by Pulpit Helps Staff
Twenty-two month old Alex Passons is a fair-haired, bouncy, lovable boy who has no idea of the life-and-death struggle that went on in his mother's mind just thirty months ago. His mother, Melissa, came very close to ridding herself of the embarrassing "blob of tissue" that was Alex early in his gestation.
Melissa and Alex's story is a ray of hope in the grim wasteland of death and accompanying mountainous guilt which is so often the reality of many of today's young people. Our prayer is that this true story will help others find hope in the midst of what may seem to be a hopeless trap of their own making.
Melissa grew up in the church and was active in the church's youth ministry. Her parents are godly people and strong supporters of their church. As a teenager she not only attended church but became a youth leader. Everyone at church saw her as a wonderful Christian young woman.
At that time she thought God loved her because she was so loveable. But like many other teens, Melissa became sexually active at seventeen. When she and a young man "fell in love" and planned to marry she reasoned that made sex all right. The relationship didn't last-but once begun, sex with other partners continued. She begin to live a double life-her home-and-church life and her life in the world.
At the age of 21, doctors told Melissa she would never be able to have children. That news brought a tinge of disappointment, but also relief. Now sex, she reasoned, would really be free of consequences! But four years later what the doctors said was impossible, happened. She was pregnant. At that point Alex was definitely not a nice surprise, but a major problem. Her first thought was to keep the baby, but then she didn't want to raise a child in the life-style she was living. Abortion seemed to be her "best" solution.
Melissa sought the advice of three close friends who had chosen abortions as their "best" solution. She asked them about their experiences and what she got was horror stories. One definitely felt her baby move, trying to escape the powerful vacuum which would suck its body out in pieces. Another told Melissa she heard her baby scream in pain as it was being killed. The third suffered nightmares that still continue, though her abortion was eight years ago.
Then Melissa called AAA Women's Services in her home town of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The counselor reminded her of King David's illicit romance with Bathsheba-and how he added murder to his sin of sex out of wedlock. She pointed out that having Bathsheba's husband killed did not make David's life any better. When Melissa thought that through, she understood that killing her baby would not make her life any better, but worse. She couldn't kill her baby.
Also, for the first time in her life Melissa realized she didn't deserve God's love or salvation. She said, "I realized I couldn't earn salvation-none of us can. It is a gift from God. I fell on my face and cried and cried and cried. I begged God for His mercy. And he met me where I was."
Today, she has both Alex and a message for young women who are either now, or are considering becoming, sexually active. "I don't want others to make my mistakes," she said. The first time she shared her testimony publicly was at a junior high/senior high girls' retreat when Alex was six months old. It wasn't planned, except by God. It just came out, and Melissa was shocked at what she had said in front of strangers. Two months later, however, one of the girls who heard her testimony related to Melissa that a friend of hers had been present, and as a result had repented of her lifestyle. She broke up with the boy she had been sleeping with.
By now Melissa has shared her story a dozen times, and is overjoyed when she hears she has made a difference.
As one who has been there and come back, Melissa also has a bit of counsel for churches:
- Teach your young people abstinence.
- Know what to do with kids who are sexually active and kids who become pregnant.
- When they are ready for it, restore them-not only to church fellowship but even to leadership positions they previously held. "Some girls never find restoration in the church," she noted, adding: "Peter denied the Lord three times, but he wasn't kicked out."
First Corinthians 6:9-11 is now one of her favorite Bible passages - especially verse 11: "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." She recommends it highly to the girls she talks to-and to their churches.