Praying for someone else is... It's a selfless act. That's what it's meant to be. And what I realized through this last month is that often times I wouldn't just pray for him. Instead I prayed about him and about what I wanted from him or for him. In the past, I didn't pray over him or ask God what we should do in certain situations; I simply said how I though things should happen. And then I got mad when things didn't go the way I wanted.
Marriage is hard. Really really hard. It's work in every sense of the word. Ben Affleck mentioned that in his acceptance speech at the Oscar's when he told Jennifer Garner there was no one else he wanted to work with. That's how I feel about my husband. We're not perfect. Far from it. But there's really no one else I would work with or for the way I do with him.
We shared communion at our wedding. Just my husband and I. Our officiant, my husband's one time youth pastor, prayed over us. It was the first thing we did as man and wife, starting our marriage together in faith. I don't think that makes marriage any easier. It's still just as hard. Really... it might make it harder because there is so much more against us.
By praying for him, by praying for our marriage, I remembered the communion. I remembered our vows. I remembered why I married my husband and how much I want to work at this marriage and work with him.
I've written letters to my husband and posts about him in the past. I even wrote our entire love story out. I also wrote two posts about different years of our marriage (two years and three years). Those things always stirred my affections for him, but those affections would eventually dissolve. By participating in the Prayer Dare, I actively sought to have affection for him - even on the days when I was exhausted and struggling. I had a lot of those days this month.
But he was there for all of them. Steadfast. Loving. Beyond patient. Kind. Sometimes frustrated but never mean. And it's not like I can blame him for being frustrated. I'd be frustrated to if I had to wait on him hand and foot as he did for me. Even through the frustration, he has stayed by my side and been my rock.
He's also been the primary caretaker of our dogs and our house - shouldering all the responsibility for the entire month of February. He's graciously put up with non-nagging (ha, yeah right) reminders to let the dogs in or out.
Like I said we're not perfect. He isn't and I certainly am not. We still argue. We've argued while I've been at home from surgery. I think it can be healthy to argue - to fight with one another and to fight for one another. Those arguments have brought us closer rather than driven us apart because they offer us a chance to get to know one another better.
And I've had more faith. By doing the Prayer Dare, I've spent more time in the word and more time going to God. I've remembered how important faith is - both in daily life and in marriage. I've seen God meet me.
For me, this Prayer Dare was perfect timing. It helped me to not worry just about myself but to be present for my husband. It helped me to thank him for everything he did. I thanked him for helping me get dressed. I thanked him for helping me get off the couch. For helping me get into bed. For praying over me. For bringing me dinner. For going to the grocery store. For buying me a MacBook Pro. For all the frozen yogurt from Braum's.
And the Prayer Dare made me see how much I need God. It reminded me of how broken I am. Of how imperfect I am. But it reminded me of God and how He is perfect when I'm not. It reminded me that I have a Father who loves me, and my husband, enough to listen to our prayers and answer them.
I'm so glad I participated this month. I'm so glad I spent the time to pray. I'm so thankful that I was able to get away from my injury, my recovery, my head and focus on my loving husband.
And I simply can't wait for this next Prayer Dare. I know God's got some amazing things up His sleeve for the month of March.