She woke up and slowly pulled herself to a sitting position. She looked around her surroundings and smiled. It was a humble little room to be sure, but it was hers.
She had moved in just yesterday and the thrill was still in her heart. Her own home! She was under nobody's authority - there was no one to tell her what she could or could not do. Her heart swelled with gratitude towards the Mayor of the city. It was to him she owed her gratitude for her own place.
She marveled at his generosity. All the young people in the town had their own little domains because of him. Whenever a young person became old enough to live on their own, the Mayor had a little meeting with them and they would come to an arrangement. In exchange for delivering messages to and from the city counsel, the Mayor would give them their own room in his special apartments.
It was the perfect plan.
As the weeks went on the young girl quickly fell into her new routine.
Breakfast at the Mayor's sumptuous table every morning, check to see if he had any messages for her to deliver, finish her tasks and then do whatever she pleased. The Mayor provided everything she needed to be comfortable and happy.
It was a good life.
Except for one thing.
There was a man that would stand on the street by the marketplace every day and try to talk with the messengers. He never tried to stop them from their job, but simply wanted to talk with them.
He was dirty, like he had traveled many miles. He was not particularly handsome and there was nothing charismatic or exciting about him.
But that wasn't the problem the girl had with him. It was his words she did not like. He tried to convince the Mayor's young messengers that their benefactor was not who they thought he was. The traveler told them that the Mayor was a trickster.
He did not have their good at heart.
In fact, he was evil.
And he was out to destroy them.
It made her laugh to hear the traveler talk. Did he really think she would believe him? As if! It was the Mayor, after all, who gave her everything she had. Her home and her meals came from him, as well as her entertainment, for he was always bringing in great entertainers for the amusement of the people.
The young girl took to slinging dirt and mud at the stranger, as well as insults, just like all the other young people did. The Mayor kept threatening to do away with the man and she wished he would.
He was a nuisance and a pain.
When the Mayor did take action against the stranger, she was right there with the crowd, hurling insults, curses and stones. As the man crumpled, lifeless, to the ground, she laughed.
The next day, her life was changed.
With the threat of the stranger gone, the Mayor revealed his true self. He called a meeting and informed all of his messenger that he was grateful for their loyalty in the past months, but it was time for them to know something.
They were not free as he had led them to believe - they were his slaves and they would never escape.
She didn't know she was a slave.
At first the girl resisted. But soon, beaten and sore, her spirit broke and she gave in. For her rebellion she was kicked out onto the streets, banned from the feasts, but still expected to carry messages. Many other menial tasks were also given to her and she felt alone and overwhelmed. She was trapped - trapped into a life she had chosen for herself because she was deceived by the sparkle of having her own home and being her own boss.
Now she had nothing.
And then, it happened. One day as she sat, begging by the gate, hoping for even the smallest morsel of food, he came back. The traveler. She knew him instantly, even though he looked nothing like he had when she had last seen him. He was alive. He was well dressed. He was riding a white charger. He was...a King.
Their eyes met and she knew that he knew her too. His eyes pierced her soul and she knew that he could read her heart. She wanted to run, but couldn't. And where would she go anyway? She knew the mayor would kill her someday - why not just die at the hands of the stranger?
And then the Mayor came out of his palace, angry and afraid. He quailed before the stranger, but glared at the girl.
"Get out of here. Now!"
She turned to run, hoping to avoid the blows, when the words stopped her.
She turned and stared.
Her tormentor glared at the stranger. "You know the cost of a soul."
"It has been paid. My life, for hers."
Chills ran down the girl's back. His life? His life? She had helped throw the stones of death, yet he was willing to buy her back from this evil fiend that ran her life? And, in her heart, she knew it was true. She knew he was true.
She was His.
She watched in amazement as he got off his horse and the Mayor scuttled back to his palace in fear, yelling curses as he went.
He walked up to her and wiped the mud off her face. He gave her a robe of the purest, most perfect white, with his regal mark on it. He put a crown of pure gold on her head.
He placed his hand on her shoulder and called her...
The daughter of the King.
Who is this young woman?
She is me - she is you.
It was my sin that Jesus chose to die for. His life in exchange for mine.
Let us never, never let His love and His sacrifice grow old in our eyes. <3 We live, only because of HIM!
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I am on a journey to know Jesus better, and be the wife, mommy and friend that God created me to be, all within the walls of my own little home. <3