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 Tips  on spiritual growth, emotional health, and relational healing.

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01: Boldly Tell Your Story: An Interview with Mary DeMuth

Oct 1, 2015

Have you ever listened to or watched someone share their story transparently and felt emboldened to live your own life differently? Courage in someone else moves us to live with more vulnerability and boldness. If they can face their fears and act in spite of them, then maybe we can too!

Mary DeMuth is a prime example of this kind of courage.

Mary DeMuth

Mary is a prolific writer and blogger, along with being a sought-after writing coach and speaker. She is married to Patrick, the mother of three children, and a passionate advocate for victims of sexual abuse. 

I connected with Mary online a couple years ago when she was advocating on behalf of abuse victims, calling the church to being more proactive in serving and caring for victims and not just working to redeem abusers. This subject is close to my heart as my wife was prosecuting domestic violence cases at the time.

I’ve learned so much from Mary about writing and courage. She generously said yes, when I invited her to share with us about her journey with fear and courage. To learn more about her story or explore her writing, visit MaryDeMuth.com.

This is the first installment of a new weekly feature on ScottSavageLive.com, where I interview someone who is overcoming fear and living with courage and hope. To learn more about the series, click here.

Scott: Mary, thanks so much for joining us! As a writer, you’ve shared your story including being a victim of abuse. You’ve been massively vulnerable and transparent. I’d like to explore how you’ve battled fear. What does fear sound like in your life? Did you always know that’s what it sounded like?

Mary: Fear will always be with me. I am easily startled, which I’ve traced back to a very paranoid childhood with predators and unsafe people around me. Even now, even today, if something startles me, I’ll scream. Of course my family takes advantage of me in this way (because they’re so funny!). I am also hyper-vigilant. Yesterday in my extremely safe neighborhood (suburbs to the max), I noticed a man walking nearby. In seconds I created an escape plan, and began to put it into action until I realized he wasn’t a killer and wasn’t trying to kill me.

Scott: That fear sounds pretty intense. I’m guessing fear has held you back in the past. Is there anything specific you’ve missed out on because you were afraid?

Mary: Yes, often . I ran home from school as a child, unlocked my back door, locked it behind me, and promptly called my grandmother. I was constantly living in a state of fear. It made me timid, particularly when I felt my life was in danger. So in many ways, I’ve had a hard time relaxing and enjoying life.

Scott: You have a lot of justification for being afraid. But I know from interacting with you and reading your work that fear hasn’t stopped you. What helped you become courageous in the face of fear?

Mary: A lot of prayer. Good friends who challenge me that I am no longer living in a dangerous place, and I can let down my guard and laugh. My husband’s protection has helped too. And living in a safe place for over 8 years now (it’s the longest I’ve ever lived somewhere) has helped me tremendously. Also, telling my story even when it hurt has emboldened me because I see the change it makes in others. I’m becoming rather gutsy when it comes to confronting sexual abuse in the world. It’s like I can’t be quiet about it anymore because silence only perpetrates more abuse. If it means I have a target on me, I flat out don’t care. Setting others free is a better reward.

Scott: Personally, I’ve struggled with cynicism out of my wounds and disappointment. As I’ve shared about that struggle, I’ve found I’m not alone. (Far from it, actually!) How do you stay hopeful when experience and the influence of others could make you cynical?

Mary: That’s especially hard for me in my career as a writer and speaker. I can let criticism get me down and influence my mood. Thankfully, I have a good group of friends and a very supportive family who help me when things get dark. They remind me how far I’ve come, to not give up just because of critical people, and that tomorrow will be a better day. I love to have hope, and that love makes me try very hard not to give in to cynicism.

Scott: I created this site to help others overcome fear and live with courage and hope. I know people who are reading this interview struggle with fear, like you and me.  What would you say to them?

Mary: Remind yourself of the truth. Even if everything is stripped from you, and you lost all the people you loved, you would still have Jesus, and therefore everything would be okay. (You’d be sad, but you would be held by Him.) And if you died, you’ll be in a glorious, tear-free place. So there’s really nothing to fear when it gets right down to it.

Mary, thanks so much for sharing with and encouraging us. Your willingness to be vulnerable challenges us to embrace our stories with greater courage.

If you want to connect with Mary, follow her on Twitter (@MaryDeMuth), like her page on Facebook or visit her website. Feel free to leave a comment below or on social media for Mary. 

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