My brethren, count it all joy when you fall
into various trials, knowing that the testing
of your faith produces patience.
What do you do when your life goes ahead and your heart stays behind to the love you meant to stay? When I look into my son's eyes I still see his father. As the leaves fall, crushing beneath my feet, the crispness of the autumn air brings memories of you. I wear your jacket with the collar pulled up but the fragrance of you is blending and I cannot find it, nor the clearness of my image of you. My days enter another as I put away the garden for the upcoming snows of winter. Winter of my heart, and nearness of your memory. It has already begun to sleet, icy tendrils amid the flowers.
Jebediah and Elsie Bennett have sheltered me since the first day Jebediah met Gideon and me while we were passing in the nearby woods ~ so long ago it seems. Two autumns ago. And now, little Jacob and my young sister, Addie, as she returned with me those long ago days that Gideon stayed behind. Family. The Bennetts are home to us. Music to my soul as the melody keeps me stable and our Lord beckons me to come and rest. So peaceful, and yet longing; longing for the day the hurt escapes me and I can feel clarity again.
Reverend Toby McKee comes to visit and helps Jebediah with chores Gideon used to do. He is the Scottish reverend filling in at Fancy Gap when Reverend Gardner, from back home at Rocky Point, returns there for a time. Invited to stay to eat supper with us, Toby is welcomed by baby Jacob crawling to him and six-year-old Addie telling him she is so happy he came. He is a comfortable friend we look forward to seeing.
***Rocky Point, Virginia, 1902 ~ Gideon
I am on my way home! I can hardly wait to see Lonnie and pull her and my little son Jacob into my arms. Will he remember me? I have his little cap I carry in my pocket. I can still remember his baby smell ~ the sweetness. And Lonnie, has she hidden me far away in her thoughts? Cassie has released me and sent the annulment papers with the circuit rider. I am on my way to the courthouse at Stuart to have the confirmation and proof to show Lonnie when I get to Fancy Gap, and home.
The judge is leaving for the day when I arrive. I go back in the morning. He tells me to return in a month's time, while it is resolved. Tal is in town, my former boss at the orchard, and brings me home with him to help with grafting he is beginning to expand his variety of apples. He gives me a bundle to begin our own orchard at Bennetts' farm.
Thirty days is up! I am going back to see Judge Monroe. He tells me he has sent an affidavit to be signed by Cassie regarding consummation, and has not heard back from her.
Gideon tried to wrap his mind around the legal phrasings. As if sensing it, the Judge leaned forward. "Basically, the affidavit that I sent to Miss Allan, confirming that her testimony matches your own, simply needs to be signed and returned."The Judge tells me to go home. He will send the final papers in the mail to Jebediah's address at the post office in Mount Airy.
--My Hope Is Found, 98
As I was reading My Hope Is Found, the final book in the trilogy, I was thinking of the author and how hard it would be to write with the emotion and heart-rendering turmoil of the characters. Such depth of perception and what each experienced. The Bennetts in their care and love for Lonnie and the children, their respect and position with Gideon, the hope of Toby McKee for a church and his drawing toward Lonnie and the children. All of them releasing their hopes to the Lord for His direction in their lives. Such a strong story with grace interwoven.
About the AuthorChristy Award-finalist and author of Be Still My Soul and Though My Heart is Torn, Joanne Bischof has a deep passion for Appalachian culture and writing stories that shines light on God’s grace and goodness. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her husband and their three children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, folk music, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life. You can visit her website at joannebischof.com.
***Thank you to author Joanne Bischof for The Cadence of Grace series and to WaterBrook Multnomah for sending me an advance reading copy of My Hope Is Found, Book 3 in the series. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
My Hope Is Found releases October 15, 2013. Print and eBook are available for pre-order.