One of four brothers orphaned at a young age, Crockett grew up needing to be a man's man - to accurately use a weapon for both food and protection, to care for a ranch, to doctor the wounded, and even to be a spiritual guide for his brothers. Lessons he learned growing up lends him a maturity to deal with so many different situations in his flock, from a neglected boy to a hardened father, from an overly flirtatious young woman to a severe middle-aged spinster.
Crockett's reasons for falling in love with Jo epitomize his spiritual maturation; while other girls may be prettier or pander his ego, Joanna shows an intense love for the Lord and desire to to follow His ways, and that proves far more attractive than any physical beauty or flirtatious ways.
What impresses me is how true to life Witemeyer portrays the characters' walk with God. Crockett and Joanna both are mature Christians who are adept at following the Lord's leading, but both struggle with the occasional uncertainty. Joanna has prayed for her father daily for years regarding his salvation. Eventually she feels prompted to tell him about it, but his reaction leads her to believe she pushed too far. Was that really the right time to speak up? Was she really following God's timing? Was she too pushy? It's so common to have doubts, even when we know that what we did was prompted by God. When a person is a new Christian, of course we expect them to have doubts about hearing God, but it really is common among the "mature" too. When you know that you know that God wants you to act, don't let the first result trick you into doubting God's ability to use you; trust Him and watch for fruit. It may be seconds later or a long time in coming, but it will be there.
Be sure to read Witemeyer's Short Straw Bride, about Travis Archer!
Both inspiring and delightful to read! 5 Stars!