October 20, 2017

My Vows to Lisa Joy Cartee – Wedding Ceremony, May 2017

Lisa and I married on October 22, 2016 with a small gathering of close family and friends in Birmingham, Alabama. We also hosted a wedding celebration and exchange-of-vows ceremony, where we could invite a larger group of friends and extended family, on May 20, 2017. Some asked me to post my vows to Lisa online. Here they are for your viewing….

To those of you attending today, thank you for coming. Thank you for supporting and believing in this marriage.

For as long as my affections for Lisa have existed, she never, and I mean never gave up on me. Her persistence is one of her most captivating qualities. It was I, James L. Cartee, III, who wanted to let go. Lisa would not have it. She would not let go of who she called “her best friend.”

While one might say the boy wins over the girl, here in this story, the girl won over the boy. And that devotion would be the reason that my life changed forever!

In life, I often talk of things I should have done before my present age, such as obtaining a doctorate degree, which is definitely a self-destructive and negatively critical exercise. However recently these thoughts seem less and less. If anything in the timeline of my life had shifted a different direction, I would not have met the best part of my life – Lisa Joy Cartee. Things do indeed happen in God’s good timing.

That sometimes feels like where my real story began, the day I knew Lisa was the one. Of course, do remember how hard she fought for me. Any woman that fights that long and hard is one worth having.

Therefore I will thank God daily for His Grace, His Mercy, and His Willingness to bless me with Lisa. I have walked through the darkest of mental valleys where no light seemed present in a cave that never ended. As uncertain temptations clouded my mind, Lisa shined, sometimes as a lightning bug, sometimes as an oncoming train. She pulled me out of the darkness where eventually I embraced the light once again. One step, one day at a time, Lisa was the constant reminder of God’s eternal love. In the dimness of a perfect night storm at sea, Lisa was the lighthouse that brought my sinking sailboat back to shore.

Like my Cartee clan of support, Lisa serves as an example and driving force of why I continue on those down days. She gives me hope that everything will be okay. Lisa remains calm and courageous. She cares for the welfare of those suffering with compassion and never-ending patience. With both a beautiful spirit and figure, Lisa is my wife, my prayer partner, my best friend, and my teammate. With God by our side, we are unstoppable! We are champions destined for greatness and abundant blessings! Like Lisa fought for me in my most desperate hour, I love her, and I am here with her until the end of the line.

These were some of the photographs taken during the ceremony when we exchanged our vows. (***Special thanks to Brendon Pinola for his professional photography services.***)

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