“Why Can’t I Just Be Your Little Suburban Housewife?”

Jean Donovan

Jean Donovan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maybe it was as you said, Jean, your God called you away from an ordinary suburban life to something bigger than life.

However, you left a broken-hearted fiancé, standing frozen with only a devastated heart longing only to drop the groceries we just bought and stop you from going to El Salvador.

Your God called. I could only watch you walk away.

All the goodness that was in you still lives bright in my memory, Jean, from your volunteer work with the Cleveland Diocese Poor Youth Ministry to the Diocesan Mission Project in El Salvador.

So dedicated were you to help those in need, you completed the lay-missionary course at Maryknoll in New York State and was quite anxious to help the refugees of the Salvadoran Civil War, providing shelter, food, and medical care.

However, you also wanted a family as you wrote:

“…I sit there and talk to God and say, ‘Why are you doing this to me? Why can’t I just be your little suburban housewife?’

In all honesty, my selfishness wanted your goodness to stay here with me.

You tried to follow your desires saying, “several times I have decided to leave–I almost could except for the children…Who would care for them? Whose heart would be so staunch as to favor the reasonable thing in a sea of their tears and loneliness? Not mine.”

On December 2, 1980, five brutal Salvadoran soldiers decided the light of goodness over El Salvador was not welcomed, and in “a relatively isolated area,” they beat, raped and murdered you, and three nun companions.

Your God called you home, Jean Donovan. Twenty-seven is too young to have your goodness extinguished.

As Martyrs of El Salvador, blessed are we the living for their self less life in helping those suffering, especially the children, from the devastating effects of civil war.

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This post is part fiction and part true to life. The bold italic print is my imagination as seen from Jean Donovan’s young physician fiancé viewpoint.

Jean was not only to be married but, also, gave up a management consultant career with a nationwide accounting firm before deciding that El Salvador was where God wanted her to be.

Can you imagine giving up a relatively safe life for dangerous missionary work? If this is the stuff we have to give up, you know, sacrifice, to become living saints, I can see why there are so few on the road.

Do you think this was an easy choice for Jean Donovan to make…wanting so badly to be married and be offered a great career position as well? 

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24 thoughts on ““Why Can’t I Just Be Your Little Suburban Housewife?”

    • Sunshine says:

      Every time I think of this woman when I catch myself about to grumble & fuss about something so small like getting up a few hours early to go to work. Geez.
      Thanks for visiting, Susan! 😉

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  1. Wandering Voiceless says:

    My 20 yo daughter wants to go to the Domincan Republic. I am so proud of her, and yet scared, too. Maybe one day if there are more like Jean and my daughter there will be fewer fighting wars. Thank you for sharing. :>

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    • Sunshine says:

      How wonderful to hear about your daughter’s giving heart…I am not too familiar with the DRepublic and their countries current status. I do hope they are not in any civil war or turmoil…

      I pray for protection and abundant blessings both to you and your lovely daughter.
      Thank you! 🙂

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    • Sunshine says:

      My apologies for getting back to you so late…where does the time go!!! Tell Little Binky to go make something so we all can have just an hour or two more in a day! Haha…

      And yea, when HE calls, you cannot run away for long… 😉

      Thank, AngelsW.!

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  2. Caddo Veil says:

    I can’t imagine it, Sunshine–it truly is a calling, if one is ready to make such a sacrifice, not knowing where it will lead. I confess I’m terrible at sacrificing any of my meager comforts–so I admire her and her sisters, saints all. God bless you today–love, sis Caddo

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    • Sunshine says:

      Hey, sis! I am right with you on not being a very good example when it comes to choosing comfort or offering up a bit of sacrifice. The struggle often ends with my weaker nature winning. 😦
      I thank you for all your visits and always enjoy our chats…peace be with you and yes, YES, God bless you too!! 🙂

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    • Sunshine says:

      Yes, to all generous souls who only care to help others before putting their own desires first, may they, who are living, find strength and blessings to continue. For those, like Jean, who gave their lives serving, may they rest in peace.

      Thanks for sharing, Dilip! 😉

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  3. rommel says:

    POWERFUL! POWERFUL! POWERFUL! Too much can of worms you open on this one, Sunshine! I,myself, have struggled with this. I once let a man get into my car in the middle of the night because he was begging for a ride to go home. It ain’t easy to be generous. It’s not just the physical act of it. So much more going when a person does good deeds. You surely have to sacrifice a lot of things. Thanks for the words, Sunshine. I must be reminded of this post. 😉 (You know what I mean.) Excellent, excellent, excellent post!

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    • Sunshine says:

      I cannot imagine picking up a hitchhiker and in the middle of the night?!? Oh, thank goodness it turned out right for you!

      Giving up ourselves for hard core sacrifice is well, tough. I think many of us struggle like you, Rommel. I believe some of us are called to live not so much with giant heroic deeds but simply living out our lives quietly and with only good intentions in our hearts.
      You are a wonderful cheerleader! Thanks a bunch! 😉

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    • Sunshine says:

      Who can understand the ‘why’ –such heartbreaking news indeed…and no, I did not personally know Jean although she sounds like a person with a never ending generous heart.
      I should follow her style more often! Glad for all your visits! 😉

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