March 10, 2011

Feeling Weak?

600 women. 100 wait staff. Scurrying. Shifting. Shuffling. Everything moves at warp speed during the She Speaks Conference. Everything but Mary DeMuth. The first time I met her, she was a delicate oasis of calm, patiently waiting for rolled up silverware at lunch. I imagined a thought bubble above her head, exhorting {{The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. ~Psalm 116}}

Once you read Mary's gracious offering, you too will relax into the way she encapsulates calm in the midst of chaos. Don't be mistaken though, this came at a formidable price of pain. Mary's book, Thin Places, shifted my world in the best possible way. Please leave a comment to be entered to win a copy for yourself.

And now, it's my honor to introduce peaceable, peaceful Mary. May you find rest for your souls through her holy reasons of redemption....



For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. ~1 Corinthians 1:26-29

I didn’t know that when those older boys pinned five-year-old me to the earth, my backside poked by brambles, that someday God would choose that frightened little girl, sexually abused for a year, to shame the wise. But He chose a shattered me.

I didn’t know that as my childhood home filled with drugs and unsafe parties, God would rescue weak and scared me. But, eventually, He salved my fears.

I didn’t know that as I ran from other predators, the boys’ marks on me like a beacon, I’d someday limp into the arms of a Savior. I felt debased, unworthy, ugly, dirty, ruined. But He welcomed me.

I didn’t know that as my earthly father slipped from this earth, my Heavenly Father stood nearby, open armed. Though my earthly father’s death left me fatherless, my Heavenly Father didn’t orphan me. He grafted me into His family.

I didn’t know that as I considered different ways to kill myself in junior high, as I faced a third parental divorce, that Jesus’ own beautiful death provided a way of new life for me. He rescued me from taking my life.

I was all the things the apostle Paul wrote about in today’s key verse, and then some. Neglected, needy, pained, lost, small, frightened. And yet God took those negatives and beautified them with Himself. That’s the great paradox God brings to all of us, no matter how “easy” or hard our upbringing. It’s not that we’re strong and sufficient and wise, it’s that He is.

Perhaps you’ve looked back on your past and shuddered. Perhaps you’ve questioned God about why He’d allow atrocities in your life. But consider this: God gets the most glory in the life fully surrendered to Him, and it’s hard for a self-sufficient person to submit. He does the most work in our helplessness. (See 2 Corinthians 12: 9, 10).

Our weakness and frailty are not merely places of desolation; they are dance floors—holy places where the God of the universe is allowed to freely move in our lives. Our own lack allows for and welcomes this sacred dance where God’s talent outshines our capabilities, where only He receives the glory.

Will you lay down your past today? Will you trust Him with the mess, the memories, the mayhem? If you do, He will take the marred pieces of your life, reassemble them, and make you fly. So you (because of Him) can shame the wise.

Lord, I confess I’ve seen my own injuries as reasons to blame you and keep You far from my heart. I’m sorry. Help me instead to see my weaknesses as a place where You can demonstrate Your strength. I welcome You into the painful places. Do something new and miraculous. I don’t want to be embittered. I want to be free. And I want to give You all the glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. ~Isaiah 43:18-19

And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake, for when I am weak, then I am strong. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Thank you Mary!

This post is part of our Jumping off the Train {of Negative Thought} series. Read the rest here!

36 comments:

Becky W. said...

Wow, just wow. What an absolutely amazing story of grace and God's love!

Pam said...

I love, Love, LOVE THIS! I'm so thankful to know that the writer of Mary's story is also writing mine:) Her words touched a place in my soul. Especially this part:
"Our weakness and frailty are not merely places of desolation; they are dance floors—holy places where the God of the universe is allowed to freely move in our lives. Our own lack allows for and welcomes this sacred dance where God’s talent outshines our capabilities, where only He receives the glory."

Mary DeMuth said...

Pam, may you dance today.

Becky, yes, it's all Him.

And thank you for the privilege of posting here.

eloranicole said...

such a powerful post. i'm experiencing my own personal thin place all over again - and it's raw and vulnerable and sometimes overwhelming. but one thing God's taught me continually through the process is that He's HERE and He HEARS. just when i think i can't go on...just when i think the memories are too much - He takes them for awhile and allows me to dance in His grace.

jujube said...

Yes, I read the book on my trip to Colorado while my husband drove. I read it twice on the way and twice on the way back. I literally found myself in the pages of the book. While I was not a victim of sexual abuse I was a victim of physical abuse. I too was a child of post hippy parents, involved in the drug culture, a child of the seventies, saved at a young age by the love of Christ. The book made my heart beat faster. I loved it. I shared it. Now I don't have it, so I would love to win a copy. Keep writing, Mary, you don't know how close you came to my heart with your book.

Fields of gold said...

Becky, yes, I was blown away too by His grace and love in Mary's story. Absolultely beautiful!

Pam, thank you for your sweet thoughts! May that place in your soul open to the love of Jesus even more!

Fields of gold said...

Mary, do delighted to share your story and honored you'd find this a safe place for it to land and lead others to the cross. Thankful for you!

Fields of gold said...

Elora Nicole, Healing can take much energy and sprite out of us. But what replaces and nourishes those desert places is God's sweet truth, steadfast love and tender presence. Dance away girl... you've got the best dance partner in the world!

tissakay said...

Wow, what a big God we serve. Thank you for sharing your story, and I would love to read your book!

Fields of gold said...

Jujube, can't say enough how tickled I am to hear you read Mary's book 4 times!! In a row!! Ha! Love it!! Thankful for your to hear how the Lord saved you... that's true love!

Fields of gold said...

Tissakay, encouraging truth: "What a big God we serve." I heard the other day someone say, "If your devil is bigger than your God, your view needs to change."

Mary's story makes God bigger and the enemy lessen. Love it! Thanks for commenting!

Terrie Todd said...

Would love to win this book!

Mary DeMuth said...

Jujube, if you don't win, email me, and I'll send you a book or two. Anyone who reads Thin Places four times has a special place in my heart!

I'm so glad it blessed you!

mourninglory said...

I would love to win this book. I love to think that God could take shattered me and do what He did for Mary. Make something shining and beautiful out of the ashes... that there can be healing for our shattered souls.. I long for that with an ache.

marykathryntyson said...

mary, i have quietly followed you for some time now. your literature comes highly recommended to me by many. i'm a big fan.

i love the trailer and 'thin places' has been on my 'to read' list since i learned of it last fall. i've enjoyed reading some other bloggers' stories of their own 'thin places'.

like you, i've learned in my healing that god works ALL things for our good and his glory. it would have been in vain, all that i've been through and have put myself through, if i don't offer it back to jesus for him to use in others' lives.

thank you for this, mary.

and thank YOU, beautiful sam!

xo

marykathryntyson said...

wait.

WERE YOU AT SHE SPEAKS LAST SUMMER!?

HOW DID I MISS THIS!?

Anonymous said...

Every time I read one of these amazing testimonies I am blown away by God's presence, love and healing power. I too had an experience as a young girl the warped the way I saw myself for years. Thank you for sharing your amazing story... I haven't read your book yet, but it is now on my list.

~ Rebecca

Lawrence J. Caldwell said...

Thank you for this powerful post. The dance picture really works for me. The Isaiah quote urging me to forget...not yet. Still raw and hurting and working fromt the thin place to the broad plateau.

Eileen said...

I think I could read testimony after testimony after testimony of God's healing power and NEVER get tired of hearing them! God's amazing ability to take the darkest hours of our lives and transform them into something so beautiful and usable. Only He can do this!

Fields of gold said...

Mourningglory, He CAN and DOES offer the same freedom and redemption for you. I pray you feel His grace as you heal. Blessings to you friend!

Fields of gold said...

MK, Mary's writing seriously sheds layers of heavy, smelly, false comfort I didn't know I was wearing. I so hope you get to soak in her words soonsoonsoon!

"it would have been all in vain..." sweet truths sister, sweet truths.

oh, and yes! Mary was at SS last year... going to be there again this year. Are you?

hugs to you sweet thing!

Fields of gold said...

Hey Rebecca, I'm reminded when Jesus tells us in Revelation that we overcome by His blood shed for our peace and each other's testimonies. I can't get enough of these!

Fields of gold said...

Lawrence... the beauty of God's grace is that He waits for us to learn the dance steps and gives us time to heal. Sometimes it's in an instant, other times it's slow and sweet, like honey from a comb. Praying your heart fully opens to Jesus' extreme love and waiting hope.

Fields of gold said...

Sweet Eileen, I feel the same way!! My main purpose in starting this blog was to share our "ebenezers". We overcome by them and His grace filled blood shed at Calvary!

"Only He can do this!" Amen sister!

Laura said...

I love this post and I love the idea, I really don't want to sound like a 'woe is me, glum chum' but I'm just struggling with how. How to leave things that have shaped me into who I am in the past? Honestly, who will I be? That sounds awful, I just don't know how to leave 31 years behind me, to stop the thoughts and feelings? Does that make any sense? Sorry for the question. x

carilyne said...

Mary,
You have spoken words I have needed to hear so many times. I have been so blessed to have discovered your blog.
I had never seen the trailer for Thin Places before. The book just moved up my list to next book I order and read. I have got to read this. God keeps whispering it and I haven't listened.
Thank you for your great words and thank you Fields of Gold for what looks to be a great blog I need to visit more often.
Carrie

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful testimony. Thank you.

Mary DeMuth said...

Laura, all I can say is that it's a journey, and not all journeys look alike. It's being willing to step into the darkness, grieve the loss, and choose to move forward. It involves asking prayer warriors to pray over you. It's journaling and praying and listening.

Fields of gold said...

Laura, I totally agree with Mary. Your journey and pain are unique to you. But Jesus is the same always. And He promises life and abundant life at that.

The next two days, my friend Stephanie, who is a counselor, will be walking us through some healing techniques. Hope you'll join us.

Bless you sweet friend. There is freedom.

Fields of gold said...

Dear Carrie, I so hope you get to read Mary's book. It ripped off heavy, foul, stenchy layers of pain and hurt and lies that I'd covered myself with. It was like opening a window on a spring day, letting the fresh breeze in.

Thanks for joining us today friend! I hope you'll become part of our lil' corner of the world!

Laura said...

Thank you, I will. x

Charlotte (Chargaile) said...

What an amazing story of how our God took the horrors of a childhood tradgedy and made her a voice for Him! My heart was so sad while reading it, however, Mary can know that she is are used to reach others.

I would love to win this book because my finances at this time doesn't allow for me to buy anything but the necessities of life.

Samantha, I have become very fond of your blog and the amazing people that you share with all of us. Blessings to you.

pinkdaisyjane said...

Thank you, Mary, for sharing your story of brokenness so that others may be healed.

Fields of gold said...

Charlotte, thank you for your sweet thoughts. I'm so happy you're here with us, growing in the grace and trust of Jesus. I'm sorry to hear this is a tight time with your finances right now and pray the Lord provides all your needs!

Kandi said...

What a beautifully written testimony of the grace and healing power of Jesus. May you always dance. What a testimony for the glory of GOd.

Blessings to both of you.

Terry said...

All I can say is "WOW!" Oh how I long for the healing and freedom to live life freely. Please pray that God will help me heal and help me to always remember your statement:
"Our weakness and frailty are not merely places of desolation; they are dance floors—holy places where the God of the universe is allowed to freely move in our lives" I honestly never thought of it this way. My parents/grandparents had their favorites and I thought God had His favorites too and I unfortunately, wasn't one of them. I would love to read your book. Where can I get a copy? Thank you and God bless.