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Dory's Dream - Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Larson Stables

Near Prescott, Arizona Territory

February 14, 1894


Midnight. As I shrugged my coat over my nightgown, sorrow overwhelmed my soul. I stuffed my feet in my boots. Then I grabbed an extra blank and the lantern before I opened the door.

The sharp night air bit through my long coat, stinging my legs. Perhaps I should have taken the time to change. I had plenty of it since I was alone tonight.

My sweet older sisters had found the loves of their lives. Caty with her woodworking husband, Josiah. Three children now boasted their love. Penny finally reconnected with her love, Nathan. They married and moved away seven months ago, leaving a broken-hearted Greyson and a hopeful me behind.

Seven months had done little to change my feelings for Greyson. I fell more in love with him every day. And every day it appeared he might never notice me.

As I squared my shoulders, I set the blanket on a chair on the porch. Then I lit the lantern. For a few seconds, I considered sitting in the rocker instead of walking to the dock.

Unfortunately, the porch roof obscured my vision of the stars. I sighed, picked up the blanket, and trudged forward as a thin layer of snow crunched beneath my boots. When I glanced up at the sky, not a cloud marred the spectacular view of God’s majestic starry night. I took a deep breath and stepped on to the dock.

As I let the air release from my lungs ever so slowly, I saw the fog it created in the dim light of the lantern. I strode to the end of the pier. Then I set the lantern down and shook out the blanket, settling it on the frigid wood planks. I eased myself down on the warm wool covering, leaned back, and wrapped it over my chilled legs.

Lord, I know you want me to remember you and desire you above all else. Tonight I release to you the deepest desire of my heart: Greyson. He’s everything I want in a husband. Yet, he does not notice me.

“I confess,” I whispered into the frosty night air. The stars sparkled overhead like many nights before, nights where my sisters bared their souls to me and I to them. “I confess, Lord, that I’ve allowed my mind and heart to focus too much on Greyson. He is just like Papa, the dream You implanted in my heart as a young girl.”

“But I think about him too much. Lord, I want your name and remembrance to be the focus of my soul. I want to trust in you. I know you have a man in mind for me. Perhaps it is Greyson. Perhaps it is not.”

My heart snagged on the admission. I knew I must let Greyson go. I must submit my heart to God first and trust in Him alone. A tear slid down my cheek and I wiped it away.

“I release Greyson Hastings to You. My love for you, God, should take the first place in my heart again. Let me serve You. Let the labor of my hands please You.”

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. As I exhaled the icy air from my lungs, I released my dreams and desires to the God and Creator of my heart and of these beautiful, starry nights. Then I opened my eyes.

“Dory? What are you doing out here?”

As I yelped, I jumped to my feet and took a step backward. Losing my balance, I tumbled over the edge of the dock into the freezing water below.


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