By Kaylee Sotelo
My husband and I dated for a couple of years before we got engaged and then married. From the start, prayer was something that we talked about implementing together and growing individually in during our relationship. It looked different in every season of our relationship, and still to this day, evolves. We have come to accept that even if some seasons are dry and lacking while others are full and fruitful, the effort and the commitment is what matters.
When we got engaged, there was a whirlwind of emotions that tried to distract us from prayer. Not only had we been dating long distance, but figuring out the details of our wedding reception— from menus, to venues, to colors and themes— was all-consuming. The first few months of engagement were really hard on us as we tried every day to pray but felt exhausted. I was able to move near my fiancé when I graduated college which was amazing but it also changed our spiritual lives a lot. We were used to stepping out of social gatherings or study groups to call each other and pray for a few minutes at night, but now both of us were at the same parties and events and we noticed it was a lot harder to both step out without it being awkward. We had to yet again reevaluate what prayer would look like for us.
We decided to make the effort to go to confession, mass, and adoration together in person a few times a week. This brought healing to us after so much time doing those things apart. If we had a rough week and fell to temptation or laziness, we were able to both go to confession together and get back up and try again. This gradual growth in spiritual intimacy and accountability was so beneficial for us.
Leading up to our wedding, our prayer became more focused on “God, prepare me to be a good spouse” and “God, help us to have peace while we plan.” This transition helped us to better integrate God’s loving care into our day-to-day needs. We were able to read books on marriage and family together and talk about the way we wanted to raise children in the faith. This was a new level for us that brought us even closer together. And we can both honestly say we had so much peace on our wedding day because of the continual effort from both of us to turn to God. Walking down the aisle, I knew this man would pray over me, for me, and with me every day, and if we would stumble he would do his part to pick us up and redirect us towards the Father. And he knew that this bride had already led him closer to God, remained faithful and steady in difficult seasons, and would cling to God to fulfill her wedding vows all the days of her life. Even though our prayer ebbed and flowed the past few years, it deeply impacted our commitment and trust on our wedding day.
Now that we have been happily married for a few months, our prayer has yet again changed. We decided to pray a decade of the rosary every night with our Eden Set from West Coast Catholic (go check it out, it is perfect for engaged and married couples), and we are able to offer up this prayer for our finances, for our families, and for our future. To see my husband get up at the crack of dawn to go from one job to the other, help me clean the kitchen at the end of the night, and pray with me and bless me is one of my new greatest treasures.
My advice for other couples out there who are engaged and preparing for marriage is to keep your eyes and your hearts focused on God because it is so easy to get distracted. It is such a short season. Don’t listen to the lie that there will be more time for prayer after the wedding; it is the biggest lie the devil can tell you. He hates the couple that prays together. Take the time to get back up again no matter how long it’s been since you and your fiance have prayed, pick up that rosary, open that Bible, and ask God to bless your marriage and your future. If you put in the effort at such an important moment in your relationship, God will bless you now and He will pour his graces into your marriage.