Jennifer M. Eaton has stopped by today to talk about her new release, The First Day of the New Tomorrow. Jennifer is a contemporary blender of Science Fiction, Dystopian, and Romance. Her work ranges from the sweet contemporary romances of Paper Wishes, to the dystopian society of Last Winter Red and Optimal Red, with a dusting of...
I always get excited when Anne Mateer has a new release because when I open the pages I know I won’t be disappointed. I’m hoping you fall in love with this book too. Check out A Home for My Heart and welcome Anne back to the blog. Sadie Sillsby works as the assistant to the matron at the Raystown Home for Orphan and...
Magic happens on the mountain. Especially at Margie Lawson’s house. Not only is Margie my part-time boss and my full-time friend, she is brilliant at what she does. Margie goes beyond what other writing instructors cover and trains writers to power-up tension, add emotion, and make their writing pop. I don’t promote Margie because...
A few days ago, I wrote the blog Stranded, but I left off the reason behind my insanity–my frustration with this thing I like to call cultivating a writing career. My friend Sally and I had a back and forth email conversation where she very firmly, but kindly, reeled me in from diving off the ledge. I credit her with shoving me toward...
The day we did kindergarten placement testing, I came home crying because I couldn’t answer every question—when most of the questions weren’t meant to be answered.
Because we all came from diverse backgrounds, the assessment was a gauge to help the teacher know who would need extra help with letters and numbers and colors. Some of us lived and breathed Sesame Street. Others not so much. That test wasn’t an indicator of how we’d do in college. But even at five, I took it that way.
Today, I’m a wife and a mother to kids way past kindergarten age. And nothing’s changed.
I want to do my best. I don’t just want my best to be good enough. I want my best to tear through good and come out the other side of perfect.
That need for perfection, driven by my fear of failure, has dropped me in the middle of a lake of quicksand that’s rising so fast my chest constantly feels tight and I’m mentally short of breath. My thoughts are fuzzy and some days putting away laundry feels like lifting a mountain.
Worse than a half-empty-glass scenario, I’ve begun to see my life as a series of failures and my Band-Aid fixes aren’t working anymore. I can no longer get up in the morning and push through. I can’t talk myself through finishing a project or force that plastic smile that says I’m playing along with life.
But I think that’s the point. At least in God’s eyes.
Because now He’s got me right where he wants me. Down. Desolate. Desperate. And I have no choice but to listen. It’s as if when He speaks to me gently, I push Him off and put Him in the I’ll-do-this-later category. I’ve forced Him to roar.
I wish I wasn’t here, drowning in quicksand. I wish I were one of those people that had a got-it moment on the first pass. I wish I could grab a branch and free myself from sinking. I wish spiritual battles were a myth.
But they’re not.
So I have two choices. Keep sinking deeper and deeper until I can’t breathe because the sand is filling my throat and slowly suffocating me. Or I can stop struggling, ask God what He wants from me, and let Him lift me free.
That’s what He’s been waiting for. He wants me to ask Him and to quit relying on my old tricks.
Have you ever been stuck?
Have you ever felt like God has left you stranded in a dark alley with no car, no cell, no money, and no way out? In the middle of a gang war?
It doesn’t matter what brought you to that place. Marriage, kids, family, job, money, illness, attitude. Circumstances change, but the place we end up remains the same. And that place is painful.
It might feel like you’re treading water in an ocean that’s pulling you under. Or you’re being squashed between a rock and a boulder. Or you’re being stretched between two trucks moving in opposite directions. It might feel like you’ve landed in a spiritual desert that goes on so far in front of you, you can’t even conjure an oasis.
Here’s what my lake of quicksand is teaching me.
Anything I do in my own power will never be enough. A thing will never be enough. Even people will never be enough. Only God will be enough. This truth will never change.
I’m locked in this spiritual battle because I have forgotten my roots, who I am, who I belong to and the crushing quicksand is for me. Because God loves me. Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.
God put me in this place because He’s about to do something great in my life. But first, He needs to get my attention. My focus. My will. So I’m not looking left or right or behind. He wants my eyes on Him. 24/7. No idols. No distractions. No fear.
Here is what I will choose to do.
*Listen and believe the Voice of Truth—which is not my own.
*Be brave, stop struggling, and reach out to Him.
*Trust He will grab my hands and pull me out when the time is right.
Is God moving in your life? Is He prepping you for something great? Does He want more for you than you can ever imagine?
If you’re sinking, that might be a sign that God has incredible things in store for you. Both Proverbs 3:12 and Hebrews 12:6 tell us God admonishes those He loves.
To pull us closer to Him. Exactly where we need to be.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8 NIV).Read More
I am very excited to feature Mary DeMuth on my blog today. Mary has written dozens of books for publishers like Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, Tyndale, NavPress and Harvest House Publishers. Now she’s going Indie to publish her most important work yet—Not Marked.
Not Marked is set to release on December 31st.
Have you ever felt that sexual abuse marked you with indelible ink? That others somehow knew you’ve been violated? And no matter of scrubbing erased your mark? There is hope. And healing. Author Mary DeMuth has walked that journey from brokenness to wholeness, from marked to unmarked. In this sexual abuse survival guide, DeMuth helps you bring your story to the light, gives you tools that will help you find healing, and grounds it in biblical truth. Her words and stories and prayers help erase the effects of sexual abuse and guide you toward the joyful life you’ve longed for.
Mary, you have an amazing way of reaching out to encourage, support, and bring healing to survivors of sexual abuse. You’ve shared your story before in articles and in your memoir, Thin Places. What led you to write Not Marked and why did you write this book now?
I wrote a post called, “The Sexy Wife I can’t Be” for Deeper Story. (Link: http://deeperstory.com/the-sexy-wife-i-cant-be/) and the response to the post was so overwhelming. Many, many, may people are living in the aftermath of sexual abuse. It’s affecting their lives, relationships and marriages. I did tell my story in Thin Places, but I never have comprehensively shared my actual journey of healing before. So I decided it was time. I had to write the book in one week (boy did I write A LOT) because it was so difficult for me to write.
You wrote Not Marked because it was the book you needed to read. How is this book different from other books on sexual abuse?
It’s a book by a survivor for survivors. I’m not a counselor (which is something I remind readers in the book, and those I respond to in emails about their stories of abuse), but I do have a unique insight into the process of healing. I know many of the pitfalls. I understand a victim’s mind. And I’ve walked the path—many steps backward, many steps forward.
Why did you decide to self-publish?
My traditional publishers didn’t want to publish the book. It’s pretty darn risky when you write about sex and sexual abuse with a Christian worldview. But I knew this book needed to be in the hands of those who have suffered twice—once for the abuse, then twice for how that abuse affects you the rest of your life. So I decided to self publish it.
What I love about this book is that it addresses another crucial audience in addition to sexual abuse survivors—the people who love them. Your husband contributed to Not Marked. How did you incorporate his view?
He wrote a few paragraphs at the end of each chapter. I love that he lent his voice. Spouses (and friends) of abuse victims suffer too because they want to see their loved one whole, and they pay for the abuse in other ways. Our journey has not been perfect, but we have walked through some dark tunnels together. I’m grateful for that. We are a team in this.
There’s a campaign going on through September 25th over at IndiGoGo <http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/not-marked#share> to raise support to get this book out to the public. How can we help?
Please share the link with your friends and encourage them to support it (via facebook, twitter, google+). Getting the word out is extremely helpful.
Mary DeMuth speaks around the world about living an uncaged life. If you’d like to find out more visit her website. Find her on Facebook here. Follow her on Twitter here. Visit her on Google+ here. And link with her at Linked In here.