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Chapter Ten
Good Things Come In Threes

"The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance... Thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage."
~ Psalm 16:5, 6 ~

The next morning, Abby awoke to the sound of her parents' car leaving for some destination. Sleepily, she turned over in bed and got comfortable once more. Some time later, it gradually occurred to her that they had been on their way to church. In a cry of dismay, Abby jumped out of bed and got dressed.

"Jake!" she called, quickly walking down the hall and knocking on his bedroom door. "Jake! Get up! We're late for church!"

"I'm ready," said a voice from the living room.

Following the direction of the voice, Abby found Jake sitting on the couch, dressed for church.

"How long have you been up?" asked Abby in surprise.

"A few hours," he shrugged, closing his Bible.

"Why didn't you wake me up?" she demanded.

"I didn't know if I should," he hesitated a little awkwardly.

Abby looked at the time and groaned. By now, they were an hour late.

"Do you know what they're going to think?" asked Abby. "We're late for morning service, two days after our wedding night."

Suddenly, Jake understood. Abby saw his face turn red with embarrassment.

"My parents are going to tell everyone that we're married in name only," she said, getting her Bible, "but we sure aren't helping any. Come on, let's go."

A warm June sun shone overhead, as the jeep made its way down the road to church. Abby dreaded the looks they were going to get. She could tell from Jake's demeanor, that he was thinking the same thing.

By the time they reached the church parking lot, everyone had already gone inside. Abby found an empty space and parked the jeep. For a moment, Jake wanted to run away, but he braced himself and followed Abby into the large building. She found two seats at the back of the church and sat down, while they both tried to brave the glances and whispers that ensued.

It was difficult for her to pay attention to the sermon, for Abby was becoming very aware of the level of interest that her marriage had generated. For many, this morning was the first they had ever heard of any wedding, and many had been surprised, and even shocked, by Abby's choice of husband. The majority still considered Jake as a stranger; they had felt sorry for him because of his previous history, but since they didn't really know him, few were ready to trust Jake without reservation. Suddenly, Abby was aware that the minister had just said her name.

"And lastly," said the pastor, "I want to extend our very warm wishes and congratulations to the Johannes family, on the marriage of their daughter Abigail, to newcomer, Jake Murphy. We share in their happiness and ask God to bless their union with His love and grace. Let us pray."

Everyone bowed their heads while the minister prayed a blessing on Jake and Abby. The young woman took a peek at Jake, who was sitting beside her with his head bowed. She could see the strain on his face from being called attention to, though he was weathering it courageously.

continued on next page...
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