Friday, January 04, 2008

My friends!
During the time BJ was in the hospital, we began to hear from many, many people. One of our regrets is how few of you we actually have met. We know one day, perhaps in Heaven, we will have that opportunity.
We have been blessed to get to know some of you. Many we have learned a great deal about through this blog. It certainly has been a privilege!
The process of writing was not one explored by me or my family up to the time our son was hospitalized. What we began to put on this blog was information, feelings, attitudes, fears, concerns, requests, celebrations and joyful moments. You were there to provided much needed support at every turn.
What we did not know as we drew through the hospital day by day, was that God had a plan that remained unrevealed. Certainly we felt the heart and soul of the prayer support being offered up on our behalf. We simply did not/do not know what lies ahead.
After Beej passed, I began to hear from and talk to people about the possibility of putting BJ's story down on paper. It was our desire from that time, to see God glorified if it were to be, and Him alone. We did not want our son painted to be anything but obedient. We were concerned about how that could happen.
The raw intensity of emotion we were dealing with was unequalled in our lives. We were struggling to figure out how to even think of living our lives without him. We were trying to understand how what had happened could contribute to our own growth and His glory.
In that time, we knew we did not have the background, or understanding to begin a work that would accurately reflect BJ's story. Being his parents, being so close to the situation, it was hard to separate fact from emotion, for a long, long time.
Our gracious Heavenly Father knew this and He already had a plan.
During his hospitalization, we had begun to hear from many Awe Star alumni and their parents. We were and are incredibly thankful for that.
One voice in that crowd that consistently brought truth, prayer, perspective and love stood out to us. It was a meek and humble voice which seemed to have understanding we could directly relate to.
We began to talk during our time of desperate grieving. The prayer offered to our Savior on our behalf by this individual was voiced as if it had come directly from our own hearts! How was this even possible?
Somewhere along the way, we discovered that this fellow parent was also a writer, and that the Lord had given direction that He wanted them to assist us in telling BJ's story...whatever that meant.
We were anxious. We wanted to get it done quickly, to get the word out while it would have the most impact (in our minds, that was immediately). This person spent hundreds of hours with us. We laughed, we cried, we talked, we reminisced, we sat in reverent unbroken silence and the Lord moved. We had the privilege of having them to our home at the camp, before we moved. They were able to sift through BJ's Bibles, his writings, and his room with all of his things. It would turn out to be a compelling act as the Lord moved while they were present.
We had no idea how one who had never met our son could accurately portray who he was and how he lived for Jesus. We weren't sure it was possible for that to be done in an unbiased fashion. It was and is very important to us that if and when someone read the work, that they come away not saying, "Wow, what a moving story," rather, "Oh my goodness, it is possible to live for Jesus in such a way that I can follow him in radical obedience!"
The result of countless hours of work with no pay is entitled, "I Would Die for You, One Students Story of Passion, Service and Faith." The end result of pouring our hearts out to her in His Holy presence, is simply unbelievable to us.
The idea that one would be willing to take on a project like this, as a ghost writer, knowing that they would receive little of the credit or recognition is nothing short of Scriptural. "Deny self." "Die to self." This is what was done!
Parking behind the presence of Christ Jesus, and allowing Him to work and move through her, resulted in a work that captures our son in a way we struggled to believe was possible.
Praise God for His work through her. You can see her in the above photos. In one she studies one of BJ's Bibles in his room (before we moved to Tulsa). In the other, she shares a private moment with my friend Rusty (who partnered in my ordination, served as youth minister to each of my children and baptized BJ) and me.
You will not find her name on the cover of the book. You will not find anything other than acknowledgements that reflect the selfless attitude and painful process she and her family endured to be obedient to her Savior, in completing our book.
Her name is familiar to you if you follow this site. It is Marti Pieper (pronounced "peeper"). She is a prayer warrior, who can often be found suffering in His presence on behalf of others. She feels deeply. She has written for homeschool magazines, and partnered with Walker Moore to write his current works, "Rite of Passage Parenting, Four Essential Experiences to Equip Your Kids for Life," and its companion workbook.
She is a servant for the King. She is our friend. She has blessed our lives, and we want you to know about it!
Praise God for His work in her life, and that of her family!!!


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

God Bless,
Greenfield, Indiana

At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't met Marti, but have very often been touched by her empathy, understanding, and ability to always have an appropriate response to another's feelings.

God bless you a whole bunch, Marti!

At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marti, I know that you don't want recognition for your efforts - I know that for you it was in fact a labor of love.

Meeting you and getting to know you a little bit has been such an honor because of who you are in Christ and because of your heart and presence.

Thank you so much for the countless hours that you spent getting out of God's way and pouring of yourself into the writing of the book.

Blessings to you, Brad

At 5:24 PM, Blogger Marti Pieper said...

The blessing is mine.

The glory is His.

And I'm convinced that God will use BJ's words and story to continue raising a revolution.

"So then, let us with His glory and our hope in mind, throw down our own lives and pick up His--that is, pick up our cross, take our life of suffering for Him and His glory. Let us die daily for Christ so that we can follow Him and better obey His call: that we reach the dying people of this world and tell them of Jesus Christ, the saving one."--BJ Higgins, Xanga weblog/Deadsilence7, August 2, 2005
(p. 179, I Would Die For You)

praying in pink,
with tender love


At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marti is indeed amazing, and we at Awe Star are very thankful for her prayer support. Her "prayers in pink" are most definitely felt and greatly appreciated. God bless you and your family for all your support and work!


At 1:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to be really random or anything, although, it is, but Brent, are you holding a can of whipped cream?
The book was amazing, such a blessing and encouragement, and I cried all the way through it.
Marti, I love you and you are also such a blessing to me as well. :o)


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