When Ben Higgins was set to star in ABC’s “The Bachelor,” his friends prayed that God would use his time on the reality show not to help him find love, but to do something significant in his life.
Five years later, the 31-year-old Indiana native has a clear picture of how God answered that prayer.
“He was humbling me, a lot,” Higgins admitted in an interview with The Christian Post. “It's funny that 'The Bachelor' took that, but ... you live in this temporary fame for a bit, and you realize that fame isn't fulfilling, it's fleeting, and relevancy is an ambition not worth pursuing because it's exhausting. There’s never a point in time where you feel like you're relevant enough.”
God, Higgins said, was “showing me that this was never going to be lasting, enjoyable, fulfilling, [or] purpose-filled; it was never going to be a part of my legacy, it was never going to be a story worth sharing unless I used it for something greater than me.”
“God was [saying], ‘The Bachelor’ can be a great platform, but it's not the end thing — you have to use this to point toward Me,’” he continued. “And as I did that and started to use the platform to talk to people in a way that I thought loved them better, or pointed them to a God that loves them more, or worked with people fighting injustice, it all started to make more sense. It all started to be more fun and ... fulfilling. It all started to make my soul more at peace.”
Ben Higgins shares what God taught him on 'The Bachelor'
Determined to use his platform to help others, Higgins, one of the most popular “bachelors” in the ABC franchise's history, this week released his new memoir, Alone in Plain Sight: Searching for Connection When You're Seen but Not Known.
In it, the podcast host shares personal stories, including his struggles with loneliness and isolation, dependency on painkillers and subsequent recovery, and his father’s battle with stage four cancer. He also candidly opens up about his high-profile breakup with Lauren Bushnell to finding love again with fiancé Jessica Clarke.
“To combat loneliness, there is a level of vulnerability needed,” he said. “We all have pains. We all have suffering, so right there, we're not alone, because everybody's experienced that at some level.”
“As we continue down that path, we can all start to show a little more empathy because we understand that everybody hurts. As everybody hurts, I want to be somebody ... to be a sounding board of grace and forgiveness and understanding. That's a role I want to take on ... because it allows me to build deeper relationships that help me throughout this world as well.”
But more importantly, throughout the book, Higgins — who counts his pastor and Christian authors Bob Goff and Annie F. Downs as some of his greatest inspirations — repeatedly points readers to a God who longs for a relationship with them, stressing that in Christ, it’s possible to be fully known and truly loved.
“That is our greatest truth,” Higgins stressed. “Yet are we living in that truth? Do we really let it sit? Does that ring any type of heart chords? Does that help our soul operate in a different way?” he asked.
“As much as I know that to be true, it didn't ring true in my life often because my insecurities, my negative thoughts, my loneliness, always seemed to kind of overcome the good news, and that was where I would sit,” the Colorado resident continued. “Alone in Plain Sight is, hopefully throughout the whole book, sharing the Gospel at every point.”
Ben Higgins on finding his identity in Christ
Passionate about fighting global injustice and human trafficking, Higgins today serves as the founder of Generous Coffee Co. — a company that gives money straight back to nonprofits around the world. But he told CP he doesn’t like to define himself by “what I do.” Rather, the former reality star would like to be known for who he is in light of his relationship with God.
“I am somebody that is loved, and I do believe in Jesus, and I do believe that is truth,” Higgins said. “I don't believe it's an idea or a cool thought or something that just comforts us in times where things get hard. I believe that there is a God, a living God within us, amongst us, and breathing, and I believe there's a purpose to that. Because of that, I not only feel loved myself, I'm also somebody who wants to tell others that they're loved as well.”
Looking back on his life and brief stint on “The Bachelor,” Higgins said he’s grateful for the lessons God taught him — “embarrassing and painful” as they might be — and hopes to encourage others struggling with feelings of loneliness and inadequacy to realize that in Christ, they are enough.
“The greatest part of this was the journey to even get to a place where I was confident enough to tell you, 'I'm not so interested in this being about me. I'm more interested in this being about something greater than myself,'” Higgins said. “That's not an easy journey to get to. It takes a lot of embarrassing moments and a lot of ego-filled moments to get to even a place where I can say that to you.”
“I don't have a lot of time here on this Earth, and I want to make it worth it,” he added. “To anyone that is questioning their value ... you are valuable. You do have a purpose. And we need you because you never know the impact you're going to make in this world until you go out and pursue the things that you're most passionate about.”
Alone in Plain Sight is out now. Watch Ben Higgins' full interview with The Christian Post below.