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NOTE TO NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIBERS: the link I sent you is CORRECT. The text in the body of the email was from Chapter Six. Sorry! Just for you, I'm going to post Chapter Six today. See below Chapter Five...
“You were quiet at dinner,” Rachel said with compassion as they walked from the restaurant back to his apartment. Jacob still wasn’t confident with his ability to find his way around the resort, and Rachel had offered to walk him home.
“Thank you again for the lovely meal.” Jacob cleared his throat, not wanting to admit the reasons he’d been silent.
“Oh, yeah, I slaved over a menu to help you pick out the finest ingredients for the chef to cook to your liking.”
“The Kübül lebeniye was delicious and authentic.”
“I will give the chef your compliments.” Rachel nodded with a soft smile. “I hope you know I was teasing about not wanting to marry you.”
“I realize God is asking a lot of one woman to be willing to sacrifice so many years of her life to bearing children.” Something in Jacob’s statement made him pause. What was God asking?
He decided to take some time on his knees before bed. There had been too many divergent thoughts since he’d last prayed out loud while in the car. He needed peace and time for contemplation to be able to hear the whisperings of the Spirit.
“Marriage and having children are kind of personal choices,” Rachel said. “That’s not something we have to decide on the day we meet.”
Jacob wasn’t sure how to answer Rachel. As far as he was concerned, those decisions had little to do with his own personal choices and more to do with his faith in following promptings from God.
“Of course, what do I know?” Rachel chuckle-snorted. “I won’t have a choice anyway. My father will choose my husband. If you truly think you should marry me, you need to get in good with him.”
They had arrived at the door to Jacob’s apartment, and he turned to Rachel before taking out his key. “Do you not have a choice?”
She shrugged. “I mean, Father will probably take my desires into consideration, but… not really.” She lowered her gaze.
“I’m sorry to hear that.” Jacob lifted her chin with his finger. “Everyone should have the freedom to choose their own path.”
“That is not our culture,” Rachel said, vulnerability in her expression. “Isn’t that what you believe also? That God chooses your path.”
“No, my darling, I do not believe that.” Jacob’s tone was compassionate and sorrowful, wondering how he had gotten so bold as to call Rachel his darling. “God shows me the path and allows me to choose if I will follow. I learned when I was very young that when I follow God’s path, I prosper. And when I chose a different path—” He shrugged.
“Things didn’t go so well?” Rachel guessed, rhetorically. “How does that work? Do you literally see a path in front of you when you close your eyes? Or do you even have to close your eyes?”
“Some direction comes in the form of whisperings from the Spirit of God. Some promptings come from dreams, and some are literal visions before me as if there was a virtual-reality field overlaying my immediate surroundings.”
“That’s… really interesting.”
“You were going to say strange again, weren’t you?” Jacob teased her, lightening the mood.
“I want to try receiving directions from God,” Rachel said with complete seriousness. “How would I go about doing that?”
“Well, before I go to bed each night, I spend time on my knees just talking to God. I tell him all of my concerns, all of my joys, all of my appreciation for everything large and small, and I ask him for answers. Then sometimes I just sit there and wait to see or hear anything he wants me to know.”
“Do you always get an answer?”
Jacob knew what Rachel was really asking. She wondered if she would get an answer. From conversations with others, mostly his parents and grandfather, Jacob learned that most people didn’t receive the kind of clear messages that Jacob received. He tried to answer as honestly as he could to both her outward question and the underlying meaning. “If I wait long enough, an answer eventually comes.”
“I guess that makes sense.” Rachel nodded.
“Will you do me a favor?” Jacob asked. “Will you find me tomorrow and tell me about your experiences with tonight’s prayer?”
“Whether you experience nothing or everything, I want to hear details, okay?”
“Okay.” Her smile was soft as she took a step back. “I’ll let you get some rest. You’re probably exhausted.”
“Thank you.” Jacob leaned forward and kissed Rachel on her forehead, once again feeling a warmth from their connection. “See you tomorrow.”
He used his key to open the door and waved gently as he closed it, leaving the woman of his dreams standing outside his apartment. Before even removing his shoes, Jacob whispered a hushed prayer. “Thank you, God.”
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