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Chapter Thirty
The Secret That Isn't a Secret

"In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and His children shall have a place of refuge."
~ Proverbs 14:26 ~

July was a busy month for Abby and Jake, for at the beginning of August, the young couple was leaving Three Mile Bay so Jake could attend the San Diego Christian Fine Arts College in Southern California.

Since Jake was going to be a full time student, there would only be one income in the Murphy household. Because of this change in their finances, the family's budget would be a little tighter in California than it was here in New York State. Money was already in short supply, for with the birth of Ricky, AJ had found if necessary to use some of the college fund to pay for their son's hospital expenses. Even though Ricky had been a perfectly healthy baby, the bills still added up with alarmingly high sums. If it hadn't been for the Providence of God preparing the way for this small family, the move to California would have come into serious doubt.

But God was watching out for Jake and Abby, and the Providence of Dennis also being in San Diego was soon revealed to Abby as she looked over their finances. The pay increase that Dennis had promised as soon as she started at the "Bassin' the Weeds" main office in San Diego, was going to be a Godsend. Indeed, if it hadn't been for this pay raise, AJ would have dearly missed Jake's paycheck from her parents for his housecleaning job. All in all, Abby was reasonably confident that if they cut back on unnecessary expenses, Jake's college money could be repaid to his tuition fund in time for his last semester. Yes, things would be tight, but they could make it.

While Abby and Jake were thanking God for this blessing, the way for the move was helped even further by Dennis. Remembering that Jake couldn't drive, Dennis had found an extremely hard-to-get, small, two bedroom apartment within easy walking distance of the college campus. The close proximity of the apartment to the college made it a very desirable place for students, so ever since Dennis had learned of Abby's coming to San Diego, he had waited and watched for a vacancy. The very day one was available, Dennis quickly acted, and the apartment was secured for the Murphy family.

As the end of July approached, Abby and Jake began the difficult task of packing for the trip to California.

"I don't think we can take my aquarium with us," Abby remarked, as they started to place the things in her bedroom into cardboard boxes. Her heart sighed wistfully as the brightly colored fish darted about the glass walls of their pristine world.

While Abby may have been trying to resign herself to this inevitability, Jake wasn't, and put up a fight.

"No," he protested, "I don't want to leave it behind."

"It's going to take a lot of precious space in that small apartment," she warned him.

"I don't care," resisted Jake, who loved that aquarium almost as much as she did. "Give the fish away and we'll take the rest of it to San Diego. I really want to keep it in our bedroom."

"Okay," she replied, secretly glad that Jake had been able to talk her out of it. The fact that he had referred to "our bedroom," however, brought up another source of concern for Abby. "Are you sure you want to share the same room with me in California?" she wondered, for ever since Dennis had told them there were two bedrooms, Abby had wondered if Jake shouldn't save a room for himself, in case he needed to get away from her.

"That will be Ricky's bedroom," he insisted, loading an empty box with Abby's fishing magazines. "Couldn't we throw away some of this stuff?" he wondered, noticing that many were several years old.

"I need those," replied Abby. Jake shrugged and continued to stack them into the box. "Ricky sleeps with us," she continued, "so he doesn't need a room of his own."

continued on next page...
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