Later, I met up with the dear women in my life and was spoiled with pampering, gifts, and a beautiful luncheon. The air was warm and bright for late December in Pennsylvania, and the evening was ushered in by the most spectacular sunset I've ever seen. It really was perfect.
Finally, finally, finally ... after years of back and forth, after trips to China and to Ireland, after break-ups and make-ups ... the wooden doors of my home church opened, and I saw my groom.
It was awesome.
A rendition of Bebo Norman's "Joy to the World" played by talented friends perfectly matched my mood as I floated down the aisle on my dad's arm, full of confidence and love.
And then, we were at the front. My dad was letting go. Mark was holding on. Songs were sung. Scripture was read. Prayers were offered up. Wisdom was imparted. Vows were exchanged.
I could not believe it was real!
Suddenly, it was over.
He kissed me, and I was given a new name. A name that signified I was now a part of his family. A part of him. His own.
From that day forward my wholeness involved another person, a person I had promised to love and be faithful to until the day one of us died.
It was all so serious, so final, so beautiful, so right.
It is still so right.
Lesson Learned: Married to Mark Ashbaugh is an excellent way to spend one's life!
Photo credit: Sweet Pea Photography