When Mary DuMuth was a child, the sitter paid to care for her neglected her. As a result, she suffered unspeakable abuse at the hands of some teen boys who “took her out to play” every afternoon. Mary spoke up about being repeatedly raped, and the sitter promised to tell her mother.
Yet the nightmare continued. So for years Mary thought her mother knew and did nothing; only later did Mary learn the babysitter had kept her lips sealed tight.
Through the ministry of Young Life, Mary came to know Christ during her teen years. And she began to heal. Yet when she married, she found some of the trauma came with her and affected her romantic life. You can read her article, “Opening the Doors to Healing,” which includes suggestions for those in a similar situation, on Christianity Today’s Kyria site: http://tinyurl.com/63dkwh3
Mary went on to write six Southern novels, including her latest, The Muir House. She’s also written four parenting books and a memoir titled Thin Places. Mary doesn’t shy away from the topic of sexual trauma in her novels. In fact the subject takes center stage in Watching the Tree Limbs and in her Defiance Texas Trilogy.
She has seen time and again that sometimes people who wouldn’t pick up a non-fiction book on the subject, especially not a Christian one, will readily identify with a sexually traumatized character who seeks Christ’s healing in her pain.
Several years ago, Mary considered writing a memoir in which she would detail her own path to wholeness. “I’d come a long way in my healing journey, enough that I could write it without bitterness, with a view toward God’s intervention,” she said. So she pitched the idea, and Zondervan bought Thin Places. “The end result is a story: mine,” she said. “It’s the story of a little girl who faced sexual abuse, neglect, drug-using parents, fear, death of a parent, and a host of other malevolence. And yet it’s a hope-filled story, where the bright light of God’s climactic redemption outshines the dark places. It’s a story of God’s nearness when I thought I’d nearly lose my mind and will to live.”
Every two minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. In parts of the world such as D. R. Congo, the number is twice that. And fifteen of sixteen rapists will never spend a day in jail.
As you minister to women here and abroad, you probably talk frequently with those who’ve experienced some sort of sexual abuse and trauma. If you wonder whether they can ever fully heal, the answer is yes.
Mary has continued to go more and more public as a voice for victims and the power of Jesus Christ to heal them. On her web site, marydemuth.com, she provides numerous free blog posts and articles with information on the topic. Also, you can watch as Mary shares her testimony on The 700 Club here: http://tinyurl.com/3cbc95a
“How grateful I am for the beautiful love of Jesus,” Mary said. “It’s really His story.”