As I slid the folded paper back into my pocket, the pastor asked for her vows. Her sister, standing closely behind her, reached out with the handwritten vows, passed them to her, and she read:
I can't remember the first time I saw you. Some people have a clear memory of the first time they met the one they love, but not me. I'd like to think it's because in some way, somehow, you were with me all along. In second grade when my mom dressed me up like a bride. Junior high, when boys were scared to ask me to dance, did they know I was destined for a better guy than they were going to be, so they gave up right there on the spot? The moments I had in high school with my dad consistently proving to me what a man is, and who a man is. Teaching me to be patient. All of it was for you and without my dad's wisdom, I may not have recognized you. But I know you. You are a good man. I can see where God is shaping you not to be just any husband, but my husband. And that's why I am so confident in our relationship. God is and will be our foundation, our rock, our shelter, and our source of strength no matter what good things, bad things, sad things, great things, memorable or forgettable things we encounter from here on. And second to the Lord, I will count on you to be my strength. To be my shield. You've proven to me your love, and don't need to prove it anymore because I'll see your love every day in the way you live. When you love my family, you love me. When you love children, you love me. And if you love to laugh, you love me. If you love compassion and humility, you love me. But if you don't love Jesus, you don't love me. However, I know the proof of our love is this day. These rings. The ceremony and the vows we're taking in front of God. In front of my family, yours, and our friends, I give you my undying faith, my love, and my life. You have the best of me and as if it ever needs to be said, I am yours. From the moment I walked in here, no, from the moment I was born, I was made for you. I just wish you would've found me sooner, because then I could have loved you longer! But for the rest of our life together, I look forward to loving you well.