A Visit with Lillian Shetler in Pinecraft, Florida

(Lillian is Emma and Daniel’s Amish Grandmother from Secrets of Willow Springs – Book 3)

In all my years, I never dreamed I would find myself this far from home and without my dear Melvin. It’s only been a year since cancer took him, and I keep hoping each day will get easier. My son Jay convinced me to come to Pinecraft to visit with my schwester Martha. Things sure are different here, and while I am enjoying the warm weather, it’s not Sugarcreek. Even the view from Martha’s porch is different. Palm trees replace the sugar maples, and the sound of seagulls and the salty air linger all around.

Just today, I saw a young couple walk by holding hands in public of all things. I dropped my head, hoping they would notice their behavior was unacceptable. But again, this is Pinecraft, and as they say around here, “What happens in Pinecraft stays in Pinecraft.” I couldn’t help but think Melvin wouldn’t have allowed such things in his district at home.  Martha says I shouldn’t let such things bother me, and I guess she’s right, but I’m old, and change doesn’t come easy for me.

Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday, I had so much to keep me busy; the days flew by. Now, I spend my days visiting with my schwester’s neighbors and, on occasion, make us her favorite Orange Pie. But I still long for the days of my youth.

My leather-worn Bible sits on my lap almost every day, and I do feel closer to the Lord the more time I spend in His word. I guess that is one reason He allows us to slow down and enjoy life in our older years. We have the time to see glory in things like never before.  Just this morning, the sun was shining brighter, and the air smelled sweeter than I’d ever noticed before. I’d been wondering what my purpose in life was? That was until I received a letter from my granddaughter, Emma, from Willow Springs.

After I opened the envelope, I felt the Lord tell me to invite her to Florida.  Maybe the girl needs to hear all the ways I’ve seen God work in my own life. And as if I needed another push to encourage her to come, I opened my Bible, and this is the verse God revealed to me. 

Now that I am old and my hair is gray, don’t leave me, God. I must tell the next generation about your power and greatness. God, your goodness reaches far above the skies. You have done wonderful things. God, there is no one like you.

~ Psalm 71:18-19

As I shut my Bible, I offered up a heartfelt prayer thanking the Lord for showing me I still have a purpose in this life. If you’ll excuse me, I have a letter to write to my sweet Emma. Lord willing, I’ll be able to help her through this most trying time, and she’ll help me feel needed again.

Emma - The Amish Women of Lawrence County

My new series, The Amish Women of Lawrence County, starts with Emma.

Loss, depression, and pain face Samuel and Emma Yoder as they maneuver their way through their first year of marriage. Can Lillian help her granddaughter see God’s love through unspeakable pain?