Friday, April 15, 2011

Flashback Friday...another brother in Christ..Bryan Hawkins

I want to continue my flashback Friday or Friday Flashback blog by talking about another great brother in Christ that I am so blessed to call one of my best friends.  His name is Bryan Hawkins.  Almost 20 years ago I was at my friend, Scott Sickles' house when this little guy in glasses drives up in his go-kart.  Scott introduced me to his neighbor Bryan.   We became friends mostly at first because we both hung out with Scott.  But a year or so later, Scott's dad, "Coach Dale"  drafted both me and Bryan on the Tigers baseball team.   That is where our friendship really started to happen.  But it really wasn't until we both were in high school and were on the drumline together where we really became close.   We were always at each other's houses, went on double dates together, had many inside jokes that we still talk about to this day.  But late in our high school lives, both of our lives started to turn to God.  Bryan went on a spiritual renewal weekend called Happening a year after I went.  We both were involved in our church youth groups.
After high school I went to USC and marched on the USC drumline and Bryan started at UT and marched on the drumline there.   We both joined fraternities, but we never lost touch.  We would visit each other on weekends, fall breaks, and hang out at home during the Summer.  Later in life, were in each other's weddings.  Our children are about the same age and we still keep up with each other almost every week.

We have both walked strong with God and we have both ran from God.  We have been there for each other during both of these times.    I remember when Bryan's roommate at UT passed away.  I remember how it changed Bryan's life.  I remember reaching out and being there for him.  Almost four years ago when my brother passed away, Bryan and his wife drove up for the funeral.  As soon as the graveside service was over, Bryan was the first one to come up over to me.   It meant more than he'll ever know.

You don't find friends like that.  God puts those friends that are like siblings in your life for a reason.  Bryan is a brother to me and I'm so thankful for his friendship for all these years.  I wouldn't be the man I am in ministry if it weren't for him pushing me and always having an encouraging word when I needed it.

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. -Proverbs 18:24

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