As I’m writing this I’m picturing your vows starting with something about how years ago you could never picture marrying me. When we started this thing, I was this goofy kid who wasn’t really going anywhere in life. By some miracle and after all I’d put you through, I got you to go out with me.
As time went on, something pretty cool happened; I became a man. Your love transformed me. Falling in love is a funny thing, because it has a way of inextricably changing who you are. I was a lot uglier when we started dating; but at the thought of seeing you, I wanted to dress nicer and get haircuts and lose weight. I was aimless before we started dating; but at the thought of spending my future with you, I wanted to make something of myself and cultivate my talents. I started thinking seriously and tangibly about my legacy, about God’s will in my life. I found myself getting through the long hours of terrible 9-5 jobs by fantasizing about growing old together with you. It felt a lot like living for the first time.
Ayana, you have this beautiful, natural gift of changing the people, and even the spiritual atmospheres around you. Everyone in this room has a tale to tell about how you’ve changed them. It’s because you have turned your life into a story about being honest with God; this dynamic of your relationship with Him has given you the courage to walk through the darkest nights and to lean not on your own understanding. I’m certain that your testimony and your heart have blessed everyone you’ve encountered.
What I’m trying to say is that I’m still trying to wrap my head around one of the greatest mysteries in my life. Six months into our relationship, I wrote a song for you that had the lyrics, “How did I get somebody like you to fall in love with someone like me?” There’s a little more truth in that every single day.
So now, with every fiber of my being and no holds barred, I swear to respond to your love daily. I promise to be everything you’ve ever wanted in a man. I promise to stay by your side through every single situation and carry you through everything. I’ll go to hell and back to see you smile, forever and always. Because you’re the dream I never want to wake up from, and the song I never want to stop singing.
Vagner Farias Lage,
If you told me seven years ago that I’d be standing here in front of the people we love, marrying YOU, I would have laughed.
Do you remember the second time we ever talked? You mentioned King David’s sixth Psalm, where he talks about flooding his bed with weeping and being worn out from sobbing.
You thought the whole thing was wild, and we talked about the level of incomprehensible pain he must have felt, and yet over our relationship, we’ve encountered breathtaking sorrow. We’ve had nights we’ve flooded our own beds with tears.
It hasn’t been easy, but because of God’s grace, you and I are embarking on one of life’s greatest adventures. Vagner, I have never met anyone like you. When we first met, you were a Pokemon-obsessed band kid who really loved Jesus. In a lot of ways, you’re still a Pokemon-obsessed band kid who really loves Jesus.
You have made me more joyful. You have shown me light in seasons of darkness. You have laughed with me and you have cried with me. I am more generous thanks to you. I don’t ascribe you magical powers, but your connection to our Father’s heart has made ME better. You reflect Him. You’ve spent countless hours in prayer over me and over yourself, preparing to be the best husband. My “dream guy checklist” before we started dating didn’t even come close to you. I never fathomed I could be worthy of being loved as deeply and intentionally as you’ve loved me.
You’ve shown me that I’m worthy.
You are my closest confidant and my forever boyfriend. You are talented, driven and thoughtful, even though you make fun of my mispronounced words (how was I supposed to know that pizzeria isn’t pronounced pizz-area?), You pose for corny Instagram pictures and always hold my purse when I’m buying clothing I don’t need.
But I want you to know that this “yes” is a no-brainer. Right now, as I say “I do” and promise you my forever, it’s the only thing that makes sense. I mean, just look at you! This is the best day of our lives and heaven is cheering us on.
Beloved, I vow I’ll tell you “I do” not just today — our best day — but also on the very worst days. I will say “I do” even when I want to say “I don’t.” I will love you fully and unashamedly, and our marriage will be a testimony of how Christ loves His bride.
Our YESES and NO’S in this relationship have a lot of weight. I will say no to anything that pulls me away from you.
I vow to never let anyone interfere with this relationship, and I vow to never let this relationship come before my relationship with our heavenly Father. I vow that my love to you will be unconditional and never rooted in insecurity.
I am blessed to know you and honored to love you. It is my BIGGEST privilege to be your brave girl forever. I love you most!
Ayana Lage is a fashion and lifestyle blogger based in Tampa, Florida with a background in digital media and content marketing. She’s worked for Bustle, the Tampa Bay Times, the Miami Herald, and numerous freelance clients. As a blogger, she’s worked with 50+ lifestyle, fashion, travel and food brands. When she’s not blogging, she’s focused on her day job in digital marketing, watching Queer Eye, or laughing aloud at tweets from @dril.