In my last post I wrote about doubting God and questioning His goodness, something we Christians know we shouldn't do, but if we're honest - it is a sin we commit. Thankfully, God has wrapped His arms around me as I walk through this season of grief and though I'm sad, He is comforting me.
One thing God has done in the last couple of days is remind me of His faithfulness. This isn't the first time I've experienced loss or prayed for healing that didn't come. Last night I read words I'd put together 4 years ago and they were powerful because they reminded me that God can and will carry me through whatever comes my way. He's done it in the past and I trust He will do it in the present.
My prayer is this story of hope will encourage you like it did me...
On June 20th 2009, I sat alone at the computer and put these words together, but waited until October to share them. It's a glimpse of how God has worked in my life and made Himself real. There are certainly times when life seems to make no sense and moments when His plan seems far from perfect, but He is present and He is working. While He does just that He never asks for me to figure things out (though all too often I try), He simply wants me to seek Him, trust Him and never lose my hope in Him.
So with that here's my story of "Hope"...
Last August (2008) we experienced a miscarriage – pain and loss you never understand until you’re in the midst of it yourself. I only knew I was pregnant for 15 days – doesn’t seem long, but once you’ve connected with a child it is a bond you share for life. I never felt the baby move, saw her face or heard her voice, but yet the baby is mine.
The days following the loss were difficult; tears would come in ways I never expected. I’d see a baby toy and wonder if we’d ever need that again, I’d look at the kids’ pictures on the wall and realize I wouldn’t need to rearrange them 9 months down the road, and once my 3 year old asked me to read a book and handed me one titled, “We’ve Lost our Baby.” She didn’t understand why it made me cry.
During the time of sadness there was also strength, not mine, but God’s. He lifted me up in ways I had never experienced. The loss was real, but His comfort was too. In this difficult time, I experienced a side of God I never had before. Even when I wasn’t seeking Him, He was holding me. When the hurt created questions and caused me to push away, He drew me close.
Looking back it’s still hard to understand and thinking about our little one who should now be 2 months old still brings tears. But God’s Word is true, He has a plan and it’s one for good. Now I would never say losing a child is good, but what God did through the experience has been.
He made Himself real and proved His Word to be true. He worked through others and lifted me up. He reminded me why we have hope and how heaven is real.
And nearly 6 months following, He unexpectedly blessed me with another pregnancy. Early on the fears returned, what if I lost this baby too? That wasn’t a road I wanted to walk again.
As our pregnancy reached the 6-week mark, thoughts turned to the baby who should have been born in 6 weeks and feelings of joy turned to ones of guilt. I really struggled with God’s ability to give and take away. I rejoiced for the baby to come, but felt like I was forgetting the one who already was.
Time went on and God continued to walk me through this journey we call life. I would cry and He’d dry the tears. I would question and He would answer. He assured me my pain was OK, the loss was real and He knew, He’d lost a child too.
So as the pregnancy progressed I found myself thinking about names. And as a family of all J’s, thoughts started there. Janelle, Judson, Jordan, Jace, Jared, Julie…the list went on, but I always came back to Jenae. I’m not sure why, but it seemed to be the name God had for our little one.
Eventually I looked into the meaning of the name and found it to be, “God has given.” Since this wasn’t a baby we had “planned” (are any?), I thought the name fit.
Then it was time to move on to the middle name and instantly Jenae Hope entered my world. It made sense - God has given hope, and what a gift that is!!
My husband still wasn’t sold on the name; he claimed it sounded too much like one of the other girl’s. I assured him all names that start with J would be similar. We continued to discuss possibilities and had plenty of input from the little one’s older siblings, but still without even knowing the sex of our baby I was sure we had a little Jenae Hope Beran.
Well that confidence only lasted to the halfway point of our pregnancy. We had always waited for the Dr. to announce the baby’s sex in the delivery room, but this time my curiosity surprised me.
At the completion of our ultrasound, the radiologist handed me an envelope with the answer to my question. I waited awhile (like 2 hours), but eventually took a peak and pledged to a 20-week secret – it was a boy!
I wasn’t totally surprised as there had been similarities in the pregnancy with that of our other son, but because of the name, the one it seemed God had given, I was prepared for a girl. I can remember thinking, “What about Jenae?”
And though I didn’t hear God’s voice, it was as if He said, “I’m already holding her.” And then there was peace – it all made sense - that name was on my heart during the time she should have been born. I thought I was naming baby number 5, but God knew it was number 4.
The name doesn’t make it any easier; actually it brings the tears right back. But I’m learning that’s OK, though her life was short, her presence was real and the pain is too. She’s one I won’t hold until heaven, but I’m thankful for her life and that I know her name. I’m also grateful God has given us His hope! Mommy loves you little Jenae Hope Beran.
"I Will Not Forget"
Though it seems
the world has forgotten
and even I have went a day
or two without remembering,
"I will not forget."
The role you played was pivotal
and your presence powerful.
You touched my heart
and changed my life,
"I will not forget."
I think of you often and
still miss you just the same.
You will forever be
a part of me,
"I will not forget."
No one will ever take your place
or do what you have done.
You alone are special -
a gift only God could give,
one, "I will not forget."