This morning Becky and I are renewing our vows.
We’ve been pointing to this day for some time now.
What should we wear? What will we say?
I still remember the day we stood in the church and made a covenant before God.
“For better or worse, in sickness and health, till death do we part…”
I meant every one of those words. It was more than just a promise or a set or vows. It was a pledge before God to always be there for this woman with whom he had entrusted me.
God had given me an amazing gift. And he was trusting me with that gift for as long as I live. So it was a covenant that I made not just before God, but with God.
Just as my father-in-law had slipped me his youngest daughter’s hand during the ceremony, he had whispered, “No deposit, no return.”
Eighteen years ago I made a similar covenant with God. Only this time I wasn’t in a church, there was no audience to witness the moment, and there was no minister to preside at the ceremony.
I had held my newborn son in my arms for the first time, just moments after his birth. I had looked at his face with his eyes still shut. Trembling with a mixture of excitement, fear, delight, and awe, I had that night pledged to God that I would always be there for this gift that he was entrusting me with as well.
A new covenant was made that night. My God had chosen me specifically to be this child’s father. And what God had joined together let no man separate. I made a silent promise to God and thanked him for choosing me.
And so this morning, Becky and I will be renewing our vows. Not our marriage vows, mind you, but the vows we made to always take care of our son, “in sickness and health, for better or worse, till death do we part.” Today we will go to court and be declared conservators for our now adult disabled son.
A few weeks ago our son turned eighteen. He has profound special needs. His life has been marked by cerebral palsy, autism, epileptic seizures, and both mental and physical impairment.
He requires our 24/7 care and assistance with even the most basic functions. He is completely helpless outside of us. We have known for some time that he would be unable to ever live by himself or take care of himself.
Years ago, we dreaded the thought that he would never be able to be independent. We will never have grandchildren, we will never retire, and we never stop having to take care of our son.
But something happened over the years. Every day I fall deeper in love with my son. Every day I realize more and more the treasured gift God has given me in this young man and his dependence upon me.
I marvel at how God has used his life to be the essence of salt and light in an otherwise dark world. There are times I have despised this walk, hated this walk, and cursed this walk. I have raged at God, shook my fists at God, and denied he even cared or ever existed.
But every time I look at my son’s twisted feet, I am reminded of God’s greatest gift- his own Son with his own twisted feet nailed to a cross.
So this morning, in front of a judge in a crowded courtroom, Becky and I will swear before God and men as we are named Conservators for our now adult son.
Some will say its just a court proceeding. Some will say it’s just a legal document a parent of a disabled adult child needs.
But to us it’s so much more.
For us it’s a chance to renew a vow before God and to reestablish our covenant, that we will always provide for, always take care of, and always, till death do we part, be there for our special needs son.
“No deposit, no return”