I didn’t know when I first saw you all that would come of our relationship. I didn’t know how any girl after you just plain missed the mark, unable to achieve the height of the bar you set. I didn’t know the road I’d take and that this road… it didn’t include you yet. You were my friend. And that was all.
Meanwhile we both tried to make other relationships work that ended without success. And our friendship grew. We laughed together, we ate together, we got mad about our jobs together. Our roads were slowly coming closer. As if we were driving in a heavily wooded forest, only noticing the trees around us and not getting glimpses of each other through the blurring forest. Had I known how this story would go, I would’ve done things differently. I may have thought a little more about the road, less about the trees I saw because they were actually hiding the whole picture. God made us for each other. That’s the masterpiece. And once we both saw what God designed was good and was here, well, there was no turning back.
And now as I stand in front of you, I want to be everything you need me to be as a husband. When you need to cry, I’ll get the tissues. When you need to laugh, I’ll try to be funny. When you just need a shoulder to rest on, I’ll wear multiple layers. When you want to be crazy, I’ll scream in public with you. If you need to wrestle, I’ll be Hacksaw Jim Duggan. If you need truth, I’ll open up the Bible. If you want to sing, I’ll be your audience. If you want to walk around, I’ll put on my shoes, too. If you’re hungry, I’ll cook dinn– I’ll go pick up some Mexican food. If you want to talk, I’ll listen. If you want to listen, I’ll talk. If you want a challenge, I’ll race you. If you feel unpretty, I’ll read poems I wrote about you. If you feel unloved, I’ll hug you and tell you I love you. If you need your space, I’ll be gone. If you need to have fun, I’ll take you to the beach. I’ll do my best to be what you need and what you want.
The problem is, I will fail.
As hard as I’ll ever try to be perfect for you, I cannot be. I will make you mad. I will annoy you. I’ll do things you don’t expect. I’ll get frustrated and have a hard time explaining why. I will never love you as much or as good as God does. But even in my failed attempts, there are two things you can count on: one, that Jesus is our life and two, I love you like the ocean. I am not perfect, but our marriage will be with the Lord’s help and blessing. I am your husband. I know you love me and I love you so much. There is nothing in your past that scares me. There’s nothing that makes me doubt your love for me. And because of that, I trust you for the rest of my life and you can trust me for the rest of yours. You’re safe with me and when you feel like you’re up against the world, know that they’ll have to go through me first. I promise to love you when it’s easy. To love you when it’s hard. To love you when you expect it, and when you don’t think you deserve it. I’m your husband. You are free to let your guard down and be yourself. You’ve proven to me that God is most important to you, and I hope I’ve proven the same. And with my commitment to God, I also commit myself to you. It will never be me versus you, but from now on it’s us versus them. And I can’t imagine ever being happier about that than I am right now. Can’t wait to take on the world with you. To live the rest of my life with you, my best friend. I love you.
And this is what I read aloud when the pastor asked for my vows.
Check back soon for Part Four.