Tuesday, September 22, 2009


As I sit here at my laptop this evening I have a desire to write and share with you, but my spirit is weary. I sat here for a few moments with my face in my hands praying, "Lord, I don't even know what to say...or what to title it." The word weary came to mind...AGAIN.

It sounds depressing, yet weary is a word that has been on my mind...and tongue quite a bit lately. It describes how I often feel as I deal with chronic pain day in and day out. Pain that persists after a year...and many attempts at treatment.

I've wanted to share on my blog many times throughout the last couple of weeks, but sitting at the computer is painful. I promised to share more about my miscarriage loss and some things that I learned, yet lately I haven't been able to muster the engery. I still intend to do so, just not today. Most days it takes all I have to complete my regular tasks which includes caring for my husband, 2 1/2 year old son and our home. Weary, yes, weary...that's the word.

Being in constant pain can be a very lonely experience. Other people (even those the closest to you and that love you the most) can't really understand what it is like. Others continue moving through their busy days while you're lying on the couch praying for strength just to get through.

Then, a reminder comes...

Yesterday, I came across a scripture passage. One that I had read many times before. One that I have even used to encourage others during hard times. However, this time it hit me "like a ton of rocks." It was as if God was speaking it straight to my own weary heart!

Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.
Psalm 73:25-26

As I read, my eyes filled with tears. The loneliness of this pain began to fade. Whom have I in heaven but you, Lord?! Oh yes, my health may fail...and for sure my spirit grows weak (and weary), but YOU remain the strength of my heart. You are mine forever! And nothing can change that! You know, care and understand. I desire nothing more than you, Lord!

God never promised us that this life would be easy. However, He did promise us that when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deut 31:6, 8 & Heb 13:5). We don't have to be discouraged or afraid because He will go with us. He will give us the strength (His strength not ours!) that we need to get through whatever struggle we face!

I don't know what the Lord has in store for me next. I know that God could heal me at this very moment if He chose to do so. I also know that God's ways are so beyond mine...so even when I don't understand what He is doing, I can trust Him and His plan for my life. He is teaching me things through the pain. I pray that I will have ears to hear and eyes to see all that He is trying to show me.

My weariness must turn into dependence on the One who is the strength of my heart. How reassuring to know that He cares; He will not leave me, nor forsake me; He is mine forever!

I pray that you also have that reassurance and hope today, my dear reading friend. As always, feel free to contact me with any prayer requests or questions you may have. I am here for you...even in the midst of the pain.

Friday, September 11, 2009


It was one year ago today that I made that life-altering trip to the doctor's office. I was 11 weeks pregnant and this was my first checkup. I had been spotting for a little while, but from what I read online spotting oftten occures in early pregnancy. Although it did worry me a bit, since no other symptoms (no cramping at all!!) accompanied it, I decided to not overly worry...and just leave it in God's hands. This day, however, I had decided that the spotting had gone on long enough. I went into work that morning, but made a doctors appointment near my lunch hour.

It was quite a rollercoaster of emotions as I entered the doctor's office that day. I prayed for strength...and that we would get good news. A lot of, "Please help me, Lord!" After talking to the nurse and doctor I felt reassured taht the spotting wasn't a big deal. After checking me, their words were reassuring-everything looked fine.

Then, it was time for the in-house ultrasound. They said that hearing the baby's heartbeat would just reassure me that everything was fine. I lied on the table as the doctor began rubbing the little monitor (not sure what that little thing is called) around in the jelly on my belly. I waited and waited as he continuously moved the monitor. We waited...and waited some more. I looked at the doctor's face searching for some kind of answer. I could tell he was trying not to show any emotion, but I could sense a bit of panic in his eyes. Maybe it was merely the speeding heart in my own chest that made it seem that way, but it seemed as if was now frantically searching for a fetal heartbeat. Tears welled up in my eyes. Finally, he quit searching. He quickly apologized saying that he wasn't very good at running this ultrasound machine. He reassured me that it was probably just his error...and lack of experience in running the machine. I asked if he had ever not been able to find a heartbeat before. He hesitantly, yet honestly answered, "No." (You can always count on me to ask a zinger of a question!).

While they scheduled an ultrasound for me at the hospital, I called my husband, Alan. I broke down! He reasuured me that he would head my way as quickly as he could and that the in-house ultrasound was probably just wrong.

Despite everyon's reassuring words, the in-house ultrasound was not wrong! The hospital ultrasound was quite clear. Our baby had only developed to 6 weeks and there was no heartbeat. Why hadn't my body gone through the miscarriage process? Were my dates wrong? Could we be only 6 weeks pregnant? No, I knew my dates were right. Even the positive pregnancy test that announced to us that we were expecting was taken over 6 weeks before. Still, a person's mind can go all over the place during a time like this. I held onto a tiny bit of hope that the ultrasound could somehow be wrong.

We were sent home to wait. I cried and cried. Alan cried. We cried together. We talked and tried to process this information. Either my body would choose to go through the miscarriage process in the following week or, if not, we would go in for a second ultrasound on September 18th.

It was a long week! I went about my normal activities trying to forget that I was carrying my deceased baby and waiting to miscarry. Holding on to a bit of hope that the ultrasound was wrong. Still spotting, yet feeling more pregnant than ever (my pregnancy symptoms were hightened).

On September 14, 2008 I wrote the following:

September 11th will be a date etched in my memory for all time. It was a day full of sorrow for me. However, I’m not referring to the September 11th that you may be thinking of. Not September 11, 2001, the day that our wonderful country the USA was attacked by terrorists. Although that was a sad day for all Americans, that’s not the date I’m referring to. No, my September 11th story took place seven years later on September 11, 2008. That was the day that I found out I was having a miscarriage.

From the moment any woman realizes that she is expecting she starts making plans; dreaming dreams. I’m no different. Mine were shattered that day. At first I think I was in disbelief. Maybe you would call it denial. My husband, Alan, and I were trilled to think of soon welcoming a new baby into our family. We thought our little son, Andrew, would soon be a big brother. We really wanted this baby! How could this really be happening to us?

The days following September 11th brought with them many questions, confusion and a little fear. Tears flowed from our broken hearts. Many things in life are hard to understand. I believe some of our questions will never be answered here on this earth. I also believe that a bit of grief will always reside in our hearts as long as we travel this life. However, I’ve found such comfort and peace in knowing that my Heavenly Father comforts me in all my tribulations (II Cor 1:4).

As the weekend neared I knew I needed to prepare a Sunday school lesson for my 3 and 4-year-old preschool class. Honestly, I dreaded the thought of getting a lesson together. I’ve always loved teaching Sunday school, but I had found it very hard to concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes at a time. However, I prayed for strength and motivation. Before I knew it I had found some inspiration and was writing a lesson of my own.

I came across the story of the lost sheep in Matthew 18. I know this story is an illustration of God calling us, His sheep, back to himself. Yet, something else struck me as I read this story once again. It reminded me that God is our Good Shepherd (John 10:11). A Good Shepherd loves, cares for and protects His sheep. He knows His sheep and they know Him (John 10:14). Not only that, but our Good Shepherd has a plan for us (Jer 29:11). We can trust in Him and His plan for our lives (Prov 3:5). His purpose is to give life in its fullness (John 10:10). He causes everything to work together for good for us (Rom 8:28). He helps us in our distress (Rom 8:26).

Jeremiah 29:11-13 says:“For I know the plans I have for you”, says they Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster (evil), to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me.”

I am grateful for all He is reminding me of and teaching me through my September 11th experience. I trust in His plan (Jer 29:11). I want His will and not mine (Luke 22:42). I am thankful that He gives us hope (Ps 31:24) and that He heals the brokenhearted (Is 61:1).

Although I found such strength, peace and hope in my faith in Jesus Christ the following days were not easy. A second ultrasound confirmed the first (and the in-house one). Even my untrained eyes could clearly see the truth before me. No development past 6 weeks. No movement. No heartbeat. Since my body wasn't going through the miscarriage process properly, we had to decide what to do to avoid infection.
A third ultrasound to reassure my breaking heart that I was doing the right thing and a scheduled d&c followed. Don't know what a d&c is? Go here to learn more.
It was physically and emotionally draining time. I am so thankful that I knew God had (and still has) a plan for our family. That even though I don't always understand His plan, that I can trust Him and His plan for my life. It caused me to wonder what I would ever do without Him...without the peace and hope that only He can give!

Have you gone through a miscarriage or the loss of a baby? Do you know someone who has...someone who is struggling with this loss? So many people don't understand this pain. Many people minimize the loss. Please know that I understand the pain. I know that it is a REAL loss and the sorrow that it brings along with it. I also know that you can find hope and peace in the midst of the pain!
I learned so much through my loss and have compiled some thoughts (well, a lot of thoughts...enough that I could almost write a book). I want to share just a few of those things with you here on my blog in the next couple of posts. Check back to read some of my thoughts on some of the crazy things people say after such a loss, people minimizing the loss, what an opportunity a time such as this is to minister to a hurting woman's soul, some things to avoid and some things to do.

As always I am here to listen and pray, dear reading friend. Always feel free to leave a comment here or e-mail me: rachel.beran@yahoo.com

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Have you ever felt discouraged? I sure have! In fact, I just went through a time of discouragement this past week.

Some of you know that I have been dealing with ongoing issues with my neck for quite some time now...well, for almost a year. I have gone through weeks and weeks of therapy...and many ups and downs. Finally, at the end of June we saw somewhat of a breakthrough. I was feeling quite a bit better and the x-rays showed 70% improvement. I was overjoyed to have a break from the always time consuming and sometimes very painful therapy.

I had some minor setbacks in the last couple of months. Fortunately, they weren't long lasting. However, two weeks ago something happened. Not sure what triggered it. Yet, much of the pain returned in my neck, shoulder and arm-even some that I hadn't felt in months. Just when I thought things were heading in the right direction, I felt like I was back to square one. The discouragement began.

Anyone who has ever experienced constant pain is aware of how tiring, draining and all-consuming it can be. In the midst of the pain, I heard a voice in my head, "You're never going to get better. It's always going to be this way." Discouragement swept in a little more.

My body longed for rest, but the pain made me restless. Sleep didn't come easily-neither did anything else. The more tired I got the more my vision blurred...at least spiritually. I found it hard to focus on anything besides the pain. I asked God, "Why?" Hope was fading. Discouragement set in...and got nice and cozy!

You may have notice that I haven't posted on my blog in a while. This is the reason. It's tough for me to write an encouraging word to you, my dear reading friend, when I'm feeling discouraged myself. However, my story doesn't end there.

A couple of days ago I realized how "foggy" my perspective had become. I wasn't depressed, but I was discouraged. I wondered why I had to go through this pain once again. I felt there was no end in sight. I felt alone without anyone who truly understood or cared. My focus was on ME and MY circumstances rather than on the ONE who controls all things...the All-Knowing, All-Powerful, Almighty God.

I opened up my Bible to find some words of encouragement.

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord is the one who goes before you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:8

Although I don't know why God is allowing this in my life at this time, I DO know that I am not alone and that He will never fail me...nor forsake me. I don't have to be afraid or discouraged! He cares!

One of my favorite passages came to mind.

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me."

Oh Lord, why do I ever question you? Why do I so quickly listen to the lies of the enemy rather than to Your Truth. You are the Giver of Hope, the Loving Father. Although I don't understand, You know the plans you have for me...and they are for good!

I realized my need to pray (and remembered that He is listening). I longed to take the focus back off of myself and the pain I'm experiencing...and put it back onto the ONE who gives me a future and a hope. I scoured God's Word to find more words of hope. I felt my heart chiming in with these words in the Psalms as if the words were my own.

Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again-my Savior and my God!
Psalm 42:5

When I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me the strenght I need.
Psalm 138:3

I will quietly keep my mind on your decress.
Psalm 119:95b

A couple more visits to the chiropractor...more exercises, adjustments and traction therapy. I've felt a little bit of relief, yet as I sit here at my computer keying this out the pain still persisits. I have more visits on the calendar this week. My circumstances haven't changed much, but my focus has!

I put my hope in Him! I will praise Him through this. Then, I will praise Him again! I choose to remember that when I pray he WILL answer! I am encouraged because He gives me the strength I need! I choose to quietly keep my mind on Him and His promises!

With that in mind, how can I feel discouraged?!

How about you? Are you feeling discouraged today? Sometimes life is hard. God never promised it would be easy. He DID promise that He would go with us...if we seek Him. The circumstances of life can ofen bring us down. However, God is bigger than our circumstances!

I pray you found hope and encouragement in the scripture references above, my friend. Please pray for me. I already prayed for you today. :) If you would like additional prayer, please post a comment here or e-mail me at rachel.beran@yahoo.com.