Two years ago, I was one week away from getting married. It was the night of my bachelorette party. My Matron of Honor, my future sister-in-law, my mom, and I made t-shirts for wedding week and binged out watching romantic comedies. It was the perfect low key bachelorette party for this introvert who despises small talk and thrives on deep meaningful conversation.
I was also trying to write my vows.
I have written my husband many letters. Ever since I was 13 I wrote letters to my future husband and bound them in an album and gave it to him on the morning of our wedding.
I also wrote him 47 letters when he was deployed. No matter where I was, when the words came I would write. It kept him excited to check the mail and gave him another tie to home since we weren’t able to video chat as often as we would’ve liked.
There’s just something romantic about a handwritten letter. I’ve always been a writer, but I never really thought about writing our own vows.
That was Hawk.
See, after we were engaged Hawk told me he had written a letter for me. He told me I couldn’t read it until we got married. He framed the letter and told me I would know what it said when we became man and wife.
In the letter were his vows to me.
And he didn’t write them right before the wedding – turns out he wrote them a month after we started dating.
Two years ago at this time I was thinking of all the letters I had written him and the letter he had written me and I knew this had to be a very important letter. The most important one I would ever write – my vows to my husband.
And on the afternoon of August 30th, I finally found out what his letter said. It was his declaration of love. And then I read him my letter. The letter that I meant with all my heart.
Marriage is saying I do over and over again.
It’s saying I do choose to love you at your worst. I do choose to make you a priority. It’s a life long process of continued I Dos.
To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.
– Timothy Keller
I Do and I Still Do. Forever. No matter what.
And it’s not always easy. Because there’s this thing called pride. Yet there isn’t anything more humbling and beautiful to me than seeing my own wretchedness and having Hawk I do forgive you – and seeing him in the light of Christ. In the light of how much more He loves and forgives me.
Really, the Bible is God’s love letter, His vows, His I dos to mankind- to His beloved.
I do love you. I do see you. I do care for you. I do forgive you. I do help you. I do redeem you. I do shelter you. I do wash you clean. I do come to your rescue. I do hold you in the palm of my hand. It’s His forever, no matter what promises to His children.
Without Him, our own forever, no matter what vows – our heart letters and promises are impossible to keep. But seeing His Spirit, seeing His Presence and connecting with Him in your spouse…well there’s really nothing quite like it.
Thank you for making me your bride. Thank you for loving me at my worst and showing me how I desperately need God’s grace. Thank you for sticking with me. For your steady I do-ing. Thank your for making me your wife, your life partner, your best friend. Thank you for fully knowing and fully loving me. And thank you for spurring my spirit into a deeper relationship with the ultimate I Do-er.
You are my best friend, the love of my life, and my greatest blessing. And I’m never letting you go.
I found him whom my soul loves. I held him and would not let him go.
– Song of Solomon 3:4