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Jake clasped her hand between his and closed his eyes.

"Dear Heavenly Father," he began, starting his prayer the way he had always heard John do, "you know I've been praying for my sweet Abby, and asking You to give her courage for this big move ahead of us. She's a lot stronger than she thinks, and I've relied on that strength many times in the past.

"Even though Abby's the most courageous woman I've ever known," continued Jake, "she needs even more of Your strength. Lord, go before her, and be with her; don't let Your mercy fail her, and never let it be said that You ever forsook her. Abby knows that You promise all this and more from the Bible [Deuteronomy 31:8], but cause her to know it in her heart, as well.

"Lord, while the rest of the world may marvel and wonder at the confidence of Your children," finished the young man, "we know why we have so much cause to hope. You are the secret that isn't a secret."

Comforted, Abby snuggled closer to Jake in bed.

"I feel much better now," she whispered.

"I'm so glad," he sighed lovingly. "It's good to know that I can return a little of the strength you've given me this past year. I was afraid that I would only take, and never give you anything in return. Thanks for needing me, Abby. Even if it's only just a little."

"I need you more than 'just a little,'" she smiled.

The next day, Terry arrived with Lizzie in his arms, to see how their packing was coming along. The small girl cried with glee when she saw Jake coming towards them.

"That's a lot to haul to California," sighed Terry, looking over the cardboard jungle stacked in their living room. "Are you sure you can fit all that into the rented moving trailer?"

"Abby says we can," shrugged Jake, smiling at his little sister-in-law. "She's going to be the one doing all the driving, so I just do what I'm told."

"I'm glad you have my pickup," mused Terry, as Lizzie grabbed the sleeve of Jake's shirt and insisted that she get some of his attention. "I feel better knowing that you and Abby have a solid and dependable vehicle for this trip. San Diego's a long way from here."

Giving in to Lizzie's clamor, Terry offered the little girl to her big brother.

"I sure am going to miss you guys," said Terry, his voice breaking a little. "August can't come slowly enough, as far as I'm concerned."

Sensing weakness in his own voice, Jake struggled to change the subject. But no matter how hard he tried, his heart kept repeating the same words over and over again-- good-bye. How could he utter those words to Abby's family when it was time to leave?

Abby's family. They had become more dear to Jake than any other group he had ever known. And he was leaving them. Jake forced a smile down at Lizzie and tried to pay attention to whatever it was that Terry was saying. As Jake stood there with baby Lizzie in his arms, his heart began to ache.

"Hi, Uncle Terry!" greeted Abby, coming into the living room with Ricky.

"Let me see my little nephew," laughed Terry, lifting the child and gazing into two large brown eyes. "If you need a babysitter before you go, I'd love to look after him."

"Do you want to take Ricky for awhile?" offered Abby. "I just fed and changed him."
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