"I call upon the persons here present to witness that I Larissa, take you Marcus to be my lawful wedded husband. Marcus, you're my best friend; I'm so grateful God gave me to you to be your wife. I promise to love you unconditionally, to honour you with my words and actions, and to always respect you. I promise to pray with you and for you, to encourage and support you. No matter what problems we face - whether sickness, poverty, sorrow or otherwise, I will be faithful to you. I will laugh with you and cry with you, because you are my best friend, the love of my life. Marcus, I give you my heart and my love, from this day forward, as long as we both shall live."
Two years ago today, when I said those words, I had no idea that just 14 months later, my husband and I would face a sorrow greater than we could have imagined. And yet, through it all, I have never doubted his love for me, or mine for him. When I promised to always pray with him and for him, I didn't know that for months those prayers would be begging God for comfort, hope and strength. When I promised to laugh and cry with him, I didn't realise that sometimes the laughing and crying would be simultaneous.
Marcus, thank you for loving me like you promised; for always wiping away my tears and providing me with that desperately needed hug. Your patience and kindness astounds me frequently and never once have I doubted that you love me. I'm so glad you chose me.
Thank you for making me smile when I didn't think it was possible and for not minding when I am silly at serious moments. Thank you for keeping me calm (and being ok when that means letting me have a Josh Groban song on repeat!) and taking such good care of me and our babies. I'm hoping the next two years are easier than the two we've had so far, but even if they aren't, I love you. You're my reason to be brave.
Let them praise the Lord for His great love and for the wonderful things He has done for them.