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his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.’ ” Pastor Tom’s voice rang with passion and sent a shiver up her back.
“If you’re struggling today, ask yourself this question: ‘Am I honoring God and giving Him first place in my life?’ If the answer is no, then I suggest you spend some time with Him, straighten out your priorities, and get your life back on track.
“I know some of you may say, ‘Oh, Pastor, you don’t know all the trouble I’m facing in my life.’ You’re right. I don’t. But God does, and He is able to meet you right where you are and help you bring your life back in line with His Word and His purpose for you.” Pastor Tom scanned the sanctuary.
Allison felt his gaze settle on her.
“You may have some painful choices and decisions to make. Trust God. He has a plan, and He is able to carry you through, if you will humble yourself and give Him first place.”
His words pierced Allison’s heart. She hadn’t put God first or trusted Him to work out the problems with her business. She hadn’t prayed more than five minutes about it. Instead, she’d worried and spent her time scheming, trying to use Tyler’s friendship and free promotional help to get what she thought she needed.
Tears gathered in her eyes, and she bowed her head. Forgive me, Father. I’ve been so wrapped up in my problems that I haven't even asked what You want me to do. I’m asking now. Please lead me and show me Your plans for Sweet Something. And what should I do about Peter? Am I dating him because Tessa says I should, or because he's rich and he knows everyone who’s anyone in Princeton?
Am I using him, too, hoping his money and position will somehow improve my business? Those thoughts turned her stomach. What had happened to her? How had she gotten so far off track?
Peter leaned closer. “Everything all right?”
Allison slowly lifted her head and nodded. He patted her shoulder in a caring way, but it only made her feel worse. She closed her eyes and blew out a slow, deep breath. It was time she had an honest talk with Peter.
Two hours later, after an unbearably long lunch with Peter’s parents and sister, Allison felt even more certain about her decision. She led the way up her front steps and stopped to retrieve her keys from her purse. Peter held out his hand and offered to unlock the door for her. But she clutched the key tightly. “We need to talk.”
“I can come in for a few minutes, but I have to be back at the shop by three to meet a client.”
“What I have to say won’t take long.” She bit her lip, then looked up at him. “I’m sorry, Peter. I don’t want to lead you on. This just isn’t working.”
He frowned slightly. “What do you mean?”
“I can’t date you anymore. It wouldn’t be fair. We’re worlds apart, and you deserve someone who appreciates you for all the fine things about you and your life . . . but I’m just not that person.”
“I don’t understand. How can you say we’re worlds apart? We’ve both lived in Princeton all our lives. We both own businesses. We like theater, jazz, art museums, spending time with our families. What’s the problem?”
“We do have a lot in common, but there’s one important area of my life that I’ve been neglecting—and that’s my faith.”
His frown deepened. “But I’ve been attending your church for over six months, sitting through those sermons, learning the songs, and meeting all kinds of people I might never associate with.” He wrinkled his nose slightly. “Doesn’t that count? Isn’t that enough to show you I’m interested in religion?”
Her heart twisted. “If I’ve given you the impression that an interest in religion is what’s important to me, then I’m very sorry. My faith is based on a personal relationship with Jesus and a commitment to love Him and give Him first place in my life. Pastor Tom reminded me of that this morning in his message.”
She waited expectantly,