A Firm Place to Stand

Friday is traditionally a great day for the Maier’s. It is the start of the weekend where we don’t have school or work. We typically make homemade pizza and sometimes watch a movie. Everyone in the family looks forward to what we call “Happy Friday”. This is the second Friday since Tara was diagnosed and it just wasn’t the same. We didn’t have much time with the kids. No pizza. No movie. We really missed that.

But Tara was able to sit and talk with a good friend tonight. They grew up next door to each other, roomed together in college and now both live in Rochester. The way she served Tara was special. It was consistent with the rest of her life through the years.

Consistency is key; when a friend can bless you in time of need and it is the same way they treat you when you are not in need; when our family can have Happy Friday’s even when there is sickness; when joy doesn’t depend on circumstances. The Maiers must get better at this. We need to base our joy on something that is unmovable. We have found Christ to be that rock in the past and need to cling to him now in our time of need. Psalm 40:1-2 says “I waited patiently for the Lord and he inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the slimy pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”

Tara’s recovery from surgery is under way although the cancer journey still looms. We need your prayer support and your comments full of encouragement, funny stories and scripture. She still has some necessary tubes and some on-demand pain medications that help her cope. She is working on deep breathing to help her diaphragm heal, sometimes needing to sit up to make that happen. She was moved from ICU to regular care today. Pray for good sleep for her (and me as I slumber party with her each night). Pray for a sweet reunion with her kids that won’t wear her out. Pray for the will to get up and walk around despite the pain she feels. The quicker she recovers the quicker she gets to phase 2, chemotherapy. There is a long road ahead of us. We need to have a firm place to stand so that joy will be there all along. Christ is our rock.


41 thoughts on “A Firm Place to Stand

  1. Jay, your blogs are so inspirational… what a mighty God we serve….. You and your family are wonderful witnesses to this. Tara… you are constantly on my mind and I am continually lifting you up in prayer and asking Him for peace, healing, and ultimately His glory to be shown through your challenging trial. I was encouraged during a trial in my life to not limit God to what he can do… it becomes so easy to look at modern medicine and forget that He can heal and do even more than seems possible.. I am boldly asking for a miracle and know that if it is His plan and His will it can be done. You are so loved by so many and are incredibly precious to all. I have been so influenced by you in my walk with Him – thank you! My daughter summed it up in the grocery store at the top of her lungs as she loudly sang: “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s NOTHING my God cannot do… for you!!!!”

  2. This is Grandma Janice (friend of Timari and Brad) wanting to thank you for being a tremendous encouragement to all of us reading your posts.
    God never sleeps or slumbers and He has called on my heart to pray during this night watch. He’s walking with you through this valley. Through — is the key word. He is Leading. He is at your side. He is your rear guard. Psalm 139:5 says, “Tara, Jay, Michalyn, Esther, Jenna, Andrea and Lewis are hedged in behind and before and are covered by God’s Hand.” Facing the challenges of cancer we don’t always feel the grip of His Hand, but none the less that is where you are. You are all Safe and Covered by the blood of Jesus. Gracious Father, I pray for good sleep for Tara tonight. I join this family in rejoicing over the wonderful things You have done. There may be a long road ahead and yet
    Jesus You are walking that road with them every step of the Way. You are our Powerful and Mighty God Who knows all things before they reach our doorstep. Your are Trustworthy and Faithful – always. We love You. Thank You, Jesus for praying Tara through this trial. Thank You Father for Your Heavenly angels stationed ’round about Tara and Jay in Rochester and those who stand Guard over their children. You are Worthy of praise. Bless and Keep this family tonight Lord. In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen.

  3. The updates are so encouraging and I look forward to seeing each day that Tara is slowly improving. And although it may be while, I believe that she will again be her beautiful, loving, vibrant self “For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37). When I had my own serious medical incident and the doctors told my family & friends that it was grim and the prognosis poor, they refused to listen and just prayed harder and longer. Tara will have her own “impossible”! Love you all -Stacy & Amanda Anderson

    • Stacy, my heart leaped when I read your comments to Jay and Tara. You, too, are a testimony to the power of God’s love…a miracle who has been given a 2nd chance to live out the real reason why we are here.
      (Jay’s dad)

  4. Earlier today a man cut recklessly in front of me and I felt an all to familiar anger begin to swell within me. But suddenly a picture flashed in my mind of him wearing a Santa Claus hat, the anger subsided and I was even able to pray for him and his stupid driving habits. Okay, so I still need to work on that. 🙂

    I pray that you both will get deep, restorative sleep tonight. I pray that the sweet reunion with your children will come very soon. May God bless you and keep you this day.

  5. Jay and Tara
    I love reading all the entries on your site they are so healing and it does make you realize what is important because we have a habit of forgetting that. God bless you and your family. I miss you guys alot.

    Wednesday night at Kids club is when I found out what you and the family was dealing with and it broke my heart. I started praying and talking to God because that has become part of my life as I headed to Kwik Trip to get gas. As I was filling my tank and cleaning windows and checking my oil I was talking to another lady doing the same thing we where talking about how fast gas prices go up and how slow they go down. She finished before me and headed inside with her little one to pay for her gas I wished her well and continued to finish filling my tank which when it was done the clerk inside announced twice over the pa that I need to shut my pump off which I didn’t understand what the hurry was and was a little upset because I was not done with cleaning my windows and adding oil to my truck but I did that and then went inside to pay for my gas. The clerk said she was sorry but the lady I had been talking to was very insistent about paying for my gas. This brought tears to my eyes because it was one of gods many gifts and at the same time I felt him telling me that he has the situation with Tara in control and not to worry because that was what was on my mind.
    Enjoy the day and say hi to your family for me. I love you all.

  6. Jay & Tara,
    Hopefully you will be back to having your Happy Fridays in no time at all. It’s really great to have special times set aside for moments like that with your family. As the kids grow up they will always remember them and look back at how great of a family they were raised in. There aren’t many families out there anymore that take time to do these kind of things that keep families close. Everyone seems to be going in different directions and are too busy.
    You are all in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. This will be a very tough road ahead but the love you have for your faith, God, family and each other will get you through this one day at a time. You are both amazing Jay and Tara and have an amazing family!
    Peace to all.

  7. “I can do all this through HIM who gives me strength.” Phil 4:13 (NIV)

    I think I say this verse at least once a day at some point. These are the words I cling to in a variety of situations whether it’s when the to-to list seems endless, my patience is wearing thin or there is no way I can do 8 more lunges or push-ups (my two least favorite strength training exercises) on my own power. Instead of counting I say this verse, it is much more comforting and encouraging. It becomes more of an uplifting dance with the Lord than a stituation of “no pain no gain.”

    As I think of Tara taking those first steps one of my favorite hymns popped into my head and a prayer for her (and you) to draw strength from the Lord.

    “Just a closer walker with Thee
    Grant it Jesus, is my plee,
    Daily walking close to Thee,
    Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

    I am weak but Though art strong,
    Jesus keep from all wrong.
    I’ll be satisfied as long,
    as I walk, let me walk close to Thee.”

  8. Jay & Tara,
    I am so glad to hear Tara is in a room of her own and out of ICU! Everytime God brings you guys to mind I pray. Early this morning when I was praying God brought this verse to mind, “Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you!” I know this is an extremely difficult journey you are on, I am praying for healing in your body, more strength everyday, and an even closer walk with Him each and everyday! He is the only one who can carry you through this. I love you guys! Mandi 🙂

  9. Jay and Tara, Jeanna here, from Virginia (M & MC’s friend) Thanks for sharing. Notice in Psalm 40, it doesn’t say the Psalmist climbed out of the pit. It says our great God reached down and brought Him out and set His feet up on that Rock. I’m trusting our Savior to reach down and bring Tara out of the pit of healing on to a rock of recovery. Praying God’s word over the two of you and your family and expecting great things from the Great Physician!

  10. Yesterday on the way to school I updated Philip and Anthony about Tara’s surgery, her prayer (what consecrated means- thank you). After I told about how they were able to get so many good things accomplished and avoid, for now, an extra surgery, Philip said “Well it looks like God really was in there…” What a witness. The sweetest faith is certainly the one like a child’s. This kind of faith never is supposed to leave us…the trust we have in Jesus is what blesses Him and us.
    Just wanted to share also that establishing new routines means flexibility and going easy on yourselves. No one loves change so we embrace it in whatever way we can.
    A Prayer for the Maiers
    For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives it’s name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Sprit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you may be rooted and established in love, may have power TOGETHER WITH ALL THE SAINTS, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that SURPASSES knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

    NOW to Him who is able to do IMMEASURABLY all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work in us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

  11. Jay, Tara and family,
    Your words are an encouragement to us. We are grateful that the surgery went well on Thursday. God is in control. Know that we are praying for you as you continue on this journey.

  12. Okay, Tara…………..not sure if this is a nurse talking, or the mom in me (probably a little of both), but get moving!!! You can do it!! You’re an athlete and that will be a big plus in your recovery. Yes, it will hurt when you first try to get up. But you will feel lots better when you do and… the more you move, the faster you’ll recover (I also know this from personal experience).

    Jay, I love the scriptures you have been sharing. One in particular (Isaiah 40:31) is particularly meaningful to us. I hope I can share our story with you sometime.

    “….let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith………..”Hebrews 12: 1 -2.

  13. It was good to come home from giving my friend Kelly a ride to work and to see your latest update. The first person on my mind this morning was Tara. I so want to see her and love on her, but I have a cold and don’t want to share that with her. So I will love her through her family and those who visit her. God has been showing me just how shallow my own faith has become, how complacent. I have loved the study of Ephesians we are doing in Women’s Bible Study. Julie Fisher shared this week and I always enjoy her down to earth examples. She shared about practicing on her women’s Bible Study group at the jail. One of the women couldn’t believe God could forgive her for all her sins. Julie was able to share the good news that yes, God has already forgiven us, we only have to ask for the grace and faith to believe it. I believe that God in his mercy has already healed you. Now is the time to literally take the first step and begin the journey. God has set a path before you, not one any of us would choose, yet God is already being glorified in it. May the sweet witness of God’s spirit within you be a light in the darkness to those around you during this healing process. God could heal you supernaturally if he chose, but it would seem that He would use modern medicine as a tool to reach the unreached. It may also be that he would use this time to reach others like me – to draw them into a deeper faith and dependence on our merciful, gracious, loving God. May God’s peace be upon you. May His strength be yours. With love in Christ, who is able to do far above anything we can imagine.

  14. As the morning begins, the prayers on my lips are for Tara for relief of pain, for stamina to endure the rehab, for patience in the healing process and just to feel the love of God, her family and friends which are many. We also pray for Jay, the children and the family as they attend to the needs of Tara. May the love of Jesus shine through each one and give encouragement to Tara and each other. Thank you Lord for Mayo Clinic and the wonderful doctors, nurses, staff that attend Tara during her hospital stay.
    I leave several Bible verses that I hope encourage us all.
    1Peter 2:24- He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness, you have been healed by His wounds.
    Isaiah 53:5- But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities, punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds.
    What wonderful comforting words to know we are all healed by Jesus’ wounds for those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!
    Judy & John Anderson
    Overland Park, KS

  15. Ok, with this, an image has come to mind and I can’t remove it so I’ll share it. A few months ago mom was at a point where she was taking a break from treatment with her cancer to see how effectively it had responded. She and dad took this opportunity and embarked on a trip to Ireland. In their travels one of the stops was the Blarney Stone. Everyone was taking their turn kissing the Blarney Stone on that very windy day. As your Aunt Della bent down to kiss the Blarney Stone off went her wig, floating down the hill! I can only imagine her giggling like a school age child as she was running down that hill to capture her wig! May you find many occasions to giggle like a school age child on your journey!! Cling to your rock in whatever form it presents itself.

  16. Tara,
    You are in my prayers. I love you and think of you often. A true friend is alway close to the heart even when miles away. You are that friend. When I told my daughter, Hayley, you were sick she recalled that you were the high school friend that thought rice crispy bars needed to be baked. Do you remember that? We were making food at your house for after prom. I think Angie and I had a hard time controlling our laughter when you asked how hot the oven needed to be. Anyway, stay strong and remember, God is hearing an outcry of prayers for you, the one who wanted to bake rice crispy bars. 🙂

    • Oh Andrea, thank you for reminding me/us of that funny memory! I haven’t thought of that for a long time!
      Tara, you are a friend to so many! Those that know you, love you instantly for your precious and sincere spirit and your contagious laughter!!
      I was just playing piano from a binder of worship music you gave me years ago, Tara. It soothed my soul to play “Give Thanks” “Lord,Be Glorified”, “Fairest Lord Jesus”… and just worship Him and thank Him for Himself and you!
      Praying for a peaceful night’s sleep for you.
      Love you!

  17. Dear Maier Family,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all today, tomorrow and all the days to come until you get through this. Remember God is right there with you, and He will never leave you. Lean on Him and lean on your family and friends for love, comfort, and support. Your love for each other is so real and will be treasured forever. Hold on to that until you can enjoy your “Happy Fridays” again!

  18. We pray for you at night and you are one of the first people we think of as we awaken in the morning. God tells us in His Word to Press On … how many times we have to do that in life when the goin’ gets tough, but the awesome part is that He is with us, no matter what the ‘storm of life’ is He cheers us on and says “Press On” my child! We stand with you in that ‘firm place’ that he has provided for you. Our love to all of you, including Nan and Larry, and your entire family, Tara. Jay, and kids!

  19. Lifting your family up in prayer and praying that each new day God gives each of you the strength needed to get through it, one day at a time.

  20. Never has the image of God as my Rock been more clear than, surprisingly, a trip—no, two trips—to sunny Puerto Rico. On the small island of Vieques, located off the eastern tip of Puerto Rico, is a spectacular, sprawling beach, essentially uninhabited, on glorious Sun Bay. To get to the good part of the beach you have to walk a long way around all the yucky sea weed that the prevailing winds blow onto the western end of the beach. Once past the the sea weed, you reach a portion of beach that has uncommonly coarse, loose sand. I had forgotten these details of my first trip until I was there 1 year later and experienced it again. Because it’s hot in Puerto Rico, and the sand at the edge of the water is so much cooler than the dry sand, it’s nicer on the feet to walk in the wet sand. But this spot, with the coarse, loose sand, has water continually mixing with it, making for very unstable footing. Not only is it unstable, but there seems to be no bottom; every step you take sinks deep into the loose, churning sand. You look ahead to the beautiful part of the beach in the distance, and you see how beautiful it is, and so you press on. But wow, it is exhausting! Then suddenly, there is a smooth plateau of rock. You step out of that loose, energy-draining sand onto this place that is firm and solid. And you know why the hymn writer wrote about sinking sand.
    Praise God! He is our perfect Rock.
    Becca Murray

  21. Dearest Tara,
    So I am reading through Matthew this week and was prompted to highlight the text in which Jesus is called compassionate. Matthew 9:36, 14:14, 20:34 record moments when Jesus calms, feeds, heals because He has compassion on the people. We have a compassionate Savior who stops what He is doing to look upon you with compassion and heal your infirmities. What confidence we can have in our loving and merciful Christ!!
    Know that you are dearly loved and prayed for in our home. We wait in great expectation and assurance in the miraculous wonders that will be performed in and through you.
    Hugs and hope to you, Desiree

  22. Looking out my window on the world I see a fox squirrel sitting on the climbing tower. We don’t see them very often. Might not even mind if he eats some bird food.(o:
    Good to hear of your progress, Tara. Will be praying for you as you continue on. A friend of mine was diagnosed with gall bladder cancer last year and now is on chemo. They could not find any sign of it the last time she was in for checkup. We are praying for good results for you too. You have already brought glory to God through this. That is our purpose in living, right?
    When you get to the chemo part ask them about the cold caps (?) They are supposed to keep you from losing hair. If that doesn’t work I have a couple of ‘classy’ wigs you can use. haha Love you and your family. Gramma Bergan

  23. As I and so many others around the world (literally) praise the Lord and rejoice over Tara Maier’s successful operation, my thoughts drift toward those to whom healing hasn’t come, life is falling apart and dreams are at risk of being left undone.

    To you, I say, hold on to God and cling to faith in Him. God is forever faithful. Rest in who He is.

    “Even If”

    Lord we know Your ways are not our ways
    So we set our faith in who You are
    And even though You reign high above us
    You tenderly love us
    We know Your heart
    We rest in who You are

    Even if the healing doesn’t come
    And life falls apart
    And dreams are still undone
    You are God You are good
    Forever faithful One
    Even if the healing doesn’t come

    You are God and we will bless You
    As the Good and Faithful One
    You are God and we will bless You
    Even if the healing doesn’t come

  24. We are friends of Jim & Dianne, Jay & Tara and are blessed to go to the same church and sing in various groups with them. We want you two to know that our prayers are following you every step of the way. Remember “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble……… Psalm 46:1-3. You are such a special witness to so many and we are richly strengthened by your firm, consistent faith. Continue to be “patient in affliction”.
    In His Love,
    Dick and Alice Ungerbuehler

  25. I’m walking beside you as all the memories of my cancer surgeries return. I think I know where you are in the recovery process each day. Makes it easier for me to pray for/with you! (You’ll find, in years to come, that this whole miserable experience will do the same for you. Countless people with cancer will be brought across your path for prayers and support, and your “training” will be put to good use.) At this point, just let yourself be loved and cared for and held up in the arms of Jesus and His friends. By the way, Dr. Gostout did my last cancer surgery, and my experience with her was so incredibly good that I prayed, before your surgery, that somehow God would make her your surgeon. Answered prayer! (Back in the ’70s and ’80s I used to be director of Student Affairs for all the Health Sciences at the U of M, and I worked with hundreds of med students each year. Got to know which docs were good, which were not, and which were superior. Dr. Gotstout is beyond superior. Way beyond!) God arranged for you to have the finest medical/surgical help available anywhere in the world. (See how He takes care of you?!) Love to you, Tara and Jay–and those marvelous children, too!

  26. Hello from SC, Thank you Jay for inspiring updates. We are so grateful that you keep us up to date with progress and prayer needs. We are experiencing beautiful sunshine /sonshine today and trust you are too. Thinking of you, and praying His hope, presence and love surround you as you keep keeping on! Love, Aunt Barb

  27. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my savior. The sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of deer, he enables me to go on the heights. Habakkuk 3:17-19
    Your heights look pretty huge, but our God enables you to go on.

  28. Last summer I spent weeks in the hospital with my daughter as she recovered for a horrific car accident. I remember when I was finally able to return to church many of the worship songs (often including you and/or Tara in the worship band) brought me to tears as I was humbled by His greatness. The following song still brings me to my knees. Our God is SO GREAT! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSXHkjHabJk

    I don’t know what His plans are for your family and although I find it so unfair that a woman such as Tara, a woman with great faith who is so needed; is having to walk such a hard road, I do know that HE has a plan. A plan to “prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11) I clung to this verse during those first days of uncertainty after my daughters accident as I prayed, “God work something very good out of this very bad so that you will be glorified!” My prayers for you, Tara, have been much the same.

    May He give you relief from the pain, may you be surrounded by His love and the love of your friends and family, may He strengthen you when you feel weak and may His name be glorified!

  29. Tara,
    I want you to know that you have always held a special place in my heart. I have so many fond memories of you as we “grew up” at Grandma and Grandpa’s on the lake. I want you to know that I have been thinking of you, Jay, and the kids. I have been praying for your strength, comfort, and for steady progress in the journey that you are just beginning. I have been praying for Jay and your children. I wish that I lived closer to you and your family. If there is anything that I can do, please contact me or have your parents contact me.

    I will continue to offer my prayers and positive encouragement. I love you!

    Amy Miller

  30. Maiers Family,
    Praise God that the surgery is over for Tara! And yes there is more to conquer in Tara’s healing and we go before the Lord as Ephesian 3:20 says,”Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen

    Tara, I pray for strengh for you as you face the pain that comes while your body heals from surgery. May you and your family through this time of trial find the hidden blessings that God promises to those who persevere. My love to all of you.

  31. Jay and Tara- We are praying for you and your family. So glad to hear the surgery is over and Tara’s out of ICU. Please remember that we are here for anything that you need/want.

    Claudia Dreyer

  32. Tara, Jay and family,
    We are thinking of you constantly. We pray for your strength, healing, endurance, and peace. Your courage and perspective offer such witness to your trust in the Lord.
    Love and blessings to you all,
    Mike, Heidi, Kyle and Chloe Hooten

  33. Jay, Tara, and kids,
    We are thinking of and praying for all of you. May you continue to find strength and refuge in the Lord.

    “For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.” Psalm 91:3-4

    We love you all!

  34. Jay, Tara and family,
    Was happy to hear the surgery was successful. Praying that God will continue to be your rock and your refuge through all the ups and downs in this journey. I worked with Bobbie Gostout many years ago when she was a nurse in the Peds ICU. She was a wonderful person then and I’ve heard great things about her as a surgeon so I was happy to hear that she was your surgeon. I now work in radiology and work with patients who are in various stages of their journey with cancer. I’ve heard some incredible faith stories and have also prayed with and comforted others who are struggling. Praying that you will feel the Lord’s presence with you every step of the way. You all will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Gloria Smith (Parker’s grandma)

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