Module 7 Devotionals

Naming an Aborted ChildI told you part of the story about naming my son. I always knew my aborted child was a boy. People often ask me, “How do you know your lost child was a boy?” I simply say, “I have three living sons now. I knew each one of them was a boy as soon as I learned I was pregnant.” But there was more to it than just that. God told me I was carrying a son before my abortion.

I remember driving into the parking lot outside of my dorm at school when Alan and I arrived at campus in September of 1981. The abortion appointment was two days away. In an effort to discourage me from aborting, I believe the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart saying, “You are carrying a boy, Sydna.”

It was a horrifying thought and I begged Alan to drive away and take me to a place where I could get high and forget. While I tried to get myself to a point of numbness, it didn’t work. The Holy Spirit was actively putting a boy’s face into my mind. God was trying to get my attention.

As part of my abortion recovery class, the leaders suggested we name our children. They said it would build the child’s personage in our hearts if they had a name. All that week I worked on naming this child but couldn’t come up with anything.

As I left for class that night, I felt hopeless. I felt strangely forlorn that a name had eluded me. I said a quick prayer, “Help me, Lord.”

Immediately I heard in my heart this message – “Sydna, your child has been in heaven for over eleven years. You don’t think I’ve named him by now?”

It had to have been God’s voice because I had never thought of that idea. I was strangely delighted that the naming process had already been handled!

Within a few moments the name, “Jessé,” came to my heart. It was interesting that this name would work for either a boy or girl. Later I would learn that Jessé means “God exists.”

I traveled to the class with a new happiness and relayed the story. Many of the other classmates were still unsure of the sex of their child so they chose a name that would work either way.

Finishing Jessé’s name would take two more years. I wondered what last name he would have had if he had been born. Since Alan didn’t want him, I didn’t feel his name was appropriate. Yet my maiden name didn’t seem right either. I left that process in God’s hand and didn’t worry about it.

Two years later I came to work to find a message on my desk from Alan’s father. He had been one of the recipients of that early broadcast tape along with a letter from my heart asking for his forgiveness. When my mother found out about my abortion she had called him and told him the truth.

When I got my lost child’s grandfather on the phone, he relayed, “An evangelist at our church told us to ‘get out of our comfort zones.’ The only one out of my comfort zone is you, Sydna. God wants me to let you know that I forgive you and that my wife and I love our grandchild in heaven very much.”

It was a short conversation but when it was over Jessé’s name was finished. He would bear his father’s last name because of his grandfather’s love. Later I would place a plaque at a memorial for unborn children with Jessé’s full name, date of death, and one word: “REDEEMED!”

Are you struggling with naming your child? Psalms 32:8 shares, I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

There is no timetable on naming your child so do not feel rushed. Ask God for help and allow Him to guide you in His time. In the meantime, always know that God has your children safe and warm in His heavenly care.

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