Monday, October 24, 2005

What is it about boys and pockets? We just seem to fill them with things we consider essential, in the most fleeting of moments. When I was BJ's age, I began to do my own laundry. One of the things I learned was to empty my pockets of all such treasures. To this day, when I arrive home from...wherever, one of the first things I do is to empty my pockets. I don't like having them full when I am home for some reason. I'm just not comfortable until they are empty. (ladies if you would practice this with your purses, you might be amazed at how many fewer items would be "lost")

BJ learned to do his own laundry, but I was never successful at passing down the emptying your pockets thing...I tried, but he didn't see the point...or he forgot. Even though he new how to use a washing machine, I continued doing laundry for our family. It's just always been mine to do, and I don't mind. (Okay, sometimes I fall behind and get help...thank you, honey!)

I can't tell you the number of times that loads of laundry were ruined due to pens from the pockets of my Beej. Brand new clothes would bear the ink of the forgotten ones (on multiple occasions he was in trouble with his sisters or mother for this flagrant foul). I also found change, his driver's permit, student ID, and notes.

Now when I was in school, notes usually were embarrassing, and you sure didn't want anyone else finding them, especially your parents. I used to tease him and pretend I was going to read it. I received the sought after reaction, and was satisfied.

How amazed we have been to find a drawer full of these pocket fillers. Much to our surprise, they are not typical. BJ's notes, which have clearly been passed at school, are unusual. Although I would not have read these without his permission while he was with us, in his absence we do tend to cling to every shred of him.

I should not be surprised, but many of them are spiritually focused. One series is from a girl who was 'atheist' (BJ went over the note and made the editorial statement that she was agnostic, not atheist). Anyway, with one exception, we only have the notes he received, not the ones he wrote. It is clear that Beej led this girl to the Lord...and it all started with her writing him because she had a crush on him from afar (she did not know him, yet).

He wrote her a note that he never gave her. It appears to be in response to her first one. Here is an excerpt from it:

..."I hate writing things like this because I hate to hurt other people, and have already hurt enough people in my past, I'm sure. So I want to make sure that you understand that the reason I cannot reciprocate your "crush" isn't because I think you are weird or dislike anything about you in any way, but it is because I recently had a couple bad experiences with girls, and because spiritually, I am not in a position to date...yet." [BJ had committed in 10/04 not to date until he was 17]

"In getting to know me, the first and foremost thing you'll discover is that I am 100% a Jesus Freak. I have given my entire life to live for Him. Whenever I am in a bad mood or if I have had a horrible day, I think of Him and His love and companionship, and that always brings me joy. More so than that, even, He gives my life purpose and meaning and fills that... emptiness inside of me that we all have that causes us to yearn for more, like money or a boyfriend or girlfriend or drugs or love, etc. And I have found that whereas all of these things may make you feel better for a moment, it will pass, and you will always want more. However, basking in Jesus Christ's forgiveness and love is the only thing that will satisfy. So I want to encourage you: do not seek companionship from me or any other guy, but from the only one who can fill that void: the one who put it there, Jesus.

He will never let you down or not satisfy you like I or anyone else would.

In Christ's Love

BJ Higgins

P.S. By the way, it's very nice to meet you..."

I can assure you, I never wrote a note like that when I was 15. I did not have the spiritual maturity to be his parasite (Jeff), when I was his age (Beej believed he carried a parasite from his 2004 trip and he name him). While I have not knowingly met this young lady, I believe she might have been at his final Celebration. (If you are reading this, know that I am praying for you!)

I will miss doing BJ's laundry. I know that is weird to read (it is weird to write). But I will not have to worry about clothing that got "inked up" from the treasures stowed away in unturned pockets.

Have a great Monday!



At 7:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's wonderful to read of this precious life so wrapped up in the love and 'living' of Jesus.

God bless you Brent for sharing, and praise be to our Father for working such wonders in Beej.

I love you guys and pray you too will be wrapped up in all that He has for you to do.

You and the 'girls' have a great Monday too :)

Matt C

At 7:43 AM, Blogger brobrad said...

Brent, you just gave me a great quote for the "single life" talk I will be giving this weekend...hope you don't mind my using it that way.

Some of BJ's words, many of them actually, have been on my mind as I have looked over my notes. I told a friend and prayer partner last night that I didn't want to include them just to be doing so. But this issue hits dead-on with the young men who will be here. (Keith & Robyn - we knew He would work it out!).

I hope that you had a good weekend together with the girls, and hope this is a good week for all of you. I will see you soon.


At 8:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What God brought to mind is the way He puts treasure in earthen vessels. Obviously, He did so in a huge way in BJ. . .who accordingly stored other treasure, even in muddy (or ink-stained) pockets!

Thank you so much for sharing so many treasures with all of us.

praying in pink for your new week,

Pieper Family
Charleston, SC

At 8:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 15 and I know I have never wrote a note like that to a friend or anyone. That takes a lot of spiritual maturity to write that to someone who he had never met before. I am still praying for you all and hope your day today is amazing!

At 8:17 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

What an amazing man you raised! I can only hope that my son Joshua will grow up to know the important things in life as well as BJ did! God bless you all!

At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing to see all the little treasures BJ left behind. They are a strong encouragement to all of us.

We're still praying for you all!

Joshua & Tiffany

At 8:36 AM, Blogger Sheila said...

As I struggle with singleness and doing the right thing. I found encouragement today in the words of a 15 year old. It seems to me that no matter how young or how old we get Satan is always "messing" with us. Thanks for reminding me that that empty feeling, we all feel sometimes, is only something that Jesus can fill. I passed it on to my other single friends as well as our youth pastor. Please know that God is still at work and also thank you for sharing personal stories with us. God Bless the Higgins family today, remind them that your love is always there, holding them and comforting them.
Thanks again,
Troy, IL.

At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing! Your writings are an inspiration to me.

Have a good week!

At 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent...never wonder if these writings are just for you...I receive so much from them...BJ was right...Jesus is the only thing that can fill the void...

God Bless
Greenfield, Indiana

At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good morning Family
Thank you for sharing with us.
Almost 2 years ago, my son's belongings came home in a medium size square box. It's contents were last set of clothes he wore, some letters an AA book and his bible.
I can totaly relate to hanging on to every piece of your son possible when they are gone from us.
I've always respected my childrens privacy and I agree after they are gone we hang on to anything possible.
Treasure what you find and embrace the moments with BJ's memories.
Your Friend and Sister
Indpls., IN

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

Thank you again for sharing. It was interesting, as I taught Sunday school yesterday to the 5th grade class, we were talking about Matthew 28:19-20, "The Great Commission" to go out and spread the message of Christ and make disciples of all nations. One girl said you can't talk about things like this at school now b/c there are laws and you could get into trouble. It's amazing how things have changed and what people can be scared off by. We shared ways in which she could share and other students shared how 1 kid was talking about how stupid it was to believe in God. A group of kids from our Youth Club got together and at lunch shared a song from youth club with this boy and he really thought it was neat. Now, I don't know if it changed his mind or not but it took great courage for them to share and for him to be willing to listen. When this story was shared, I immediately thought of BJ and thought from all I've read and heard about him anyway that that would be exactly what he was calling all of us to do in his writings. THe Great Commission...I will never hear or read these words of scripture without thinking of BJ.

I hope you all have a week filled with moments of peace, love, joy amongst your moments of sadness, grief and anger.

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

Yes. I agree with you previous writer

At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Brent,

I am once again energized by BJ's committment to Jesus and am thrilled that even now some of his Jesus "freakishness" can once again rub off on me and spur me on to spread the Good News!!!! Thanks again for sharing how special those "little" everyday frustrations, that sometimes seem to pop up between parent and child, can be. It really helps those of us who are blessed to be in the position to "harp" about the "little" things, to reconsider our approach. I myself have stopped sweating some of the "small-stuff". You mentioned Deanna's gentle spirit last week. I read that to my 11 yr old son. I am privilaged to home school him, but he and both agreed that I do not have a gentle spirit. Since that time, he and I have been playfully working together to be more gentle spirited. We know that's what Jesus would want us to do. Just yesterday, out of the blue, he said "Hey, I like the new gentle spirited mom. When you're that way it helps me to respond to you better." From the mouths of babes! I love it when they teach us. God is so good.
Many prayers to you all today.

Praying as you hold on to the tresures BJ left behind.

Love, Lynne in Gray, Ga.

At 9:34 AM, Blogger natenamy said...

On my way to work this morning, I saw a church sign that read:
"Knowing God doesn't make things easy, it makes things possible"

Isn't it funny how God sends us messages when we least expect them?

Nate and I have been struggling with wanting his recovery to be easy... wanting him to recover quickly, and get back to work with a new and better job! We know God has an ultimate plan, that is better than anything we could possibly imagine, but in our humanness we question Him and want things to happen on OUR time instead of HIS. Our possibilities lay in His mighty hands, and I am reminded that that is the BEST place for them to be!

I thought of all of you as well, and how you have resloved that, although your journey has not been easy (by any stretch of the word) you are able to "go on" because of Jesus.

What a sweet and wonderful gift we have been given as Christians, no promises that things will be easy, but 100% assurance that, with Jesus, all things are possible!

We love you and miss you all LOADS.

Wishing you a day filled with

Amy (and Nate-dog too)

P.S. We fondly remember Sunday lunches with Beej, he often told us that his "eyes were bigger than his stomach" when it came to his lunch... especially when his meat was not as moist and tender as he would have liked it to be! :D

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if you realize it or not, but you are writing devotionals, mini-talks everyday. It is my prayer that someday (beyond now, beyond when you need to be writing daily) that you print these out, compile them and create an amazing book . . . Lessons I Learned from Beej . . . or whatever God leads to title it!

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

With two boys I understand stuff in pockets which go into the wash - cell phone, gum in dryer, pens, etc.

My thoughts and prayers are with you guys many times during each day.

I have a prayer request for a little 3 month old named Cate Elizabeth Evans who lives in MI. She has stage 4 cancer which began in her spine and has spread. Please lift her up in prayer.

Zionsville, IN

At 9:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent and friends,
I ran across this wonderful website, it's very inspirational and he sends out daily devotions to anyone who would like them. He has had a very hard time, but his testimony is wonderful.
Still praying for you and your family.

At 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your family with us. Thank you for BJ. He is inspirational.

At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Brent for the continued posts about your son. You have shared so many things even private notes with us! It keeps me coming back daily to "catch up" on the latest about Beej. We all continue to share your hurt and pray for you daily. What you and Deanna, and the girls are doing through this blog is such an inspiration and is effecting so many people throughout the world! Please know that we appreciate you, and we will never forget the ultimate sacrafice that you and your family have paid.

We love ya!

At 11:01 AM, Blogger a schmaltzee life said...

oh to slowdown. i always desire this...but how to accomplish this???

It seems the times i get the most frustrated with my girlees is when i am speeding thru life and they are on their own adventure...not boarding the speeding run-a-way train i am insisting they jump on.

Something i tell myself ...
savor the grins and giggles!!!

i love reading your stories! I can just picture the things in my mind...I'm not really into the new craze of Reality Shows...but this one... i am hooked on...
the reality of a Jesus lovers life...
of im-perfect yet passionate parenting...
of a life well lived....a life wrapped up in Jesus...a life making an impact on the world...and inspiring me to live the same!

thanks for your fun stories...and for pointing me continutally to Jesus...and His people!!!

With soooo much love!

(tadee(2) prayed for get better the other day....(we had prayed so much that it just became such a part of her prayers)
anyway...after the prayer...Cladee (4)said..."Tadee...BJ is as good as he can get now. He is with Jesus...and that's the best. He couldn't feel any better than he does now." and Tadee replied (in her big girl 'I know' it way)
"Cladee I know...he is in Heaven playing with Jesus now!"

yes Lord...i do need to slow down to enjoy these moments!

hugs to you all!

At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Family
I am praying for you all continued strength build within and peace growing in your hearts each day.

Please tell Whitney for me,
"You have the most AWESOME voice I have ever heard!!! Hearing you sing yesterday lifted me up more than you will ever know. I know I mentioned to you about your beautiful singing voice but I want you to here it again." "You have an awesome voice"
"I believe you could move many and lift anyone up with your singing."
"Thank you"
Your Friend and Sister
Indpls., IN

At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am constantly blessed and so deeply touched by your precious honesty. The retellings of memories with your son BJ have become a daily journey for me. I am a student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and am so moved with BJ's love for our Lord! It compells me to love the Father with a deeper love and faithfulness! Thank you so much for your compassion and faithfulness in sharing your heart with us daily!

At 12:21 PM, Blogger the leaf family said...

Thank You, for sharing agian.. Both my children have learned to do thier own laundry as well. However, I somehow still end up with ink stains or colored lip gloss stains on everyones clothes..
With all my love and prayers from KC-Tracy

At 12:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have given me so many new perspectives.. viewing this site is one of my favorite things to do, though I don't comment much. I think about you guys a lot and pray for you more than you'd know. Keep seeking His kingdom.

Much love

P.S. - I second Lisa.. hearing Whit sing moves me in a way I can't describe.. Praise God I heard a lot of that yesterday. :)

At 12:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With every new post, I learn more and more about BJ, and as I learn more and more, it becomes more and more apparent how incredible he was. How different he was. How he truly did stand out above the rest, yet did so subtlely, and not because he wanted to, but because God working in Him naturally separated him and attracted him to bigger, everlasting things.

I pray that you all have a Spirit-filled start to your week.


At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Casting Crowns song is soo much BJ's story.
Praying with you.
Indpls., IN

At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll never forget the afternoon my mother found the salamander in the wash from my brothers pants pocket! She had a dislike of any creepy-crawlly thing required much "scraping off the ceiling"!! What an encouragement to read BJ's note. It is indeed a "mystery" to others who have not given their entire life to LIVE for Jesus. That kind of God chasing isn't common even to many believers but BJ communicates the joy of the chase so very well. Like others have said, I have a small group of HS boys that need to hear this response. Can hardly wait for the SS hour now!
In Christ, Mark, Hudson, OH

At 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am continuing to pray for you daily. May God ease the pain today and u should be incredibly proud of your son. I surely didn't write notes like that note (my mom wishes i did though). I do want to thank you so much for sharing all of your thoughts and comments during this grieving period in your life.


At 3:24 PM, Blogger Jessica & Todd Youmans said...

Brent & Deanna -
I truly hope that as Andrew grows up, we appreciate those little quirks that make Andrew Andrew. Last night he woke up several times during the night, which is very unusual for him. Each time I would trod to his room and wonder why he couldn't just stay asleep. And each time I picked up his little body, I was instantly reminded that he is congested, tired and wanting to sleep, but struggling to do so. I'm also reminded that, though I'm tired, these are some of the most precious times with my son so far. In the quiet, holding him and singing a lullaby to him...sometimes I feel closer to Jesus at those times than any other. I often find myself praying while I'm up with my little guy - especially for you both. Andrew & I often whisper prayers up to Jesus on your behalf during the nights when he wakes us up...and as I trod to his room, instead of wondering why he can't sleep, I think about how just maybe you guys need a prayer,even right then. We love you all so much, and we're praying for you - sometimes, literally, around the clock.

Jes, Todd & Andrew Y.

At 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could I please have a prayer request for all of you faithful post-ers and pray-ers? Mike-is unsaved and has shown a little interest in BJ's life and was impressed by how many people BJ touched in his short life. Could you please join me in praying that he will come to know Christ?

At 3:57 PM, Blogger Jacktopher Meils said...

BJ and I always never did see eye to eye on the dating thing..haha. After a while I am starting to see that I am taking his side with it now though.

Much love

At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always have so many ink stains on my usually-brand-new shirts from my older brothers, who always have a pen with them in their pocket to write. They never ever ever ever take anything out of their pockets, they always say its 1 minute of their precious time that they had to waste to take out things in their pockets and wastind time from their "busy" days. It gets annoying a lot, but it's one little annoying thing that makes me love them even more. I usually leave notes in my pockets,but me, being only 12, the notes arent too personal. They usually are from my closest friends who are really bored after taking a math test or who want to know if I can call them after school .. I guess talking is out-dated.
BJ and your family has meant so much to us, and by adding comments to say how you are and stories about Bj is so great. We're all so thankful of what your doing. I've heard Lauren sing before, but i've never heard Whitney. Lauren is such a beautiful singer, and now that I think about it, Whitney must be a great singer, too. I got a few hints by how most of the bloggers talk about what a great singer Whitney is. I hope to hear it someday! When I wear my PRAYFORBJ shirt to school, everyone always asks "well whos Bj?" and "What happened to him?"..and whenever I tell his story and how much he loves God, the last thing I say is always,"Please visit the website, it's so great!" About 4 or 5 people that I know at my school have PRAYFORBJ shirts, and theres 1 guy I dont even know that has one. We hope you still keep the website running, and in Westfield, we're still praying for you as you go back to your "normal" schedule!

In Christ,

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These postings are such an inspiration to me! I am blessed every day, thanks to BJ! I am wearing my Pink shirt today...can't wait for someone to stop and ask me what it is about...hope they have some time to listen!!!

I just experienced our first ruined laundry due to ink stains just a few weeks ago! Blamed my husband...found the pen and it was my sons! AGGGGHH!! My daugher wasn't to happy to have her favorite shirts ruined! Something we will laugh about at dinner tonight!

My prayers are still with you!

At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I haven't commented in awhile, things have been crazy! I've read every post, though, and am still encouraged and blessed by you guys! I'm workin on a letter to send yall of all my BJ memories.
Still prayin in Houston!!

Mary Leestma

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

BJ's notes are amazing. If I pass a note it normally has nothing to do with Jesus and His love, but something little and almost insignificant. BJ's stories continue to inspire me to be deeper in Christ, and thank you again for continuing to write here. You are still in my prayers.
Lauren Szabo
Encinitas, CA

At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm speechless, hoping to apply that same 'note' to my own life.

Continuing to feel inspired and touched by BJ and his family, Thank you!!!

Christy K.

At 6:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, more proof of just how awsome BJ was!

At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its amazing what little things we have in common with one another. In my case, I tend to leave money in my pockets. They are like goldmines to my parents. There is also the occasional note, but we will not discuss that. Thank you for sharing this with us. It reminds me that God works in the smallest ways if we let him. Also it's been nice seeing you the last two weeks at FBC.

In Christ,

At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's wonderful to read more about BJ. Thanks for sharing. I know it was 4 weeks ago today that BJ died, so I've been thinking about you and praying for you guys all day. I know the date was the 26th, so I will continue to pray for over these next two days. All those "landmark" were hard for me when my brother died. People start fading away often after this--probably won't happen to you guys! I hope that all this writing is therapeutic and healing for you.

Love in Christ,

Linda Storm
Ontario, CA.

At 7:55 PM, Blogger Lynn Andrews said...

I haven't been able to access the site here for a couple of days and have really missed my daily dose of inspiration and devotion!!! I just love hearing the stories about BJ - there's always something in each one that either touches me deeply and/or really steps on my toes! Thank you for helping me to re-focus myself and to "let go and let God".

Praying for a blessed week for all of you!

Macon, GA

At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Words can never express how much this site means to so many people. Brent, Deanna and your precious girls - how you have ministered to so many with your wisdom, wit, love of people and your profound love of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I live to be filled by your words and how thankful we are that you continue to share BJ with us. Life will never be the same for any of you. Nor will it be the same for us. BJ challenged each of us to stretch a little more each day in our witness of our love of our Lord. I continue to search for where He is calling me to serve next. Your words are a guiding light for me and focus my thinking. I pray that the witnessing that so many people will do because of knowing BJ will bring you all some peace in your loss. BJ lives on in so many people. We can never fill that loss for you. Only Christ, our Saviour can do that. Just know that we will try to honor BJ's life, by devoting our life to Christ better than we did before. Our love to you all. May God grant you His peace!

At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had a teen revival this past weekend in our small community church. There are typically 15 in attendance on a Sunday morning, but on the fifth year of Youth Alive we had about 100 kids. Anyway, I was a small group helper and I told a small clip of BJ's story to group. I told them how he was completely on fire for Jesus and wanted it no other way. We were talking about what it meant to serve Jesus and offer your bodies as living sacrifices in the small group session. I think that the group was amazed by this.
Heather IL

At 9:41 PM, Blogger Barbara Ann said...


I just wanted to wish you a good nights sleep. I cant wait to hear all about your days at work, school, etc...

Thanks so much for still sharing you heart and so many more memories of Beej. I look forward to hugs real soon!

Still praying...
Barbara Ann

At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

INKERS are STINKERS!! But how they make us chuckle and thankful!
Thanks for sharing your stories each morning.

At 10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still praying for you guys in Arlington, TX. Dad, you should think about writing a book. Your words are so powerful and deep...meaningful and thoughtful.

My Mom got her chemo port imbedded in her chest today, and starts 8 rounds of chemo on Thursday. She is 69 years old, and her name is Esther. Would appreciate all prayers for her health and to eradicate all cancer cells in her precious body.

At 10:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's amazing to hear of stories about bj an dis passion for Christ

Everytime i hear a precious story like that i just begin to grow more and more excited aboutt the ways christ can use me

i often think there are very few times when i can share my faith but hearing about bj proves to me that any situation can be used as a time to talk about christ

Also i think i have notihing because i'm not rich i don't have a boyfriend i'm not superpopular but one thing that i remember talking about with bj that always stuck was we think we're missing sooo much but in reality christ has given us more than we'll ever need

He's more than enough for me.

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

Thanks for including BJ's note today. It was something I really needed to be reminded of and it really made an impact on my day. Frank and I are still praying for you all daily.


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

Dear Daddy Higgins,

You have a nack for posting exactly what I need to hear, even though I don't think I need to hear it because I've heard it before. Your words always get through my thick skin. Bless you again and again.
I'm praying for you.
In His love,
(Bloomington IN)

At 3:27 AM, Blogger Christina said...

BJ continues to amaze me. What an awesome kid!

Thank you for sharing your stories.

In His love,


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At 10:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a shame that people, in a way, desecrate the memory of such an awesome guy with their comments. I can only pray that the site makes them think about Christ's love, even if they have to be vulgar before realizing it. Please delete these rude comments, Brent! (I know you do once you're aware of them).

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