June 21, 1997.
I, Wendy, take you, Aaron, to be my husband. Relying upon the strength of Christ, I promise before God and all who are present here to be a loving and faithful wife, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. I will love you, serve you, and encourage you according to God's holy Word until death parts us. I pledge you my life.
Best promise I ever made. Even though I didn't really know what I was saying. Does anyone ever? The correct answer to "Are you ready to get married?" is not "Yes" but "Ready as we'll ever be." That's when you're ready: when you know it's a bigger promise than you can live up to on your own but you're humbly, wholeheartedly dedicated to making it work by faith, commitment, learning, and grace.
We've had our share of sickness to go with the health. I started us off by getting food poisoning at the end of our honeymoon and spending a week unable to keep anything down. There is no good place to be that sick, but I can testify that airplane seat narrowly beats out airplane bathroom, airport bathroom, hotel room, and home as Worst Place to Vomit. And no, genius in front of me on the plane, it's not motion sickness since we're not moving yet.
We did pretty well from then until this year's eye surgery and open heart surgery for Aaron. In year ten of our marriage I have driven to appointments, argued insurance coverage, administered eye drops and narcotics, put on a brave face, scrubbed rashes, fluffed pillows, fetched water, and held hands. In year ten I have been scared, nurturing, angry, steady, and exhausted.
In year ten I have loved like never before.
And for ten years, I have been loved like no one deserves.
And that, my friends, is what it's all about.
Thank you, God, for this man I love.
Thank you, Aaron, for sharing it all. I pledge you my life.