I’m excited to welcome special guest Mary DeMuth to Walking Deeper. Mary is a writer, speaker, and best selling author. She graciously agreed to spend time with us today, sharing her heart and what it means to live a life uncaged.
When did you first realize you were called to write?
I have known since the mid 1990s, but even before, in second grade, I had a teacher who recognized a gift in me.
Through both your verbal testimony and written memoir, Thin Places, we learn you were sexually abused and neglected as a child; what was it like for you on the day you met Jesus?
I heard the gospel through the ministry of Young Life. I was a sophomore at a weekend camp, and at the end of the message about Jesus, I knew-knew-knew that I needed Him. Having been a fatherless girl, I simply asked Him, “Would You please be the Daddy who will never leave me?”
Speaking of meeting Jesus, how did the book idea come about for The Day I Met Jesus, you co-wrote with Frank Viola? Did you infuse your own experience of meeting Jesus into the stories?
The book was Frank’s idea, and he approached me about writing the fiction portion, something I was thrilled to do. Yes, I did infuse myself into the stories because all those women were just so HUMAN. They lived and breathed and struggled and felt outcasted. Yet, Jesus welcomed them, just as He had welcomed me.
(You can check out The Day I Met Jesus here: http://thedayimetJesus.com ).
In many of the books you’ve written, it’s evident you have a heart for helping others find hope and healing in their lives; which of your books would you point a new reader to first, and why?
Do you feel society has a long way to go, in regards to how we respond to sexual abuse, particularly towards the perpetrators, and those who are abused?
Yes, but I do have hope. Our society is opening up. More people are willing to tell their stories, which gives others the permission to share their stories. The culture of secrecy from the 50s onward is slowly opening up, becoming authentic. As I’ve shared many times: an untold story never heals. The more we go first and share our stories, the more stories will be released.
As an accomplished author, you’ve written both fiction and non-fiction; which of the two do you find most challenging to write?
Both are challenging in their own ways, but fiction is a fickle beast. There are so many things to think about: plot, characters, theme, flow, dialog. So if I were to choose one, I’d say fiction.
Tell us about what it means to live a life uncaged…
It means to be honest and authentic with your story. It means that we have opened the box of our past in order to heal. It means we are no longer victimized by our stories, but that we look confidently and joyfully on the future. Our today is so very good because we’ve learned to experience the healing of Jesus.
While your family served as church planters in France, what would you say was your greatest challenge while ministering there?
Expectations. We went with so many, and nearly every one was dashed, which opened the door for disillusionment.
What qualities do you find most important in a close friend?
Faithfulness, a friend who really means it when she says she’ll pray for you. Kindness.
Which of your books, fiction or non-fiction, was most difficult to write? Which was easiest?
Most difficult was Life in Defiance, which was the third in the Defiance, Texas trilogy. It was so so difficult to write first person, present tense while also tying up three storylines and one overarching storyline. I’m very proud of that book. It represents my best fiction. Easiest was probably 150 Quick Questions to Get Your Kids Talking, which I wrote initially for my kids. (You can find Life in Defiance here: http://amzn.to/ytvRZz and 150 Quick Questions to Get Your Kids Talking here: http://amzn.to/sKUVSl )
If you could do one thing today to change a worldview, what would that one thing be?
I don’t think I can change a worldview. But I can pray.
What are your spiritual gifts?
Prophet, exhortation, teaching
What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve actually followed?
Writing is like a muscle. You need to exercise it daily to keep it fit.
You certainly have been an encourager and source of inspiration for your readers; who, besides Jesus, encourages and inspires you?
My family (three adult kids, hubby) and my two writing partners. We call ourselves Life Sentence because we’re in it for life!
What’s your favorite hobby or pastime, from which you draw refreshment?
Gardening and cooking. I have a secret dream of opening up a bakery.
What is your favorite family activity?
Eating dinner together.
What do you want your readers to take-a-way from your books?
That they won’t feel alone anymore. That they will be able to say “Me too.” That they will have a new desire to find wholeness and peace.
Thank you so much for sharing these answers with us today Mary. It’s been a great pleasure to get to know you better. I would love to welcome you back sometime in the future. Let us know when you open your bakery! May the Lord continue to abundantly bless you, your family, and your ministry.
I also want to thank our readers today, for joining us for this special interview. Please feel free to leave a comment below.
For more information about Mary DeMuth, and to check out her blog and other books she’s written, visit her site: Mary DeMuth, your life uncaged at www.marydemuth.com. Follow her on Twitter @MaryDeMuth