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Leaving Flaud’s Furniture to teach at the community’s new school is a joy for Lydianne Christner. Old Order Amish, but new to Morning Star, she’s grateful that the congregation trusts her with the position—but she panics when handsome Bishop Jeremiah Shetler asks about the life she left behind. If anyone discovers the secret she’s hiding, she would, quite rightly, be shunned.
A widower, Bishop Jeremiah admires young Lydianne’s youthful energy and skill with the children. He’s also curious about her past, and the burden he senses on her heart. When his request to court her is refused, he’s stung, and lonelier than ever. It isn’t until a crisis prompts a tearful Lydianne to confess to him that Jeremiah is faced with a choice that requires all of his faith—and teaches them both that love and forgiveness go hand in hand.
Read an Excerpt
Hope fluttered like a butterfly in Lydianne Christner’s heart as she parked her rig in the pole barn just north of the new white schoolhouse. It was barely dawn and she was more than an hour early for her interview with the members of Morning Star’s school board, but she needed time to collect her thoughts and plan her answers to the questions she anticipated from the five men who would decide her future. It had been a spur-of-the-moment decision when she’d blurted out her wish to apply for the teaching position at the members’ meeting after church a week ago—but in the days since, Lydianne’s soul had reconfirmed her impulsive outburst.
She really wanted this position. The trick would be replying to the school board’s questions without hinting at the very personal reason she wished to become Teacher Lydianne. Did she stand a chance?
Sighing nervously, Lydianne stepped onto the front stoop of the schoolhouse and opened the front door.
Her heart fluttered at the sight of fresh white walls, low-maintenance tan flooring, and rows of new metal desks and chairs—the front row filled with shorter desks for the youngest scholars. The white board that covered most of the wall behind her awaited whatever instructions she would write with a variety of colored markers, and the built-in bookcases at the back of the classroom would soon hold a small library as well as a collection of textbooks. Sturdy tables along the side walls would provide space for class projects. A stairway led to the lower level, where the scholars would hang their coats and store their lunch buckets when they came in each morning.
The prospect of beginning a new job—a new life—in this fresh setting filled Lydianne with an even greater excitement than she recalled from when she was a scholar, buying paper and supplies as she anticipated each new school year. Even at twenty-three, she loved learning new things and she eagerly looked forward to passing on her enthusiasm for reading, writing, and arithmetic to—
“Ah—gut morning, Lydianne,” a familiar male voice pulled her from her musings. “Somehow I’m not surprised that you arrived early.”
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