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She thought as her bridesmaids did the finishing touches on her makeup. It was Lillian's wedding day, and just now, as her father was about to walk her down the aisle, she started fretting.
Of course we will, me and Richard are meant for each other.
There was a knock on the door and Lillian's father came into the room. Lillian twirled around in her flowing white dress and smiled.
Her father smiled and took her hand. "You look positively... amazing, my dear little girl." Her father looked at her and beamed, love overflowing from his eyes bright green eyes. "Give your old dad one last hug before your groom takes you off in his loving arms."
Lillian half jogged half walked to her father and leapt into his outstretched arms. "I love you, dad" She said. A tear rolled down her cheek and she backed away.
Her father looked at her and smiled again. "Come now dear, don't ruin your lovely dress. I want Richard to see you in your full bloom my sweet Lily." He brushed a curl of hair that had fallen loose back and led her out the door.
What if he looses his love for me? What if I stop loving him?
Lillian took a deep breath and forced a smile. She watched as her first bridesmaid walked through the doorway and down the aisle.
What if he finds out about my past?
The second bridesmaid went through the doorway. Lillian's breath started becoming labored and heavy.
What if he doesn't love our children? What if he leaves me?
The third bridesmaid walk through the doorway. Lillian started perspiring.
How can Richard love me? I'm not worthy of his affection.
Finally, the flower girl went through the doorway. Lillian wanted to turn back, but how could she? Then, the music started playing, everyone in the congregation stood up and looked towards the French doors.
"Here we go." Whispered Lillian's father with a smile.
The doors were opened. Lillian forced a smile and slowly started walking.
I can't possibly do this! Richard will find out, he won't love me anymore! He'll just think of me as some foolish wretch!
She looked and saw her groom on the stage. He beamed with joy and happiness. He looked at his bride with love and adoration.
Lillian stopped. "I can't do this dad" She said under her breath.
"uhh... what is it darling?" Her father said, nervously.
Lillian looked up, her father's face portrayed confusion and urgency. She looked at her husband-to-be, his smile was gone, instead he looked unsure of what to do. His eyes didn't sparkle, instead, they questioned. Lillian looked all around her, every was wondering what was happening, the music had stopped, they all expected her to continue walking.
Instead, she ran, she ran out of the chapel, across the cathedral's grand entrance, through hallways and through two wooden doors into another chapel. She fell to the floor at the altar and started sobbing uncontrollably. Tear rolling down her face and onto her dress, her hair was mangled and her makeup was ruined.
At that moment one of the priests walked in and was surprised to see the sobbing mess of hair and dress on the floor.
"My dear Lillian!" He said and rushed to her side. "What are you doing here? You're wedding is today my dear!"
Lillian spoke through her sobs. "I am sorry father Thomas, please forgive me!"
Father Thomas helped her up and sat her down on a pew. "What is wrong dear child?"
Lillian sniffled. "I cannot marry Richard."
"But, why not? He loves you, Lillian, he will care for you, and hold you tight in his arms."
Lillian looked at his face. He was being genuine, his words were that of truth. "I am not so sure father" She sighed. "What if he found out of all the other unfaithful men before him? those who only loved me for my body? How could he love me knowing that I have not kept myself pure and holy for him? What if he just thinks of me as some unholy piece of flesh?" She looked at father Thomas with pleading.
Father Thomas gave her a hug. "Dear child of God," He smiled. "Richard is a Godly young man. He may find out about those other men. But he will love you no matter how many blemishes you might hold. Most of all though Lillian," He looked her in the eyes. "The Lord God loves you. You can may have sinned against Richard a thousand times over, but the Lord Jesus loves you. He will never stop overflowing His love and mercy unto you. Even if others stop, He will never stop." Father Thomas spoke with passion and sincerity.
Just as Lillian was about to reply, the doors burst open and there stood Richard, gasping for breath. His suit was wrinkled, his hair was no longer combed back but instead had a windswept look, and his face was that of worry.
Lillian got up and smoothed her dress. Holding back more tears that had sprung up. "Richard... I, I don't..." She hung her head.
Richard walked up to her and wrapped his arms around her. She sobbed uncontrollably and hugged him back. Father Thomas smiled at the pair, nodded at Richard, and quietly left through a side door.
Lillian looked up at Richard. "Richard, I am so sorry, I didn't-"
"Hush, my dear bride." Richard smiled and put a finger to her mouth. "I love you Lillian, I always will."
"Oh but Richard, I must tell you," She took a deep breath. "There were other people, before you, men who used me and, and..." She put her face into his suit and sobbed even more.
Richard hugged her tighter. "I still love you Lillian." He let go of her and looked her in the eyes. "I will always, love you. No matter what you may have done, I love you."
Immediately Lillian's feelings of remorse and shame were replaced with Joy. "Oh Richard!" She embraced him with all her heart. "I love you too."
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