praying for your life (wedded wednesdays guest post)

{We need to get talking about what marriage really looks like. In that spirit, we chat about it here once a week, on Wedded Wednesdays.}

Tammy is a woman of grace, of kindness and of mercy. We’ve spent little time with her face-to-face, but as far as our souls go? We’re neighbors. I’m blessed to call Tammy a dear friend.

Tammy’s heart firmly grasps the power of prayer. We all have much to learn from her story. So grateful to share Tammy Perlmutter’s story today.

wedded wednesdays image 2

Early on in our dating relationship, Mike and I were encouraged to read the Bible and pray together. It was awkward at first, praying out loud with this person you’re just getting to know. Sometimes I avoided it. Or at least tried to. We knew a strong foundation was built on praying together.

We try to pray regularly as a family, reading The Jesus Storybook Bible together in the morning and praying for our day. We pray for Phoenix every night before she goes to bed, and on Friday nights, Mike prays a traditional Hebrew sabbath prayer over her. Mike and I pray before we go to sleep, but it’s mostly the usual “watch over us as we sleep, protect us in the night,” kind of prayer.

tammy and family

We’re always talking about how we need to pray more, alone and together. But in the last two years, this has become even more important to us. Life had hit us hard, and kept hitting us, until we had all but given up believing our circumstances would ever change for the better.

My mom died. She was buried on my 39th birthday. Two days after returning from her funeral, Mike lost the job we moved to Chicago for. We lost our medical insurance. Phoenix was having difficulty in school due to her spectrum disorder. I quit my job when the personality conflicts became too much to handle. I had to have emergency surgery. We lost friends and our church family due to misunderstanding and disagreement.

We prayed so much, on our own, in dark rooms with tears and angry words. We prayed together, hunched over and hopeless, because there was nothing left to do but pray. We had friends everywhere praying for us. I was online in the middle of the night for days on end, sleepless, shaken, asking people to pray for us.

I plummeted into a depression that was so deep and dark, I was scared for myself. I made a care plan, so Mike would know who to call and what to do if I got to the point I couldn’t take care of myself anymore. I was so broken and so lost.

I asked Mike to pray for our family’s future because I couldn’t see one for us. And he did. He took that mantle I handed to him and he honored it. He prayed, listened, and came up with a plan. It was a good plan. Within weeks, we made another huge transition that brought along its own loss and anxiety, but carried a promise with it.

During this time I was trying to shield Mike from the worst of my depression, protecting him from the weight of the thoughts that were crushing me. I didn’t want to tell him that I was having suicidal thoughts or was obsessing over ways I could self-harm without him noticing.

Eventually I was more scared of myself than I was of Mike knowing, so I sat down one day and told him everything.

He wasn’t surprised. In fact, he said he had been having despondent thoughts as well. We looked at each other and it clicked. This wasn’t an isolated event. I’ve struggle with depression for years. But this was different. I experienced triggers, but my circumstances were so much better I didn’t understand why it wasn’t going away.

Mike called it. He said that it was too much of a coincidence that we would both be having similar struggles at the same time. Especially when so much good was happening and God was using us and we were using our gifts. This was the enemy. This was spiritual warfare.

He stood up, laid hands on me, and prayed over me. I cried. He prayed. For deliverance, peace, healing, joy. He prayed for strength. And he prayed for hope.

After that day I haven’t had another thought about suicide or self-harm. And I haven’t been depressed. It’s going on seven months. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so whole for this long in my life.

Satan hates marriage. He wants to destroy it and he wants to render us completely ineffective for the kingdom. Prayer is a weapon we wield against Satan’s schemes to disconnect us from each other. There is so much power in the prayers of husbands and wives. Make it a habit, a necessity. Ask for prayer, be specific, be honest. Confess your sins to one another, so that you may be healed. Make each other a safe place to approach the throne together. Offer to pray for your spouse, let them know they can come to you for prayer about anything, anytime, and let your children see it in action.

You can’t afford not to.

tammy perlmutter headshot

Tammy Perlmutter writes about unabridged life, fragmented faith, and investing in the mess at her blog Raggle-Taggle. She lives communally at Jesus People USA in Chicago with her husband, daughter, hamster, and 250 other people. She will have an essay included in the forthcoming book Soul Bare: Reflections on Becoming Human, being published in the spring by Civitas Press.

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11 thoughts on “praying for your life (wedded wednesdays guest post)

  1. Great thoughts today! You can’t afford not to! How true! I pray daily for my husband, but I’m going to send this to a couple of groups I’m in and friends who need to hear this. How encouraging, thank you for sharing!

  2. “He said that it was too much of a coincidence that we would both be having similar struggles at the same time. Especially when so much good was happening and God was using us and we were using our gifts. This was the enemy. This was spiritual warfare.”

    This could so be our story at this moment!! Thank you for the reminder that He is still doing much good.

    • Absolutely, Carol! So grateful this story was of encouragement to you. Tammy’s heart is a treasure!

    • That he “is fighting for you right now” — Tammy, how often I forget that. Thanks for this, friend.

  3. Tammy, there are tears in my eyes. As a newlywed, I still struggle to be open with my husband at times, and I’ve already experienced a couple incidents where I finally was completely honest about a struggle I was facing. To have him pray for me is a blessing. To have him tell me what I have been oblivious to–“This is spiritual attack,” has been freeing. Thanks for the reminder to be real–no one is really “protected” when we hide ourselves away, even when it’s the ugly or weak self we don’t want anyone to see.

    • Jody, thank you so much for sharing that with me. You are building a strong foundation early on and anchoring your marriage in a very powerful way. I’m so glad you are breaking through and talking to your husband about the hard stuff. Often we are so quick to assume that it is ALL on us, that we forget we are battling principalities. I would love to hear more about how your husband recognized it and the difference it made for you. If you want to, email me: tammygrrrl (at) gmail.

      • Jody, thank you for sharing your story. I’m so encouraged by hearing this, friend. Honesty — even in its weakest and ugliest! — is so important and makes a marriage stronger.

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