8. “The person dying gets to choose.” What do you think about this statement? When Ben asked Rand to take him home, Rand knew deep down that the trip itself would likely expedite the end to Ben’s life, yet he did it anyway because Ben wanted to die at home. Would you have said yes to Ben’s request? Why? Or why not? Would you have pressed harder for Ben to undergo further treatment to “buy more time?” Have you walked this particular road with a loved one yet, and if yes, would you share your experience? Be sure and include the blessings too. With great pain always comes great blessing.
9. Did you learn anything new about medicine in the 1800s from this story? Did you realize that procedures such as the fluid extraction from the lungs was performed back then?
10. In Ch 37, Rand is forced to face his greatest fear. He comes “full circle”, so to speak, with the night that he was buried alive, the night he nearly died, but also with the night that changed the course of his life, that led him to become a doctor. Have you ever had a near death experience? How did it change your outlook on this life? Has God used a tragic, painful event in your life to lead you into the next steps of His will for your life? Please share.
11. At the end of Ch 38, Rand and Rachel visit Charlie and confront him about something in his past with the railroad. What did they confront him about and why did that have such a profound impact on Rachel? Have you carried a similar weight of guilt over something you’ve done? Read Psalm 103:8-12. What does the Word say about how God repays us in relation to our sin? In light of this, how should we deal with our guilt? Read 2 Corinthians 7:10. What does Godly sorrow for sin lead to?
12. To which character in Within My Heart did you relate to the most? What was it about this character that spoke to you?
13. In the epilogue, Rachel has the following thought, “…she marveled at how God intertwined people’s lives. Oftentimes without them ever knowing. But sometimes, like today, she glimpsed His handiwork, the attention He paid to the tiniest details in people’s lives, and it gave her fresh hope, fresh courage. And made walking into the unknown a little less frightening knowing He was waiting there for her. For them all.” Read Psalm 37:23. What does this Scripture say about God and the details of our lives? What details of your life are you struggling with right now? And perhaps, are there details you haven’t yet surrendered to Him? If you were asked to answer why you haven’t given them to Him yet, what would you say?
14. In this story, a character from a novel in a previous series made a cameo appearance. Who was it? (Hint: He was in Rekindled.)
15. What was your favorite scene in Within My Heart? What was your favorite passage?
16. Through your eyes, what was the take-away message of this story, and what events/characters in the book led you to that conclusion?