You were reaching through the storm
Walking on the water
Even when I could not see
In the middle of it all
When I thought You were a thousand miles away
Not for a moment did You forsake me
Not for a moment did You forsake me

Throughout this post are the words from the first song sung on the day we were able to return to our home church.  (Not For A Moment by Meredith Andrews) The words play in my head day and night.

Another thing in my head is this little whisper, “You are only praising God because Mike was healed.  If he wasn’t sitting across from you right now, slurping his coffee and singing his funny little songs, you would be despairing. You would be leaning on a different tune about whether or not God has forsaken you.”

I’ve learned to recognize the voice of the enemy of my soul.  The tattle-tale signs goes something like this:  he usually whispers when I’m tired, his version clashes with that of the most reliable examples in my life, and there’s always a tiny “mistruth” shoved into what otherwards sounds rational.

The mistruth?  Mike is amazingly alive, but not fully healed. (So … what is the voice suggesting … that I be mad at God because life still sucks sometimes?)

The reality? Life is in someways harder and more complicated than it has ever been.

The truth? The absence of pain and problems does not equal the presence of God.

After all You are constant
After all You are only good
After all You are sovereign
Not for a moment will You forsake me

I can sense people watching us closely.  Shouldn’t we be more apprehensive? Fearful?  Depressed?  When people ask, “How are you doing?” and I answer, “I am well,”  am I hiding something? Or when I mention a concern, there’s that puzzled look, “But Mike seems so normal.”

That’s the funny thing … we know how greatly altered our lives have become … but there is way more peace than fear.  I’m not sure how to explain why except that I have a new understanding of supernatural things.  Ask me what a miracle is and I’ll tell you, “It’s six minutes.”

You were singing in the dark
Whispering Your promise
Even when I could not hear
I was held in Your arms
Carried for a thousand miles to show
Not for a moment did You forsake me

One of the sunsets we enjoyed in Bellingham ... two days after Mike left the hospital.
One of the sunsets we enjoyed in Bellingham … two days after Mike left the hospital.

From the first, I told my pastor when we sat next to Mike’s bed in the hospital that I only know how to take this thing 60 seconds at a time.  I’ve since adapted it to six minutes, but any more than that, and I’m a mess.

What do I mean?

If I look backwards, guilt tries to own me. What did I miss?  Why didn’t I insist Mike go to the doctor that one time?  Should I have … ?

I look ahead, and I see financial impossibilities, the possibility of more chronic health concerns. I see the unknowns of Mike’s need to finish school and start teaching.  I see the crisis that dear friends are in and guilt sneaks in again. Why should I bother God when all these other things are happening?

“I can’t do anything about the past or about the future; not one thing,” I also said to my pastor that day.  “I only have right now, and God is here.  I guess that’s all I need.”

Not only is it all I need, but it’s all I really have … God’s presence in this very moment.  “Even though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death … You are there.”

Right here, right now … in this moment … God is here.  That’s all I need.  In five more minutes I will have have to choose to keep my gaze on Him and wrap my arms around whatever that five minutes holds. Or I can look away and find myself swallowed up.

And in all honestly, I’ve never known life to be so rich.  A few years ago, we started experiencing what I call our “manna” season and it’s clear that we are to remain here, willing to be content that we have enough for today … tomorrow has not been given to us yet, so it is not ours to worry about.

And every step every breath You are there
Every tear every cry every prayer
In my heart at my worst
When my world falls down
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Even in the dark
Even when it’s hard
You will never leave me
After all

On Our Prayer List:

– Continuing to pray for the tumor to shrink. (We learned that a large pituitary tumor is 2 centimeters. As you may know, Mike’s is 6.) A visit to the endocrinologist was encouraging.  Even though he has pituitary related problems, it’s pretty remarkable (that word, again) that they’re not much, much worse.

– We moved into our current place knowing we would need to move again sometime this year. It now looks like this will happen sometime around September.  We have no hints yet of where we’re to move, except maybe closer to where I work in University Place.  Praying for clarity and provision.

– The persecuted church. There is a whole lot more going on in this world than the Ausmus family.  Our situation has shown us the strength of the unity  of Christ’s Bride  … we’re praying that those suffering in this world for their faith will sense the same love and unity and find strength to stand in even the darkest of moments.  As the world watches, may hope thunder out of the ashes.

Things I’m thankful:

People  … simply people … since He chooses them frequently as conduits of His love, God obviously thinks people are pretty remarkable.

I’m thinking so too.

And, finally .. have you see this video?   WE know this moment and experienced nurses, who like this woman, fully invested themselves in Mike’s recovery, rejoicing with us along the way.  Pray for a nurse today.  Their job is rarely easy.