This morning I officiated Wedding One Hundred and Fifty. Not a big deal, considering the majority of wedding officiants in San Diego have performed thousands of marriage ceremonies.
It is a big deal for me.
My career-life has been blessed. Travel agency owner (still in business! A1Voyages.com,) thesis coach, holistic health writer. Yet … there was always a sense of “this is nice, but it isn’t IT.” In March of 2012, I tossed this conundrum UP — “Hi God. If there is another direction you would like to take me, I am in rare form … open to Your direction.”
Less than three weeks from that chat, April 13, I woke up with a sense. That I was to be a minister. Looking up, ~ REALLY???
Hmmmm. I don’t think so. Me, in seminary? That’s pretty funny.
Yet. The Voice. A “pull” a “feeling.” I am dreading the prospect of seminary, — but if this is the direction meant for me, and after all, I did ask … I am ready. Okay Google, let’s find a school.
You would not believe what I discovered. You can be legally ordained online. For FREE. I called the San Diego County Marriage License office and asked if this was true. I learned that I can not only legally marry people in San Diego County, but pretty much anywhere in the United States.
No way. Or maybe yes way?
So I did it. 9:33 a.m., April 13, 2012, barefoot at my computer, I completed the online form and this is what popped up on the screen: ”Congratulations on your ordination Reverend Cindie Leonard.”
Rev C! Ha! (Irreverent Cindie would be more like it.)
Still not believing this to be real … and too shy/embarrassed to tell anyone … rather than trust and move forward, I decided to “test” the waters. I went straight to Craigslist and promoted my services.
Within five minutes I had a response from a panicked couple; “We are getting married in two days and our minister has the flu. Please help.” They offered me the job sight unseen.
Okey dokey. What now? In asking my couple if they had their vows ready to go, they said “no, just use your usual.” Glitch.
Between Google and YouTube, I came up with their ceremony.
I did not dare tell my patient saint of a husband what I was up to. Since we have been married, I changed careers three times (including getting a Master’s degree in Psychology with the ridiculous idea that I would make a good therapist.) I was resolute to not spill the beans until I was absolutely, indubitably positive that this new direction was a keeper. On the morning of my first wedding Jim asks me about my day. In a sort of hiccup, I blurted: “I am performing a wedding ceremony at the Hotel Del.” So much for that secret.
The look on his face was priceless. The ceremony was at 5 p.m. He asked if he could come. “Of course … only if you take pictures.”
So that was it. Smooth as molasses. Not a nervous cell in my body. The ceremony was pure joy and as easy as breathing. As Mihály Csíkszentmihályi would say … “In the flow.”
I knew. This is what I will do until I die. I will be the oldest wedding officiant on the face of the planet. Sheer bliss. I cannot imagine a better mission in life.