A searching man, a desperate widow; can they find love?
As Caleb struggles through some inner battles, he secretly starts a correspondence with a widow and her daughter. Their unabashed faith in God convicts him and increases his inner struggles, but he keeps writing anyway.
Unable to find a steady job, Maggie places an advertisement to become a mail-order bride. Her daughter, Rachel, is her motivation and encouragement, but if Maggie doesn’t find a job or husband soon, Rachel might not survive through the next year.
Can Caleb learn to trust God despite his past? Can Maggie and Rachel hold onto their faith despite all their trials? What will happen when they meet in person?
In This Series...
The day started out as usual. Rachel, Maggie, and Duncan ate their breakfast together and Maggie packed a lunch for her daughter and husband. Duncan and Rachel walked together until they reached the schoolyard where Duncan left her while he went to his job.
Everything was normal at school until just before lunch. The only thing slightly unusual was a feeling of something uncomfortable settling in the pit of Rachel’s stomach. She tried to shake it off as she recited her history and arithmetic lessons and read a portion in her reader while the younger classes took the attention of the teacher.
Just before noon, Pastor Crawford came in and asked to talk to Rachel alone. He stepped outside and waited for her. When she came out, she had a concerned look on her face and closed the door slowly.
Pastor Crawford sat on the bottom step of the schoolhouse and patted the step next to him. Rachel came and sat on the step above him.
Pastor Crawford cleared his throat and looked up at the girl. “Rachel, your father was hurt very badly this morning shortly after he got to work. Your mother asked me to bring you home right away. She isn’t sure he will live very long.”
Rachel’s eyes went wide. Her daddy was hurt and possibly dying? It couldn’t be true! Rachel searched Pastor Crawford’s face and she knew it had to be true. Without thinking about anything else, she jumped up and raced through the schoolyard and turned onto the boardwalk toward home without noticing the shout from the pastor telling her to wait for him.
Rachel ran all the way home until she got to the front door of her house. Then, and only then, did she stop. She was eight years old and had opened doors hundreds of times, but suddenly she couldn’t remember how to open one.
God help me! Rachel cried out in a silent prayer. She desperately searched her brain for some memory of this wooden barrier keeping her from her possibly dying daddy. As she tried to remember, it opened. Her mum stood on the other side, holding the door open and staring at Rachel with sightless eyes. Rachel stared back, unblinking. They stood that way for a full minute before Rachel slipped past her and went to the bedroom.
When she entered the room, she saw her daddy lying motionless on the large four-poster bed he had made as a wedding present for her mum. Rachel stood in the doorway thinking about how much she had always loved the bed, but today, it seemed to make her dad seem much too small. A sob caught in her throat and it must have been just enough to catch his attention. Duncan’s head turned her way and he crooked a finger, beckoning Rachel to come nearer.
Rachel’s feet glided forward without her telling them to. When she reached him, Duncan laid his left palm up on the bed and Rachel automatically put her right hand into his and he gave her hand a weak squeeze.
“Baby Girl,” he said in a hoarse voice. “Oh, Baby Girl, I’m so sorry. Remember, I’ve always loved you and always will.”
Rachel nodded as the tears that had been threatening started to stream down her cheeks.
“Trust in God. No matter what,” Duncan whispered. “No matter how hard it is, always trust in God.”
“Yes, Daddy, I will,” Rachel promised. Deep down, she knew she would. She knew she really would trust God. Somehow, some way.
Duncan’s eyes drifted closed and his grip on her hand relaxed.
Over the next two days, Maggie and Rachel stayed by his bedside. Duncan drifted in and out of sleep. The doctor could give them little hope. There was nothing he could do and nothing they could do except pray.
During one of the times Duncan was awake, he told them what had happened. He had been up on the roof of a house, putting planks over the roof beams, and lost his balance, falling straight to the ground. There was nothing to cushion his fall onto the wooden floor. The doctor said the fall had broken his back and he was lucky to be alive at all.
Before he died, Duncan talked to his two ladies. “God will take care of both of you.” He looked into Maggie’s face with a tender expression and stroked her disheveled hair before turning his eyes to Rachel. He put his hand in hers. “God will take care of you both.” When he finished, he quietly slipped from them and toward his Savior.
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