By: Tonya Stevenson
I grew up in smothering hopeless evil darkness. I feel God is leading me to tell you one story of that darkness that by His grace you might learn the escape from darkness.
I was a skinny blonde ten year old girl in the 5th grade. My mother had married her third husband that summer before. Until that time we pretty much lived in a beautiful mountain valley surrounded by extended family, though we were gone a lot to rodeos. Now we would begin to move from place to place. This first year, we moved to Chandler, AZ. where my step Dad found a job in a feedlot riding pens. Housing was really hard to come by. Finally, they found a house close to the feedlot, in fact all that was between was a pig farm, if you can imagine. “Pew!” To get to the feedlot we walked across a 2’x4’ board over the top of an open drainage from the pig pens to the “lake” below. There were two blocks of houses down both sides of this country road. Proof a person can get use to any kind of filth.
Our house had a barn like door with no lock and two bedrooms for the seven of us. One night when my nine year old brother and I were home alone watching TV, our living room door burst open and a gang of boys entered. I sprang from my chair into the kitchen and grabbed a butcher knife and stepped back into the door way.
The gang was led by a fourteen year old whose dad was 6’7’’ tall and owned the pig farm. All the boys were bigger than myself. There was one younger girl, who was the sister of the leader. I knew they had come for me and so I stood in the doorway facing them, so they could not surround me.
They were taunting me with what they were going to do to me.
I responded, “You leave me alone,” and banished my knife.
The little girl ran out the door. The boys went into a huddle and I perceived they were planning to flank me through the kitchen door. Out that door was our gooseneck trailer, so I threw down the knife and ran to the trailer, locking the door just before the boys yanked on it. Immediately the thought slammed me, I was trapped. The back of the trailer was a ramp door that only opened from the outside, but from it, one could get through to the front of the trailer. I had to get out, but now what would I do? Everyone I knew in the houses had boys in this group… but we had horses in the feedlot and it was natural for me to run to a horse instead of man. These boys were afraid of horses. If I could get to our horses…
I ran to the back of the trailer and hit the ramp door as hard as I could with my shoulder; it fell open, evidently not latched. Bolting down the opposite side of the trailer, I made it around the boys before they knew I was coming, but now they were in hot pursuit. As I ran I tried to think it out, I wouldn’t have time to get a bridle; I would have to jump on bareback. Check’s mane was roached, that was harder for me than swinging on, but I had to make the first jump count. Then I could kick him into a run and hopefully scatter the boys; if I could get Check to the gate, I could open it and run out on to the desert under the shadows of the Superstition Mountains. I might not have a bridle, but I would be on horseback, it would be okay.
Now I am running across the 2’X4’ board praying I wouldn’t fall. I made it. There in front of me is the metal fence of the feedlot, I sprung to the top rung and noticed the first pen was full of bulls. I don’t know if I hesitated or they just caught me, but I was drug backwards off the fence. I was still fighting as the hyenas fell on me laughing and taunting, while someone brought up two of our ropes, which they wrestled around my waist. Then with an equal number of boys on each rope, they began to drag me back through the darkness while I panted and fought to get loose.
Suddenly the boys dropped the ropes and ran. I was at the 2’X4’ bridge and right in front of me towered the 6’7” man who owned the pig farm. He was glaring at me and roared, “I’ll kill you!!! You murderer, how dare you pull a knife on my son.”
As he picked up the 2’x4’, I stood in frozen terror. This was an adult, I was taught to respect adults and we were not allowed to even flinch when we were beaten or we were beaten worse, so I just stood. He swung the board… I heard a cry… and then I saw myself lying on the ground in a heap with this towering man and his board in front of me and my little brother standing behind me. I knew nothing more until the next morning.
An angry voice was yelling my name, I had to wake up, I had to move, but it seemed impossible. I was in my bed, it was morning. Mom was screaming. One of my jobs was to get my siblings ready for school. I was only allowed to be called twice, her tone told me I was in deep trouble. Somehow I got us all ready and we went to school.
At home my class had only been eight kids. Here there were five buildings of fifth graders and my school was separate from my siblings, so I rode a different bus. My bus arrived far ahead of theirs…I had a block and a half to walk to our house, the boys lined the street on both sides, as I walked and two girls rode their bikes around me.
They shouted, “Murderer, murderer!”
The man followed me home with the gun the following day after I had gotten off the school bus. I didn’t run, but I am sure I was walking very fast. Our pickup was gone and no one was home. I ducked into the living room door that had no lock and peeked out a side window. The man was going around to the back of the house. I ran to the bedroom and climbed up on the bunk bed to see out the window and there I looked death in the face up close, his gun pointing at me. His murderous eyes held mine, he began hideously laughing and laughing. I sat in helpless torment, tears dripping off my chin, waiting for him to shoot me. Finally he turned and walked away.
I learned to fear and hate the darkness from the life I lived, I tried to run away, I tried to fight, I became very self-protective and trusted no one. Nothing took me out the darkness. It took me twenty-one years to understand, I couldn’t flee the darkness because it abode in me.
When I saw Truth, then I cried out desperately to the God who died for me. He answered that prayer. He took me out of the darkness and into His wonderful light. John 1:4-5 says, “In Him (the Word, Jesus) was light, and the light was the life of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” I learned early that man was a predator that cannibalized his own, but it took me many years to understand that those who beat and abused me were not the ones keeping me away from Life. They were slaves to the prince of the power of the air, just like me, children of wrath being marched to our destruction. (Eph. 2:1-5)
No, No! They were not the enemy that could destroy me… I was! It was only my sin that separated me from Light, Life, Love, Liberty…from God. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” While I was yet his enemy Jesus died for me, I just needed to see the reality of my own sin and His perfect righteousness, then run to Him for forgiveness and salvation. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
What a precious treasure is the Light! I have seen behind the curtain of darkness, now I watch that same darkness spread over our country.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. For this reason, take up the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day…(Eph.6:12-13 NET)
Our forefathers experienced that spirit of darkness from centuries of tyranny and oppression as well as their own sin. They knew the value of the freedom to be able to walk in the light, and thus be light. No man is truly free, the Bible tells us in Romans 6 without Christ we are a slave to sin, but in Christ we have the enabling to be a servant of Righteousness. Because they understood the value of freedom they paid the costly price and by the grace of God brought forth our nation, stating plainly that our government would only work for a godly people. What made our nation exceptional among nations was that it walked in the Light and was blessed and protected by the Almighty God. “For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters, only do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge your flesh but through love serve one another.” (Galatians 5:13)
Those of us who followed after, got fat on the blessings we received from their sacrificed lives, not comprehending the treasure they gave us. We have turned from the Light that dissipates the darkness and the prince of darkness has stolen back in his Trojan horse to rule and rapidly dismantle this once great nation, he detests. We have sold our freedom for a bowl of socialism soup, when that teaching has starved to death and murdered millions. Under it, Venezuela now eats cats and dogs. A brother in the Lord who fought in Vietnam told me, “Why we fought communism in Vietnam, they welcomed it into our colleges at home.”
This prince of darkness wears many disguises and has many slaves, but the Bible tells us you will know him by his fruits, just as we are to know the true followers of the True God by their fruits. The enemy’s words may speak of love, joy, peace, kindness, patience etc., but his actions will show forth lies, murders, thievery, immorality, hatred and more. What do you see in our nation and the world?
I see we are being robbed and our money used for sickening ungodliness and even our destruction. I see insane spending enslaving us for generations to come. I see our constitution despised, our rulers putting themselves above our rule of law. I see us flooded with his darkest hyenas fresh from their raping, butchering, burning and beheading of our brethren across the ocean, while forcing us through welfare to pay their food and housing; The rules changed in Homeland security in the name of religious freedom allowing them to take suitcases of our money back for their Jihad. I see our soldiers disarmed and mowed down, a woman beheaded here, and people massacred… while our rulers cry, “Just work place violence.” If we try to defend ourselves, we are called the murderers and that includes our soldiers in the war zones.
It is past time to stand, but we cannot fight in the power of our flesh. If we do we may find ourselves as Samson with his haircut…no Godly power left. Our first step is to get right with our God and follow His lead. Then we must stand in this evil day. If that means we fall, then before our bodies land in a heap, we’ll find ourselves in our Savior’s arms.
.Tonya can be contacted at [email protected]