Naming Your Child
“It’s so much better to remember your child as people with a name rather than just the title of, ‘my aborted baby,'” my abortion recovery class leader announced about two-thirds of the way through our time together. “This isn’t mandatory but pray and seek God on this idea and He’ll answer your prayers.”
As I prayed that week for my child’s name, I was reminded of a moment about two days before my abortion. I was in my dorm bathroom when I heard in my heart, “You are carrying a son!”
That idea horrified me! I worked to push it out of my brain. Yet God had revealed something very clear. As I remembered that moment from years before, I realized that God had answered my prayer about stopping me from aborting if it was outside of His Will. I just didn’t listen.
With the belief that I had been carrying a boy, I started praying about a name. I prayed all week. I looked at baby name books but no name seemed to work. By the time the class arrived, my aborted child was still nameless. I then prayed to God for help.
Immediately a statement shot through my mind – “Your child has been in Heaven for eleven years, Sydna. Don’t you think I’ve named him by now? His name is Jesse.”
Feeling God had given me a name, I joyfully shared the story ten minutes later with the class. I listened to others sharing how God had helped them in the naming process. Many had no idea whether they lost a son or a daughter so they chose names that would work either way.
We all parted with unexpected joy. Our lost children were no longer nameless and that was a real comfort!
Jeremiah 31:17 NIV came into my heart – This is what the Lord says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded,” declares the Lord. “They will return from the land of the enemy…”
This passage does not say that these children would be resurrected. Instead, by giving my child a name, Jesse received dignity as a human being. He returned from the land of the enemy and came home into my heart where he would live forever!
A year later I found myself on the phone with my first abortion-vulnerable caller. We spoke for hours about the pain of abortion. It took her over two weeks to make a life decision for her child.
While I never told her my aborted child’s name, “Hope’s” decision of life fulfilled my simple dream of ensuring my Jesse had not died in vain! Peace was deepened with that truth but God had an extra gift for me…
Seven months later, a message waiting on my desk from “Hope.” It read, “Hope’s baby born. 7 pounds, 11 ounces. His name is Jesse!”
Recently I keyed Hope’s child’s name into Facebook and discovered that he’s now a father himself! God’s using my sin for His good in his life means a second generation in that family is now on the Earth!
For the rest of my life, I have Hope’s Jesse as living proof that my child did not die in vain! I look forward to the day I’ll finally meet my Jesse in Heaven. By the way, in Hebrew, Jesse means Yahweh (God) Exists!
As you consider naming your child(ren), seek God’s direction. Pray that God will help you identify his or her humanity to your heart in a deeper way. Don’t worry if you don’t know what your child’s sex was because there are plenty of names that could work either way.