Friday, October 21, 2005

I was talking with a close friend last night. He asked me what the most difficult thing is, right now. I shared with him that when we are out at work, church, or socially, that your mind kind of plays a protective game where for brief moments you believe Beej is out somewhere, or even at home waiting. The stern reality mixed with emotion that pours over you when you realize this is not true (over and over again) is difficult to bear. 'Sick at your stomach' begins to try to describe the reaction, but it is more of a full body and soul response. The depth of which can be crippling.

I am amazed at times at how much comfort I receive at the thought of BJ hangin' with Jesus. Jesus tells us in the book of John that after He goes, the Comforter will come. Jesus did go. BJ went too. Guess what? The Comforter has come, and is continuously coming, everyday. Praise Jesus that He made His sacrifice that I might have life. Praise Him that He sent the Comforter. Praise God that BJ has His ear.

I know I've told you this before, but I work at Highland Lakes Baptist Camp in Indiana. Today, a youth group came back that had been here a year ago. What is special about them is that though we don't go to their church, they included BJ in their event last year. He had an awesome time. It was at this retreat that he penned the "I will unsheathe my sword" writing. He was very moved by the whole experience.

Well it was bittersweet to see them return. They are such precious people. Sarah, who plans the event, was so comforting and concerned. Robin, one of the teens, took the time to find out how I was REALLY doing. That IS special, since the last time Beej and I saw her (this summer), I smashed strawberries and cream in her face. Finally, BJ's friend and co-driver's ed. buddy, Drake was there. He was encouraging, and it was good to see him. BJ's last weekend at home, Drake had called to see if Beej could go to King's Island with him.

I have been concerned about how I would handle situations like this. Our God continues to be faithful, and I find I can deal with these things. It should not amaze me that He is so faithful, but I guess since I have failed him so often, and not been the servant I should be, I keep thinking I will be let down...but that never happens.

When we moved down here, in 2004, BJ was initially excited, you know the whole 425 acres of woods thing, and him being a guy. But then reality set in. We were in the country...that means awaaaayyyy from people. That meant for him...what in the heck do I do with myself? He began to struggle with his attitude. He was not himself for weeks. Finally, I did my 'dad' thing. I sat him down and told him that he would continue to be miserable until he started to make an effort to embrace this life that the Lord had called us to.

Sometimes I am just amazed, when doing the whole 'dad thing,' works. So many times you feel like you are doing the right things, but not seeing any good come from them. This time it seemed to work. I began to notice that he was returning to normal. After his death, I found a writing that recounted that incident. He has always understood the whole 'authority' thing (not that he always responded correctly). He came to terms with the fact that the Lord had laid a calling on my heart to work at Highland Lakes. That the Lord was in charge, and we were obedient by following His direction. Further, that being his dad, I was God's authority in his house and in his life.

Once he submitted to that authority, he was changed. He was back...he was happy. He began to gather up all of the experiences he could. He visited different church youth groups, and got involved. He soon found that God was giving him authority... authority to speak into the lives of others. He spoke with passion from God's Word and his own experiences.

When he went with AWESTAR to the mission field in Peru, and was taught that God had all authority, it was a truth he understood experientially. So when he saw God move in amazing ways and in amazing circumstances he was not surprised, but affirmed. He took the life experiences he had and built upon them.

Remember my chess story? BJ developed strategies for life and sharing. When it came time to suffer, he did it willingly. He knew that was a part of who he was in Christ...a part of who we all are in Christ. With the Lord's help he developed winning strategies for how he conducted himself. Guess what? When the end of the game drew near, his focus never faded, not this was too important. He won. Satan was defeated! Jesus is glorified! Praise God! He has "all authority," and He sits upon the Throne! I Love you, Father!

Thank you for taking the time to read, you continue to bless us!



At 7:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent, we will always take the time to read. Your words are very encouraging and uplifting. It is wonderful to see how God has been Glorified and how so many are touched.
The first thing I do in the mornings is come to the computer to see what God has put on your heart. It is always the right thing for me that day. The Higgins family is always in my prayers . I always say an extra one for you.You are the head of your family and bare more responsiblities. I am glad you share some of your feelings for it really help to know how to pray. Thank you for letting us in to your lives. rc

At 7:34 AM, Blogger the leaf family said...

Thank you so much for your words today.. as I have already struggled this morning in my FAITH.. of course the Lord opened my Bible to Hebrews 11 and then after that sent me to BJs site..
I'll be praying for you all today..
With all my love and prayers today,

At 7:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a teenager and i know its hard to deal with and realize authority so that must have been a great feat for BJ. I love reading your posts everymorning, YOU continue to bless ME.
Still praying for you,

At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of the most significant things my daughters learned during their time with Awe Star were related to authority. I have noticed that a lack of a biblical understanding and acceptance of authority lies at the heart of a number of problems we see today.

Not surprisingly, this same lack also lies buried underneath many of my own problems--when I forget Who my own authority is, when I refuse to accept the words of the authorities He has placed in my life, I suffer the consequences. Sometimes it takes a while for me "to get it," and my Father has to sit me down for an attitude adjustment!

Thanks for being that kind of dad, Brent. He picked the right one for the job, and we're grateful!

We continue to pray for you, Deanna, Lauren, and Whitney as you walk through your days in camp, school, work, church. . .all those places BJ loved--but not nearly so much as he loves his new home. We can only imagine,

with love and prayers in pink,

Marti for the Pieper Family
Charleston, SC

At 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank YOU for continuing to post, and than you for your words. I am amazed daily at your insight. I will continue to remember you and your family. Thanks again.

At 8:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and you continue to bless us
God Bless you,

Greenfield, Indiana

At 8:49 AM, Blogger phil4yahshua said...

Brent, Deanna, Lauren and Whitney,

I come here several times a day but just have struggled to come up with words. At times the words flow and other times I am just moved beyond words. I have been dealing with Pain from my surgery lately that wakes me up several times during the night. When I awake I struggle at times to get a good breath without pain or tightness in my chest. When BJ went through those weeks of struggle I took it that God was waking me to pray and of course I did. Now that BJ is safely with our blessed Lord and Savior I am led to pray for the four of you. No matter what time it is you are the first ones that come to mind and to my heart. It is hard for me to explain because I know I didn't have the joy and priviledge to spend much time with your sweet family before the illness but now I feel this huge bond with you. Perhaps it's because of all the physical suffering I have had to endure myself. (Nothing to be compared to BJ's) This I do know. We agree that the time is short and that we all need to be about the Fathers work. All I want is for every hour of everyday to count for building His Kingdom. Please, please know deeply I share your pain. I just wish I could hug on you all for a few moments. Many time hugs say so much more than my words ever can. Paula and I love you and pray for your healing and restoration 24/7. It's going to be slow but I believe our loving God will Himself bring laughter where there are tears, joy where there is sadness fullness of His Spirit where there is this HUGE void. Our God is an Awesome God. Please pray that my breathing and pain issues at night would let up to the Glory of God the Father.

I love you.................Phil

At 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Brent, Deanna, Lauren and Whitney

It is amazing how your family and BJ have affected so many. I think we truly do feel your pain. All of us who have lost someone so dear to us can truly feel what you are going through. Your faith is just so amazing. The sharp pain will ease in time and I too have felt the pain of going on with my life. We are praying for each of you today and everyday. Thank you so much for the daily updates. We do care so much.

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Sheila said...

Higgins Family,
Continue to let the Comforter wrap His arms around you today. I still find encouragement in your writings even in the mist of your pain. Thank you. We did lose my Aunt Carol to cancer last week. I picture her in Heaven saying "Where is this BJ my niece told me about?" And even though I never met him, she now has. They are not talking about their suffering here on earth but are talking about the glory our Savior received because of it. I hope that my life also brings glory to the Father, in everything!
God Bless,
Troy, IL.

At 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Higgins family--

Just want you to know that we (still) check this spot daily, and are still praying for your whole family as you go through the grief process. Your writings are uplifting and so much help as we all face life's problems.

Thank you for your insight. You should write a book--and you will never know how many you have touched and will continue to touch through this.

The Romingers-French Lick, IN

At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent, it is so very kind of you to share your family and the life God has given ya'll and how He is living in ya'll each and every day, good or bad.
Please allow me to genlty remind you that your (family) is blessing us each and everyday. Even when things are bad ya'll are showing us that God is worthy of our praise. That He is still in control even if it doesn't feel like it. Sadly many of us bloggers will suffer the pain of lossing one that we love in underscribable words in our life time. We will have the great blessing of remembering how are brother and sisters in Christ coped and in the end made it though to Gods healing. Please continue to share into the days of healing so that we may praise God for His faithfulness in hearing our prayers and seeing the results of healing in the love of Jesus.

At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I check this website a couple of times a day. I lost my mother 6 months ago, and I know the pain that you and your family are going thru. You are in my prayers.


At 9:40 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Brent and Deanna, I check in daily because my thoughts come to you daily. I can't fathom what you feel, but I can only hope that with time, things will get easier. I hope it helps you to tell us stories of BJ, because I sure love to hear them. Your thoughts and feelings move me to tears everyday. And, when I'm done reading, it's time for some loving on my own little guy.

From your tragedy and loss, I have learned not to take one little second for granted I don't let one "but mom", one "just a few more minutes," or one "I love you" go by without thinking about them. Thank you for teaching me more about myself as a human being, as a christian, and especially as a parent! God bless you all today and everyday.

At 10:03 AM, Blogger natenamy said...

Brent, Deanna, Lauren, and Whitney--

We love you, LOADS... thanks for giving of yourselves daily on this blog! We're still praying for all of you and hope to see you sometime soon as we have missed you all loads!

Blessings for today,

Nate and Amy

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

i still praying for you and your family. hope my youth gruop doesn't give you any

-alex layton

At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent & Deanna,

I continue to pray for you , the two of you are in my thoughts daily as I am a mother of two and my youngest being 16yrs. just as BJ...

You have so inspired me and I pray and ask our Lord to put that same desire that BJ had into our 16yr. old boy whom struggles with the worldly ways...

I know my husband and I struggle very hard because our christian walk has been so weak and in return it shows through our son...

Thank you for continuing to blog...

God is so good, what an AWESOME GOD we have....

I am so honored to have sisters and brothers in Christ to pray for... You have allowed the Lord to use you to strengthen my prayer life....

May God bless you and strengthen you as your days continue.

Your Sister in Christ,
Mary (Noblesville)

At 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The enemy has been defeated
Death couldn't hold you down
Gonna lift my voice in victory
Gonna make your praises loud

Shout unto God with a voice of triumph
Shouth unto God with a voice of praise
Shout unto God with a voice of truimph
We lift your name up, we lift your name up!

A short song, with an awesomely powerful way of bringing glory to God!!!

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

May God continue to comfort and hold you in his arms. Your family is such an inspiration. Thinking of you all and praying continually for God's healing. You certainly raised an exceptional young man. May God's grace be with you, Brent, Deanna, Lauren and Whitney.

At 10:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent(and family)- Thank you so much for sharing the depths of your hearts with all of us. I know I can say I am truly blessed by all of this. I feel like I laugh and cry with you. I rejoice and I mourn with you. I still hear Natalie Grant's song on the radio and cry. My heart goes out to all of you. I am truly touched at how, in the midst of your grief, you can still praise God with all of your being. As Christians, I feel like we almost live in two worlds. We don't understand it when one we love is doesn't make sense. But we can also rest in the fact that BJ is with Christ. Sometimes it can be hard to reconcile the least it is for me. Thank you for this blog. It is truly a blessing.

At 10:55 AM, Blogger Aunt Maralyn & Uncle Ray said...

Brent, you continue to amaze me with your writings. The first thing I do each day is come to the computer to read what you have written. Somehow it makes me feel closer to all of you. If I were there I would give you a great big hug.
Aunt Maralyn

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Linda Ronne said...

Brent and Deanna, Your blog this morning once again moved me to tears. As a parent my heart breaks for you each time reality "slaps you in the face", and like so many others I feel so helpless as to know what to say to offer comfort to you both. Again the only words I have for you are that I love you and pray continually for you all. God is definately in the business of being faithful. Praise Jesus that His Holy Spirit brings you comfort and rest.
I thank the Lord that he has given you the strength to go through each day, one day at a time.
I know you have been told this many, many times, but your writings, from both you and Deanna are inspirational to all of us, the body of Christ. They challenge us to continue to strive to do our best for the Lord and His Kingdom, to be pleasing in His sight.
You spoke of Deanna's sweet spirit,which we have all seen through here postings, we have seen strength and dedication in Beej's writings and thoughts, and we see strength, authority, love, honesty, compassion and wisdom in you, Brent as both the physical and spiritual head of your home. You have so openly shared with us your thoughts, fears and love for ALL your family members, something that is extremely rear to see in men these days. May God bless you as you continue to love your family and go about the Father's business.

In His Love

At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Brent, for continuing to post and letting us know how to pray for all of you. I am touched by the fact that my teenage daughter finds this a bright spot in her day and posts almost daily. I know BJ's witness has made a difference in my family's life. I know that God has made a calling on my son's life, but certainly BJ was a role model in the fact that my 11-year old son is digging deeper into the Bible now and trying to commit more scripture to memory. We know that it hurts so deeply now even though you are comforted by knowing where BJ is, and you will continue to be in our prayers.

SuzAnne Keith
(Marissa's Mom)

At 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"However it is written: No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him"
1 Corinthians 2:9

At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your words are too precious to my life to not read...dear sweet brother in Christ! No matter how short or how is the first thing I desire to do everyday!! It is really refreshes the soul every matter what you write...and helps me to stay focused on God and the day ahead. And it makes me desire all the more every day to live like your son...and like you,Deanna, Lauren, and Whitney. To lay my life down and live for matter what is happening...and no matter how easy it is to live for self. Thank you for your love, your honesty, and your willingness to share with all of us! You are a Godsend!!

Praying always~~

Linda Anderson
Willows, California

At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helloooooo - this is Laurel from San Diego!

I am sorry it's been SO long Brent, but you are continually in my prayers! THANK YOU for your heart for the Lord and more so your heart to share with other believers and non-believers alike! You are a true blessing and have an AMAZING way with words!

I emailed Deanna this morning to share a bit of my heart, but wanted to let you know that my heart breaks when you explain the hardest part of BJ being gone. It was 6 months ago yesterday that I lost my Gramma, and sometimes on a DAILY basis I grieve her death as if I am hearing it again for the first time, because it truly feels like she is just on a vacation or something. The feelings of sorrow are INCREDIBLY SHARP, but then I think about the AMAZING "vacation" she is on and this one beats her favorite trip - which was her cruise to Alaska last year. She loved it and the Lord truly blessed her with that trip before He brought her home. That gives me the reminder that this is not our home - she was too good for this place, ya know?

I pray that your heart for the Lord will continue to GROW and in turn, that your heart for the LOST will spring from your chest at the chance to serve and bless! Thank you for your heart and your constant encouragement. You are forever in my prayers!

We all love you!

In Christ~


At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello family!

Just a note to say we appreciate, as do so many others, your writing each day. After leaving Indiana, this website is one way that we feel somewhat connected to you.

Please call us anytime! Remember, we have that toll free number at the shop, we have nationwide coverage on our cell phones, and a cheap plan at home too!!

We'd love to hear from you, but don't want to burden you with something else for your to-do list... So just remember, call anytime you want or need to.

We love you and won't quit praying! You're constantly in our thoughts.

Love, Dan & Jolene
Deer Park, TX

At 1:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, thank you. It seems that every time I come to this site I am reminded of the exact things God is teaching me in my own life. It is amazing to seem the enormity of our God and the importance of a passion for Him and his word. Your daily encouragement is a huge blessing to me. I am hoping to attend the Awe Star reunion with Barbara Ann, and hopefully I will be able to meet you there.

God bless,

Katie Kyle

Jeremiah 15:16
When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty.

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi dad,
Thanks for sharing. I kinda know what you mean about that "protective game" that reality smashes. I'm sure I don't feel it as deeply as you do, but I feel it. Becase I never knew BJ except on the mission field, it's not really strange that he's not here. But every once in awhile that reality comes as I realize he's not coming back. It's then that that ache in my heart that has lain dormant, for maybe a few days, flares up and it sometimes seems hard to even breath, let alone think. I'm not sure why tell you this, it can't really help you along. Maybe it's just the knowledge that you will understand.
Anyway, I'll stop my mealencholy monolouge. I hope that the Lord continues bless you with a todays better than yesterdays. Thanks for being there for us and letting us be there for you.

Kayla (Peru 2005)

At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to post. Even though I don't know your family personally, I feel like I do through your posts. I am blessed every time I read. Thank you for your faithfulnes!

Love in Christ,
Hannah Lane

At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just got goosebumps at the idea that Jesus is giving BJ an "ear" to talk to. Granted, Jesus gives us all an ear every day as we pray and turn to Him in conversation, but wow! BJ is face to face, looking into the eyes of Jesus Christ, and I can't thank God enough. It'll be fun (slight understatment...) to join them someday.

Until then, we're all side by side.

I can't thank you all enough for continuing to give us all a glimpse of your heart each day...


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

I just read in 2 Timothy 2 about His being faithful when we are faithless. I love that. Its so true..our God is so passionate about us.

I love you guys..i'm still praying for you all.

Missing him right along w/you..


At 5:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Higgins Family,

Hoping your weekend is good!!

At 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love reading the posts everyday! they give me a since of comfort! everday after school i come home and read the site. thank you so much for staying faithful to the site! evey entry seems to lift me up. thanks so much!

At 10:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Brent,

I will continue to read. Thank you for being willing to share your pain and struggles. I wish my kids would read this site!

I understand the terrible pain you are going through, at least to some extent. I have not lost a child, but I lost my brother suddenly 8 years ago. Moment by moment can be so painful. It's true, you will almost believe that your deceased loved one is "just away" somewhere, on a trip, etc. Something, anything, will trigger great grief or a memory--it could be a smell, a statement by someone, a certain circumstance. You can't believe that it's possible to have such emotional, physical, spiritual, and mental PAIN. You are much better at expressing this than I am.
I will continue to pray for all of you.

Linda Storm

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

just wanted you to know that SO MANY of us are still reading... even though we don't post most of the time. i think of you and pray for you often. sometimes i try to "save" your post for later in the day to help me refocus on God and to see what wisdom God will speak through your family that day. i love it when i make it to the end of the day, like tonight, and i can still look forward to today's message. you will never know the scope of this ministry. you are amazing, higgins family. god bless you.

At 7:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent and Deanna:
I just wanted to let you know, you are still in my prayers daily. There is not a day go by that i don't think about BJ. My brother goes by BJ so everytime i see a picture of my family all over my house i think of your son and you guys. I was wondering if the christian camp you run is open to the public or just youth groups. I have several sisters that have been on mission trips and love going to christian camps. I was wondering if you had any information on the camps that i could read about and get them involved with other groups besides there church. Thanks 'mom' and 'dad' your postings are so uplifting even though i may shed a tear it is awesome to hear all you have to say on a daily basis. Thanks so much, melissa
westfield indiana

At 6:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing about PBC's youth group and Robin. She is my daughter and it touched my heart that she touched yours. I was at camp Thursday night and Sarah reminded us all that most of us met BJ for the first time at the retreat last year. I remember thinking he was so much more spiritually mature than most of the rest of the youth. And what a good example and role model he was to them. Everyone misses him so much. Your comments about sometimes "losing it" with BJ and how he always forgave you really got me! I "lost it" with Robin last night, went to bed angry, and now need to apologize and ask her forgiveness. Thank you for keeping this site going. We will continue to hold you and your family up in prayer.


At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I know this comment comes a bit late...but I was out of town for Fall Break so I didn't get a chance to read the blog so I'm just getting caught up now. This post really spoke to me...I'm going through a really rough time with a lot of stuff in my life right now. I am suffering...but that is all part of belonging to Christ. I need to not look to how to get out of this...but learn how to accept suffering and develop winning strategies for how I will conduct myself, instead of just wallowing in my misery and hiding from it all. Thanks for the encouragement of how Beej conducted himself. I miss him tons.


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