By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
VIXEN – Nearly 23 years ago, Yvonne Jones thought she had met the man of her dreams.
Recently separated from her husband of eight years, Jones was treated by this new man in her life to candlelight dinners, roses and special attention given to her son as well.
“After a few short months I found myself being swept off my feet,” Jones said.
However, the joyful experience was short-lived, as Jones moved in with the man and began to suffer abuse.
“Because I was a Christian and was ashamed of the mistake I had made, I stayed praying that somehow I could get him to change,” Jones said. “He played guitar and sang gospel music in church and I played piano and sang myself so I knew if I just prayed, things would be OK.”
However, the situation turned worse.
The abuse continued not only for Jones but for her children. One year after their relationship began, this man who was now her husband was convicted of murder of her six-year-old son.
After the funeral, Jones and her husband were arrested, though Jones said the district attorney said she had nothing to do with the murder.
“The DA said he knew I had nothing to do with what happened and he wasn’t charging me for what I did, but what I didn’t do and that was to act at the time of the incident and get my son to the hospital sooner,” said Jones, adding that the district attorney said he was using her as an example as to what happens to women who remain in abusive relationships.
She was released after two weeks in a maximum security prison to undergo counseling. It was during the counseling sessions that Jones would write down her feelings that one day turned into material for a book.
Still, Jones was later found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 21 years in prison. She served seven-and-a-half years before receiving a release on parole. Her time in prison was the impetus for writing a book about her story, “A Time to Heal: The Struggles of a Battered Woman,” which was published and released on her birthday of Sept. 27, 2011.
“I knew from the time that I went to prison that I would one day write a book to share my story,” said Jones, who began writing her book on July 1, 2008. “God did some awesome things for me before and after I went to prison, things that could only be explained as God things.”
Through the situation, Jones said she learned in order to heal, a Christian must first forgive.
“I was a child of God and I allowed myself to drift away from him until I went against what I knew His word said,” she said. “I know in my heart if I had not known the Lord I probably would have either lost my mind totally or taken my own life. I almost lost my mind several times and the thought of suicide crossed my mind only once. I knew who my savior was and that he could help me so I depended solely on him to get me through.”
Now married again and a member of Palestine Baptist Church in Vixen, Jones hopes her story can show how one’s faith in Jesus can help overcome any difficult circumstance.
“I don’t think you ever totally heal from something like this, because the pain is just too deep,” Jones said. “But I do believe that God brings you to a place where you can live a peaceful and happy life and accept the situation for what it is.”
Looking toward the future, Jones said she is confident God will use her story to minister to others while helping her keep the faith knowing that He is in control of her life.
“The bible says seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you,” she said. “If we put Christ first in our everyday lives and ask his blessings upon the day then no matter what comes our way, we know that he already knows and he has it all under control.
“The Bible is our source and the scripture is there for us to not only read but claim,” she continued. “His promises are from everlasting to everlasting.
“When I start my day reading God’s word and praying, I know that he is in control and he will always be there for me, and he always has my best interest at heart,” Jones continued. “Just knowing that God sees and knows everything that is happening in my life makes all the difference in the world because I can call him anytime day or night and I know he’s there.”
For more information on Jones’ story or purchasing her book, visit yvonnejonesbooks.com.
The book, published by Tate Publishing, also may be bought through amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and select bookstores.