Six months ago today, Ceecee and I threw a Mad Hatter’s tea party to renew our vows. It was a beautiful day of laughter and love. There were silly costumes, in-town and out-of-town guests, pictures, and memories that we will treasure for the rest of our lives.
If you know the relatively new Alice In Wonderland (where Johnny Depp plays the Mad Hatter), you are familiar with the idea of believing in six impossible things before breakfast. I wanted to incorporate that into our ceremony, so here was my list:
1. I believe that two can become one
2. I believe that we must die in order to truly live
3. I believe that in loss we can find great gain
4. I believe that we can forgive and forget
5. I believe that love is stronger than death
6. I believe that somehow, out of all the men on this planet, Ceecee chose to love me
We wrote our own vows, and I didn’t know what to write, so I borrowed extensively from the apostle Paul, who penned 1 Corinthians Chapter 13, commonly referred to as “The love chapter.” In it, love is defined, not by man’s terms, but by the One who created love, and whose idea marriage was and is.
I have been asked to share my vows on this blog, and I previously thought they were too personal and meant only for my wife, but over time, I realize that far too few people are experiencing love the way it was meant to be. It is my hope and prayer that all who read these words will find inspiration. Here is my best rendition of what I said that day:
Love is patient – I will not pressure or rush you. I will give you the time you need to be the person you want to be.
Love is kind – I will spend a lifetime showing you my love through acts of kindness. I will never intentionally hurt you.
Love does not envy – I will gladly stand in the shadows while you stand in the spotlight. I will build you up in everything.
Love is not prideful – I will admit when I am wrong and never treat you as though you are inferior. I will not be stubborn with you, but I will truly listen to you with my ears and my heart.
Love is not rude – I will not stoop to talking harshly or being critical of you. I will never disregard you or dismiss you and I will honor you in front of others.
Love is not self seeking – I will not put myself or my needs above yours. I will give you the first and the best of all that I am.
Love keeps no record of wrongs – no matter what either of us has done or has happened in the past, we have started anew and our love will not contain any leftover guilt, resentment, hurt, or any negative part of our past.
Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
I will always protect you, always trust in you, always keep my hopes high, and never give up on us. This love cannot fail. It is forever.