Remember last summer when I introduced you to my friends Terrell and Marquita Walter? (Beacon of Hope) Terrell, who doctors told had 2 years after initial diagnosis and maybe a year after last summer. He would have told you that wasn’t true (smile). But his disease did continue to progress, and his health was growing frailer as time went on. This prognosis grieved my heart. I trusted God to be good even though this was not looking to go the way I had hoped. Terrell made it to Christmas and New Years! He then approached Patrick with a crazy idea. His wish would be to be able to honor his wife’s love and commitment by renewing his vow to her. Absolutely! We were on board! This event is going to be amazing. When?
“May,” he says. My friend, we didn’t want to burst your bubble, but time did not appear to be on your side. But we will follow your lead. Let’s get you re-vowed!
The day arrived, and we had no idea how Terrell was going to have the energy to pull this off. Not only did he pull this off but he DANCED his stunning bride down the aisle!! Their vow renewal was heartfelt and beautiful. A couple of their children shared the impact that their faithful love had been role modeled and how grateful they were for that secure foundation of faith and love. Other relatives and friends shared similar sentiments. Then Terrell spoke to his wife, and to all of us gathered around them. He thanked his wife for loving him so well. He said that this gathering was like heaven on earth- and it was. It is not often that you get to hear and see the magnitude of the legacy of your life. Not many get this unique opportunity and appreciate being able to speak into all of your family and friends with such intentional love. Love of Jesus. Love for them. Love received by them. They both talked about how generous love towards each other made them each better people. That the love of Christ equipped them to love better and well. They were grateful. It was one of the most inspiring gatherings I have had the privilege to attend. It was at that moment that I understood the more significant impact of this day and how this would have the power to buoy Terrell all the way to May. That is what crazy God-sized love does.
As the evening went on, we discovered that family members who had not seen each other in almost a decade were gathered together to celebrate. I would say it was the whole family tree, but my friends have created something more like a family hedge! So many different people grafted together and in as one family. You can not meet these two and not become part of the family. They will love you hard. It is awesome.
Terrell was right; this has got to be a glimpse of heaven. Many tears of joy as the family gathered in song and dance- filling the room with so much joy, celebration, and praise. Multiple generations celebrating the fruits of love lived well.
The vow renewal processional was the song, Happy, of course!
“Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy.”
These two demonstrate the strengths of relator and belief to the fullest degree! Love anchored in faith. I hope that reading Terrell and Marquita’s story inspires you to do something “over the top” for your loved ones. Do something to demonstrate what they mean to you. Cultivate deep love that invites others into your family tree.
I wish Terrell and Marquita so many more years of wedded bliss and so many more years of pouring out their faith and loving kindness upon anyone they chance to meet along the way. Thank you for showing us how to love generously and intentionally. Thank you for grafting us into your family and for allowing me to share your story! Love you!