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Exposing the Darkness by Breaking the Silence

 

I was raped by the missionary who led me to Christ. I fled, carried my baby to term, delivered him and raised him alone. When my son was five years old we found our way to California where I met a couple who took me into their hearts and helped me break the silence by exposing the darkness which I had kept secret in my soul. I have never written anything about those terrible dark years until now.

Deception was the trap. God’s love was distorted. I am meditating now, as I write, on Ephesians 5:11-14: “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible for it is the light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, O sleeper; rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you’ ”

The subtle deceitful thoughts from Satan were: “Nothing can be done. You are abused. Your innocence, your life and your trust have been banished along with any hope for redemption”.

These words come frequently to me from the Lord: “My child, in this world you will find trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world. You are the joy for which I endured the cross. My heart was and is fixed on you. My eyes were and are fixed on you”.

There I was, a little girl who was given the gift of emotions to enrich my intimacy with my Creator and to bring beauty and love into this world. Those emotions were assaulted right away; they were shamed, shattered and twisted. My soul was bleeding to death.

…but not forever, as Satan wanted me to think.

MY HOME OF ORIGIN

Both of my parents were addicted to drugs and alcohol and violence. They abandoned me to the care of my mother’s mother when I was born. My grandmother found consolation in me, for she had lost her little girl to leukemia. My entire world was my grandmother. I played alone, often looking through the window for long periods of time, wondering what it would be like to have someone to play with like the kids on the street. My starvation for relationships with others grew greater and greater.

I did not meet my parents, my brother and two sisters until I was six years old. My confused frightened thoughts were: “Who are these people? What is a father? I do not want to stay here! I do not feel safe!”

From that time on, my father demanded that I be with the family every weekend. My father, a wrestler as a youth, was an intimidating, domineering, macho man who beat my mother, making it clear that he was the one with the power. He never knew that I wanted to crawl up on his lap and feel his face, laugh with him, kiss his cheek and say to him, “Look at me. I belong to you. I am not behind the window anymore”. …but still, I was. Behind the window.

In order for me to be accepted by my family, I was expected to become like them. It became clear to me that I did not act like them, I did not like what they liked and I did not feel any love or closeness with them.

My mother was bitter toward me, saying things like: “MY mother never gave me what she has given you”. “MY mother never loved me the way she loves you”. “You eat what I give you. You are not at your Grandma’s house!” “You are such a picky spoiled girl, but here we will teach you reality!” “Shame on you for not liking chorizo, cow intestines, and cow kidneys. Sit there until you eat them or else when your father comes home, he will make you like them”.

I would sit for hours, terrified that my father would come home and punish me. I gagged the food up and down in my throat, trying to swallow it along with my tears so that my mom would not yell at me again. My mother was declaring war on me. I was her enemy! Her powerlessness before my father turned into viscious tortures inflicted upon all four of us children.

I despised the wrestling matches we were forced to attend. I despised the times we went to the houses of my parents’ friends’ who were city robbers. I witnessed gangsters beating their women. I saw a man unconscious in a pigpen, his face covered with pig manure. In order to be accepted by these people I had to appear to like what I despised deep in my gut. There was hidden agony in me…a six-year-old little girl. Joy was stolen before its seed could bloom.

My oldest sister seemed to hate me. When a group of neighbor kids gathered to play, I watched, sitting on the stairs feeling like joining them, but knowing that I was not welcome. When I went toward them to play, my sister would jump in my way and yell: “NO!” I had no idea why I was treated with such harshness. I wondered what was wrong with me.

One time my sister asked me if I wanted to play with them and my little heart leapt. I was going to join the fun, but more importantly, I was accepted by my sister. The game with kids was being played outside the building where we lived. Here was the game: We were to throw rocks at a dirty, homeless guy who was sleeping on the sidewalk across the street. My sister explained the plan to me this way: At the count of “3”, we would all throw rocks then run back into the building, closing the door.

My sister had, however, instructed the other kids that at the count of “2”, they were to throw rocks and then run. She counted. By the time I threw my rock, the guy was standing up, infuriated, and coming toward me. All the kids ran into the building and closed the door and I was left, paralyzed for a moment. I ran to the closed door, pounding on it, over and over again, begging as I cried: “Please open the door. Please open the door!” Finally the door was opened and through my tears, I could see all the kids laughing at me.

My sister had betrayed me, I believe now, out of jealousy. My hoped for acceptance by her was shattered. An enormous tide of anger and bitterness started to rise up in my soul, choking out any desire in me for any relationship with my family. I had no idea how to set boundaries for myself or voice my hurt for the injustices so I numbed my feelings and simply survived. I was never going to be hurt again if I could help it.

At home with my grandmother, my aunt demanded perfection from me. I started first grade and was slapped by her when I did not do my homework right. I had no place to express how hurt I was. I protected myself with swallowed anger and tears for there were no compassionate, loving arms to comfort me.

SATAN’S PLAN TO DESTROY MY SOUL

One day my grandma went to pay the rent to our landlord, an old lady with whom she had been friends since childhood. While the two women talked on and on, I was bored and wanted to go home. A 20-year-old guy who lived on the second floor came to talk to the landlord, saw me, and offered to entertain me. My desire for closeness and intimacy were consciously unknown to me, so that invitation felt good. I felt happy as we put together a puzzle of a jungle. The man told me “You are so beautiful”. For the first time in my life I felt special.

In the first three months the man gained my trust and genuine love by taking me to the forest, the park, the museums, the opera and playing his guitar for me. Then he started asking me to take showers with him, he urinated in front me in a casual way, then showed me pictures of a couple having intercourse in many positions, including oral sex. I do not recall sexual intercourse. He read comics to me while he touched my undeveloped breasts. I felt aroused and close to him, yet nauseated and confused at the same time.

This man was involved with groups of people engaging in trances and levitations; He started to teach me telepathy and give me a crystal sphere to read. He touched my private parts, guiding my little hand to masturbate him. He played hide and seek in his dark room with several girls and if he found us in the dark we were rewarded with his touch and sick, wet kisses. He took me to a Rosacrucian sect meeting. All of these confusing assaults on my young soul were becoming so intense that after a year I began to pull away. I despised him, felt nauseated when with him, but felt love for him at the same time.

My father left my mother when I was nine years old and had me move with him, along with my siblings, to another state. I hated my father but I hated myself even more for not being bold enough to confront him. In retrospect, I believe my Heavenly Father used my earthly father to take me away from my predator. I was placed in a boarding school until the age of 12 with 450 other girls. The competition to be chosen grew big in my heart. I never told anyone about any of the above assaults, but buried them deep in my soul. When my secret shame overpowered me I would return in my mind to being that little girl behind the window. My soul was slowly dying.

I was fourteen years old when a missionary and his wife came to our neighborhood to pioneer a church. My parents knew the man who had opened his home for those meetings. My mother and dad had reunited and my family went together to the meetings where we sang about Jesus. One night the missionary/pastor told me the most intriguing bit of news: “Jesus Christ loves you and wants to have a relationship with you.” He prayed with me and I gave my heart to Jesus. I cried and cried after that little prayer.

For the next year the pastor and his wife became a part of my family and my life. I trusted this pastor and felt free and happy for the first time in my life. He took my younger sister and me everywhere, he preached the Word of God, he played with us and soon became a father-figure to me. I loved him. When I was sixteen, he and his wife were transferred somewhere else and we did not know where they went until I ran away to the United States when I was eighteen. They somehow heard that I was here in California and found me. They became alarmed about my being influenced by men who were into Satanism and asked me to come to live with them in Los Angeles. After three months, they were transferred to Texas and I went with them. As soon as we were settled in Texas I confessed to the pastor that I had lost my virginity. I wanted to be forgiven and have the Lord be real to me again.

After my confession, my relationship with the pastor was never the same. I thought I was provoking him so I felt sick, nauseous and dirty. He started to write beautiful poems to me. …over one hundred of them. I wished that I never accepted those poems for ambivalence and confusion were driving me insane. I asked him to stop writing to me, but he kept sliding the letters and poems under my bedroom door at all times of the day and night.

One day when this man and his wife were leaving to go somewhere, he ran back into the house, caught me and just licked my mouth. Shortly after, the nasty games began. He fondled me and this went on for a couple of months. Where could I go? Then one day, I was staring up at the ceiling while my silenced voice screamed within me: “PLEASE DON’T!” I tried to push him off and fought what was happening. I was limp, disconnected, and crying quietly. He left. I stayed in my room with the door closed for days and days. After a month or less I took my stuff, my shame, ambivalence, betrayal, pain, anger, hopelessness and ran away again, but this time, embracing in my womb a precious life which I did not know about until four months later.

I fled back to my parents’ home. What an irony! I had always wanted to stay away from them, but the little kicks in my stomach left me no choice but to return to them. I did not want my sister who hated me to see my pain or my failure. I made up my mind not to tell my family anything.
I called my best friend from my high school days and she came to see me one evening. I told her that I was pregnant and she made an appointment with a doctor for me. The doctor’s words, “You have a bull in your womb!” caused me to burst into tears of terror. What would I do? Would my baby look like the pastor who had raped me? Would the baby remind me forever of my shame? Not a drop of strength was in me. I yelled at the doctor: “ I do not know if I can ever tell this baby who the father is!”

“I will help you.” she purred.

“I do not want to go back to my house!” I told her and her response was: “I will find a place for you but you need to promise me to calm down.”

The next day I lied to my parents and told them that I had been hired to work for a hotel in another city and left. My high school friend drove me to the address that the doctor had given us. The doctor met us at the condo and we left there and drove out of the city to a two or three-acre property with lots of tall trees and green grass. We drove around to the back of an exotic residence where I would spend the rest of my pregnancy in isolation. Mrs. Luke, the owner, welcomed me into her home and showed me to a lovely room with a private bath and glass doors that provided me with a view of the beautiful trees. Once more, I felt “behind the window”. I was a lamb away from a shepherd, at the mercy of the wolf. God’s loving sovereignty, however, was hovering over me.

I rarely saw the people who lived on the property. The working son, daughter and husband left the house early in the morning. Mrs. Luke regularly played poker with her friends and I heard the noise and laughter in the night as tears flowed down my face from loneliness, terror and shame. Mrs. Luke did not expect me to do anything. One of the few times we talked she told me how grateful she was to my doctor for making it feasible for her daughter to adopt a baby. At the time, I did not connect the dots, however strange that may seem. My belly was growing along with an indescribable strong force of love for my baby. The feeling of disgust, however, grew toward the one who had planted his seed within me. As I showered, I could see my entire profile in the mirror. My tears could not get rid of the feeling that something was tearing at my insides. It hurt. Staying under the shower was all I wanted to do. I wanted to be clean.

I began to talk to my little boy, for I somehow knew the gender of the little body I was carrying. I tearfully caressed my belly, softly telling him over and over, “I do not hate you. Please believe me!”

I left the property only for a checkup. The doctor ordered certain medical exams and prescribed medications. I knew that I did not have the finances or insurance to cover the expenses that were racking up. The doctor took cash from her purse and put it in my hands and said nothing. Soon she began to suggest that I give my baby up for adoption. I would break into fear and despair, but would think that maybe God wanted to grant to someone else my baby. The doctor told me that a wealthy couple from France was hoping to adopt my baby. They could send him to the best colleges in Europe and he would lack nothing.

My mind spun over wanting my baby to have the best, and wanting somehow to give him the best myself. During my 8th month of pregnancy my high school friend called to say that a lady had come to her house looking for me and refused to leave until she told this woman where to find me. The woman made my friend call me, then she insisted on talking to me. The lady was my aunt! …the aunt who had lived with my grandmother and me, years before. She told me that she could not get me out of her mind. She had visited my mother and could not believe that my parents had done nothing about trying to find me. Somehow she learned of my friend’s name and went to her home to see if she knew how she could find me. With shame, I told my aunt that I was pregnant. To my surprise, she said, “A little piece of you is the greatest thing that could ever happen to you!”

I became more and more confused as the time for my baby’s birth drew near. My friend took me for my nine month checkup. The doctor looked at my ultrasound and told me to check into the hospital that night for a C section the following morning at 7:30 A.M. I was in shock for I did not know why she was insisting on this procedure rather than a natural birth. She asked if I had made a decision about giving my baby away for adoption and I told her that I was very confused and needed to be able to hold him in my arms before deciding.

My friend took me to the hospital and my aunt and uncle came to be with me that night. I began to shake and my lips were quivering. When the nurse came in to check me her green eyes caught my attention and I was calmed by those piercing eyes. She asked me why I was troubled but I did not want to talk. She noticed my agony. The lights were turned off, my aunt stayed by my side, my heart pounded, my mind was still confused and I was torn apart.

I was awakened at 6:30 the next morning by the nurses who were getting me ready for the delivery room. I could not stop shaking. When I saw my doctor, I was relieved for her kind voice comforted me. “Everything is going to be o.k.”, she whispered. Fighting the anesthesia I silently screamed: “Whatever I do, I never want to regret it!” I mumbled: “When I hold him, I will know.” Then I was under the anesthetic.

Consciousness came to me very slowly but I could not open my eyes for they were heavy and swollen. I heard this: “There is a couple looking at the baby and they are so excited. They are calling him ‘our baby’ ”!

Something rose within me like a tide. “He is MY baby! Who are these people? What is going on?” I opened my eyes and my friend was there, repeating what I had just heard. A nurse began to give me a shot and my aunt asked her what the shot was for. “…to prevent the milk.” My aunt told her to stop immediately.

“I want to see my baby boy. It is a boy. Right?” The nurse replied that there were instructions not to bring the baby to me until my doctor approved it. Three hours passed. My aunt brought pictures of my baby boy that she snapped through the nursery window. Something was not right and I knew it. I paged my doctor several times but she did not come. The nurse with the green eyes showed up and I asked her why I could not see my baby. Her answer: “The doctor has done this before. She gives financial and emotional support to pregnant girls who are unsure about keeping their baby.” Then she asked me, “Do you have any idea how much money wealthy foreign people pay for a baby? If the pregnant girl decided to keep the baby the doctor presents the hospital bill and other charges accumulated. Since this is a private hospital the girls have no means to pay so end up surrendering their baby.”

“No! No! NO”! I cried. I could not believe that this was not a lie and the bitter taste of another betrayal invaded my soul again. How much more meanness could I take?

This wonderful nurse said to me: “I will bring you your baby right now with or without the doctor’s instructions.” Before I knew it, Eric was latching onto my breast and I knew with no doubt that he belonged right there in my arms. A glimpse of beauty started to arise. This was just the beginning of God’s beauty overpowering the ashes in my heart.

My doctor came and yelled at me for calling her so many times, then walked out. My uncle used his hard-earned business money to pay the hospital bill, I signed a self-release and left the hospital with a joy I had never known before. I did not understand then that the Mighty Hand of my loving Lord hovered over me and my baby! Glory!

Note: Two weeks later my uncle recovered three times the amount of my hospital bill that he so sacrificially paid.

BEAUTY FOR ASHES


In the next years, the deep wounds of my abuse were still in my soul and spreading. I suppressed all of the dirt and shame but the smell of death could not continue to be suppressed. A couple of times I considered taking my life. The little innocent, defenseless lump in my bed that was my baby gave me strength to continue existing. My heart turned cold from rebelliousness about the hurt and betrayals. I became promiscuous in order to gain power over men. I gave sex, hoping for love. I had two abortions, smoked, drank and hated everything and everyone. My only glimpse at beauty was my beautiful little boy.

When Erick was four years old I decided to marry a man for I did not want Erick to grow up without a dad. This man brought me to the United States. Within two weeks I realized this man was a sex psycho, and a womanizer. I left his house with my little boy, angry beyond description. I worked at a convenience store when I met a girl who invited me to church. I went to church, finally, with the girl and the moment I walked into that place, the veil was torn in my heart. “I need you, God,” I cried. “I do not want this life for my son!” Even though appearing to be tough, I was actually broken in soul, full of shame, hopelessness and pain.

I began to follow Christ. I grew discouraged but I prayed and continued to listen to God’s Word. Several months later I met a couple who knew that I needed to be healed before I could marry a Christian man who thought he was in love with me. I refused to speak to the husband of this counseling team even though he was very kind and willing to help me. His wife came into the room and I felt her love. After several meetings, she began to visit the ruins which hid in my soul. I started to walk the paths of surrender, forgiveness, mercy, grace and obedience. This was all so hard for I could not completely trust her or anyone else. My Abba understood. Stitch by stitch, He beseeched and healed my heart.

Some years later, my son turned eleven years of age and I knew I had to tell him the truth about who the seed planter was that gave him life. He stroked me and said, “God has been good to us, Mom.”

God my Provider has given Erick a daddy and has given me a man that fights with me against my own anger. His unconditional, sacrificial love has helped to heal my soul. I have a family. My days are filled with life. Kids running, laughing, crying and calling me “Mom” all day long. My boy, a high school graduate, is on the verge of his own destiny. The Lord my God continues to hover over my family. My husband protects me, provides for me and loves me in the most wonderful of ways. I have friends, life, health, a beautiful home, food, water. …everything and more than I need. My soul beats with happiness. I have God’s forgiveness, mercy, grace, protection, companionship and promises. I have a hope and a future. The list of blessings is endless, but nothing compares to knowing Him. I am being invaded by His Presence. Nothing compares to the love of my Father, my Lord, my Saviour, my God. Nothing fulfills like He does.

“Father, you are the blood running through my veins; You are my Light in the darkness. You are the breath in this clay; You are who I desperately long for. I am amazed at the work of your hands, but not even that compares to my soul knowing your Nature. You are Holy; You are Mighty; You are Sovereign, everlasting, compassionate, gentle, my peace, my banner and my Healer. I have tasted you!"

As in the beginning, “The Spirit is hovering over all.”

Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”.

Exodus 6:7: “…and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will KNOW that I am the Lord your God.”

Romans 15:4: “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the scriptures, we might have hope.”

Beauty for ashes. Thank you for loving me, my Lord. I love you.

—Sonja