Whatever Happens, I Choose Us
By Scott Williams
The latest unexpected turn for my wife, Ellie, and me came in 2019. I was diagnosed with an aggressive type of terminal brain cancer. Ellie is facing the thought of being a widow before she turns 60.
That wasn’t supposed to happen . . . at least until age 80.
Or that’s what we thought.
You can’t know everything that’s going to happen to you over the course of your marriage. But you can decide ahead of time how you’re going to handle it.
That’s the whole purpose of wedding vows.
And so this diagnosis has caused us to reflect not just on our wedding vows, but to the words we say to each other every day. Do we still say: I choose us?
The day could be good or challenging. We could be in the middle of a fight or heading into a romantic evening. We might be struggling to speak to each other, or clinging to each other in the midst of a crushing life event like we’ve just experienced.
Choosing faithfulness all over again might sound like this:
“Whatever bad happens, I choose us.”
“I’m praying for you today.”
“In good times and in bad—I’m glad I married you.”
“Thank you for being good to me, even when I don’t deserve it.”
“I’m sorry. Will you please forgive me?”
“I appreciate what you did today.”
“You’re a good man.”
“There’s no one I’d rather grow old with.”
Many people think of wedding vows as little more than ceremony and tradition. But nothing could be farther from the truth.
While most elements of the ceremony are largely symbolic, the vows are at the center of not only the wedding ceremony, but the entire marriage.
Try repeating these vows my wife, Ellie, and I have spoken to each other throughout life’s events—and will keep saying as we press into this new unknown.
“I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.”
We’re going to keep saying: I choose us.
The good stuff: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Action points: What’s one situation in which your mind is tempted to divert from your vows to each other? Find one Scripture to memorize which can arm you when you don’t feel like full commitment to your spouse.
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