Chapter 1 (continued)
You can click here to read the 1st part of Chapter 1. In the future, I’m just going to post whole chapters, even if it does make for a LONG read.
Thomas walked into the kitchen to find his wife, Aubrey, seated in the breakfast nook. In their 35 years of marriage, he known that he’d find her with a bible propped open on the table before her, a cup of steaming coffee at her elbow, and her eyes closed as she was lost in prayer. He absently brushed a hand over her rich, mahogany hair before going to the counter to pour his own mug of coffee. He leaned against the counter and watched his wife over the top of his mug; it never ceased to amaze him that Aubrey had agreed to spend her life with him. Oh, he knew she wasn’t without faults, but watching her in this way, knowing that she was bringing her concerns to their Lord morning after morning, well, it was a huge motivation for him to do the same. She was an amazing woman.
As if sensing his thoughts, Aubrey lifted her face and her striking blue eyes met his gray ones. She smiled contentedly, raised her arms in a stretch, and rose from the table. Thomas watched as she closed her bible, her journal, and then placed them on the top shelf of the pantry. Aubrey was a creature of habit, something she’d adamantly deny. Every morning was the same, like clockwork. Just like Thomas knew that her next move was to stand beside him at the counter to discuss their plans for the day. She leaned in and settled into the crook of his arm, the place that he always felt had been designed just for her. He brushed his lips against her forehead and he gave her a squeeze. He remained silent, knowing that something was on her mind.
She turned to the sink and rinsed out her empty mug. The view of the bright blue sky above her kitchen sink drew her attention. There was still a good seven inches of snow on the ground but the forecasters were calling for temps in the mid-fifties. In the middle of February, those numbers were unheard of and it was predicted that records would be broken today. She knew she’d wander outside some time today; maybe for a walk to enjoy the conflicting sensations of cold under her feet and the warm air on her face.
She turned back to her husband and the problem that was clouding her mind. “I’m worried about Abby,” she said. Thomas nodded, willing her to continue.
“Something’s wrong with her, Tommy. I just know it; I feel it. I was praying this morning, and God laid her so heavily on my heart. I don’t know what I’m praying for; I just know that she’s not doing well.” She sighed. She knew that God had given her a gift of prophecy; a gift that she’d honed and mastered at God’s hands. She was never able to predict the future, she just experienced feelings and time had taught her to pay attention to them. While she knew that she could count on God to bring her middle daughter through whatever valley she was traveling, she worried nonetheless. Such was the plight of a mother.
Thomas reached for Aubrey and pulled her into a close hug. “Aubrey, I know. I see the haunted look in her eyes, as you do. I feel like she’s barely treading water right now.” When Aubrey started to pull back, Thomas pulled her even closer. “Abigail was always our private one, the one who held things close to her chest. Let’s trust that she’ll turn to God and Kyle for whatever she needs and in the mean time, you and I can be on our knees for her.” He paused. “Do you want to pray now?” he asked.
When Aubrey nodded her head against her chest, Thomas led them into communion with God. Aubrey felt the weight lift from her heart; never did she feel closest to Thomas than when they went to God together. She listened to the soothing cadence of his words, nodding in agreement with him on trusting the Lord with their daughter. At the end of it, they both whispered “Amen” and ended it with a squeeze, as though offering one another strength.
Turning back to the day at hand and with a twinkle in her eyes, Aubrey teased Thomas, “Come on old man, take me for a drive.” It was a past time that they’d often enjoyed together; driving on a clear day, allowing themselves to get lost on the back country roads. She gave a sassy smile, one that transformed her into the young girl he’d fallen in love with, and with swaying hips, she left the kitchen; the keys to the convertible in her hands.
He looked after her, chuckling to himself. She was a riot, that woman of his, and so much fun. The smile fell from his face as a troubled feeling settled in his stomach. This feeling had been around for days, weeks if he were to be completely honest with himself. He knew God was preparing him for something, of what, he didn’t know. He pulled back his shoulders, as if to brace himself from whatever may come his way. It was no use dwelling or guessing what it might be, whatever it was, he would handle it with God’s help and with Aubrey by his side. They’d been through trying times in the past, and they’d gotten through them together. Why should the future be any different?
“I’m waiting,” she called to him from the garage.
He moved from the counter, grabbed his driving cap, and knew he’d have to fight Aubrey for driving rights. It was going to be a gorgeous day.