Rev Fave

The Moment When Everything Changed

Read More

I have never seen him like this. Since the 5th grade, he has always been the epitome of cool. He has never raised his voice, behaved erratically or emotionally. Through decades of euphoric highs and dungeon level lows, he has maintained a neutrality in his demeanor that always reflected peace, but not excitement. We’ve laughed, joked and encouraged each other over the years as we navigated through middle school, high school, college, career changes, marriage, fatherhood, divorce and re-invention. Like most guys, we didn’t talk about our emotions, but our connection remained strong. He is not just my best friend, he is my brother.

And everything about him changed the moment he met her.

His modest, reserved personality began sprouting sudden outbursts of joy on Facebook. He started posting date night photos and making frequent trips to where she lived. Our conversations on the phone went from sports and music to relationship lessons and thoughts of the future. He wasn’t just in love, he had made a decision to love. This would be the first of many decisions that would impact their lives forever.

He proposed. She accepted. Planning began. He began expressing his emotions more as we grew closer to the big day. They picked colors together, decided on wedding favors and asked me to lead their ceremony. Despite my substantial counseling and prayer, nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed on their wedding day.

My best friend was beaming with joy unlike anything I’d ever seen. It was so vibrant that it made him look younger. He smiled incessantly. There was a diamond-like sparkle in his eyes. No cold feet; just high anticipation. He cried tears of joy – several times. Their vows were endearing. His confidence in his decision to love his bride until death was undeniable. The way he held her during their first dance, it was clear that he was never letting her go.

In 30+ years, I have never seen my best friend smile beyond his classic “smirk.” I have never seen him cry one tear; let alone a steady stream down his face. We’ve been at school dances and formal events; but I’d never seen my brother slow dance. I have never seen him so submerged in joy and happiness – and it looked good on him. Challenges and triumphs are on the horizon for these newlyweds, but I believe God will keep them through it all.

I realize that God is the originator of all the joy I witnessed. Everything about me changed the moment I accepted Him into my life. This milestone in my brother’s life was a strong reminder that I need to reflect the joy and happiness God continues to give me with life, health, strength and opportunities to help others. My smiling is a rarity and I’m working hard to increase my frequency.

I don’t want someone to be in search of God and cannot get a glimpse of Him in me.

I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye to My Sister

Read More
He never looked so excited. His smile never stretched that wide. I hadn’t been home from college five minutes and he’s got me on the road again. Dude never drove so fast. Why are we flying to East Chicago? What’s her name? You know that light was red, right? We couldn’t stop by Ray’s Shrimp on the way out here? It’s like that???
 
When we arrived at your apartment, he couldn’t get out the car quick enough. He couldn’t walk the pavement swift enough. He couldn’t wait to get to you. He couldn’t wait for me to meet you. I’d known him all my life and I had never seen him so happy, eager and enamored. Meeting you, seeing your smile for the first time and the effect it had on him – I understood why his actions were so unorthodox. You took his breath away and the look on his face made me forget about the shrimp with hot and mild sauce on it and to the side. From the moment he introduced you, I knew you weren’t going anywhere.

I was meeting my sister for the very first time.

Praise God I wasn’t losing my brother — but gaining a sister, a niece and here comes a nephew. You never stopped smiling. When we lost my brother, you never stopped being my sister. Years of galavanting across the country couldn’t stop you from reaching out to me and we’d laugh and joke about the good ol’ days and how God good continued to be in our lives.
 
Our last conversation, I was driving and we talked for hours about my brother, your children, the past, the future, our life challenges and how God would see us through it all.
 
Ironically, during my last conversation with my brother, I was driving and we talked for hours about you, your children, the past, the future, our life challenges and how God would see us through it all.
 
And for the same reason, I have no regrets of conversations never spoken. We laughed. We joked. We prayed. We did that. I have that. I will always be your little brother.
 
But none of that prepared me for any of this. I simply wasn’t ready. I didn’t expect our last conversation to be our last conversation. All I can say with any confidence is “Thank You, Jesus” for keeping you here for as long as He did. I’m praying God’s comfort to blanket your children, family members and friends. I’m praising God for your smile, that slender grin that changed the life of my best friend, extended our family and increased the love. I’m thanking God for the legacy of your laughter, sincerity and willingness to help others.
 
God bless you, Darveen. Rest, my sister…rest.
Clef two-factor authentication