catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 9, Num 8 :: 2010.04.16 — 2010.04.29


I promise

I, Kirstin, take you, Rob, to be my husband and in doing so, I promise to be a wife of noble character and the embodiment of faith, hope and love.

Eighteen inches of snow covered the ground on December 31.  Would our pianist (who was also Rob’s aunt) make it in from Florida?  Would our other friends and relatives arrive safely from throughout the region?  I don’t remember being very worried.  Planning an event for lots of people felt natural.  And so did marrying Rob.  And somehow, so did trusting God.

I promise to be physically and emotionally faithful to you and spiritually faithful to our God.

By our wedding day, we’d been rehearsing our countercultural tendencies together for over six years, so creating a ceremony that would tell our story well didn’t feel like a stretch.  Our parents graciously gave us space to be our “unique” selves, and our people showed up even though it was New Year’s Eve, even though we were getting married in a courthouse (albeit a beautiful historic space), even though we were interfering with Sunday night church.

I promise to be perpetually hopeful, shaping our relationship towards perfection and transforming the world for the coming of the Kingdom by promoting justice and showing love to all.

Many of the things we did, I’d definitely do again.  Even then, we were living into a young vision for collaborative community.  Our immediate family members surrounded us in a circle during the ceremony, with our other friends and relatives at tables around the circle.  The music was an eclectic blend provided by our especially musical dear ones.  The desserts were an amalgamation of delicious baked goods from various family members.  Even the dress, made by my great grandmother for my great aunt, was borrowed from my second cousin.

I promise to love you as my husband, making the decision to love you when the emotions inevitably falter and being worthy of your trust and respect.

When I look back on that day now, with nearly ten years of time separating now from then, I feel pretty proud of our 21-year-old selves and find myself viewing them from a distance, as if they are not the same as us.  And in a sense, they really are not the same.  Years of strained finances have deepened our trust.  Several co-housing situations have taught us that intentional living with other adults is neither easy, nor impossible.  Unconventional jobs, most of them shared, have taught us how to be civil, even loving, to each other in the midst of our daily work.

And I promise to love God above all, continually seeking His purpose.

If we were to do our wedding over again, I would make changes, sure.  I’d be more conscious of involving my siblings and of taking time to meditate and reflect beforehand.  I’d be more conscious in general, more in the moment to remember specifics, not just impressions.  And we both agree we’d do communion, given another go-round.  But I don’t spend too much time and energy on regrets, remembering that as much as a marriage ceremony is about a lifetime, about eternity, it is also about who we are at a very specific moment in time.  Before our cloud of witnesses, we stand at the edge of a future, hand-in-hand and eyes closed, ready to become more of who we are already becoming, and to change.

I give you this ring as a symbol of these promises.

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