Thursday, September 24, 2009

BJ in Peru with his 2005 team

It seems impossible to believe that it has been four years.

Things have changed so much. It is often unnerving to realize that he does not know so many things that have occurred. We have watched from a distance as those close to him have grown up, graduated, gone off to college, etc.

There are times that bitterness seeks an audience in my heart.

For the most part, it is not welcome. To be honest, there are days when it would seem a more faithful companion.

The impact he had on lives while here, was amazing. I watched him love on people who were deep in sin, encouraging them to leave that life behind. I saw him pour himself into his relationship with Christ.

The worship music beckoned from his room, and as I passed by, he'd be on the floor, in the Word, journaling, or in prayer. He sought the Father's heart. He hungered for intimacy with Him. He made time.

He adored his sisters and was quite protective of them in his latter years. He took long walks with his mother, and spoke the many things on his heart. He loved. He served.

He sought the least noticed in a class or crowd and built relationship. He wanted them to know that they were important. He wanted them to know they mattered to God.

When he told the "short version" of any story, it never was. He was compelled to cover all the details, as he saw them in his mind. His vocabulary was extensive for his age. His friendships, deep.

In the last four years, I have counseled with many students who believe they are called to be martyrs. I never had that conversation with BJ. I would not have been ready. I would have known a few of the "right things" to say, but parental protection and emotion probably would have clouded my input.

He taught me much about the right way to approach many aspects of life.

He taught others as well.

In life and in death, he revealed truths of the Christian life and what it is to be about.

'Dying daily,' is something few of us do well. He didn't always do it well either. In his last year or two of life, I saw a marked change in how he did this. He grew daily in his ability to say "no" to the things of the world that were temptations to him.

As he did, so increased his intimacy with Christ.

This is a significant lesson, whether we look on from the 'cheap seats,' or are truly seeking Him in the Christian life.

Colossians 3:2-3 says "Set your minds on things above, not earthly things. For you died, your life is now hidden with Christ in God."

His life was hidden. Christ was who you saw when you spent time with him. This only came about as he set his mind on things above.

A friend, a couple of years older than he, who had an in depth conversation with him not long before he landed in the hospital, made a statement along these lines: "when you spoke with BJ, it was like he was already gone, and you were talking directly to the Holy Spirit."

Few of us have others saying such things about us. I know people would not speak that way of me. I still have too much invested in the world.

He was not perfect. He failed. He hurt people. He struggled with pride.

As he yielded his desires to the Savior, less and less of him was visible. Fewer and fewer of these issues arose.

He reached a point where the deepest longing of his heart was Jesus. When God spoke to him, he was obedient.

Pride waned. Sin faded. Truth overcame. Jesus reigned. BJ died.

He died, daily. Then he died physically.

When God revealed to him that he would do this for his Savior, he told those closest to him, "I don't know how and I don't know when, but I am ready. Who knows, I could be unconscious in the hospital in a month, and gone in two."

It would come to pass.

When it did, reverberations began to echo.

Darkness, walls and spiritual blindness bow down in the presence of a Holy God.

A laid down life draws us to places of introspection, repentance, and a deeper longing to be one who 'dies daily.'

Less of me, more of Him.

It was reflected in the life of John the Baptist.

It was reflected in the life of BJ Higgins.

Let it also be reflected in me.



At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thinking about and praying for you and your family...

Santa Cruz, CA

At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I've been thinking about you guys during these days as memories replay in your hearts and minds. Praying for you all with lots of love,

Cousin Becky

At 7:55 AM, Blogger Marti Pieper said...

Quoting our friend and sister Kristin Dutt,quoting another friend and sister Tara (Case) Moore (both part of that 2005 Peru team):

"BJ cannot be the exception. He has to be the rule."

I WOULD DIE FOR YOU tells BJ's story and shares his message as God allowed. But the book is not his legacy. Your son's legacy lives on in the lives of many who understand more about loving, serving, and giving their all.

A life laid down points consistently toward His. And that's the best, most enduring legacy of all.

Thinking of you constantly
Praying for you fervently

in pink
with tender love,


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

Just want you to know you are in our thoughts and prayers. There is a lot of memories floating around in my head.
I'm sure Deanna will do a great job tomorrow and we will be praying.
Love all of you,
Aunt Maralyn

At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not a day passes that I don't remember the impact Bj had on my life. He showed me that I, too, could be loved the way he was by God. Your family is in my heart always...


At 12:59 PM, Blogger brobrad said...


Eloquence comes out of your pain and heart for Him as you face another anniversary that for BJ was glorious but for you is heart-wrending. I love you all and pray God will grace you with special understanding and comfort.

Blessings to the many who are a part of the support system, who stepped up and out in so many ways - four years ago and since.

May we all love as Jesus loves.

At 12:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for you guys during this time especially.
Derek Tucker

At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was rereading your book on BJ for the... I lost track how many times I have read it. Haha. If you saw the copy that I have you would tell me to get a new copy. But that not why I'm leaving this post. I wanted to tell you that your son is still changing lives though you and the book that you have written about him.
As I said earlyer I was rereading your book when I reached the part where BJ went to be with the Lord. I realized that day was fast approaching when something happen then, an answer to a question that I have been asking for so long, for so very long. The answer was right there in front me, in your book and most important of all, in my Bible. That answer was one must die to oneself (i.e. needs and cares of this world)daily. BJ got this. And I now understand this. As I read your blog I see the Lord's comformation of this. I guess what I am trying to say here is, the Lord is still using your son to reach and show the people of his love for them.
I wish I could have met this warrior for God. In many ways I have though you and your book about him.

I thank the Lord for you, the book and most of all, for your son BJ.

James Webb
2626 Timberly Dr.
Apt 2B
Indianapolis, In

At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that we have been thinking of your family and praying for you all today.
Johnny and Laura Pierson

At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have thought of you all all this week. There isnt a day that goes by that I like you think of Bj and his service to the Lord. May the LORD bless each of you in all that you are doing.

At 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bj has been on my mind and in my heart and dreams even more than usual lately. The program from his memorial service still hangs in my car on the sun visor. I have not taken it down since the day I put it there in the parking lot at northside. The day i swore I would be one of the ones to take his place. I know he has been taking to me and I know why. It doesn't surprise me at all that he is still working even when he's not here. I miss you all. So much. I'm 21 and I still sleep with mike the shark every might because that's all I have. Thank you, all five of you, for the unnecessary amount of love you each are capable of. My life will never be the same.

Katie Waddles

At 3:52 AM, Anonymous Brittany DiS said...

I have told many of BJ's testimony...and of your testimony, Brent, Deanna, Lauren and Whitney. Many are amazed. I am still amazed. I love you all and praise God for your willingness to serve Him.

With love from India,

At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Next to the bible, that is the most beautiful tribute I have ever read! God AWE-MAZES me through you every time I get to encounter who He is in you! He is GOOD!

My love & prayers to you!

Greeley, CO

At 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe it's been 4 years. BJ's life and story will always remain with me. I think it could be 20 years and your still going to feel his loss, and God's comfort. He touched so many in such a short time. Your family is in our prayers and heart.

Because of Grace
Pat Davila


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