This content is part of a series.
Painted No More (8 of 8)
Series: Painted Window
This teaching download includes Chapters Fifteen, Sixteen and Seventeen of the Painted Windows book, as well as discussion questions and biblical study and application.
As the sun rose over the river, Elizabeth drew water for the day. She loved this time of day. The air was cool and the sun cast long shadows over the village. There was a slight bustle of activity as the townspeople began moving around. It always reminded her of being born; everything was new and fresh and one felt as if there really were such things as second, and sometimes third, chances.
Subconsciously, her mind moved to the very strange days she had just lived through. She'd gone from working as a washerwoman to a job in a mansion as a maid to being arrested, released, finding Millie, and being showered with gifts from the king, a king who had pledged his love for her! Her life had become one of the stories Mary liked to read to her, but Elizabeth knew all too well that these things were real. The trick was wrapping her mind around them.
Millie had slept restfully through the night, and Mary was up before dawn, as she always was, getting breakfast prepared. They had eaten together in silence, though Elizabeth could tell it was practically killing Mary not to bring up their conversation from the night before. She knew her friend was only trying to help, but Elizabeth was so very afraid.
That was it! She was afraid! She had been trying for the last couple of days to put her finger on exactly the emotion that permeated her very being, and now she could see it was fear. She stopped short as she was walking, contemplating this new revelation.
What was she afraid of? Certainly it wasn't King Reginald. He was the most wonderful man she had ever met. But suddenly, she knew; she was afraid that once he saw who she really was, if he really knew her, he'd come to his senses and realize she was not good enough for him. Of course, she knew that her past, at least as far as her prior employment was concerned, was a matter of public record. King Reginald was sure that no one who came was turned away, but a complete history was necessary in order to be considered a true member of Comdenshire.
It wasn't her past employment that bothered her so much, although she wished she'd made different choices in her younger years. What bothered Elizabeth, if she were being completely honest with herself, was the idea that King Reginald might know who she was, at her core, the filthy, low woman who could do the things she had done. If he knew those things, she was sure he'd run for his castle faster than his carriage could take him.
Yes, that was the issue, and it hurt more than Elizabeth expected to actually think about it so clearly. She could never be with the king, and that was that. Eventually she knew he'd figure that out as well ...
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