Tract – Love for a Lifetime (ESV)
Package of 25 tracts
By: Kim Carpenter
Kim and Krickitt Carpenter’s story is the inspiration behind the Hollywood film The Vow. This true story of tragedy, love lost, and then regained, serves as a touching illustration of God’s love for us.
LOVE FOR A LIFETIME
“Until death do us part” took on new significance for Kim Carpenter when he and his wife Krickitt experienced a major car accident just weeks after getting married.
Their story began in September 1992 when Kim, an assistant athletic director and baseball coach in New Mexico, called a California company to purchase team jackets. As Krickitt Pappas took his order, the two discovered they had much in common, including belief in Jesus Christ. Soon they were talking for hours a week. The next April they met in person. Two months later Kim proposed, and they married on September 18, 1993.
But less than ten weeks after the wedding, their vows of undying love and commitment were put to the ultimate test. While driving to see relatives for Thanksgiving, Krickitt swerved to miss a slow-moving vehicle and was broadsided by a truck. Their car flipped twice before landing upside down. Kim suffered multiple injuries, and the car’s roof collapsed around Krickitt and fractured her skull. She hung upside down for 70 minutes before rescuers freed her.
Initially, the doctors doubted Krickitt would survive, but the swelling in her brain began subsiding, and her dangerously low blood pressure began rising. Within ten days she was off life-support. When she awoke 21 days later, Kim discovered that his wife would never be the same. The brain trauma had erased all memory of the eighteen months prior to the accident!
An Unexpected Outcome!
During the first weeks of Krickitt’s neurological rehab, Kim was constantly by her side, encouraging her and trying to jog her memory with stories and photos. Unfortunately, Krickitt resented “that stranger” and told him that she hated him! So, with medical bills soaring, Kim returned to work. Many in his situation might have left to make a new start. After all, 90 percent of the bills belonged to a woman who didn’t know him and wanted nothing to do with him! But Kim had made a vow to Krickitt before God – “until death do us part.”
The former Krickitt was gone, replaced by one with new characteristics. So the couple began dating in hopes of reestablishing the emotional bonds that had developed early in their original relationship.
Thankfully, new love emerged! On May 25, 1996, they married again, exchanging new vows and rings. “Only one thing can surpass forever the painful events we have felt,” Kim told his bride. “That is the love I have for you.”
On May 3, 2000, with the birth of Danny James, the Carpenters became a family. LeeAnn Marie arrived three years later. The joy of their children constantly remind Kim and Krickitt that if they hadn’t weathered life’s storms, and if Kim hadn’t been faithful to his commitments, these wonderful little lives would have never existed!
But LeeAnn’s entry into the world did not come without near-tragedy. At seven weeks, in a moment of parental inattention, she fell and sustained a major head injury! Like her mother before her, she experienced bleeding on the brain and was airlifted to the hospital in critical condition. Thankfully, the bleeding stopped by the next morning. She recovered quickly, but it took her parents several weeks to get over what had happened!
The Carpenters have had some highly unusual challenges, and they also experience the usual ups and downs every couple does. But they know that the love they share – based on their commitment to Christ and to one another – can overcome all kinds of adversity.
You may admire the love the Carpenters have for each other, but you can experience an even greater love. It’s the love that God has for you. In the Bible, God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3). He has shown it through his actions: “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son [to die for us], that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
But our sins and disbelief separate us from God – “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Thankfully, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). God’s sinless Son willingly substituted himself for us, taking the punishment we deserve, so we can be forgiven by God and become his own children. Our sins created the barrier; God’s love removes it! And Jesus’ resurrection proves that his substitutionary death for us was accepted by God the Father!
We could respond to God like Krickitt initially did to her husband: “I don’t know you! Go back where you came from!” But just as Kim refused to give up and continued to love Krickitt, God loves us. He demonstrated it by creating a way for you to find forgiveness and have eternal life. All he asks is that you admit your sinful, condemned position before him and accept Christ’s death in your place.
Pages: 6 panels
Size: 3.5 x 5.38″
Bible Version: ESV
Publisher: Good News (2012)