Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A year ago today, as I was beginning the hospital version of my morning routine, I was struck by what the Lord showed me.

We had spent over 35 days in these halls, retracing the same steps over and over. We had become very familiar with the sounds and smells that were not home, but temporarily so. We were traversing this journey with full belief that BJ was going to live, and that the Lord was setting up a platform from which he could minister.

People were responding to his writing, to his spiritual depth, his testimony. There were those who had set a plan in motion to buy him a laptop computer, so that once conscious, he could begin to address the faithful to this website. For at that time, there were thousands upon thousands checking in daily.

We were talking about how we were going to protect him from all that seemed to be headed his way. We addressed his future in school, and what to do about it. We saw in those long days what was truly important. We did not want to keep him from being able to minister in the ways our Lord had set forth.

Simultaneously, it had been weeks since either Deanna or myself had been to work. The Savior had provided for us situations and people who were completely understanding. They agreed our focus needed to be with Beej. Truly, that is where we stayed.

When the Lord revealed to me that a change was eminent in my position, I really did not know what to make of it. That morning, a year ago, as I was spending time with the Lord, He spoke into my heart. He used Oswald Chambers writings to do so.

I had been working at Highland Lakes Baptist Camp for nearly two years. I loved the environment of ministry there. I loved the people. What a blessing they were through our journey.

Then the words He used to prepare me for change..."Do you continue to go with Jesus? The way lies through Gethsemane, through the city gate, outside the camp; the way lies alone, and the way lies until there is no trace of a footstep left, only the voice, "Follow me."

I would read and reread these words over and over in the coming days, hoping for additional insight. I had no idea what they would mean. I could only imagine that I was going to be needed to travel with my son, to fully support what the Lord had planned for him. I was scared, but I embraced that reality.

I was willing to do whatever the Lord wanted of me. I envisioned brighter, happier moments when he would be on the platform speaking, and I would have to fight to suppress the pride I had in him as a father. It was going to be awesome!

My plans were not God's plans. A week later, a new reality would begin. One that has been much harder to embrace. One I knew even less about negotiating. One that has been much more painful, and threatens to rip us apart. Surely God's grace would cover us, and though we seemed to lose our way, we could follow the echo of His voice, "Follow me."

One portion has remained true, "...on the platform speaking...I have to fight to suppress the pride I [have] in him as a father. "

I am proud of him. He ran his race well.

A week ago, I wrote of the experience at FBC Snellville. I wrote of being moved by a young family at the altar. This past Sunday night, I learned that later that evening, the nine year old son who was accompanied by his parents and sister, would give his heart to Jesus!

And His voice continues to echo, "Follow me."



At 10:01 AM, Blogger natenamy said...

Brent and Deanna- Thank you for your willingness to follow Him! Through you, many have been touched, and many lives have been changed forever. You set such a wonderful example of following Him, that you are able to draw others to follow Him also...
Brent, I am thrilled everytime I hear you speak, and yes, your pride for Beej (and all your girls) shines through not only in your words but in your face too!
Please know that we continue to pray for you all. These next few weeks will be tough, I am sure, but we promise to be behind you, supporting you the best way we know how.
We love you lots and miss you tons.
Hugs and kisses,
Amy (and Nate too)

At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh dad--

that was a beautiful entry. i like this one. as the year mark is drawing close..i'm dealing w/it all over again.

i'm still praying about you know what. faithfully..waiting to hear from the Lord.

i love you! i'll be seeing you in a month and a half!! YEAH!

love you guys. praying always.

At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BJ's ministry to follow Christ is continuing and building with each new person that opens themselves up to hear the witness of a boy with depth and wisdom through you and your family. I praise Jesus that this ministry continues to bring new believers to Himself. That is exactly what BJ wanted from and for his life in Christ.

At 4:45 PM, Blogger John said...

I'm so grateful for all you guys do every single day and I praise God for it. Thanks once again for the perspective and nourishment...

At 5:14 PM, Blogger brobrad said...

I remember too Brent your thinking and sharing the opportunities it seemed the Lord was laying out for Beej and how you and Deanna felt challenged by the prospect of having to "hold back" and parent a young man when it was clear God was giving him a ministry and a mission. We never do know, do we?

I am proud too of who BJ was, of who you and your family are and how you have grasped this immense challenge and run with it...sort of like running with scissors only you know you are supposed to do it:)

I know we are all reliving to some degree what was happening a year ago, and again I am humbled by the memory of all those blessings in the form of people that the Lord brought our way.

Praise the Lord for another "little one" who's heart is now the Lord's and may he too become a warrior for the King.

All my love,


At 5:33 PM, Blogger Cousin Beth said...

Brent and Deanna,
We continue to appreciate your daily writings. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers daily and have been "extra much" through these days of remembering a year ago. We had computer problems for a while, but are back on. BJ's picture remains on our computer (and refrigerator)as a constant reminder to keep praying.
God always has been, and always will be, faithful.
The other day I ran into a lady who had a son in Matthew's kindergarten class. (Matthew is now in 4th grade.) Her child changed schools after that, so I hadn't seen her for a long time. She said someone else had Emailed her about BJ last year and she had been praying. She asked about you all. I've had opportunities to share about him with a couple other people just this week. God continues to work!
Blessings on you always!
We love you!

At 8:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Family, I remember as well each day,all you had to endure. It's hard to believe it is almost a year. I don't know why God moved the way He did but I can sure see His love in your family. I see His grace and I see His mercy on a family who continues to follow after Him. You are a true testimony of His strength and it has been a privilege sharing this journey with you.

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

I'm continually amazed at how God is still using BJ's life to bring people to Him. It's uplifting just to read your entries Brent. It's a constant encouragement for me to see how you've stayed strong in the Lord during it all and it's great just to hear you share your heart. You guys are seriously awesome and a huge blessing to me. I'm still praying for you all and I love you guys.

Michael Elmore
Peru 05

At 10:05 AM, Blogger illusion_of_me said...

that was truley a beautiful entry, I come to school each day eager to read your posts. They always give me a smile and make my day!! Im so happy now that i gave my heart to the lord, though temptation is difficult i pary for strength. you and Deeana are such wonderful people, and i hold you both very close to my heart. You will never know how you have touched my life


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