I can remember so vividly the day my daddy walked me down the aisle. The weather was bad that day, and I can remember crying when he told me that we wouldn't be able to go to the salon to get my pedicure done. Daddy couldn't stand to see me crying, and decided to brave the snowy and icy streets to make his daughter smile.
Just a few hours later, I stood in the back of the church all dressed in white. A long veil covered my face, and my freshly painted toes were peeking out from under yards and yards of soft white fabric. The pews were full of loved ones, and my daddy took my arm.
"It's not too late to back out," he said. "Are you sure you want to do this? I won't be mad if you change your mind."
I laughed nervously. Of course I was sure. My mind was made up, and nothing could have held me back. Afterall, the church was full, the decorations were beautiful, the music was playing, the bags were packed. Yes. I was sure.
He patted my arm and kissed my cheek and told me he loved me. And then he stepped forward to give his baby girl away.
It's been nine years since that moment. Nine years, (almost ) five kids, six houses, four states, eight churches... So many changes, so much life lived, so much innocence lost, so many heartaches and tears, so many new beginnings, empty promises, unfulfilled hopes and dreams...
Hope. Hope given by the One who can renew lives. The One who can restore relationships. The One who can heal hurts and change hearts and fix brokenness.
This man I thought I was marrying... This man who captured my heart so many years ago... He is truly my best friend. God is doing amazing things in his life, and consequently in mine as well. Before my eyes, our relationship has changed from one of regrets to one of hope.
Nine years have come and gone. I can't wait to see what is in store for the next nine.