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TITLE: Kingdomstory: The Bride
By Rachel Stone

From the time she was only a baby girl she knew one day she would be a Princess Bride the chosen one of the King for his son. She had dreamed of the day in a thousand different ways.

When the King called she knew the time had come. “You are becoming a woman full of beauty and grace.” The King smiled kindly. “Now is the time to begin preparations for your wedding day. The Prince is ready to receive His Bride.”

She could hear the giggles of her friends beside her. “We will make her ready O King!” They announced with excitement as they pulled her away from His presence.

Her friends were wild, much wilder than she. Their preparations included days and nights of parties and fun. The dress they brought her was dark and revealing, not the elegant white she had imagined in her dreams.

When at last she stood before the King he was displeased. “Is this my daughter, the one I sought out and raised to be the Princess Bride of my Kingdom? You are made up and dressed so that I would not even recognize you. And it is you that I chose.”

The Bride understood His loving rebuke and returned to her chambers alone. That night she dreamed again of her wedding day but awoke ashamed for she stood before the Prince with no clothes on at all.

“I must make my own dress.” determined the Bride. She began searching the land for the best silks and satins and laces. The princess spent hours sewing the finest detail until the dress far surpassed her greatest imaginings.

The Bride-to-be could not wait to appear again before the King. This time she was sure he would declare her ready and soon she would marry the Prince.

“Your dress is certainly beautiful,” said the King. But the Princess could see something of disappointment and sadness in his eyes. “But will it withstand the test of time and trial you must face on your journey?”

“Journey?” she asked.

“Your journey to find my son, the Prince.” He replied. “It is time, for He is waiting on the Mountain, longing to behold your beauty. This journey will test your love and devotion. You must leave now and go alone.”

With cheers and well wishes the King’s entire court escorted the lovely bride in her glorious white gown all the way to the city gate. As they reached the path to the Mountain they bid her farewell and each returned to their own homes, leaving her to walk the path alone to her desired husband.

The path up the Mountian was easy in the beginning. She took her time, walking carefully not to tear her dress on the rocks or snag it on some brush. Each step was placed with care and she held up the skirt so it would not be touched by the dusty earth beneath her feet.

The climb was slow, but still the day was getting hot and the Princess Bride knew that without shade her beautifully mastered make-up would be perspired away. Maybe she should stop.

Then she thought of Him waiting for her, and in one moment her desire to be with the Prince became greater than her concern for the dress. The climb became harder and steeper with each step. Until there was no more path and she was forced to push her self up one foothold at a time.

Night fell but there was no place or time to rest. She could not keep Him waiting. As the new day dawned she made it to the peak and lifted herself to the mountain top.

He was there in the distance. He turned toward her meeting her gaze with his eyes. This was the moment she had dreamed for so long. She stood and looked down seeing the dress dirty and torn. She touched her face as tears began to sting her eyes. Her hands were covered in dirt.

The Bride could see her appearance clearly in her mind. How she must look with the black make-up running down her dirt stained face. She pulled at a lock of her once perfect hair now brown and stringed with mud.

As her head hung in shame the Prince made His way to her and lifted her face in His hands. Her breath was taken in surprise. Where she expected to see condemnation and disappointment there was absolutely none. In his eyes was only the purest of love and joy for his Bride, as if she stood before Him in every bit of the glory she possessed when she began this journey up the mountain.

The King’s Son picked up His Bride and carried her down a path she did not know. On this side of the Mountain was a river and beautiful waterfall. “The River is called Grace and the Waterfall Mercy.” He spoke tenderly as He placed her in the water. He left her to bathe and behind the waterfall she found a simple white robe with no seams.

She came out feeling as clean and pure as she ever had. Knowing she was safe in His love.

He was there waiting and carried her again, over the mountain and through the gates of the city. The King had made ready the wedding feast and never had the Bride seen such joy and celebration.

“Your beauty is a thing to behold,” Said the King. “I have chosen well for my son. Your love will be unfailing.”

The people cheered as the Bride fell on her knees before the King and a crown was placed on her head. Today the Prince was betrothed to His Bride who had made herself ready and set her heart to find Him even through great hardship.

“There were many others before you.” The Prince spoke in admiration, gratefulness shone on his face. “But all turned back finding the journey too long and hard. All except you my Beloved.” He said as they embraced.

“All that is mine now belongs to you. Ask and I will hold nothing back. This day, my Bride, I give you myself and I give you my Kingdom.”

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