Breathe Again – Six Minutes at a Time.

When Mike first mysteriously collapsed in March of 2015 and hung on through life support, someone asked me how I was coping. I answered, “Six minutes at time.”

There was nothing spiritual or significant about six minutes. It’s the first thing that came to me. Six minutes seemed like how much life I could take on without being overwhelmed by fear and the unknown.

After a year and a half of what looked like a miraculous recovery, our world rocked again.  In October, I heard Mike cry out while in another room and ran in to find him on the floor seizuring. This sent us to the hospital and down an avenue of more tests.  Back on anti-seizure meds, we started breathing again, planning the holidays, thinking more and more about the future; something we hesitated to do since leaving the hospital in 2015.

On December 20th, while sitting in his chair talking to me, a seizure hit.  Only this time he didn’t come out of it.  Suddenly he closed his eyes and wasn’t breathing.  I pulled him to the floor, frantically found my phone and had the 911 operator talk me through CPR until the medics infiltrated our tiny living room and shocked him into a strong pulse again.

Life support again.  Two “Code Blues” at the hospital. Mystery causes. Questions. A weak heart? A genetic disorder? Caused by the shrinking pituitary tumor?

One thing was settled, Mike’s heart needs a way to fight back against whatever tries to shut it down. So now he is “Iron Man”, as the girls dubbed him, with a defibrillator in his chest. And we are home, healing. Adjusting.

Over the last year, Danny Goike’s song “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again” has drifted off the radio in snatches.  Finally I listened all of the way through.  I thought, “This is more than a favorite song for a season, it’s our life anthem.”  For Mike, this is about his heart literally beating.  For me, it’s about not jumping every time I hear something drop or neurotically checking to see if Mike’s chest is rising and falling when he sleeps.  It’s telling myself to breathe, six minutes at a time.

I’m learning a lot about me.  About Mike. About us. About Christ. About miracles.

I’m learning that six minutes at a time isn’t a bad way to live life.  So that’s what I’m going to do this year.  I’m going to breathe. I’m going to thank God for all of the things in life – minute or ginormous. I’m choosing daily to go six minutes at a time; to let God be in those six minutes and then invite Him into the next six when I get there. There’s a lot of failures in trying not to get ahead of God, trying not to worry, but I’m going to reset the compass and keep on trying.

You’re invited to follow my journey. To share yours.  The best way to join is to sign up for email notifications on my blog or follow me on my main FB page.  I will occasionally post blogs on “Praying for Mike Ausmus” but only when they speak to Mike’s specific journey.

I’m so grateful for those who have been praying.  I don’t know all of you, but our Heavenly Father does, and I’m thankful that He brought you along. We might not catch up with you until heaven, but your prayers have mattered.



13 thoughts on “Breathe Again – Six Minutes at a Time.

  1. I love this picture of Mike! It looks like he is sitting in peace … with Sophie making sure he stays there!! I love the way you write Shelly … it flows in such a way that I’m drawn along with you in your story. What a journey it has been and is being … but deeper into Papa God’s heart and ways. 6 minutes at a time … that is a good way to do it! ❤

    1. Thanks Linda! You are an important source of encouragement to us. As for the picture, yes, there is peace, but also an edge of helpless surrender to a cat who refuses to move from his presence. :]

  2. Thank you for sharing the gift God gave you. Your ability to share life in words that help you, and also me, make some sense out of a world where we wait, knowing we are meant for more but it’s not time yet. Six minutes at a time is a great way to wait upon the Lord.

  3. Thanks for sharing your heart! That is one of my favorite songs…I remember the 1st time I heard it…I just cried. We, too, have been through much over the past years…Heather (Heart attack, Grand Mall seisure, Port, hospital stays about every 6 months, just had 1 mid December, job losses, almost lost our house twice…but God!!!
    The song goes thru my mind often as we continue to learn to live life on earth and grow deeper and deeper with the Lord. Love you!

    1. Thanks for sharing, Sabine. Your family certainly has an amazing story, and you encourage us by how you continue to trust and to give to others no matter how difficult the trials.

  4. Your family is so precious to us. Thank you for inviting us into your lives so many years ago and sharing God’s ongoing faithful and miraculous work in and though you today. We love you so much.

  5. very beautiful and profound Shelly. What an inspired way to live life, think that I may give it a try! May God continue to hold you and Mike extra close; prayers are ongoing +

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