Friday, January 3, 2014

Christmas Vows

I got married at Christmastime 16 years ago.  I married a good man, and we had a good marriage.  But that whole day was strange.  I never really felt emotional about it.  Just sort of disconnected.

I got married at Christmastime a week ago.  We said our vows in front of a beautiful Christmas tree with a minister there to have us speak our vows to one another.  It was very emotional for me.  And for my new wife.  She has never been married, never wanted to be married in fact, until our relationship came along, and we both knew we couldn't go a lifetime together without saying those vows of commitment to one another.

Some of you know, some of you may not understand, that just before Christmas, a federal judge overturned Utah's gay marriage ban and said it was unconstitutional.  Religion aside, this was a big deal for a lot of people.  Especially Wendy and I.  We had a feeling we would have only a small window of time to legally commit to each other, so we decided to go for it.  The judgement came on a Friday night.  Saturday and Sunday the county clerks office was closed.  We decided to go first thing Monday morning to get our license.  When we arrived, the clerks office was still closed.  After a call to the Cache County Attorney's office, I was told the clerks office was awaiting further instruction from the Governors office before issuing any licenses.  I was clear with them when I informed them a stay had already been denied, and by not issuing any licenses, they were in contempt of court.  The woman agreed, but said there was nothing they could do.

I was disappointed, but I knew it would work out, so we went about our day.  The next day, Christmas Eve, I called the clerks office first thing, and got a message that the office would be closed all day.  Again I called the Attorney's office, and was told they wouldn't be issuing licenses, but we could go to Weber or Davis or Salt Lake counties to get one.  I knew she was right, but we live here, we work here, we raise our family here, so we should be able to get married here.  Again I was disappointed, but we went about enjoying our morning with the kids.

At 10:00 AM, I got a text from a friend that works for an attorney's office.  She said she heard the clerks office was issuing licenses but only until noon.  We gathered up our paperwork, and headed out as quickly as we could.  We arrived 5 minutes too late.  Again, disappointment.  We knew they would be closed for Christmas, and had no idea if another stay would be denied or what.  Part of me thought we missed our chance for good.  But it was okay.  We enjoyed our Christmas together and had a great holiday.

December 26th, a stay had been denied a second time, so we knew we could still get a license.  We planned it for 8:30 in the morning.  We gathered up our papers, called our witnesses and our minister, and went for it.  We filled out the application.  Our witnesses signed, our minister signed, and we started our ceremony.

I looked at Wendy, and I knew in my heart that I loved her more this day than yesterday, and I know today I love her more than that day.  The minister read off simple sweet scripture and simple vows that we repeated back to each other.  I was so emotional, I could barely get the words out.  It wasn't a fancy wedding; we didn't have 100 guests; there wasn't an orchestra or an aisle to walk down.  But as I placed that ring on her finger, my heart and soul were solidified in commitment to this woman I love.

We are married.  Legally and lawfully married.  I honestly never thought I would get married again.  I never thought I would legally be able to, and I never thought I would love someone enough to want to.  To have it all come together so imperfectly perfectly, it was a Christmas miracle.

I know a lot of you think this goes against what God wants for us.  I believe in God, and I also believe that God brought Wendy and I together, and that he wants us to be happy together.  He doesn't want anyone to be alone for eternity.  I know our vows say specifically "til death do you part", but I have faith that God will be understanding of a persons heart and love in this life and carry it on through eternity as he sees fit.

Love is love, and I love this woman more than there are words.  My heart breathes a sigh of relief every time I see her.  That is what love is all about.

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