I want you to know this about me: I love Jesus. And really that’s the most important thing about me. It’s not writing or speaking or praying or mommying or any other -ing you can find. I flat out love Him. Why? Because He’s amazing. And He has utterly, truly, completely re-storied me. You can read about that below under Testimony.
I recently had the privilege of partnering with author Frank Viola to write five true stories of women meeting Jesus in the New Testament. The research and writing changed my life, and made me fall even more in love with Jesus. Oh how He dignified! Oh how He loved! Here’s that book:
I have three adult children, and I’ve been married to Patrick for 25 years now. I count those relationships as the most important people in my life.
In the mid 2000s, we helped plant a church in Southern France–a difficult, but amazing experience. There, we encountered a lot of heartache at the hands of fellow Christians. I wrote about how to heal after this kind of pain in The Wall Around Your Heart.
In my spare (ha!) time, I love to cook, garden, decorate and design. I enjoy running, and have completed three sprint triathlons (and survived!) along with a half marathon. I’m passionate about the underdog, the oppressed, and those who don’t have a voice. I’m particularly upset about celebrity Christianity and ministries that spiritually abuse others.
I’ve been writing for 25 years–half of them in obscurity. I have mentored many writers during that time, and continue to do so through the Rockwall Christian Writers Group and some of my instructional books. Since then I’ve written over 30 books, translated into five languages. You can see a listing of all my books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, CBD, Lifeway and Parable. My next book will be about our worth in Jesus and will release Spring of 2016 via Baker Books.
I currently live in North Texas, serve in my local church alongside my husband, and I’ve had the privilege of speaking around the world in places like Johannesburg, Monaco, Geneva, Munich, Port-au-Prince, Nice and Florence. Although my past story is difficult, my current story leaks adventure.
I’m a storyteller at heart, see. And you may not know this about me, but I write novels, too. You can get my first published novel free right now on Amazon. Just click the image to get it. Watching the Tree Limbs is the story of God’s redemptive hand in sexual abuse. It’s a page-turner, but it also helps you understand the heart and mind of a sexual abuse victim.
Re-storyme.com reflects my heart, my goals, my ambitions. Not only have I been re-stored and re-storied, but I long to see the same for you. You no longer have to live haunted. I believe your new story starts today. Carl Bard wrote, “Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new ending.”
Paul reminds us of this important truth: “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT). He also encourages us, “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:13-14 NLT).
Living in retrospect is a bad idea. It’s time to heal, be set free, and find the new story God has for us. I’ve experienced God turning my storm into a story, moving me from a bitter story into a bigger one. Won’t you join me on the adventure?
How to Contact Mary
Unfortunately, I’ve had to greatly restrict my access because I started receiving some very disturbing emails. You can easily follow me on twitter here, or like my page on Facebook here. And if you want to hang out with me every week, subscribe to the re-story podcast! (coming soon).
However, if you would like closer connection and email interaction, the best way to do that is to subscribe to my Re-story ezine. If you do, you’ll receive my free ebook, You Can Live a New Story. Just click the button below to subscribe:
If you’re a speaker coordinator and would like to book me to speak, click here to learn more. Or simply contact Lisa at The Fedd Agency:
This site was designed by me and beautifully implemented by Author Media. I happen to think Jim is the best coder, making the re-story site fully operational (like the Death Star, but far more benevolent). Designer-y stuff:
- Woothemes Canvas frame
- Photography of Mary by Fall Meadow Photography and Design. Tina is the loveliest photographer ever!
- All other photography by yours truly using a Nikon D70 or the intrepid iphone 6.
- Fonts: Body: NewsGoth CN BT. MaryDeMuth: coffeebreak
My story is full of deep wounds.
When I was five, the cane-shaking lady next door sprayed her blackberry bushes with poison so the neighborhood kids wouldn’t eat the renegade berries that spilled over her fence into the common alley. I didn’t understand that as I popped a huge handful into my mouth.
“You’re going to die! You’re going to die!” she screamed at me after seeing my purple stained cheeks.
I shook and cried, flailing myself on my bed. I obviously lived, but the fear of death took root in my heart.
That same year, I faced more devastation. Neighborhood boys sexually assaulted me. My journey is better explained here:
As a result, I felt dirty, unwanted, uncared for, and quite alone.
This is what I looked like then at five years old. Even seeing me now trembles me. Just knowing what happened, and how those eyes could smile even after what those boys did to me. I attribute my joy and survival to God’s sweet grace, and a providential move far, far away from the neighborhood bullies. (It was only later that I was able to write a letter of forgiveness to those boys, now men.)
At ten years old, my world crumbled again when my biological father died. He’d been my hero, so his sudden, tragic loss sent me reeling. My fear of death magnified. A giant hole opened up in me–a daddy-shaped hole that sat unfilled. It seemed to grow every year, and the loneliness I felt without him sometimes felt stifling. Too much. Too hard. Too much grief for a girl ten years old.
I fought my emotions, tried to wrangle them into submission. But they weren’t easily managed. They stayed deep inside and erupted when I didn’t want them to.
I spent my sixth grade year making a decision. I would be a success. I would fill my great big hole with academic prowess. So I worked hard. From that point on, I would get an A in every subject I took.
But I still missed my father, and I clung to my stepdad and mom, hoping they wouldn’t die, all the while fearing death would nab me.
During junior high, life felt unbearable and I considered killing myself--even though I feared death. My mom’s marriage to my stepdad disintegrated and I frequently broke down at school, wracked with tears. A counselor gave me a hall pass so I could leave class at any time and cry, cry, cry to my heart’s discontent. I didn’t know why I was on this earth. What could possibly be my purpose?
Skinny (scrawny, really) and awkward, I longed for a boyfriend to fill that aching need, but few came, and when a boy would show his interest, I would freak out and run the other way. If a boy tried to kiss me, I would break up, not able to cope with the fear that he would do far more. I wanted love and affection, but my fear pushed any semblance of that away.
I continued down the road to academic success, sang solos, and tried to fill my heart up with school. But the empty part of me remained.
Then came hope!
My freshman year of high school, a friend invited me to Young Life. Every time the speaker said, “Jesus,” my heart pounded. The leader ended one of his talks by asking, “What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (Matthew 8:27)
The question echoed through my mind throughout the summer before my sophomore year. By the time I went to a Young Life weekend camp in the fall of that next school year, my heart longed to know this Jesus. When the camp speaker spoke of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, I knew I wanted to follow Him the rest of my life.
I sat under an evergreen tree that evening and looked up into the star-pocked night, searching for the face of God. In that moment I gave Him my heart, life, past, pains, countless tears, and wounds of my childhood to the Father who would never leave me, to the God who conquered death.
I’ve sought after him ever since. I didn’t instantly heal, though. The road back to a re-storied, freedom-infused life has been long and tenuous. I’ve still dealt with a Daddy hole, but God is good to bring wholeness in those empty parts. I’ve been learning how to make Jesus my everything, letting Him fill everything, so I no longer have to chase lesser things. I wrote about that journey in Everything.
The healing came when I chose to no longer be silent. When I decided it was time to tell my story, ask for prayer, and trust God to heal me. A life of secrets seldom heals.
Today I’m still learning how to live free from the past, to rejoice in the great right now. What used to be a shameful, scary story is now my testimony of a re-storied life.
I’ve written about it in my memoir, Thin Places. And I’ve chronicled my journey to healing after sexual abuse in Not Marked: Finding Hope and Healing after Sexual Abuse.
I’m no longer the little girl who shuddered at the thought of death, post-berry-eating. I’m not the girl who experienced repeated rape at five. I’m not the daughter who lost a father to the specter of death. I’m not the teenager bent on destroying herself. I’m not the look-at-me-notice-me young adult who needed success to be her god.
I’m simply Mary, loved wildly by Jesus. And my greatest desire and joy is to share that message of hope with you, to see you experience the re-storied life Jesus wants to give you.
My prayer for you? That through my printed and spoken messages you’ll encounter this same Jesus who can take your deepest wounds, and darkest trials, and re-story them into impossible joy. I’m a walking testimony to the healing grace of God. I embody and delight in this verse:
“Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God” (1 Corinthians 1: 26-29, NLT).
I was powerless, despised, counted as nothing and unimportant. But God saw differently. He rescued me. He knew that scared little girl would someday grow up and tell her story of redemption.
I’m utterly and profoundly grateful to my dear, dear Jesus who set me free from the fear of death and filled up my heart.
Mind if I pray for you?
Jesus, please heal the person reading this prayer. Bring redemption where there’s devastation, hope where there’s despair, and joy where there’s been sorrow. Fill up any remaining holes and bring wholeness today. Help us all know that You love us desperately and gently woo us toward healing and freedom. Help us to tell the truth about what happened back then so we can be set free from the secrets. Meet us where we are, in the broken, needy places, and help us to truly understand what it means to live a re-storied life, fully alive, fully alert in the moment. Bring impossible joy to our todays. Amen.
I write a lot. I’ve been at this blogging gig over a decade. So I can’t always get things right, though I strive for accuracy. In other words, I won’t be held liable for content that misses the mark. You have my promise that I’ll be honest and forthright, but I also hope for your grace if I get something wrong. Thanks!
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