Monday, October 4, 2010

An open letter for my friends and loved ones:


An open letter for my friends and loved ones:

Sivad, a married couple, another young man, and I (his wife-Tawni) were wrapping up a project at his studio in the early hours of Sunday, October 3, 2010. Anyone who has met Sivad knows that he was always interested in who you are as an individual and gets to know your heart, followed up by offering a word of wisdom and encouragement. Therefore, it comes as no surprise to me that, in spite of the long work day, he took time to talk and laugh with our 3 guests for quite a while.
Sivad is a true believer and follower of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We learned previously from the married couple that they are agnostic, so they hold a polar opposite view and dismiss the teaching of the Holy Bible, although they were both very spiritual and active believers at one point.

The 3 visitors were in the back area while I was in the front room. The young man came to the front in amazement at some of the things Sivad was telling him. The man was intrigued by Sivad, and he pointed out how many things are widely accepted and how we never question these widely accepted things that are taught until somebody points out what we’ve failed to consider and uses simple, common sense. He mentioned to me how Sivad makes you think. This happened to be first time they had met.

Sivad took the opportunity of having the married couple alone in the back to minister to them to impart the Truth and turn them back to God. They debated back and forth, and neither had made any headway with the other. Sivad walked them to the front with me and the other young man so that we could all say our goodbyes while the debate continued. Here is the part of the debate I heard first-hand:

The married couple was saying that their perspective is that God is cruel and sadistic to allow those He created to go to eternal damnation and they don’t want any part of a God like that because if it was his will that no man should perish he wouldn’t allow it to happen. Sivad was saying God says that it is His will that no man should perish, but we are all given free will, and without Jesus Christ you will go to Hell.

Married couple—How can you say that Heaven or Hell exists?

Sivad—God says.


Married couple—The argument is circular. Why do Christians get to have a monopoly on God? It is a way to control people.

Sivad—There is nothing that anyone has to do as a Christian, in fact you can keep on doing the exact same things you have always done, but it is simply accepting the gift of Jesus.


Married couple—How can you say that Jesus is the way? Where is your proof? There are other religions and there are even other teachings that say there are other ways to get to Heaven.

Sivad—Look, it’s simple. Jesus died and rose on the 3rd day to save us from our sin. There ya go. I don’t have to argue about it with you anymore if you’re not willing to accept it. I believe in God.


Married couple—The theory of dying and being raised on the 3rd day was stolen from other religions pre-dating Christianity by hundreds of years.

Sivad was then used by God to give the response of suddenly and unexpectedly having his spirit taken from his body.


In less time than it took for me to blink, my amazing husband immediately died.


As I sat by myself in the hospital, I asked the Holy Spirit what this was for. He answered my heart immediately. His exact words--God said that it was not for me. God said that it was for them [the married couple]. God said that is to show them that I Am; that I can take them in the twinkling of an eye. God told me to tell them that, and when they came to the hospital, I did. I looked them in their eyes and thanked them for the privilege and honor of allowing my husband to be used so mightily by God. I told them that I understand and that I accept this. I asked them to search their hearts. We all hugged and they left. The other young man came in and told me how he was listening so intently to Sivad the entire time. He pointed out to me that the words Sivad uttered with his last breath were, “I believe in God.”


By myself again, sitting and staring at the beige hospital wall, I told God that my husband was the best I had. Again, God replied immediately by saying that Jesus was the best He had. So I shook my head up and down in understanding and acceptance of this.


I am so tremendously proud of Sivad for standing on the Truth. And because God is not at all cruel or sadistic, but rather is so good and is so kind and is so patient and is so loving and is so merciful, He chose to use Sivad an example of His power and His strength. He took the life of Sivad instead of that of the other husband because Sivad already gets to go to Heaven. If God has taken the other husband instead, then the soul of that non-believer would be in Hell for eternity right now, and God is showing how it truly is His will that no man should perish. Therefore, God took Sivad as an example to give the married couple another chance; to give them the opportunity to turn their hearts back to God and come to salvation through Jesus Christ alone. God used the other young man to serve as a separate eye witness to the account.


Our Lord God used Sivad to pour out blessings upon all those he met. I thank him for being a perfect husband, a dedicated dad, and truly my best friend this side of Heaven. I will miss him so deeply, but I told him that I’ll see him there. In this case, as will be the case for all of creation, God will have the last word.

Humbly yours,

Tawni DiVaughn

22 comments:

  1. VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO STEVEN D. HILL for his graphic design for the banner.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i am in aww of this. wow....God be with you all. i will be praying for your family.

    ReplyDelete
  3. To God be all the glory even in this situation where the initial thought is to be sad because of the circumstance but because we know God makes no mistakes and that even in this we are to see the glory of God we rejoice knowing that Sivad lived his life being a witness for Christ and no better way for that life to end still witnessing for Him until his last breath. Great is his reward in HEAVEN!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I read this with tears in my eyes. I am a very true believer in all of your husbands beliefs. Jesus entered my life long ago after my parents had both died and became my parent and saved me. Your faith and your beautiful interpretation of these events should be a great inspiration to all of us. My heart goes out to you and you will always be in my prayers. You are a divine being of light to have such love. I am sure God will bring you the comfort you need as you move forward in your life. All the best to you and your family. Bob

    ReplyDelete
  5. This just goes to show how powerful he is.. That was his calling and our Farther Brought him home because his purpose was filled! I can't imagine how much you miss him.. But you should be one of the proudest ladies on this earth to have walked next to a powerful messenger from God

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow! This really touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. God is so real and so powerful, any non-believers really needs to reads this. Rest Sivad

    ReplyDelete
  7. He will truly be missed and I know God has something special in store for you. Keep the faith

    ReplyDelete
  8. I used to work with him at Taylor at nights. He was an incredible man.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  10. WOW!!!! in shock. gonna miss SIVAD, he was a great person, we should all aspire to be as great as him.---Brian Mullins

    ReplyDelete
  11. SIVAD's work was a great inspiration in my own photography & now in my own personal beliefs, Recent events in my life have caused me some doubt, because of his experience and your generosity in sharing it with all of us, my doubt is no more :)

    Ed Couture

    ReplyDelete
  12. Tawni, your blog was so very well written, I would never know that it was written by a wife who just lost her husband, it is written with Peace and Comfort. As a believer I can tell that you PRAYED before writing this blog because the words are from GOD.
    I pray that GOD continues to GUIDE you and BRING you peace and comfort and that you are surrounded by his GRACE.

    Cass Butler

    ReplyDelete
  13. Tawni, Wow Im in tears reading this. We did a shoot back in August, and I loved you and your husband's spirit and enjoyed the converstations that you and I had. But there is one coversation that stuck out to me and after me telling you the passing of my husband years back. My heart goes out to you and your family. My prayers are with you as well.

    Esther

    ReplyDelete
  14. Praise the Lord for this great story but I give God Praise because Tawni was not filled with anger through all of this Thang God that you believe in him and trust him because if you did not you would of played the blame game like blaming the other couple for this to happened and your husband being taken away from you..Thank God you understand the word of God and you know his will and his reason for doing all things.Bless you and your son Tawni and R.I.P Sivad i knew you was a great man by talking to me and giving wisdom the times we talked. I'm hoping this will open someone's eyes and setting someone to become a believer.

    ReplyDelete
  15. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I never met SiVad but I know many that has worked with him and I love his work.....This moved me so....I am sharing with as many people as I can....God is up to something!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Spoke with Sivad via internet several times... and his spirit (eventhough through words) was one that let me know immediately that he was a very good person, man, husband, photographer and professional! I'm sorry to hear that he left so early. My prayers & condolences to his family!! True innovator will be missed... GOD Bless!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Couldnt help but to comment on this blog. Have never met Sivad nor have I ever spoken with him but I know of him thru his work as a photographer. But when I read this blog (sent to me thru another model) I couldnt help but to cry and say wow. This blog confirms the many feelings of how I have actually "got it" as a christian and what it really means to be a chrisitan. Sivad and the blog that you wrote on how he was used by God are both amazing. I am left with out words because God used his vessel to perform his Great Works...My heart is extended to you as a strong woman to recognize that God did what He had to do in order to show this couple that he is GOd and that you are strong enough to both keep the faith so God can provide to you understanding of what He has done is correct and to also keep the faith to know that you will be ok once God told you why He did what He did. My prayers are with you to remain strong! Thanks for sharing! C.Carter

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow...If that is not power I dont know what is....He is a man of GOD for sure.....I had no idea about his faith and know I know why he was so blessed......He spoke the truth and he knew what he had a plan for and that was to teach others about the side to be on......He was a true Christian and I am sure he is smiling down on all of us that are unlucky enough to be where he is today.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I had the amazing opportunity to work with Sivad shortly before his passing. Two months later, I'm just now finding out his journey on earth is complete. God bless you Tawni and your family. Sivad was one of the greatest artists in this world. I'll be forever grateful, honored, and blessed to have worked with such an amazing man. His story will touch people for years to come.

    Melissa May

    ReplyDelete
  20. I don't know Sivad but I have seen his beautiful work. And I just wanted to say that this story truly touched my life! He was truly His faithful servant! You are of a blessed family! May God continue to pour blessings into your life and carry you through times of grief!

    Kendra Smith

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow ! speechless - God still shows he's real in the earth !

    ReplyDelete
  22. A truly amazing and touching story. With tears in my eyes, I am sorry for your loss.

    ReplyDelete