The Yellow Carnation
Taking time to grieve the loss of my baby was probably one of the most healing things I had done throughout this entire post-abortion recovery journey. I had learned so much about myself, my circumstance and about God along the way; but finally allowing myself to recognize that I had experienced loss in this whole situation, was so entirely freeing. Up until that point, I had never allowed myself to feel loss because I didn’t think I deserved to acknowledge that I had lost anything – it felt inappropriate to want to grieve. You can read all about that in my last post: Good Grief.
If you’ve ever lived through loss, you already know that one of the most important things you can do is trust the Lord to help you make it through your grief. Sometimes that’s trusting in the Lord’s plan, sometimes it’s trusting His promises, and sometimes it’s simply trusting Him – that He is who He says He is and that He did what He said He did.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right path. Proverbs 3:5-6
“The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy. … “At that time I will bring you in, Even at the time when I gather you together; Indeed, I will give you renown and praise Among all the peoples of the earth, When I restore your fortunes before your eyes.” Says the Lord. Zephaniah 3:17, 20
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares The Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come to pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
I was learning that the Lord had a plan for me as I relived my abortion and the events that surrounded it. I was learning that He had a plan for my baby as well. I hadn’t ever considered that anything good could come out of this situation; however I was truly learning to trust the Lord. Despite the shame and guilt I had lived with for years, I was now seeing that there is beauty that comes from the ashes. I was only able to see this through the love and forgiveness of my Savior, Jesus Christ.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:17
I now knew that the Lord had been pursuing me through this healing journey and that as I put my faith and trust in Him, He was faithful to forgive and restore me. And that’s exactly what He was doing.
I also learned and was reassured that I would see my baby again one day – in heaven. After King David’s first child by Bathsheba died, he acknowledges that, “I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” (2 Samuel 12:23) He knew that his child would not return to him on this earth; however he would one day meet him again in heaven.
I started to envision my child playing at the feet of Jesus – with other little children. I wondered if those other children had the same path to Jesus that my little one did. I may never know if that vision is true; however it gave me great comfort to know that my son was in Heaven with the greatest caretaker of all – our Heavenly Father.
I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west… everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made. Isaiah 43: 5-7
Know that the Lord is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Psalm 100:3
I had been half looking forward to and half dreading what was about to happen next. This healing journey was directing me to hold a ceremony where I would release my child to the Father. I would let go of everything that had kept me bound up over the years and allow the true existence of my child to be released into the Father’s arms. I would honor my son’s memory by acknowledging him and allow myself to experience the peace of knowing where he rests today.
One of my dear friends who had been a strong confidant for me through this journey agreed to share this experience with me. I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a bouquet of flowers and then picked her up from her house. We went to the beach, where I always stood in awe of God’s creation. What better place to remember someone He created than somewhere that I often felt His presence?
I chose a single yellow carnation to represent my little boy and we set out across the sand. We found a quiet place that was near the mangroves that lined the beach. I placed the yellow carnation in the sand and we sat and held hands. We didn’t stay long – just long enough to thank the Lord for His provision for me and my lost child and to pray for His will in the future regarding my marriage and this story.
We then secured the carnation in the sand and slowly walked back to the car. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated this special friend of mine and the time that she shared with me as I walked through this journey – especially this part. I couldn’t imagine doing that on my own. As we walked away from the beach, I felt a sense of calm and peace come over me.
This ceremony is why you find a yellow carnation on my website. It’s why the yellow carnation is a part of every post that I publish. The yellow carnation represents the memory of my lost son – I can’t even look at a yellow carnation without thinking of him.
I thank God that He brought me this far in remembering, grieving and releasing my little boy to Him. I knew when I agreed to go through this post-abortion recovery journey that I would open old wounds, feel pain that I had hidden for so many years and hopefully find some joy that I had been missing. I can tell you with absolute certainty that all of these things happened – and the joy that I found made everything else along the way worth it.
What I Learned:
- Trust in the Lord is the most important thing I did through this journey. This trust created the foundation I needed to walk firmly through each step that He had planned for me.
- Jesus lived so that He would ultimately be crucified and save my soul – it sound somewhat cruel, but it is truth in its most simple form.
- The Lord has His protective hand over my little boy. When I didn’t care for him, He did (and does).
- The smallest act of acknowledgement and recognition of my child’s existence opened the door for great peace to enter my life.
- What have you been hanging on to that you need to release to the Lord?
- What truth is the Lord wanting to reveal to you about your circumstance?
- What do you need to trust the Lord for or in?
- In what ways can you trust Him?
- Who is a confidant in your life that you can share this experience with?
If you need prayer or would like to talk, please contact me privately. I would love to pray with you, pray for you or simply be an ear to hear. God bless you.