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"I'm the blessed one," she responded. "You know, whenever I'm tempted to give up, I look at Jake, and remember the fight of afflictions that he's had to come through. It always makes me stronger. If he can keep moving forward-- still hanging on to God, and keeping faith with his Lord, even after all that he's suffered, then who am I to give up on God?"

"He sounds like quite a guy," said Tyler.

"He is," smiled Abby. "Whenever you feel up to it, drop by and visit us."

"I will," promised Tyler, giving his friend a parting hug. "Thanks for coming, Abby."

The young woman left, more hopeful than when she had come. Mrs. Greene and Harry met her downstairs, seemingly encouraged that Tyler had even agreed to speak with her.

"He's accepted so few visitors," lamented his mother.

After saying "hello" to Tyler, Harry dropped Abby off at her parents' home. The moment she walked through the front door, Jake immediately appeared from the kitchen, wearing Izumi's apron.

"Thanks for trusting me," said Abby, gratefully. "Tyler's struggling, but with God's grace, he'll make it."

"That's good," nodded Jake. He hesitated. "Do you still think I should go to college?" he wondered, for they had planned to tell her family that day. "What if I can't make it?"

"After all you've been through," Abby mused with a smile, "you're afraid of a measly college?"

"I never said I was afraid," argued Jake, sensing her playfulness.

"That's good," she laughed, "because I just finished telling Tyler what a brave guy I married!"

Jake grinned playfully, and kissed his wife. Just then, Terry walked in. By the time he noticed them, it was too late to pretend that he hadn't.

"Okay you two," he chuckled, "break it up! We have guests coming, shortly!"

Embarrassed, Jake quickly returned to the kitchen to resume work on the meal.

"Did you talk to Tyler?" inquired Terry, in a hushed voice.

"You don't have to whisper," said Abby. "Jake knows." Then she related the meeting with her old friend, while Terry listened sympathetically.

"I'm glad you had the opportunity to encourage him," sighed her uncle. "I'll be praying for him."

As John set up the dining table in the living room, Terry checked one more time on the main attraction still cooking in the oven.

"Whew!" exclaimed Terry, as Jake looked over his shoulder at the bird, "I think our turkey will just make it in time! I nearly messed that up!"

"There's a lot going on right now," admitted the young man, as he picked up a stack of china plates to take to the living room.

"You'd better let me carry that in," advised Terry, as he saw a flicker of pain register on Jake's face. "Save the heavy housework for me and John."

"I want to earn my paycheck," resisted Jake, as Terry did the task for him.

"Hey," smiled Terry, "you're not hired help-- you're family. We know you're doing your best."
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