The Vow tells the true story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter. Only 10 weeks after their wedding they were in a car accident from which Krickitt awoke with no recollection of her husband, Kim. Despite that accident in the 1990s, the couple stayed committed to their wedding vows.
The Carpenters say the release of the book and movie established a platform for them to share their dramatic story with the world. Feedback from readers and viewers has been overwhelming.
"It's a blessing to see how the Lord has worked in people to open hearts," Kim said during a visit with his wife to LifeWay Christian Resources. "The real rewards are inspiring people to change. It has opened doors into the lives of people that we would not have been able to reach ... both Christians and non-Christians.
"Non-believers are inspired by the commitment and are rethinking their ways, curious about how the Lord can work in their lives. Christians are re-affirming their commitment and are now motivated to get out of a stagnant routine."
The Vow has been on The New York Times bestseller list for paperback nonfiction since its Valentine's weekend release.
Kim told of a bodyguard from one of the movie studios who approached him with tears in his eyes.
"This big, surly guy looked at me, nodded his head and said, 'I'm going to make things right with my wife,'" Kim said.
The Carpenters have been flooded with hundreds of similar stories coming from as far as Australia, New Zealand, Korea and Japan.
The positive response to the true story as told in the book has brought a demand for them to speak to churches, marriage enrichment groups and with other couples recovering from head injuries.
"We felt led to be open and accessible," Kim said. "If our story can better prepare relationships prior to marriage, help midlife marriages or couples teetering on separation or divorce, then that's what it's all about."
Said Krickitt, "A reporter once told us, 'The world needs this story.' But they don't need Kim and Krickitt; they need Jesus."
During her rehabilitation, Krickitt penned this simple prayer: "Lord, thank You for sparing our lives in the accident ... I ask that You would use us for Your glory." The Carpenters believe God has answered that prayer.
"The Lord," Kim said, "is in control of this story. To have a faith-based book No. 1 on the New York Times list for weeks shows that people are seeking in this day and age.
"We are very honored. It's humbling for us."
The movie is rated PG-13 and contains content some viewers may find objectionable. It's gotten mixed reviews among Christian websites, some of which say the film is stripped of its Christian content.
Jon D. Wilke is media relations manager for LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
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