Thankful Thursday - Father's Day
Weekend Devo — God Changes Attitudes

Chronicles of the Donovan Clan

It’s been a long time since I have written about our family. I think I am finally at a place to give you an update and share with you what has transpired in the months since my husband’s return to work. 

For those of you who are new here, I will give you a quick recap. Last year, January 2009, my husband lost his job. He was fairly certain he would find new employment quickly as he works in the High Tech industry. However, after three months passed he found himself surprised and then worried. The worry and stress grew as month six came and went. As I recall, it was about then, June of last year, he began to pray. I remember clearly my husband walking into my tiny hallway office, grabbing my hand, leading me to the family room because he wanted to pray for a potential job. 

I watched this amazing journey unfold as my husband went to church, opened his bible, prayed. Sounds like a believer, yes???? In November following a strong prayer weekend in which I attended in Florida, indeed, the Lord came through and my husband accepted a job the day before Thanksgiving. I remember talking with my man about how God had watched over us through the lean months of unemployment. 

I have miracle stories of provision as well as accounts of the Lord bringing three opportunities to work before my husband in early November and then delivered the perfect job, which is where he works today. (One story is so much a miracle that it is being included in a book ~amazing)

I was convinced this journey was my husband’s trek to the cross of Christ. But, as I write these words today, I must concede it hasn’t played out in the way I expected or wanted. 

Back in November I carefully and respectfully asked my husband if he had made promises to God. He said he had and he was considering baptism. I was thrilled and I waited anxiously for him to move forward in his faith journey. What happened after that is what caught me off guard. 

He began making excuses for not attending church, football season. “I’ll go to church after the season is over.” 

So I waited all the time believing. After football season, it was then our church was without a pastor. 

Here is where the story becomes difficult to share. Our new pastor spoke at church for two weekends in May. I could feel the excitement in our worship center. This man was the man for our church. I just knew my husband would like him and he attended church to listen to him speak. 

Finally, the time arrived for which I have prayed for years.

On the way home after service, I felt like the fullness of time had finally arrived. All the roadblocks were overcome and now my man would feel comfortable to continue his journey toward Christ and start with baptism. 

Sitting in the car, I asked him about the pastor. 

Well, I was utterly shocked at his reply. Let’s say he thought he was “okay.” 

I was utterly crushed. 

This is why. It was as if my future rush before my eyes in a flash. You see I had just turned 50 and the realization is that our new pastor will be a teacher in our church for probably a minimum of 10 years. This is the reality that hit me. I will be 60 years old and still doing this faith thing all by myself. 

It’s not about the preacher. It’s about my husband. It wouldn’t matter who was teaching, my husband is unwilling to surrender. 

I was devastated as I realized in that singular moment, I will be walking the journey of faith alone for the rest of my life. 

For about two weeks my hope wavered. I begged God to explain why this happened. I asked God, “Am I praying within your will for my husband?” 

I grieved. 

I grieved over the hope I had for the later years of my life and that my husband would be an enthusiastic participant in living for Jesus. It was not to be. 

This long journey of unemployment did not end at the foot of the cross. 

I think I was so spiritually sick that several people sensed it. I received emails, phone calls a card in the mail. (This just proves to me how connected we all are at the spiritual level. I hadn’t told anyone and yet God sent others to pray for me and help me regain perspective.) 

I experienced a temporary loss of hope. I experienced the enemy snatching my faith away, stealing the truth from under me. 

But, Jesus heard my prayers and lifted me out of my sadness and told me to stand upon the truths that I so clearly know.

What I want to tell you today is this: I will never give up hope for my husband’s salvation. I have also learned some things about hope: 

Satan's attack on hope has been to deceive us into thinking that God will "endorse" our own dreams, passions, and desires if we hold onto them dearly and have enough "faith". Scripture, however, commands us to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Christ in dying to self. We are to hope in His will, His word, His life, and not our own. Self-indulgent "hope" is "on shifting sand" and is really no hope at all--but mere delusion, rebellion, and disobedience. 

Our only real hope is Christ, and Him crucified. Everything in the universe will soon melt away, including all of our vain and false "hopes". Everything we think so important now--gone! All of our hopes will then be shown for what they were. We will then be face to face with Him who bought us with such a great price and commanded us to follow. ~C.S. Lewis 

I am hearing the Lord asking me to sacrifice my “self-indulgent hope” for this life I dream about. He is calling me to continue to live out my faith based upon the promises of His Word. He is asking me to trust Him in the face of a life of faith alone - without my earthly partner. 

Gulp. 

It’s hard to even write it down and try to reconcile that it may be what is required. Could you do it? Can you look full in the face of what your biggest hope is and say to Jesus, “I surrender it?” 

This is where my mustard seed faith becomes as big as a mountain. I know the truth. I know Jesus. I can’t change anyone, especially my husband, I can only change me. I choose Jesus. It is by His power and love that I can face the rest of my life and still find great joy in the living. It is Jesus who takes my disappointment and turns it into a smile. It is the Redeemer who will remove this old dream and give me a bigger and better dream. 

I cannot, will not ever, never stop praying for the salvation of my husband. When he finally is baptized at perhaps age 85, you can bet this old woman will be posting a photo here of a gray-haired couple. You can be assured that we are both standing in our walkers and shouting to the heavens praises for God’s ways are always best ways.  Old-couple  

For all of you who have traveled along with me on this long journey, hoping and praying for us, I am humbly and utterly thankful. I don’t understand the why of it all and when I ask the Lord about it, He chooses not to explain. I only hear this, “Lynn, this is serving my purposes.” 

That is good enough for me. Be Blessed, Lynn

*****

Share your voice, heart and love in the comments. 

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Marching Around Jericho is a spiritual guide. As you read through the pages, powerful and transformative instruction and equipping takes place. We follow Jesus as he leads us around the walls, imparting kingdom truths with each passing, finally arriving at the gates of the walled-off city, our spouse’s unbelieving heart. After the circles in prayer are complete, we arrive fully prepared to command the walls to crumble and be removed, making a way for our spouse to step from the rubble of lies and captivity, into faith and freedom!

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