Friday, April 14, 2006

This has been a most unusual journey. Amid the difficulty, stories which could only be the hand of God come to light. I'd like to share one of them. I am a bit hesitant though, as I never want to embarass anyone.

A couple of short years ago BJ was in love. He met a young lady at church whom he grew to express undying affection for. He was thrilled as she was a believer, was attractive, and showed interest in him. They began to share their lives over the phone, and at church. We even had dinner in her home. We had met her parents through youth ministry, and at their invitation, were attempting to get to know them better.

Not long after that, her father and I went on a mission trip together with many of our adults and youth. Her father is one of those impressive "man's man" kind of guys. He can do anything with his hands, and the results are impressive. He had an amazing work ethic, and put many of us to shame, as he would often be the first to work in the morning (by an hour or so ahead of others), and the last to finish at night (again, by an hour or so). He worked very hard at the construction aspect of the trip, and set the example that few could keep up with.

Our paths crossed many times before and since then. We certainly became friends through the process. We have been on two mission trips together, and I have the utmost respect for him. His family is precious, and have been ardent supporters through the storm.

BJ's relationship budded for quite awhile with this young lady. He had grown intensely fond of her, and began to struggle with keeping Jesus on the throne of his heart. He knew he was struggling, and wanted to do something about it. I do not know exactly how things ended, I just know they did, and both of them suffered for some time.

Her father had begun leading volunteer groups to do construction projects for us at the camp. He did a great deal of work in our home (camp owned). When BJ got ill, his family wanted to do something tangible to help. What they chose to do was a help to far more than my family. They chose to go to Highland Lakes and work in my place, whenever they could. They covered weekends and gave other staff a much needed break. They took care of our dog for a time, and helped around and in our home.

BJ and this young lady found a way to be friends in spite of the intense feelings they had, that they were no longer pursuing. I am convinced that was for the best.

After BJ passed away, they were present at his viewing and celebration. They were at our home on the day we planted his tree (his birthday). They have reached out to us in ways I am sure I am unaware of, and I cannot thank them enough!

BJ wrote about their relationship in different journal entries. I can tell you that his reflection on their time, expressed with intensity, exactly how he felt for her. Yes, he was young, but his depth was mature on more than just a spiritual level. His written display revealed with great amplitude, care and concern from the recesses of his heart.

Our Lord has been working behind the scenes throughout this time. His plans are perfect, and I do not question them. I am however, anxious to see what lies ahead. To see what He does next in their lives.

You see, my replacement at Highland Lakes is her father. When we vacate our home, they will refill it. The new occupant of BJ's room? You guessed it, and I'll bet she will not keep it grey/maroon/black.

I stand amazed at the hand of my Lord!!!

dad

14 Comments:

At 1:35 AM, Blogger Linda Ronne said...

We always seem to be so amazed at how the Lord works, how He moves His hand. I can only put it down to the fact that we are human.

Praise God that through your struggles you have the eyes to see His hand in your lives.

Only God could have orchestrated the friendship to blossom, for you to meet the family, for them to step into the ministry that you leave, as you pursue the ministry that the Lord has for you both.

May you have a blessed Easter weekend, and may the message of the life of BJ transform so many others to a life for Christ.

Continuing to keep you all in our prayers.

In His Love
Linda
Shawnee

 
At 6:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That gave me goose-bumps!!!!!

 
At 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our God is an AWESOME God! His orchestra is a beautiful thing to hear! Thank you for sharing!

 
At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I continue day after day to be completely amazed at the unveiling of God's plan. He truly does work out every last detail-even down to who will occupy this special home! may God bless you!

Lori Burkert

 
At 11:03 AM, Blogger savedbyGRACE said...

Dear Family,
I love how the Lord works everything out for HIS will. I will miss you severely, but I know that you are not far. Brent & Deanna, thank you for your guidance in my life. I look forward to hearing about HE is doing/going to do!!
I love you all!

 
At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAPPY GOOD FRIDAY!!!

Man, you bless me SO MUCH! I am in TEARS - what a GOD THANG!!! He is SO GOOD to us!

I have to say, this morning I had an emotional break down because I accidentally broke a frame, which was the last gift my Gramma bought for me before she died --- I sat and screamed out for help, I called a friend for prayer, I fell on my knees and begged for God's arms to envelope me! I know the frame will burn away and it's just STUFF, but it's something I feel I NEED right now to feel close to her - I thought of you amidst my trial and prayed for you all! Thank you for your witness to the world!

I look forward to meeting you on my next Trip to Tulsa to see the AweStar gang ... maybe this time it will be on a missions trip with ya'll! The day I meet you, the circle will be the closest to completion it could possibly be this side of HEAVEN! It will finally be completed when I meet BJ and all of God's glory will SHINE!!!

Lord bless you & keep you! HE IS RISEN!!!

Love you all,

Laurel, San Diego
lmartindale@icwgroup.com

 
At 1:54 PM, Anonymous April said...

Our God is so good and I will never get used to seeing how God works in the lives of the ones who's heart beat is one of obedience. Thank you for pressing on.


April C.

 
At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am thinking of you and your family this weekend. The next few days will be full of joy and hardship as you pack the last few boxes. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

 
At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PRAYER REQUEST, PLEASE!!!

My friend Priscilla just found out yesterday that her brother was murdered. Appearantly his ex-girlfriend and 2 other men were involved in stabbing him and running him over with a car. He was 20.

PLEASE pray for the youth of this nation ... GOD IS BIGGER and His GLORY SHALL REIGN!!!

Love to you all,

Laurel in San Diego

 
At 10:00 PM, Blogger Paul said...

I admire and pray for BJ's strength when keeping the Lord at the throne of his heart!

Glory be to the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit on this glorious day!

 
At 11:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laurel- I will pray for you and Priscilla. I pray that you will be used in that situation and you will minister in God's name and for His glory. Amen.

 
At 10:23 AM, Anonymous jonathan haag said...

I will miss you guys as you are on the move following God's direction. and oh how I remeber those years...

Jonathan Haag

 
At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Linda Anderson said...

I know I haven't written in a long time, and I am so sorry for that. I have a lot of catching up to do reading on here. I just wanted to let you know you are always in my prayers, and that I am so blessed that you are continuing to follow God...no matter where that road leads.

May you have a blessed Resurrection Day, and I pray you will continue blogging, no matter where God leads you!

Always praying in Pink!!

Linda Anderson
Willows, California

 
At 10:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! God is amazing! She will never be the same! Just wait and see what God will do!!
Love you all! Blessings as you start this new chapter of your lives. It has been a blessing to read your blogs. Now as you move on, know that you are in our prayers and we know Our Father will use you mightily in your next phase of ministry!!
Thanks for an amazing journey!
You are forever etched in our minds and hearts!!

 

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