I first met Mitch Luse in the basement of an old academic building at Temple University in Philadelphia. He was leading worship for a campus ministry. I was in the back corner watching the room unravel in the presence of God. He was young, bachelor-life skinny, and slouched over his guitar. His hair was a wild brown curly mane, and his eyes were wide and deep, like Aimee’s. The sound that he filled the room with was soaked in something that I lived for, intimacy with God. I wanted to know him.
I proceeded to position myself to know Mitch at school, in cunning ways that I have rarely admitted to anyone. I dropped and added classes to “run into” Mitch Luse. I stood by water fountains for prolonged periods of time until he passed by. I joined a 7am prayer meeting multiple days a week which involved a subway commute that wrangled me up in dark cold mornings. I engaged in a campus ministry that I otherwise had little interest in. At the time, it was all for “other reasons.” Looking back, it was all for him.
Mitch and I started dating in March of 2006. I was on my last leg of my undergraduate studies. He was one year behind me in school. We both spent that summer abroad in different nations. I served with The Salvation Army in Kenya/Ghana, and then flew from there to work in translation at an Institute in Tver, Russia. Meanwhile, Mitch was studying Arabic at a language institute in Yemen. Our dating life that summer was an adventure navigated through remote internet cafes in different nations, often the only expat in the room, praying earnestly that the chat box would open and work. When the chat box disappeared suddenly, and the clunky computer shut down, I was always sure that the next thing he was going to say was, "I love you," and most likely I missed it.
I remember so clearly standing in a perilous line at the post office in Russia, successfully receiving one letter from him. It was postmarked from Yemen. Can you imagine the look that they gave me getting mail from Yemen? The rest of his letters to me disappeared. I never got them. We both felt that if our relationship survived and deepened after that summer, it was likely something of substance that we would be in it for a long time. Long story (for another time!) short … it was and is something of substance. Two years later we were married. Twelve years later he is releasing a book on marriage.
My wedding day hosted profound peace in my soul, like water that lacks a single ruffle. My spirit was thoroughly confident that, this is right. The Presence of God and a passion of prayer has always been at the heart of our relationship. We hosted countless prayer meetings over the years, worked together to cultivate community wherever we lived, and navigated through some of life’s greatest challenges together. “For better, for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health...” We were faced with all of that within six months of our wedding day.
Our marriage is not perfect, and neither are we. We struggle, we fight, we drift into friendship amnesia about why we like each other. But, we are best friends with the most secure commitment to each other. We have strengths as a couple that we have fought hard through real suffering to cultivate in our marriage. Not least among these is that in our marriage, we both take up space. We have a diehard commitment to co-reigning, co-leading, and supporting one another’s purpose. And that is the topic of Mitch’s book.
I would not be where or who I am without the propeller of a man in my life named Mitch Luse. He is the strongest wind source of momentum in my wild and ever evolving story. He is faithful and steady, proven both dependable and pure through raging seas. This man will grab the mast in a storm, save the whole ship, and never once expect or solicit credit for it. Over the years, he has sacrificed extensively, given generously, and served me with striking kindness in the both the ugliness of my grief-stricken heart, and the glory of my God-given successes.
When my personal significance hosted nothing more than carrying groceries up a lonely staircase, he would shout after me about how I was a revivalist, prophetic, and a world-changer. Mitch was my one donor to return to ministry school, and there catch a flame that would propel an entire community forward for years. Mitch funded the birth of ConnectUp alone through long days at a job he did not enjoy while I put my hands to the ministry plow. He was our first, and for a long time only, partner. ConnectUp now hosts healing for the brokenhearted, hundreds every year. This man fought for our connection when our lives were screaming to disconnect through the pain of losing a child. This man tolerated countless people at events and conferences over the years who approached him with, “Where is Katie?” “Can I talk to Katie? “Are you Katie’s husband?” overlooking the gem before them that is so much more than “Katie” will ever be. Oh … and the most prevalent one, “This is Mitch, Katie’s husband.” Which ... is why “Joseph, the husband of Mary” that he writes about in his book is so significant to him. Through all of this and more, Mitch chose to let his insecurities be confronted and die to celebrate that his wife could thrive, succeed, run far and fast - while remaining in relationship with him.
He has never talked about any of this … until now.
The 5:25 Call is Mitch’s journey pressed into ink, and a bold call to husbands everywhere to consider what it really means before God to take up the call of husbandry. I am humbled to tears by the authenticity of what this book is about. Mitch lives the call that he is making to the world. It is his call to make. God spoke to Mitch years ago to write this book. It is his costly obedience, it's content has soaked inside of him for a long time. As is the case with any creative endeavor approached by a spouse, we have journeyed through the birthing of this together, and the labor pains from concept to print are real. The writing, producing, designing, and somehow by the grace of God funding is such a process. We handed the manuscript back and forth many times, challenging each other to be forthright with the world about what we know.
I would not say that ours is a model marriage, or that we have somehow arrived through releasing a book on marriage (please no crazy expectations!). But, I will say with confidence that Mitch Luse has a message about marriage that I believe is for the whole world. The book is outstanding and practical. It hosts discussion questions for small groups, and a prayer guide for personal transformation. If you want to have an encounter with God through it, you will.
It is for men and women,
single and married,
young and old.
It is for the thriving and the hurting,
The married and the divorced,
The confident, and the insecure.
It is for everyone.
The 5:25 Call is an invitation for men to take up the brilliance of their divine call by becoming living propellers of God’s daughters around the world. It is also a megaphone of validation for women to take up space, stop forfeiting authority, and be the gift that we are to the world. This is the 5:25 Call which is based on Ephesians 5:25 … "husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."
You do not want to miss this book. It is available for a discounted rate right now as a pre-order! Books will ship when they become available, no later than 10/17/20.
Buy it now!
To Mitch Luse, it is your turn to shine!
p.s. Read other endorsements on The 5:25 Call from people like Dr. Mike Hutchings of Global Awakening, Colonel Janet Munn of The Salvation Army Social Justice Commission, Pastor John Leach of Life Center, Associate Evangelist Justin Allen, Pastor Kevin Pitts, Author Phill Olson, and Lt. Tabitha Swires!
Katie Luse is a speaker and writer who is passionate about navigating life with eyes on a hunt for beauty.