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Choosing to Love

Chronicles of the Donovan Clan

I’m thinking it’s time for a Chronicles update.

This is one of the most meaningful posts about the Chronicles I have written to-date. Up until now, I hesitated to share with you what happened on May 6th. But today the Lord said to me, “It’s time.”

For those of you who are new to our website the Chronicles of the Donovan Clan is my ongoing personal story of our family, Jesus, and my husband’s journey to faith. You can read past post of the Chronicles in our archives.

May 6, 2011:

It’s a Friday morning and my 15-year-old daughter will be taking the biggest exam of the entire school year today. Her first period class is AP Euro (Advanced Placement European History). This is a college curriculum and college credit exam. A passing grade will allow her to take this credit with her to college.

Now I don’t know about your kids but my brainiac gets herself completely worked up just before a big exam. The night before, she is on edge. She is so wound up she usually can’t study. Thankfully she has her Daddy’s giant memory and knows her stuff.  To placate me, she will eventually try to settle down and at least pretend to study.

So the morning of the exam, Friday, May 6th, she is teetering on the edge of complete lunacy. She gets out of bed, heads to the couch for some TV to wake up. I glance at her sideways and carefully craft a simple question, “Cereal?” She glowers in my direction and her girl claws surface. I could almost hear the, “Reeeeeee-eeeer” rising from her throat.

She snaps sarcasm my direction. I let it slide as I know how stressed she is and isn’t that just like a family. We always take out our frustrations on those we love. Ahem, I would never do that *grin.*

I lay low in my office while she eats. My husband is hiding out in the bedroom pretending the cat fights aren’t actually happening in the other part of the house. Coward!

Anyway, the teen dresses and tosses a few more angry glares and caustic words my way. Let me be clear here, I’m not likely to suffer through disrespect from anyone but on this particular morning, I let it pass and gave her THE LOOK.

Comon’ you know “the look.” The purposeful stare that only a mom can give that communicates all manner of retribution is waiting if said child chooses to say one more thing. Period. The end.

She grabs her backpack and stomps to the car. I whisper a prayer of thanks to the Good Lord above that she is finally leaving. I pick up my purse and quickly walk into the bedroom where my husband is dressing.

“Honey, I’m leaving to take Caitie to school.” I talk quickly. “She is really stressed out. You need to pray for her.”

Okay, I have asked my husband to pray on occasion in the past. He will shrug it off or to placate me say, “I will.” I don’t ask too often but that particular morning, I would take anyone praying beside me for our kid.

Now get this. He says to me, “I already prayed for her and I prayed for you.”

In my rush, I smack him on the lips and sprint out the door to get said primadonna to school in time for the exam. I drop her off and pray up a storm for her success as I circle around the school. I wave at Officer Baily as I pass and then head back home.

THAT’S when it hits me. Did he say he already prayed…… for her……. for me????  

What do I do with this simple yet life-altering statement? Let me share some of my private reflections. Did he really say he prayed? Who was he praying to? He prayed of his own volition. Does that mean he believes?

Handholdingrest It wasn’t until today when we were at lunch after church. Yes, he went with me this morning. No, rephrase. I went early to a class. He got up on his own, drove to church and met me in the sanctuary. It wasn’t until today that I gathered the courage to ask him about that morning.

Starting this kind of conversation is a scary aspect. Marriage to an unbeliever is a tight rope at times. Discussions of faith are a risk. Pain and or disappointment can follow. “Honey, I want to ask you about something…. I recreate the morning of May 6th with my descriptions, taking him with me back to that morning. “Honey, you said you prayed for Caitie and you prayed for me. You prayed of your own choice before I even asked. It touched me deeply that my husband prayed for me. I have waited 19 years for that.”

He looked at me with kindness in his eyes,“I have prayed for you more than just then. In fact, I pray for you more than you know.”

Please imagine, blonde, 5 foot 4 inch, Lynn Donovan, as a deer in headlights stunned to silence on the bar stool in the restaurant.

I have so many more questions I want to ask him but the Spirit cautioned me not to push.

So, is he a believer?

After nineteen years, I witnessed the Lord’s faithfulness to a private yearning in my lil' heart. What are you waiting for? Don’t give up. We serve a brilliant God who is captivated by His people and His people’s spouses, even my stubborn man.


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