So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

Well I feel the need to write – shocking I know. After a much more eventful weekend than we were hoping for, our family is home and having a very lazy day with plans to have a lazy week. You likely have not heard that Jeremy, my healthy and active 33-year-old husband, suffered an NSTEMI heart attack early Saturday morning, July 4, 2015. Jeremy was given his third flight for life helicopter ride to date as he was air lifted from Lexington to Kearney Regional Medical Center.

Normal cardiac enzyme levels are less than 1 mcg/L (usually around .2 to .35 mcg/L). Are you ready for this? A blood test revealed that Jeremy’s cardiac enzymes were at 19 mcg/L in Lexington. By the time we reached Kearney, his enzymes were up to 23 mcg/L.

I snapped a picture as Jeremy was leaving on his third flight for life ride.
I snapped a picture as Jeremy was leaving on his third flight for life ride.

The doctor stated that Jeremy’s enzymes were “sky high” and he was indeed in the middle of a heart attack. By all counts, at this point Jeremy should have been in complete cardiac arrest. Yet he was only complaining of chest pain at a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. Surgery was needed to clear any blockage but something was weird. The EKG performed in Lexington was normal. Then the echo cardiogram performed in Kearney was normal. A heart cath exploration would hopefully reveal the blockage and Dr. Azzam was 100% sure he would have to perform an “intervention” and insert a stint to stop whatever blockage was there and not showing up on any other tests. Jeremy was wheeled in for surgery and we waited – but not for long.

Within 45 minutes, Jeremy was back in his hospital room and Dr. Azzam came in to talk with us. He was all smiles and said, “He did not need a stint. His arteries were wide open. I was wrong; it doesn’t happen very often.” What he did find was a heart condition that Jeremy was likely born with. He has an artery that was having spasms. Jeremy had been having flu-like symptoms and horrible back, shoulder, and neck pain for two days prior to the heart attack and was absolutely freezing – all of these were impending signs of what would eventually move to chest pain. Dr. Azzam injected Nitroglycerin directly in the artery having the spasm to open it even more than the Nitro drip and pills were doing. His cardiac enzyme levels immediately began decreasing and Jeremy had survived a heart attack at the age of 33.

Jeremy resting after heart cath surgery.
Jeremy resting before heart cath surgery.

My husband will begin medications and a cardiac diet to prevent his heart condition from ever becoming a problem again. It is comforting to know that this was bound to happen, nothing he had done or could have done could have prevented it. But now that we know, we can prevent further problems.

Yesterday, on July 5th, Jeremy celebrated his 33rd birthday with a huge firework show one day late at the lake after being released from the hospital. As we were leaving he said, “So people say having a heart attack is like being hit by a semi truck. Ha! I’ve done both and having a heart attack is WAY EASIER!” And so it seems.

2015-07-05 07.49.12
Jeremy woke up on his 33rd birthday after having a heart attack the day before.

We have learned to be extremely open and honest people; and I like that about us. We joke about the difficult situations we have been in because we can and because we have to. Yes, Jeremy has attempted suicide five times during his struggles with severe depression. Yes, Jeremy was nearly killed when he was hit, head on by a semi truck at highway speeds in 2012. We have talked about it in much detail in “Never Alone: A Husband and Wife’s Journey with Depression and Faith.” And our pastor added yesterday that this is “just another chapter to add.” We make people uncomfortable and have had to learn to be okay with that in order to help society understand the reality of mental illness since Jeremy suffers from depression. We have been through so much that it can be difficult for others to understand our take on life….

You can either laugh about life or you can cry about it. We choose laughter.

This doesn’t mean we never cry or get worried, but it does mean that we have learned to truly believe in the power of prayer and understand that God is in control and we are not. The day after Jeremy’s heart attack, I walked around in Target by myself sobbing uncontrollably while trying desperately to find him the perfect birthday gift since he had to wake up in a hospital after having a heart attack the day before he turned 33. We joke now that Jeremy is officially on life number 7. After 5 suicide attempts, a near-death car accident likely due to a medication reaction, and now a heart attack at the age of 33, it is obvious that God wants to keep him here on this earth.

But watching your husband fly off in a flight for life helicopter never gets any easier. And after three times, my emotions were on full blown red alert.

So do we waste time falling into the “We just can’t catch a break” attitude? Or do we turn it around and understand that we have caught breaks – a lot of them. Jeremy is still here. He’s living because we have learned to believe wholeheartedly in the power of prayer. We have no hesitation with asking for prayers when something in life requires it. And we readily give those prayers to others. It is obvious Satan does not want us together. Why? Because we have learned to be true followers of Christ who will do anything to spread His truth and His good to this world. And now – we want it even more than before. You lose again, Satan.

We will fight every single day to spread good in this world and help others understand that God is good all the time. Even in the most terrifying moments of life, God is there. Believe in Him and He will make all things good again. We will thank Him every day for keeping Jeremy here with us yet again. We will continue to fight and stay the path of our mission. We know what we are supposed to do.

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” Genesis 50:20.

God wins again! Jeremy was dismissed from the hospital only 36 hours after suffering from what should have been "complete cardiac arrest".
God wins again! Jeremy was dismissed from the hospital only 36 hours after suffering from what should have been “complete cardiac arrest”.

So God wins again, and Jeremy is still here. We get knocked down and we get right back up again (yes that song is playing in my head now). Having a heart attack is easier than getting hit by a semi truck, and Jeremy gets to officially go on record saying this since he has been through both. Nearly losing the love of your life over and over only brings us closer together. Truly understanding the beauty and the short span of life on this earth helps us move past the little things quickly. Understanding that God is good and is all we need helps us be okay with the fact that our honesty is often too much for some. There are those to want to believe people ask for prayers to get attention; and that’s okay. But know this…there is a reason people ask for prayers.

It is because we truly and fully believe in the power of prayer. It works. And it did again. Thank you, prayer warriors, for helping us keep Jeremy here again.

And when you need those prayers, like you do right now just like we all do, we will pray for you too. We will pray that God will use your situations to help you see Him and come to Him…that’s all He wants. He loves you and wants you in His kingdom. We will pray that your eyes will be opened to seeing His good. We will pray that God will continue to use us to help others come to Him.

Our story isn’t over yet; God’s not done with us.

Just this past week, Jeremy and I got our matching semicolon tattoos that Jeremy designed in honor of mental health awareness and the semicolon project.  "A semicolon represents a sentence the author could have ended, but chose not to. The sentence is your life and the author is you." - Project Semicolon.
Just this past week, Jeremy and I got our matching semicolon tattoos that Jeremy designed in honor of mental health awareness and the semicolon project.
“A semicolon represents a sentence the author could have ended, but chose not to. The sentence is your life and the author is you.” – Project Semicolon.

Read more about our journey in our book that was published in March of 2015. “Never Alone: A Husband and Wife’s Journey with Depression and Faith” is available on Amazon and at

Bailey Koch

Bailey Koch is an advocate for those who can't easily advocate for themselves in every way. Married to her hottie hubby, whom has survived 5+ suicide attempts, and mom to two teenage boys, the oldest with High Functioning Autism and youngest with Epilepsy, Bailey is passionate about mental health and parenting through the messy realities. Additionally, Bailey is a Doctor of Special Education and works as an instructor at the University of Nebraska at Kearney preparing future special educators to be advocates for the learning of all. Bailey and her husband, Jeremy, have written and published two books. "Never Alone: A Husband and Wife's Journey with Depression and Faith" details their struggles with severe depression and the journey toward understanding their purpose, accepting help, and finding faith. "When the House Feels Sad: Helping You Understand Depression" is written for families, at a child's level, to open up a conversation about the reality of Depression. Follow their journey, the triumphs and the challenges, on Facebook at and Instagram at @anchoringhopeformentalhealth.

Jesus of the Rock Bottom Rescue

In: Faith, Living
Sad woman sitting on floor

Have you ever hit rock bottom? I have and it was the scariest place I’ve ever been but that’s where I found Jesus. Where I truly encounter the Holy Spirit and the healing power and life He can give. I was raised in a Christian home by good parents that would have given their lives for me. I was raised in the church and loved by my church family. I enjoyed going to church as a child and I loved Jesus my whole life. At the age of 8 years old I asked Jesus into my heart and was baptized....

Keep Reading

While I Wait for Another Door to Open, I’ll Hold One For Someone Else

In: Faith, Living
Woman teaching another woman by computer

I’m waiting for another door. All my life, I’ve been told that when God closes one door, He opens another. And here I am, staring at the imminent end of the business I’ve built from nothing. Closing down what I started up from sheer willpower, too much caffeine, and the bold determination to work for myself. Scratching out what I made from scratch . . . and it feels horrible. God didn’t just close this door. He slammed it shut, boarded the whole thing up, and hammered the nails in where I cannot pry them open. Believe me. I’ve tried....

Keep Reading

Separating Work From Home is a Must For Me

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mom with baby smiling

If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 11-year-old boy with his pale feet sticking out from under the blanket, on his way to the morgue after a gun accident.   If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the still, blue form of the 3-month-old who passed away in his sleep. We gave CPR and all the medicines “just in case,” but that baby was gone long before his caregiver brought him in through the door. If I close my eyes and let myself, I can still see the 3-year-old...

Keep Reading

When Teens Are Hard to Love, You Love Them Harder

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy sitting with hood up

I lay face down on the floor, praying. Praying in the loosest sense of the word. Praying in the Romans 8:26 way—you know, when the Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Because I could not utter any actual coherent thoughts at that point. I was weary and beaten down. Day after day I had been in combat, battling an opponent I didn’t anticipate: one of my children. My own child, one of the people I had lovingly grown inside my body and loved sacrificially for all these years, had staunchly and repeatedly put himself in opposition...

Keep Reading

In This Stage of Marriage, it Feels Like We’re Roommates Who Share the Same Kids

In: Faith, Marriage
Distant couple on phones in bed

How do you get it back? How do you get back the love you once had? Everyone told me marriage was hard and having kids was hard, but I had no idea it would be this hard. I thought everyone was lying because our relationship was solid before marriage. We were best friends. Some days I feel like we’re roommates who share the same kids. It disgusts me even to say that, but it’s the truth. Marriage is hard and has ugly sides to it that everyone seems afraid to talk about. RELATED: Keep Showing Up Even When Marriage is...

Keep Reading

You Are the God of Details, but God These Details Don’t Make Sense

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Window open with shutters

That was not the plan. What just happened in there? We walked out a bit defeated. More than a bit. I felt deflated. Things were supposed to be different by now. This wasn’t what I asked for or expected. This wasn’t even what they told me would happen. We cross the street in silence. Headed to the car and as soon as I shut the car door, I could no longer hold it in. I let the tears flow. All this unknown. I don’t understand. This is life. This is foster care. This is what we chose. That doesn’t make...

Keep Reading

I Am a Good Enough Mom

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother kissing toddler

I came to motherhood knowing nothing about the job. My mother’s example wasn’t an example at all, more of something to forget, and maybe even get therapy for. My own son was the first newborn I’d ever held. When I became a mom, I was 23 and clueless.  Because of my personality, I wanted to do everything right and parenthood was no exception. I read all the books on parenting I could. I talked to older moms and soaked up all the advice they gave me. Having no idea what I was doing made me look to outside sources to inform...

Keep Reading

God’s Plan For Me Wasn’t What I Expected

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman walking with children silhouette

I grew up in a family where we knew who God was. We went to church, and we were involved in church. However, when we weren’t at church, time spent in the Word fell to the wayside. Don’t get me wrong, my parents were wonderful people, but we didn’t make that a priority in my house.  Going into adulthood, I realized I had deceived myself into believing I had a relationship with God. I knew God loved me, but I questioned whether I loved Him. I wasn’t living life in a way that was glorifying to Him. I’m not only...

Keep Reading

But God is Still Good

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking out window

“I can’t afford a new one,” I thought to myself as I shampooed another stain. This can’t keep happening. Maybe I made a mistake. I have to make this last. And the couch. And the clothes. And all the things. We are done having babies. The price of food has doubled. It’s astronomical to fill the cars with gas. Things are closing in on me. How can I best serve my family? Survival mode engaged. When I read the news, when I follow the headlines, when I listen to the conversations around me . . .  I hear fear. Loss....

Keep Reading

Jesus Helps Me Smile Through the Weary Moments of Motherhood

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman holding toddler girl, color photo

“Mom, why aren’t you smiling?” My 4-year-old took one look at my face, and like an open book, she could read me. Sometimes I wish I could hide it better, tucked behind an infinite smile or a pasted-on happy face. Sometimes I wish my beautiful children—so young, free, and fun—wouldn’t see my face on a day like today. RELATED: Motherhood is Hard, But Loving You is the Easiest Thing I’ve Ever Done You see, it’s just so hard—all of it. And I am just so tired. Between working a job, trying to keep up with being a supportive wife and...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.