Three weeks apart from my husband this summer was altogether awesome (I mean, I made a really fun music video for him and sprawled out on both sides of the bed every night) and crazy difficult (it was too familiar of a flashback of how much I wished I could just be with him during our long distance relationship).
If there is anything that I'm really taking away from our time apart, it's the way my heart changed towards Brett because of the time I took to pray for him.
Maybe praying isn't your thing--- but I just want to tell you how significantly it changed our marriage even though we were apart the whole time. Praying helped me see some resentments or frustrations I had toward Brett. Praying for him made me want to love and serve him sweeter and deeper. Thanking God for him was even crazier. As I wrote out and thought about why I was grateful for him, I became all the more aware of how far we've come on this journey and how God has used Brett in my life to offer me His grace and to speak truth into my life. God has given Brett the opportunities (one too many) and tools to love me fiercely in the midst of my own ridiculous failures and sillinesses.
And the kicker? Brett came back with a huge revelation I don't think he could have had without prayer or God. My love language is verbal affirmation. Tell me how you see me flourishing a human being and your words will stick deeply with me forever. For awhile now Brett has done a good job at saying things like, "You're beautiful" and "I love you". Sometimes I'll venture to ask why, searching for further affirmation I need. And every now and then he'll dive into the "why". After his trip away, he came back with a conviction to verbally affirm me more often and much more specifically. My need has been brought to his attention and I can already see myself growing in confidence as he affirms he intentionally and specifically. I can also see myself not just brushing off what he says as much but really accepting his words as truth, not just words he HAS to say because he's my husband and the world tells him he needs to tell me sweet things every now and then. I love that what most of Brett affirms me in, are my gifts, strengths, and skills. The things I'm good at. The ways my character flourishes. I'm so grateful for this change in his heart. I very much so believe both of us praying over our marriage is what resulted in these changes.
Here's the list of how I prayed for Brett each day, you can even use this as a template for yourself if you want to start a list of prayer for your husband/roommate/best friend:
1. Safe Travels
2. His gospel driven heart would be serve God and be ever present for an opportunity to share Christ in boldness- even on his Oxford "vacation".
3. Pray over his leadership in our homegroup
4. Thanked God for all the ways Brett has surprised me in our marriage (like how I didn't realize how loyal and gentle he would be with me).
5. Asked God how I can serve and love Brett and be led by him according to how the church was/is led by Christ.
6. Pray over his next two semesters of school and his internship cause he's gonna be a busy guy.
7. Pray for his acceptance into PHD Schools and God's guidance in the PHD application process.
8. Pray over his own personal journey with God.
9. Pray for his family and my relationship to them to grow and flourish.
10. Pray for his heart in regards to our sex life. (This was one of my favorite things to pray for because goodness knows this is a part of our marriage we can and will always be trusting God with.)
11. Pray over his friendships in Denton.
12. Pray for a mentor for him.
13. Prya over his relationships with my guy students this next year.
14. Pray over our future family together.
15. Pray scripture for him.
16. Pray over your financial decisions and heart's toward finances.
17. Pray over our every day communication, that it may continue to uplift one another, sharpen one another, and be intentional.
18. Reflect. Does anything in our marriage need to change?
19. Pray for his travels home.
20. Pray over the transition it will be to have him home and not have as much alone time as you've become accustomed to over the past few weeks.
What are you praying for those closest to you? How are you praying for them? What changes do you see in yourself and in those you love after a few days of praying for them?