Delicate. As I slipped on my gown in preparation for our vow renewal, I did so carefully. The intricate weaving of the stunning and complex design that rested on my arms required it to be handled gently.
Deep breath in. And an even bigger breath out met with a smile.
I can’t believe I’m here. Alive. In the place I told Wes to place my ashes back in November when I signed a Living Will and Power of Attorney after an ER visit in the hospital. So many emotions and thoughts running through my head, but one that I cannot seem to shake:
I admire the pattern from my dress. Woven, fashioned, and formed to create something beautiful. What struck me the most is how the majority of this pattern was covered in holes. I am captivated by the design so much because I feel that this has how our journey has looked: a combination of wonderful things and obstacles faced to create the beautiful love story of our lives together. A journey filled with brokenness that has turned to beautiful.
I begin to reflect on the last 5 years since Wes and I met. So many things have happened. So many things to be thankful for. I am overwhelmed. Oh the ups and downs from job losses to vacations together, from getting baptized to grieving the passing of loved ones together, from dancing in the kitchen with no music on to being diagnosed with cancer. All woven together to create something divinely beautiful within the capable and faithful hands of God.
Delicate, but strong.
We walk down the pathway through a lush forest of beauty tucked away at the Della Terra Mountain Chateau in Estes Park, Colorado where we said “I do” 4 years ago. Hand in hand, we fix our gaze on one another and smile.
He motions to me to read my vows first. Gosh, I’m nervous! I don’t know why. But his smile eases my nerves and I hold back tears as I reflect over the years and renew my vows to him.
“My dearest Weston, light of my life, keeper of my heart, giver of all things joy and love. You came into my life like a gentle wave pressed against the shore with love, tenderness, strength, and steadfastness and my life has been forever changed from that moment to forevermore.”
I feel that my words fail in comparison to the way my heart feels, but I press on and we laugh, cry, and smile as we reflect. I sink into his blue eyes as I recommit my vows to him:
“Weston, I vow to love you every minute of every hour of every day for the rest of my life. I will strive every single day to show you agape love, unconditional love, that Jesus modeled for us. I vow that I will work to grow my relationship with Him daily as that is the only way to love you the right way. I vow to do everything I can to make up for mistakes I make and to show grace, forgiveness, and mercy to you always. I vow to spend the rest of my lifting you up, encouraging you, and giving you all of my heart. I vow to never leave your side and trust in your leadership in our lives in all things. I vow to work on growing our marriage in all areas and to keep that as our first ministry always. I vow to be yours until my last breath.”
We smile, we hug, we kiss. As he pulls out the journal where he wrote his first vows from 4 years ago, he flips to the pages where his new ones begin.
“I want to continue spending my days giving you my all, loving you with creativity, and leading you to swiftly pursue Christ. I love you from the ends of your fluffy head to the tips of your sparkly toes.”
He knows just what to say to make me chuckle as I laugh through the tears of joy that I am feeling in those moments.
“Therefore, I do vow before our everlasting Father in Heaven, to cherish you, encourage you, care for you, and love you continually until His Son’s return or until my last breath. I promise to continue to pursue you, to date you, and to stir in you passion for our relationship, for God, and for living our lives to the fullest potential. I promise to point you to Jesus, to lead you as He leads us, to hold you, lift you up, and honor you as my wife. Love and faithfulness will never leave me, they are written on the tablet of my heart for you, and for my King. I love you Nicole Madison Body. Today, and all days that may come, I am yours.”
Many more memories and promises were exchanged between us on that day but we wanted to share some of these precious moments with you. We thank you for your love, support, and prayers as we walk this journey of life together.
We would love to ask that you pray for our marriage to continue to strengthen no matter what may come our way. We hope that you will also take time to tell the people in your life how much you love them, as we are never promised another moment. Life is precious and time is fleeting: make the most of every moment. Jesus is the solid foundation on which we stand on: the Rock, Restorer, Repairer, Healer, and Lover of our lives. Without Christ, I can’t even imagine where we would be today.
We pray many blessings on you and your families whether you have battled cancer, are facing it now, or have been affected by it in any way. We know that this life can be delicate and even though it may feel like it’s broken and falling apart, God is weaving together a beautiful story that is your life. The holes and all will come together in a beautiful design. God has a plan for you and loves you so very much.
Thank you for sharing in our special moments together!
God bless you!