden/found treasures that bring happy memories and tears. I thank You for Your work through BJ, Grandpa, and the entire Higgins family. Bless them today with peace beyond understanding, even in the midst of sadness and loneliness. Fill them with Your love and compassion as we lift them to you in their time of need.

 
At 9:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AMEN .... Brothers and Sisters

 
At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My prayers are with you as you get hijacked by grief and when you feel alone and left behind. I'm greatful God has a wonderful reunion planned for you all.

Praying you through the pain,
Lynne in Gray, Ga.

 
At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am overwhelmed with emotion this morning as I read your post - I cannot express my thanks enough for your writings and more so for your HEART to serve the Lord. Your service to us over these months, your "loving thy neighbor" that you DON'T EVEN KNOW, your support of our grief of losing a your son (a warrior) whom we've never even met, your prayers for HIS people to answer the call, your dying to yourself in YOUR greatest time of need so that you may minister to others - My dear brother in our precious Lord Jesus, YOU ARE AMAZING and I stand in AWE of what God has done and what more He will continue to do! Please be encouraged to know and remember that your Dad left YOU a legacy that you have continued to carry out in YOUR children - BJ, Lauren & Whitney :) BJ got almost 5 beautiful years with his Grandpa and almost 16 with you and now you are sharing that with the rest of us! You've been CHOSEN to carry on that legacy and with that HONOR comes great sorrow, great doubt/confusion but also GREAT JOY!

Sometimes I get wrapped in the lies of the enemy because my Dad was an alcoholic and I lived in the wake of his wrath for years until an almost fatal accident brought him to the Lord and back to me (still a difficult relationship, but God brought him back for a REASON). I have moments where I looooong for someone to love me the way you loved BJ and then I'm reminded that my Gramma who just passed away did and the grief gets even deeper, but then God comes near in my struggles and reminds me that His thoughts of me are more than the grains of sand on the shore and that He is with me through this storm. I was listening to Casting Crowns "Praise you in the Storm" yesterday over & over and just continued to lift you up! We SO need to remember Job and God's FAITHFULNESS to bring Himself GLORY through Job - is that not our PURPOSE on this earth and throughout eternity? PRaise our GLORIOUS Lord for His mercy that is new EVERY morning and His GRACE that is sufficient! Now your Dad, BJ & my Gramma have fulfilled their GREATEST PURPOSE and are home with the King!

Pls forgive me for my ramble! I just got so filled with emotion and God's GOODNESS! It just hit me that your Dad went home exactly one month (according to the date) before BJ did.

I love you and your family and pray for you to just stand in AWE of God's wonder all around you! He is GOOD!

Love in Christ,

Laurel, from San Diego
lmartindale@icwgroup.com

 
At 11:42 AM, Blogger Aunt Maralyn & Uncle Ray said...

Wow, the tears are flowing today. What a gift for Memories.
I'm sure you remember that your Dad(my brother) died on my birthday.
My last conversation with him was my giving him my permission to go to Heaven on my birthday. I told him I would always celebrate my birthday and his home going as a great event. We both had tears in our eyes and he squeezed my hand. That was the morning of the 26th. Alot of memories flood over me each August 26th since that day. I have many great memories that include a brother who was 10 years older than me.
Thanks for a reminder of them.
Aunt Maralyn

 
At 11:59 AM, Blogger a schmaltzee life said...

wow...thanks for sharing that...
your dad was such a sweet...sweet man. i was just telling my girls about him yesterday...i don't have one memory of your dad that isn't sweet. i never experienced anything but love and tenderness from him. i can still hear his chuckle and see his smile and the lines that surrounded his eyes when he smiled! He was an amazing man...uncle!

Upon first glancing at you Brent when we were back there...my heart paused for a moment... you look so much like Uncle Vaughn (your dad) it stopped me for a moment...I never saw his head quite as smooth...(hehe) but your eyes...your smile...your mannerisms... so resembled your father...

and i'm so blessed that Uncle Vaughn...Bj..and you all bear the heart resemblance of our Heavenly Father...!!! thanks for the reflection!

with much love...and prayers
Marla

 
At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Brent,
You continue to amaze me when I read you blog for the day. My heart goes out to you as you relive those very precious memories that hurt right now to uncover but will be a precious gift as time goes on.
I appreciate you sharing from your heart, your times of sadness (that shows you really are human and we try not to put you above that b/c I know that is not what you would want) and those times of being so blessed by finding some little part of BJ that he left behind for you to receive such comfort from. I could only hope that someday my boys will serve the Lord again as they have definitely drifted away. I continue to pray for them daily and just wish I could get through to them. I know I have to be patient and allow the Lord to work in His time and not mine. I just know that they are wasting precious time.
The next time you see Jes, ask her if she has some "special news" to share with you.
May God continue to be with you, Deanna, Lauren and Whitney during the Holidays coming up. May you be comforted with your memories and feel the love being sent to all of you from us "bloggers".
Love in Christ,
Jean Peters from Santa Claus

 
At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a friend of your relatives, Chris and Marla, in Caifornia..Your son has left a big imprint on my heart..Our 14 year old grandaughter is in heaven with the Lord also..Nikki died on March 26, 2005, the day before Easter..Nikki knew the Lord and longed for more knowledge and longed to go to church but did not have a family that was strong in the Lord..They are believers but not church attenders and do not have the knowledge of the word of God that is so evident in your family and the Christian support that you all have..reading about Beej and your family has been an inspiration to me and has helped me to deal with the loss of my beloved grandaughter who suffered much on this earth from birth..had a kidney transplant at age 8 and many other complications from that over the years..most of her knowledge of God came from videos we gave to the family.. Donut Hole..."Life with out Gods Love is like a donut theres a hole in the middle of your heart" and Mary Rice Hopkins "I want to walk walk like Jesus follow him where ever he goes" I can hear her singing those words and see her dancing to those songs and doing the hand motions..Praise be to God for using music to witness to us of his love for us and our need for Him and thank you for sharing your heart and your memories and your daily struggles and trust in our Lord with us ..To God Be the Glory

 
At 1:54 PM, Blogger Marcia said...

Dear Brent,

Thank you for continuing to post. It always gives me something to ponder.

"The difference between Paul and Apollos is that Paul WROTE and left a legacy." -Jim Garlow

Though I don't comment often, I check often and I'm still praying....

 
At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bless You Family

 
At 2:23 PM, Blogger LisaTeegarden said...

Brought me to tears with this one Brother...What beautiful word pictures you create. What a wonderful Legacy we have as a family...MISS DAD...MISS BJ...LOVE YOU'S ALL...THANK YOU. GOD USES YOU SO WONDERFULLY.. Your Older sister...Lisa :)

 
At 2:28 PM, Anonymous Brittany Allen said...

Still prayin
love you all.

 
At 2:45 PM, Blogger Jessica & Todd Youmans said...

Brent - As I sit here reading you & Deanna's heart each day, I wish I had some words of encouragement or time to blog each day. Today, I was moved to tears...Your story of the generations of 'Higgins men' made me so thankful for my own family & it also made me realize how thankful I am all over again for a God-fearing husband. I pray that we will be able to bring our little ones up in Christ the way that you have brought up your children. I hope that we will be able to leave that kind of legacy...Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us - you are a daily inspiration. We love you so much & continue to pray for you.

Todd, Jes, Andrew & Baby Youmans

 
At 5:03 PM, Anonymous Brian Clark said...

i am spending the whole day with the Lord and just checked this site to see if it was still up...i guess so! Prayerfully more young people in this area will be raised up to go on missions. We are taking kids to Africa this next summer with Student Venture and pray that God molds kids hearts like BJ's.

 
At 9:50 PM, Anonymous aryn said...

hey!! i am sorry!! but at the same time i am happy!! because even tho bj died he has saved more lives from passing away than he ever could when he was alive!! i hope u also know that it is ok to cry also! b/c Jesus cried over the loss of one of his friends! oh and also i will say a prayer for you:

dear Daddy,
i love you and i ask that you would just comfort bj's family. bj, even though i didn't know him is very special to you isn't he? well, could you also tell his family that it is alright that you are coming back to get them too!! and that you love them and that bj is better than he has ever been before!! thank-you Daddy!! i love you!! Amen.

i have to go now! :o( but i have one favor to ask you. will you please pray for me and for my family because my grandma just died today. and she was only 57 and my dad's dad also died, at the ageof 56. so he is having a hard time with this. and he grew up living with his grandparents. and i think they are in they're 80's or 90's. so they are very old and very good to me and my cusins that i practically grew up with and they are like brothers to me! i love them to death!! well...1 more thing could you pray that my finger would heal quickly? i smashed the tip of the bone in a car door mon. thank-you so very much!! and celebrate that bj is in heaven!! that he is in a place where he can see the God he so intently woshiped here on earth!!

sitting at my daddy's feet

<33 ArYn

 
At 10:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have many memories of my grandparents as well. My Grandfather suffers from heart problems which have bad long term affects on his life span bc his heart literally lacks the strength to get the necessary blood to his brain which is beginning to result in memory loss as well as the need for an oxygen concentrator to lift the levels several times a day. Last year I got really scared that I would lose my Grandfather. So finally I decided that I might lose him, but not the memories. Last year for Christmas, my very best gift that I received was one that I asked for. I bought books that were like diaries for them to write memories in. I asked each my grandmother and grandfather to fill one book for me. They are two of the most cherished things I have. It seems that so often we brush aside those stories that people--especially parents and grandparents tell us bc we think that we have heard them so many times and that we can ask them later when we have more time. I guess I finally realized that those stories are important and shouldn't be brushed aside.
Heather

 
At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Charlie Biggerstaff said...

I would like to share with you a story in my life....I am currently attending Ozark Christian College, and am now onto my third year here. When I first came to OCC, I began working at a small church just outside of town. While working with the youth in this church, i met and became friends with a young man named, Jonathan. Jonathan and I instantly bonded, he reminded me so much of myself when I was 16. Over the course of the schoolyear Jonathan, grew on me. The kid had a passion for Jesus, but he didnt come across as being that "super spiritual" kid. I remember spending countless nights talking with him about God, his family, his struggles. He was an amazing guy! He had the best sense of humor, he could put a smile into anyone! That summer i got and internship at the church, and got the privelege of living with Jonathan and his family. I got a 16 year old roommate! During the summer, Jon went to church camp and went on a missions trip to Mexico. He came back and by the pictures you can see that Jonathan had touched so many lives. He talked about how he had made friends with many of the locals, including a deaf and mute man. There was a picture of the two of them hugging and the deaf man had the biggest smile on his face. Jonathan showed the pure love of Christ to all those people. He was so on fire and just loved to share the Gospel with those around him. I still remember the night I got the phone call from his mom. It hits me like a train everytime I think about how I was supposed to be in the car with Jonathan that night. You see Jonathan, rolled the car that night and was taken to the hospital. By his injuries he was supposed to live, but God took him, because I believe his death serves a greater purpose, much like BJ's! I realize now over a year later that God spared my life by my choosing not to ride with Jonathan for a purpose. I am supposed to be a missionary to the world! You remind me so much of Jonathans parents, in that you rely on the healing power of God for you to cope with his loss. I know I would be a mess if I didnt have that love! I though I would share this story with you and your family. I would love to give you more details if you like. You can contact me on my xanga site, it also has my emails on them. Thank you for being such a blessing!
In Christ's Love,
Charlie Biggerstaff
Joplin, MO

 
At 1:38 AM, Anonymous Annie Cain ~Peru 04 said...

Such a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing!!! I continue to check the blog every day even if I dont' write. I hope you all are doing well.

 
At 1:51 AM, Blogger Lara said...

I didn't know BJ, but I feel like this is a quote I was shown recentlythat I believe he would've loved

"Oh God, if I worship you from fear of hell, burn me there. If I worship you from hope of heaven exclude me from that. But if I worship you form love of your own self, then withhold not from me your eternal beauty."

I'm constantly praying for you and your family!

 
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