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I was a blemished bride.

White was not reserved for me.

I was not pure.
I did not wait.
I felt unworthy.

Unworthy of a man who had chosen to wait.
Unworthy of a dress as white as snow.
Unworthy of the forgiveness offered to me.

My head hung low.
My heart ached with guilt. 

Then he said—
“I love you.”

I had not told him yet.
He did not know.

With tears streaming down my face, I unveiled my scarlet letter.

Afraid he would leave.
Afraid he would be disappointed.
Afraid he would take it back.

“I’m sorry”—uttered from my quivering lip.

After a pause, he looked at me.
His ocean blue eyes peered deep into my soul.

I wanted to hide, ashamed of everything I had ever done.

Afraid he hated what he saw.

Then he broke the silence—

“I forgive you. 
That isn’t the woman I know. 
I still love you.”

As my eyes met his, I felt as if I was peering into the eyes of God.

For he saw me with the eyes of the Father.

In his gaze, I felt the guilt melt away as the shame became unchained.

Forgiveness and grace washed over me, as my scarlet letter drifted away.

I looked up and saw victory right within my grasp.

Rebellion and remorse were no longer scars on my story.

Redemption and restoration made me whole.

I chose the white ball gown with a smile on my face. I wore the veil that glided gently down the aisle. I clutched the white lilies and looked ahead.

Even though my gown was not earned.
Even though white was not reserved for me.

I wore white on that day.
I wore white because the blood of Jesus washed my stains away. 
I wore white because I was forgiven.

And I stepped forward.
Completely redeemed.
A bride.
Without a stain.
Unblemished and whole.

Worthy.
Treasured.
Forgiven.
Loved.

My sister, you are not the sum of your mistakes.

Your scarlet letter does not determine your worth.
You are not chained to the mistakes in your past.

Your rebellion does not define you. 
Your shame is not your story.

Walk forward in redemption. 
Glide gracefully in your white. 
Look ahead, fully restored.

You are whole and worthy.
You are forgiven and treasured.
You are unblemished and loved.

“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” Song of Solomon 4:7

Originally published on Choosing Freelen

Arianna Freelen

Arianna is the wife of a rugged man and a mom of three little princesses. She is a photographer, professional furniture re-arranger, purger of all the things, Celine Dion karaoke queen, and Vanilla Dr. Pepper drinker. She loves to write about her Savior, her role as a wife and mother, and finds fulfillment with her arms full of those she loves most. You can learn more about her life at www.choosingfreelen.com and @choosingfreelen.

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