I mean what I say when I say, “I Do”

Today I was getting married!

After 6 months of planning, we’d finally be able to enjoy all the work that went into this one day.

When I woke up I thought, this is the last time I’ll ever be sleeping alone in a bed! I would now get to go to bed next to my husband and wake up next to him every morning. How cool is that?

I’m not the type of woman who ever thought I needed to live with my boyfriend to “test the waters” before getting married. Why would I give a marital privilege to a guy who was only committed to me at a boyfriend level?

If you’ve been following my story, you know that one of the challenges in our relationship was that Steve became dad out of wedlock. I firmly believe that children are a blessing regardless of how they arrive, but that posed a major challenge in our relationship.

Part of the reason was, I had been disciplined my whole life with my standards as they related to sex. In dating I had the mentality of why do you think you should get to date me? Of course this wasn’t in an arrogant way, but if I was going to give every single part of my being to someone, you better believe I wanted to be with someone who valued my conviction in these matters.

In all honesty, Steve hadn’t lived his life in the same way. I know that a major part of this was because of how he was raised. He wasn’t raised in a Christian home where these values were taught, modeled or emphasized. Some people live their life in the manner in which they were taught because they think that’s the norm and they don’t know any different. If you grow up in a home where you’re not taught about boundaries, expectations and why they’re important, you’re probably not used to thinking in such a way because it’s normal to do whatever you want in your life and relationships.

I had dated a guy once who called me a unicorn. I laughed when he called me this because I didn’t get it at first. He said, “You know, you’re the girl every guy has heard about but no guy has ever actually met.”

I liked that. I’m a unicorn! That was a major compliment to me. Being disciplined and being a woman of character was worth it in every way. There are still women out there who have high standards, that won’t settle, that love Jesus and that value guys who do the same. I promise it’s worth it to stay true to yourself and your beliefs!

At the same time, just because you’ve had a past you’re not proud of, that doesn’t mean that Jesus won’t redeem you from previous mistakes. Lord knows I’ve done plenty of other things I’m not proud of. Thankfully Jesus forgives this imperfect woman every. single. time. He’ll always do the same for you.

He can take our biggest mess-ups, failures and lapses in judgment to shape our character and mold us into what He wants us to be. Yes, it’s true, some times we have to learn the hard way. We can face, what seems to be devastating consequences, but with God’s strength, we can come out on the other side stronger than ever.

My girls and I met at the church early that morning. My mom did my hair for my wedding. If you remember she’s a cosmetologist, so you better believe I wanted her to do the most important updo in my life!  I was the first child to get married in our family. Between my brother, sister and I, we had a bet going. We called it the race to the alter and the first one to get there would get $100 from each sibling.

Now I’m not saying I sped up this process to claim my $200, but I had to laugh when claiming my prize during the speeches at our reception because this former commitment phobe won!   It was just a funny little bet between us and of course they thought this runaway bride was far from getting hitched, little did they know they’d have to pay up!

We got married on a chilly Friday in November. I was relaxed about the whole thing. I didn’t care if things didn’t turn out perfectly because all that mattered was that I was marrying my best friend.

We took our wedding pictures before our guests arrived.

It was time for the wedding to start. Our wedding party lined up in preparation for the processional.

I was excited, but I was a wreck! I had envisioned this moment when I’d see my man, my forever, my husband looking back at me as I walked down the isle.

As I mentioned in the previous post, music is something I’m passionate about. The song I was walking in to was called “Make us One” by Cindy Morgan and boy was it a powerful one! One of my best friends, Carie, who was part of our wedding party walked down the isle to that song at her wedding. It was perfect.

It’s the type of song that builds and crescendos perfectly. We timed it just right for the doors of the sanctuary to open, revealing me in my wedding dress as I made my walk down the isle. My family and I listened to that song so many times together before our wedding day and every single time we couldn’t listen to it with dry eyes.

It was time for my dad to walk me down the isle. We hugged, I kissed him on the cheek and tears began to pour down my face. If one didn’t know better, you’d think I was sad about the whole thing because I had the ugly cry going on. That crescendo got me every time I heard that song. All the events of my life led up to this one moment in time. I was in awe reflecting on how God’s divine hand was all over my life and Steve’s too. He had orchestrated things perfectly so our paths would cross and we’d come into each other’s lives at the most opportune time. He needed me and I needed him. Wow. Thank you God!

Making a life-long commitment to get married is no small thing. Today we vowed to love each other forever. “For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health till death do us part.”

And then our Pastor said, “You may kiss your bride! Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Steve Toms.”

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2 comments

  1. I think we did a wounder full job raising our son, look you fell in love with him, the way he was raised was the why he was who he was, loved by so many people, if anyone thinks they can do better then Steven Toms let me no……VERY PROUD. LISA TOMS, HIS MOTHER.

  2. deloresfaye03 Jun 2015

    Beautiful post and video Ash! Thank you for sharing.. <3 You are an inspiration to so many!

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