About the Author

Mary DeMuth is an author, speaker and book mentor who helps folks turn trials to triumph. : She blogs at Mary DeMuth Her recent book, Thin Places, details God's surprising transformation of a life.

Recent Posts

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. I find my journey greatly lightened by prayer….usually that of others as I am still too often in the thick of emotional abuse from my ex partner and father of our little boy. I am willing for miracle of change within the sitiation. Every day there seems a supporting circle spotted with some misunderstandings…..

    • I too am a sexual abuse survivor. I was approximately age
      3 through 7 and then we moved away from the baby sitter.

      I was extremely shy and it became much worse. She threatened
      me (at the time I did not know that, but it was a threat) telling
      me my Mom and Dad would hate me and give me away if I told.

      There were a lot of mind games/and role playing. And to this
      day I still have claustrophobic tendencies because she locked
      the bedroom door and closed the blinds, and it was early in the a.m.
      and still dark.

      I wrote her a letter when I was around 40 years old.
      And she was already in a nursing home then.
      However, she did admit, but never said she was sorry.
      Told me to forget about it.

      I did get my empowerment back. I had finished college,
      and received degrees/Master’s degree and was able
      to help other survivors through my profession.

      There is a grief and loss with sexual abuse.
      It is a dying of one’s self. And we can heal
      but there are some scars. I think it is wise
      to go to a counselor, I chose a woman counselor.
      One who is an advocate of women, who will
      not impose guilt upon anyone. It is a violent
      act, not really a sexual one per se.

      Through my work, faith, and knowing
      it was not my fault, has helped me.
      And giving back to society by helping
      others and being there for them is a great
      healer.
      Martha

  2. Such a powerfully needed book! The Lord is filling a gap through this book, and I pray this message reaches the multitudes for healing, and for a resource to those who desire to be the Good Samaritan, as many as He would purpose…to His glory!

    Thank you for your willingness and obedience to God’s call…may you be blessed to overflowing!

  3. Thank you, Mary, for drawing me into your story. I listened to John Townsend speak this weekend about getting in the pit with hurting people instead of shouting down it and though my story is different, I’ve experienced some of those same hurtful responses.

    Your words are a great reminder as I’m a hair dresser and have the opportunity to hear the hurts of many women. It’s an honor to be invited into their hearts. I share more about how their stories move me here.

    http://marcyholder.com/2013/12/04/the-sacred-space-behind-the-chair/

  4. Your book sounds like something this world NEEDS to read. It is such a reflex reaction to try to figure out the cause, or use words to quickly smack a band aid on the gaping wound when a person reveals it. It makes people uncomfortable especially when they can’t figure out the right words to say, sometimes though “she” doesn’t need words at all, just a shoulder and an ear, and acceptance going into the future to remind her that what happened to wound her does not make her unworthy or damaged and undeserving of love.

  5. Everyone needs a good Samaritan in their life…. When I was going through my lean college years my Grandmother was mine, she took me grocery shopping when I wasn’t sure I would eat next, and whenever I visited gave me tons and tons of “leftovers” after family events or would take me out to eat.

  6. Mary, I watched your testimony on YouTube and down came the tears. I hope to read more of your journey soon.

  7. I need a Good Samaritan in my life. I also need to be one. I would love this book and I believe that this book needs to be read. Y everyone. Thank you for sharing your story!!

  8. I think this is wonderful and desperately needed in Christian circles. Thank you for sharing your story.

  9. Thank you for writing this. My husband is a survivor of sexual abuse that lasted for years when he was a child. We’ve only been married for 8 months and it’s been a very difficult journey for both of us so far. I’m trying to help him the best I can and your post encouraged me to be more merciful. Thanks.

  10. My story is different, but it is amazing how telling your story to the right person can be so healing. I have let various people in on my story at various times and often–not that they don’t mean well–the response just makes me feel stupid for the way I feel about it. Having someone who really takes the time to listen and share in the pain makes a world of difference. I don’t need someone to tell me that I am making it worse by being upset or that it isn’t a big deal; I need someone to listen and tell me they know it hurts but they will be right next to me and I will be okay.

  11. Such a beautiful, vulnerable story. Thanks for taking the courage and strength to write this. I know this will encourage women “she”s and friends/spouses of “she”s everywhere.

  12. The shot between the eyes of my heart…Do I have that compassion and concern, not only outwardly but inwardly? is my heart and mind truly compassionate for the broken, abused and violated? Would your pain be mine? Would I be a person of solace and healing! like Jesus? I would love to read this book and learn more how to reach out and support the women in my work, community, and family who have had such pain.

  13. I am a survivor not of physical sexual abuse but more of a psychological torment that was passed on to me from being in an unhealthy situation growing up. On several occasions during my childhood my mother brought me into an adult world that the eyes of a child should not see. I have forgiven my mom and experience freedom at times but continue to give this to God and seek a lasting peace in this area. Thank you for sharing this story. Although my situation is a bit different, I can relate to the feelings of shame that “she” feels.

    • In Dan Allender’s book The Wounded Heart, he talks about that it’s not the degree of sexual abuse that matters. ALL sexual abuse requires a long journey of healing. Don’t minimize what you’ve been through. Adults allowing children to see their sexual world is sexual abuse. It will take some time healing it. Have you shared it with a trusted friend?

      • Thanks for your reply Mary. Yes I have shared this with a trusted friend and have received prayer. My husband also knows and is very supportive. I am thankful for their help but I find that it is still very much a personal journey of healing. My prayer is that I will be able to experience freedom in this area of my life… to be able to experience intimacy with my husband as God intended it.

  14. Bless you for writing this – and your husband for being open and loving. You have offered so much to us, I am happy he was there for you.

    Blessings and Peace.

  15. As a survivor, I am grateful to God for the various communities I have found myself in where there are people who take the time to walk with me in the journey of healing, to sit with me non judgmentally, and especially to remind me that I am a beloved child of God no matter what, even when I don’t feel as if I deserve that.

  16. I pray that I am always the person that allows people to be open to speak and then I would pray that God would give me the right words to comfort

  17. Thank you for this, and for the giveaway. I’ve never been sexually abused and have not had the opportunity to minister to anyone who has been, but this kind of story always makes me enraged and brimming over with compassion at the same time. Perhaps part of it is coming out of emotional abuse and understanding my true worth in the Lord’s eyes. In any case, it makes me furious that people would abuse their fellow man created in the image of God and loved by Him, whether in actions or in insensitive words. Ugh, Lord come quickly, and use us mightily in the meantime!

  18. We are Samaritans to survivors every day at our pregnancy resource center in Ohio. So grateful for your story and the courage it takes to put voice to it, much less ink to paper. It gives hopes! Can’t wait to read it!

  19. I am excited to read your book! I am an LPC (clinical therapist) so I anticipate this being an invaluable resource as I help survivors of sexual abuse cope with the trauma and journey through the recovery process. I applaud your willingness to share such an intimate part of yourself in an effort to help others!

  20. I work with a grief ministry for survivors of abuse and I can attest to the fact that every survivor wants and needs to tell their story. Their voice has been silenced for so very long. Thank you for addressing this sensitive topic in such an intimate manner.

  21. I was abused by several men when I was a young girl, I dont talk about my experiences…..when it first happened I told a family member and they didnt believe me and they turned it back onto me…..so I have kept the pain, the shame, hidden……….now my daughter is a freshman in college and she is planning on being a missionary and helping victims of human sexually trafficking…she doesnt know of my abuse….she has a heart of gold and I would love for her to read this book, I feel it will help her so much in her desire to help others!

    • Tami, thank you for sharing your story here. You are not alone. And SO MANY survivors experienced the same kind of secondary abuse of people turning on them after they told. I pray you’d find the courage to tell a safe person (oh how it takes extreme bravery) so you can begin healing. As I say in the book, an untold story never heals.

    • Tami, I whole heartedly agree with Mary. When I was in Kindergarten, I was molested on more than one occassion by a neighbor and family friend. He was an excellent “groomer” and I finally mustered all the courage a five year old girl has, and told my Mom what had happened. She questioned me wondering why I would say such things, when this supposedly took place and I felt she thought I was lying and I vowed never to talk of it again. Long story short, I never did until I was 36 and was sexually assaulted during a mission in Iraq and was medically evacuated. I wrote a suicide note and was sent to a Military Family Life Counselor who turned out to be a guardian angel to me. She was older, Motherly AND SAFE! I have never in all of my years felt such a powerful feeling of weight being lifted from my back and shoulders. I literally felt so unburdened it took my breath away in such a way that is very hard to explain, but was so powerfully felt.

      I love you and God loves you. You can do all things in Christ who strengthens you.

      Amy

  22. So thankful for Mary and her husband and the courage they have to share their story. It is their story afterall. What a blessing it has been to my life to know that someone understands the pain and struggle of childhood sexual abuse AND how it impacts a marriage. This isn’t a topic people like to talk about, but it is people like Mary who are dragging it out into the light. And with that comes awareness, that so many are suffering because of sexual abuse, and that we need to work together to protect our kids from it. And the only way that happens is by talking about it. Thank you, Mary, for leading the way!

  23. I can not understand why anyone would read, much less write, one more book on this subject. There is hardly a female on earth untouched by sexual abuse. Teaching, counseling, books, church, prayer have not made a dent in lowering the numbers. I’ve been very attuned to this subject since I was a 10 year old preacher’s kid along with my 7 year old sister until now as a grandmother of 11. First husband: I was crazy about and loved sex. UNTIL I discovered he was totally unfaithful and that did not end even when he became a minister. 18 years of praying for him, for us equaled nothing. Second husband: a well-loved deacon who I believed I would be safe. Three days after marriage horrible physical abuse began not only on me but my three daughters. Within a few weeks we escaped but he broke though the locks on my door, raped me, which resulted in pregnancy. Extreme anger and distrust at men AND God led me to an abortion clinic. Pastors, counselors, sermons ALWAYS & CONSISTANTLY made and continue to make excuses for men. Their biggest excuse: God made men like that. What female can believe in that kind of God?? What female can feel loved by that kind of God? Attending church could certainly convince one that it is the truth—One preacher after another found out to be unfaithful to their wives. Every male in church , if not out and out flirts, disrespect their wives by their winks and boob & butt staring at other females from children to adults. And then there are girls and women very inappropriately dressed and flirty themselves in church. After 14 years of being a single mom, I could count on one hand the number of men I thought MIGHT be faithful to God and their wives. All 3 son-in-laws have been unfaithful. One of them stared sexualizing their 3 children when they were babies. Oh, but he has the men of the church wrapped around his finger because 1. he’s a man, 2. he makes people laugh, 3. he’s lies without blinking an eye. These days, I’ve been married 18 years to a man I honestly believed God brought into my life BUT I’m left dealing with the same things–staring, flirting, pornography, NO communication. But he’s quiet and laid back, a gifted musician, loved by all. We make good roommates so I’m not leaving on my own again. Because attending church leaves me feeling worse than better, I most usually stay home alone and enjoy a couple church programs that I still WILL watch. I pray that your book will help a lot of women. However, the percentage of females being sexually and physically abused is not going to change because in the entire world there might be a dozen men who don’t believe and aren’t being taught by the church other than that “God made men like this. Deal with it” (Every Bible I have read says God made men in HIS likeness, and plainly tell men what kind of husband and father they are called to be, AND calls men to holiness—not just women. I’m not as cold as I probably sound. The subject of abuse rips my heart out. BUT, anymore when a newborn baby girl is laid in her mommy’s arms, that precious, tiny baby may as well be told, “It’s only a matter of time, princess, only a matter of time…..”

    • Carol, my heart is breaking for you. I’m so very very sorry. I understand what it means to deeply mistrust men, and I still struggle to. You’ve been hurt and violated and used by many people.

      I wrote the book to highlight the healing journey, that it is possible. It’s not easy, but it can happen in the context of good community. The book is in no way an excuse for men or women to sin. It’s the opposite. It shows how truly awful and detrimental sexual sin can be.

      If it’s any consolation, I am still angry at the teenage boys who molested me. I’ve learned to forgive (over the years), but it still hurts that they are free in this world, seemingly never suffering the consequences of their sin.

  24. I too am a survivor and I have found much healing through writing and telling my story. I’m still working on being a good Samaritan to others in a more direct way. It’s hard. It brings back my own pain. I tried just yesterday. I listened and I know I said the right kinds of things. I know that “she” felt supported and heard, but by the time I got home (and finished cooking for 12) I was in a world of memory pain. It’s a process (like everything else with healing) this learning to help. Thank you for this piece and for continuing to spread the word and attempt to “normalize” the pain and healing for all of us.

    You can read more of my story on my blog.

      • Mary, Thank you so much for being BRAVE! America needs a revival and it is going to take the hard work and testimony of Christians like you. Christians don’t have to accept abuse of any kind. Women and men do not have to accept abuse of any kind. Christians don’t have to accept homosexuality. Christians don’t have to accept idolatry. Christians don’t have to accept adultery. Christians need to understand they are under spiritual warfare and how to stand up, not accepting sin as the norm today. Blessed are Christians like you. The difficulty is feeling vulnerable, judged, shamed…shake that off! Don your spiritual armor for you are a child of the most high God. Satan is working on you.

        Love,

        Amy

  25. Thank you for sharing, this is a topic that so many are effected by and so many others respond poorly to. I pray that I will be that “Good Samaritan” in others lives.

    I am adding this book to my wish list. I have a few people who might find so!e strength and healing from reading it.

  26. WOW! What a much needed book. There’s so many of us out there and it’s not a subject that’s easily discussed or approached. Thank you for writing this!

  27. Such an important book for these times. Thank you for being so brave to deal with a topic that isn’t a one-size fits all.

  28. Having survived some of this and being healed (although God often calls for a deeper healing after the initial one), I would welcome the opportunity to read this book and consider doing a study on it for others.

  29. I know this is a VERY unpopular question, but I’d like to ask another hard question: Who is going to be the Good Samaritan to the sexual abuser, or the man accused of sexual assault?

    As we make the good move toward taking sex crimes more seriously, we are also seeing more and more young men being charged and locked up for behavior that would have been accepted a few generations ago. Countless men of 19 and 20 have ended up with prison time and on sex offender registries for life because they had sexual contact with a 15 year old girlfriend. The fastest-growing area of prosecution right now is online sex crimes–men arrested for viewing child pornography (which in many cases is the result of a long-term pornography addiction that began with viewing adult porn, often when they were preteens themselves) and men arrested in online sting operations where undercover officers pretend to be sexually-experienced post-pubescent teens seeking out sexual encounters with adult men on adult sex sites (and many times these men are in their late teens or early to mid 20s themselves).

    We have over 750K men on the sex offender registry in this country. The vast majority (over 85%) are on for a single crime that is either a non-violent statutory offense (contact with a willing post-pubescent teen) or a victimless offense. Many of these men realized they were wrong, matured greatly, and have grown into mature, responsible, godly men. And yet, they are subject to decades or a lifetime of isolation, rejection, and scorn, often even from churches. These men are our modern-day pariahs. Who is going to come alongside them?

    • There are those who do come alongside these men. There are men – I know of two pastors in Texas – who used to be those abusers but are now bringing other men to Jesus and to healing. Mostly, it happens by word of mouth. Very few want to advertise that they are sexual abusers or that they are helping those sexual abusers. It would be akin to the methadone clinic in the city where I grew up. The police would sit outside of that clinic and watch who went in. They knew those were the heroin addicts and they would follow them, profile them, harass them… who wants to deal with that? So no, there are not huge signs up saying, “sexual abusers, enter here!”, but the help is out there. Too little, I’m afraid, but enough to at least make a start. Unfortunately, sexual abuse has touched our family from every side – and I am not talking about romance with teenagers – and we have found out that there are Good Samaritans for everyone. It takes a bit of digging to find them sometimes, but they are there. I have faith that God will bring more out into the open.

  30. I’ve typed and deleted words three times now . . . I’m a survivor, but I’ve also used my story to bring healing to other women who no longer have to feel alone. I’d love to read your book. Hats off to you for letting your story touch the lives of others and reveal the truth . . . that they . . . that WE are not marked.

  31. Thank you for continuing to share your story and offering your love and support to others so that we no longer have to live in secrecy. I am “she” and I try to be Charlene.

  32. Wow -what a story. And a great reminder to everyone of how their response to someone’s problem can help heal or hurt that much more. May we all learn to respond as Christ would – with love and compassion, without judginig or criticism.

  33. As I read the words, i had both pain from the past but also a glimpse of joy in the future. I had never thought about being the “Good Samaritan” to others. Thank you!

  34. I am the young version of this story 40 yrs ago more than once. I would love to receive this book and the healing that will come with it. Thank you.

  35. Thank you for writing this book. I live with a friend who has been sexually abused and I hope this will help me help her.

  36. I have a friend and her daughter who went through a very brutal rape and endured for several hours. He beat and raped them over and over again. Sometimes it is not the words you say that brings healing, it is in the quiet tears that are shed together and the prayers for God’s intervention. They recently won the court case after a few years of waiting and reliving and are now in the healing process. I would love to be able to give her a copy of your book as a tool to bring further healing.

  37. I would not have believed I still suffer and hurt from years of childhood abuse. Well, even into marriage I guess, abuse comes in many forms. I trusted my husband so deeply with everything that ever happened to me… then got betrayed when we divorced and he talked about my ‘stuff’ as though it was all my fault (even to our grown sons)… so I relive the shame all over again, and defend myself all over again… and hold back trusting anyone… all over again.
    I have had those well meaning friends who don’t realize they are judging when they think you should be ‘over it’ by now… I will never be over it… I have forgiven much, but the scars are still there and I am alone largely because I simply do not trust. I would love to read this book and begin a journey to healing, all over again… I was meant to be in relationship, not isolated as I have been. I lean on God but still feel distant when reliving all this.

    • I’m so sorry to hear what happened to you. You are right, we never really “get over” sexual abuse. I equate it with “getting over” the death of a loved one. Yes, you grieve. Yes you heal. But you will always remember.

  38. Hello Mary,
    I am also a survivor…date raped at 16, it took everything from me. I was in and out of abusive relationships til I was 26…raped again in my 20’s.
    Because of all I went through I have a heart and love, compassion, empathy for women who are hurting. Like some of the other women, I didn’t start taking about it in depth til the last few years, I am in the process of writing my story, with hopes of it bringing healing. I commend you on your bravery in writing this book, it’s a topic that cannot be ignored. Praying for you and your husband as you walk in the fullness of healing together.
    So thankful, look forward to reading this, it is a right now message….THANK YOU!!!!!
    Blessings,
    Tina

  39. The survivors (that we know of) in our family range from age 11 to 59, though we suspect there might be younger. There have been cover-ups and trips to court. There has been ridicule and there has been help. There have been those that said that since the touching did not leave a mark that could be photographed there can be no conviction or consequences for the abuser. What a horrible thing to tell a child. We encourage them to tell their truth anyway. Hopefully it will aid them in being a Good Samaritan in the future. Thank you for writing this post and the book, Mary. I pray that your faith and courage will be contagious.

  40. What a powerful story. I have not undergone sexual abuse but have had much pain otherwise. I know how important it is to have someone ‘safe’ to share with. I have had my wounds deepened by the words of God’s people. Thank you for sharing this Mary, and may God continue to bless this ministry in healing and redemptive power for many.

  41. This sounds like a book i need to read! My abuse started when i was 7. Its been more than 25 years and i havent been able to get to the point of forgiveness yet. my heart aches and longs for peace and understanding.

  42. The church experience for me was one of sensational gossip from those I expected to keep my confidence. Has had a profound effect on my attempts to become involved into any church community – trust has been broken even though the next group had nothing to do with it, it’s hard.

    • Natchez, Pls don’t give up. God will put the right person in your path. Christians need to be reminded by their Leadership of behavior that is destructive to the congregation. Though not nearly as serious as your trust being violated, I had a friend who went to a different Church service than I one Sunday, and was asked nicely by a group of women to move seats. They offered a seat with them, so the person that normally sits in that particular chair would be accommodated. My friend is going through a desperately difficult time and she was deeply hurt by these women. We went to service together the next Sunday and the issue was addressed during the sermon in a very professional, kind manner. I told my friend that this issue must be happening to many more people to warrant the attention during service. She felt so much better and not as singled out. Someone had to had brought these issues to the Church Leadership and I am so glad they were brave enough to do so.

      I pray that you will have better luck and are blessed to find a congregation full of true Christians.

      Love,

      Amy

  43. From one “she” to another, well done. Praying for continued strength & healing on all your journeys, daughters of the King!

  44. I WAS ABUSED BY MY GRANDFATHER AT A VERY YOUNG AGE–PRE-SCHOOL AGE. I HAVE BEEN IN THERAPY FOR OVER 25 YEARS. I BELIEVE THAT I HAVE A “SIXTH SENSE” ABOUT OTHER VICTIMS. THERE ARE TWO TEENAGE GIRLS AND A YOUNG WOMAN IN HER TWENTIES WHOM I HAVE THIS ” SENSE” ABOUT, BUT I’M NOT SURE WHAT TO DO SINCE I HAVE NO REAL EVIDENCE THAT MY “SENSE” IS CORRECT. THIS CAUSES ME GREAT DISTRESS. I KNOW THESE GIRLS FROM CHURCH.

  45. I would like to have a copy for the day my young adult child decides it’s time to seek help. He was a small child and I had no idea the neighborhood teen friend was up to anything wrong. He was so kind, helpful and polite. I kick myself over and over for not seeing what was in front of me. My son is very strong on the outside but one day he will need someone who understands, even though I’ve been there, he might not want to share with me.

  46. I went through a very similar situation when I was younger with no one to turn to, and no one believing me. I ended up having to walk through my healing process alone with the help of self-healing books regarding trauma and prayer.

    • Christie, I remember thinking as a five year old, “Not one person on this earth will ever help me.” Which then made me figure out a way to be safe. But it all rested on me. This spurs me on to be the hero I never had…in part by writing this book. I’m so proud of you for tenaciously pursuing healing.

  47. I pray…that broken hearts find healing. And this world…finds Jesus! The ray of hope you offer is beautiful…God bless you for sharing your story honestly.

  48. What a powerful demonstration of the “true” gospel, not filtered through judgment and disdain. God bless you and your message. I pray it sets MANY free.

  49. I would love for my spouse to be able to read this book and gain a better understanding of what I’ve been through.

  50. My daughter is the “she” . Someone she trusted put something in her drink while she was in the restroom and then raped her. She is embarrassed, angry, and now doesn’t care about her purity since it was lost. She is mad at God, won’t talk about it. I think this book might help?
    Thanks for tackling such a sensitive subject. I think the statistics now are that 1 in 3 young women will be raped, most on “dates” or by people they trust. Mind boggling.
    Blessings,

  51. So thankful this book exists. Have walked that hard road with friends and currently live on the mission field where I know these abuses happen every day. Would love a copy of his book!!

  52. Is there any way that copies of this book might be purchased for and distributed to folks who need to read it but can’t afford it? I have never been sexually abused and honestly, would probably be the person who says the wrong thing unintentionally. So if I can’t be the Good Samaritan in person, perhaps I can help get copies into the hands of folks who need them?

  53. I would love to be able to give this book to a woman I know who was sexually abused as a teen–and has buried the experience so deep that she thinks there isn’t a problem.

  54. My son was molested as a child by another family member a little older than himself. He’s now an adult but now deals with anger and feelings of hate toward her. He doesn’t verbalized them to her, but has said some horrific things to others. It has affected his relationship toward God. My husband says he needs to get over it, that all kids do these things, and it’s not a big deal. I take my son to counseling even though my husband sees no point or benefit. We agree to disagree on this. I would love to read your book for a different perspective on this. I know many who have battled this as well.

  55. Thank you for writing the book. I was very much helped by reading books on healing. “Pain and Pretending” by Rich Buhler was one. “Freeing the Mind from Memories that Bind” Florence Littauer David Seamands books. God is the One who leads us on this journey of healing from trauma. He will do it. It was an intense process of a total of 5 years. I hope that others will find an intimate relationship with God and healing of the pain and trauma of abuse.
    Rebecca

  56. My heart breaks for those who have been abused, and how often they’re re-victimized. I want to learn how to help, how to be a safe place.

  57. O I know nothing on this subject but I would be kind to a person who spoke to me about it. It’s very sad. Though I’ve not had things this bad happen to me, I would be good to those to whom it happened to. Sad topic. 🙁 Bu then, they need to be accepted as well, right.

      • Actually now I remember my friend was raped when she was twelve and I was her friend and she was my friend. Though she was nervous all the time I did not mind but I do not know if she ever told anyone else cos I was her best friend when she lived here. I didn’t mind. She loved my company.
        You’re welcome.
        So, I’ve got some experience in this.
        They do not talk about it but it comes out, out of the blue. And when you do not make out it’s anything to be ashamed of, they just tell all and then they become good friends. This is my little experience.

  58. I don’t think it is an accident that I have been led to your words 2 days in a row. I came upon your blog post “21 Things to not say to a sexual abuse victim” yesterday and responded with a long comment. Sorry. And now today, some how I have found myself here at this post. I have felt so alone in all this. Yes, I have met a couple of good samaritans along the way but for the most part people say the most hurtful things so it is so much better to keep the secrets. Yesterday I responded in my comment about my son and grandson being sexually abused by my brother in law who claims to be a christian. I have experienced my own trauma but I don’t mention it because it’s a secret that I don’t have the courage to talk about. I could tell you story after story of loved one’s being sexually molested by the church nursery lady, my daughter being raped her first month at college and a friends daughter in law beaten badly and raped last summer and it just doesn’t seem to end.

    So many secrets being kept and I so understand why. The things that have been said to me just over this past year astounds me. I feel the need to protect my little boys from various loved one’s because of their ignorance and that these little boys talking about the horrors they experienced being sexually abused by a very much loved and trusted uncle, must spark something in all of them to make them want to shut these little boys up. I refuse to keep silent about this. I refuse to have them hide in shame because of everything I’ve learned in this last year of going to the sexual assault center for help is that it keeps happening and perpetuating itself because of all the silence and shame at keeping it hidden.

    My boys have nothing to be ashamed of as they have done nothing wrong and it’s time people stop treating them like somehow they have done something wrong. The shame thrown on us, the parents has been horrendous. Because why for God’s sake didn’t we know that our much loved and trust brother or brother in law was doing this in our home. Everyone wants to know how we couldn’t know. So what they are really saying is that nothing like this would happen in their homes under their watchful eye’s. Yeah that’s what I thought too. Before it happened in our home. So pretty much we suffer on our own because other than the sexual assault center we have no one to talk to about how feelings and struggles. I can understand why people become cynical and closed up and hide away. I am afraid to trust anyone. I am afraid to not know again. We have been forever changed and really not sure where God is taking us from here.

    • I’m grateful you found the sexual assault center. That’s why I wrote this post. It seems only those who have been broken by life tend to understand others who have walked this awful path. I’m so sorry people have responded the way they have. It’s wrong. I’m guessing they’re afraid. it’s easier to blame the parents for not knowing (wrong as that may be) than to face that fact that we all could miss the signs. That makes the world a scary place.

  59. Mary, I can honestly say that I have been the Good Samaritan and, to my shame, I have been Ms. Ministry Leader. Many years ago a girl in our youth group was raped and became pregnant and I was not the Samaritan for her that I should have been and wish I could have been. More recently I was able to be the Samaritan to a young lady from church who shared her story with me. Thanks for speaking out. Thanks for giving people a tool to help others who are hurting. God knows we need more Good Samaritans and less judging.

  60. Mary – A rare post that has brought tears to my eyes. A realm of emotions tied to the compassion I feel for those who have been sexually abused in many different scenarios, for the reminiscence of wondering where were the Samaritans when I needed them, and deep love and care for the many foster children we have cared for, for the ones we wanted to care for and for the ones that have no one caring well for them now.

    My heart is filled with longing to see the church rise up to be used by HIM for HIS purposes WHERE we are.

    There are many around us who need healing, hope and someone to simply listen and stand with them through the process. TODAY – may we set our eyes towards Him and allow our hearts to open to His leading. May lives be healed by Him, through us if He chooses. May we see where we can be used by God, simply and compassionately.

    May our mouths speak, or not speak, as the Spirit leads us and not based on our own presumptions or pre-formed solutions. May His LIGHT and LOVE shine THROUGH US as followers and servants.

    Blessings to you Mary! Blessings on your book and blessings on your own journeys. May He continue His mighty work in you and in others around you.

  61. Thank you for opening the door to understanding and ministering to those whose pain goes so very deep.

  62. I am very sorry that you experienced this. As I read this tears filled my eyes. I understand, I too have a story. I am a survivor.
    I am not concerned at all about putting this out in public. I am left with no shame and total forgiveness for my abusers, yes more than one from the age of two was my first memory.
    God used my husband during our courting period to be my restoration, bring restoration to my heart, to restore my faith in humanity and especially men. He stood by me through thick and thin. I am truly blest. We have been together for 23 years and married for 21 years this May, 22, 2014.
    I have had the honour over the years of assisting women who have walked this path. I would do this over in a heart beat! To extend truth, compassion and real love to those who will be overcomers!

  63. I have been her and I told… and I have been told it was my fault. I was told everything I did wrong. I was told to stop making up lies. I was told to get over it. I stopped telling. It’s been 27 years and I’m still waiting for healing. Thank you for this.

    • Karen, I pray you’ll find a good samaritan to tell your story to. As I write in the book, an untold story never heals. You have been hurt and maligned, and I totally understand why you wouldn’t want to share. I’m sorry that happened to you.

  64. tears. Though the Lord has brought much healing to my life in the last few years, I know there’s more. thanks for writing this.

  65. Mary, your books have been instrumental in processing the healing I have received. My husband has been “Charlene” and walked alongside me, stubbornly refusing to let me go in the early years when I tried desperately to hide and run.

    These days I am looking for and praying for opportunities to share the precious grace and healing of God with others.

  66. I was sexually abused as a child. I have been able to encourage others because of it. My desire is always for God to take what the enemy meant for evil and use it for good. I think it has helped me as a parent to know how to protect my kids from this type of abuse.

  67. I am a sexual assault nurse examiner and take the story and DNA from rape victims. It never has been a waste of my time and energy in spite of the middle of the night calls and some opinions of other staff that it was not really an assault. I love being able to hear and support the victims. God loves each and every one and wants to heal broken hearts and bodies. Only He can heal the broken, and He uses the Samaritan.
    God bless, heal, and hold you close to His heart,
    KC

  68. I need to know how to help my daughter – grown, single mother of three. She kept her episode of teenage abuse secret from us until a few years ago. She is broken emotionally and physically and her children suffer from her inability to be intimate even with them. My heart breaks for her and the prayers are never ending.

  69. This is so much my story yet not as it was just not once – the “Good Samaritan” in my story was not a Christian at the time but he was gentle, and compassionate and loving and oh so many more things that I desperately needed and did not find in “Christian” community. It is my prayer that as we all become more Christlike that we stop hurting the ones we are called to protect and that we truly love as we are loved….

  70. Thank you, Mary, for this posting. As a pastor’s wife, I need to understand how to be the Good Samaritan. So very grateful for your words — very timely. I plan on ordering the book so that I may be compassionate and not judgmental. My husband preached just yesterday on the parable of the Good Samaritan, and spoke of how Jesus is the Great Samaritan for all of us, and we are the ones alongside the road, dead in our sins, needing to be rescued, loved and redeemed. I love that fresh insight on this familiar parable! May the Lord bless you in your ministry, Mary. So needed in this sin-wracked world. I thank God for his healing power and amazing grace for each day!

  71. I was abused by 3 men from 1st grade through 6th grade. I shut myself down to survive. I am 42 years old and still struggling. I would love to help others but I’m not sure that I can. I would love to read this book. The minute I starting reading this I burst into tears.

  72. My beautiful 18 yr old daughter was abused from the time she was about 5 till she was 11, by her father, my husband (at the time) of 17 years. My son and I were devistated by the news, their dad is now serving a 40 year sentence, and my daughter has somehow overcome . . . or so it appears. I remain concerned for her. I’d love to be able to help her more as she enters this world of relationships. Seven years out, the wounds healed long ago but scars take a long time to fade.

  73. I was 12 when my abuse was over, however the post abuse was painful. Before anyone even took time to talk to me, I was told I could never talk about it. I faced new abuse, by my mother. It wasn’t until I met my husband that I finally found someone who cared. The healing started, but did happen for several years later. Of course, there is still hurt, and other things that go along with being a survivor, but having someone who cared, and love for me helps.

  74. I was molested by a relative when I was young. I told my family about it twice and nobody believed me so I quit telling until I became a teenager. My first serious boyfriend was who I told about it and he ended up raping me. I didn’t tell anyone about that for about 8 years. When nobody believes you the first time it makes you not even want to tell anybody because they’ll think you’re making it up. It is devastating when nobody believes you. I am still dealing with issues from it. Feeling like it’s my fault when I know it wasn’t. Keeping the family secret because I don’t want to upset some of them. I was crushed when I found out my step-daughter had been sexually abused by her step-dad for years and had kept it a secret. I wanted to protect her and take away all the pain for her. Dealing with what she went through brought back fears and feelings I had hid or tried to cover up from my abuse. Thank goodness she is in therapy and is getting help, I want her journey to healing to be easier than mine. The years of hiding the secrets and dealing with it on my own have really taken it’s toll. My husband says he doesn’t know what to say or do because he doesn’t understand what I’m going through. Sexual abuse is such a terrible thing that affects people for years. I pray for all of those affected by it, there are too many and something needs to be done.

    • I am so sorry you weren’t believed. That is tragic. Your husband might want to read Not Marked because I think it would help him understand you. My husband also writes in the book (he wasn’t abused) about how to help an abuse victim.

  75. Sometimes I feel as if I’ve healed as much as I ever will. It’s not enough, but I feel I’ve been stuck in this unfinished place for years. No justice, familial rejection, and PTSD leaves me feeling so much less than whole, healed. It’s like an invisible, but obvious tattoo.

  76. At the tender age of 6, I was sexually abused by two older boys at the local swimming pool. Although I’ve been open about the abuse as an adult, no one has ever hugged me and given me the reassurance that I so desperately need that I am loved and cherished. I’ve always felt that God needed to forgive me that trespass even though the fault was not mine.

  77. What a blessing this book will be to do many! God has placed me in a position to be a Good Samaritan to a very special girl who shared her abuse story with me, my heart goes out to her, I’ve cried alongside her and pray for me to understand her, and pray for her healing every single day. This should happen to nobody, but the sad reality is it does, and we need to listen and love eachother through the pain with the love of Christ.

  78. Mary, thank you so much for standing up for victims and survivors. I’ve been there and my heart breaks for all the Charlenes in this world. Christians who don’t understand can do further damage by unfeeling remarks and expectations or by not believing it happened, making the victim feel all the more guilt-ridden. Silence also can deeply hurt. People with cancer usually get a lot of support from Christian communities (and that’s awesome), but abuse victims who have a deep cancer of the soul often don’t get the support they need. I know some people are uncomfortable with it, so they say nothing even though they care, but even a loving card acknowledging their pain can mean so much to a survivor.

    To all here who have been abused, whether you have admitted it or not, I’m so, so sorry for your pain. I want to shout, “I BELIEVE YOU!” It hurts so much and it’s a continual struggle working through it, but it makes such a difference if there are some who support us.

  79. Several months ago my 34 yr old son broke down in racking sobs and told me he had been sexually molested by a family friend when he was 7 yrs old. All of these years he has hidden this. Through years of disastrous relationships, too much drinking, irrational rage, and more. He spoke and then refuses to speak again. My heart is broken for him. It explains so much. And it has stolen so much. I pray that somehow God can ease my son’s pain. And perhaps you are the answer to that prayer.

  80. I am going through a course called shoulder to shoulder. It’s training to come along side of hurting people. This book would be a blessing to help someone with this kind of abuse.

  81. I read the above story with tears in my eyes. I, too was sexually abused for most of my childhood by various perpetrators. It wasn’t until I was in my 40’s that I recalled some of the abuse and it hit me like a 2′ x 4′. Ever since then I have been passionately working with women who have been abused. I have given my life to come alongside these women. I find that when they realize that I KNOW what they are talking about, they feel comfortable to share their story. The tentacles of abuse are SO far reaching and they impact these women’s lives many years later. Thank the Lord that He gave me a strong man of God who has walked with me through this journey.
    Every time I am able to help point a woman to the Healer, I am thankful for my past. For the past 5 years I have led a support group for survivors, “God of All Comfort”. I have been privileged to enter into many women’s lives and help them begin the path of healing.
    I am anxious to read your book. I look for any and all help to continue this mission the Lord has given me!!
    Thanks for taking the time to write this book….MANY broken lives will be helped because of it!!!

  82. Oh how to help the hurting and abused – my sister recently confessed that she was abused as a teenager (30 years ago) by a family member – I wrap my arms around her and say she is a beautiful daughter of the King – she is loved – but to have insight into her real pain, this book could help. Thanks for sharing your story that could help others help the hurting.

  83. I thank God and you for your sharing of this story. I recently took a job as a sexual assault victim (survivor?) advocate. I have had little training… and have relied on God and the Holy Spirit to help me help my clients – all ages, male and female. I also am a victim and I know the pain and the loneliness that comes from being assaulted. Does anyone really understand me?

    A friend of mine recommended this book to my supervisor… she didn’t seem interested… maybe she isn’t ready… maybe (due to her own political/religious beliefs) she just doesn’t think it will help. I think what you have written was meant for me to read. Even your short blog post is confirmation of something God has been speaking to me…. that they are healed by the “blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony.” It is time to reach out to these hurting people… show them my scars, and lead them to hope and healing.

    Thank you.

  84. I’m a physical and emotional abuse survivor which occurred before I was saved. I wanted him dead and at one point contemplated ending his life myself. I had nightmares for years after the relationship was ended. Once I understood God’s forgiveness, I realized I had to forgive him even though we were no longer together.
    My daughter, now thirty-seven, was molested at sixteen and is still plagued by the memory. I’ve tried to convince her that forgiveness will set her free. Hopefully this book will help her.

  85. Even reading this post feels too hard for me today.
    (I will come back and try to read the whole thing when I am not feeling so raw.)
    I would love to be entered to win a copy of Mary’s book.
    Thank you.

  86. Thank you for sharing this and for writing this book. When I was reading the story I didn’t just think about the sexually abused, but about others who are broken and how when the broken risk transparency and share they are met with judgement (what part of your brokenness is your fault), a quick fix (do this…and this will fix your brokenness (forgive, move on, etc)) or mercy (come, tell me your story, I’ll walk with you and even care for you if you need it). But the mercy comes at a cost and can get messy and like the Good Samaritan in the story it is a risk that should be taken. Oh, that God would help me be a risk taker in situations like this. For to take the risk is to remember that we’ve all been broken and that we all need mercy.

  87. I have not been in either situation, but my husband and I have been feeling that we are to help with human trafficking and recovery. This looks like it would be a great resource.

  88. Wow! It saddens and breaks my heart that so many people are walking around wounded and hurting. That Satan has taken something God meant for good and to be a blessing and twisted and made it evil. I too have my own story of hurt and pain. My husband and I have struggled with it for years. I’ve been to counseling and have had glimmers of break through. But the hurt and uneasiness is there. Thanks for sharing! May God bless you and give you continued strength, healing and hope.

  89. Been on both sides. Ive had people come to my rescue, God really. It has not been easy, i basically made the choice like tamar to be desolate, im not married. Sin costs you and your children a great deal.

  90. Honestly sex has pretty much ruined my life. Yeah. But i try to focus on whats good and not magnify the bad. Im breaking thru to victory.

  91. I am a sexual abuse survivor. I have not told my story much. I have prayed for healing. No healing yet.

  92. I’m the Samaritan in your story…the spouse of a sexual abuse survivor. I try to support in every way I can. My spouse won’t talk much about it, we can’t afford counseling. It’s difficult, intimacy is lacking etc etc. We’d like to have children but it’s almost impossible with our age and not having regular sex.. I’d love a copy of the book although I’m not sure spouse will read it. I hope it will help me at least. BUT I can’t afford to pay for it.

  93. Thank you for sharing this story! It hits home for me as I was raped when I was 13.It has really taken me down a rough road and I’m looking forward to reading the book.

  94. May I be the Good Samaritan that listens and then acts as a friend to extend love and outward demonstration of care for victims of any kind of abuse. May God’s love and forgiveness be extended to those who are suffering needlessly from being exploited. Years ago, I was a victim of a close relative. I never told anyone except my sister who was also a victim. After going through a difficult marriage, I found release from my hurt and depression through God’s love and by forgiving those who wronged me. This book would be a great help in furthering my healing process. Thank you for writing it as it is a prevalent crime and many people will benefit.

  95. Powerful story. I want to read the rest. I work with teen girls and there are many sad stories. We need more Good Samaritans, those who are willing to listen and be understanding.

  96. I’ve been shown love in so many ways. Even when I’ve been so resistant. Friends who’ve let me live with them for months. Friends who came to my house when I needed them in the middle of the night. Friends who haven’t let me go.

  97. its incredibly important to equip those with an open heart, who sincerely desire to help in the healing process, with ways that are sensitive and healing to victims of sexual abuse. Abuse takes many shapes forms. The healing and support is just as unique as the person you are with.

  98. My small group stepped up to support me through my sister’s unexpected death. They were wonderful 🙂

  99. I recently completed the Domestic Violence Advocacy program. I have learned so much, I have grown in my understanding and my ability to be like those who helped you. I realize our words and our actions can cause even more harm to an already broken spirit. Thank you, I look forward to reading your book. How do I get a copy. I think it would be an excellent book to have at our DV Shelter. sm

  100. I too am a (victorious) survivor of sexual abuse….from my father, who is now with Jesus, and some men in my life whom I was finally able to forgive. After years of drug abuse, degrading myself as a stripper, and criminal activity, and losing my young daughter to my abusive ex-
    husband, I decided enough was enough and gave my heart to Jesus.
    My ex-husband also received Christ and returned my daughter to me.
    We were living in Calif at the time, and both went thru extensive
    counseling thru our church. We were very homesick for Hawaii,
    where we had been living previously. God had given me a vision of opening a home for battered and sexually abused women, which I was honoured to do when we moved back to Hawaii. My pastors came with us…to pray over this vision with me, network with various churces, and cover us financially when the returned to Calif.
    I was privileged to be that “good samaritan” to many women and young girls who lived in my home. To be able to share the reason for my hope, peace, and indescribable joy was my greatest gift and treasure I could ever share with them… because my precious Jesus gave me His beauty for my ashes, and life eternal. And, He blessed me with a wonderl Christian husband who is a sexual abuse survivor as well. Together we minister to other victims of sexual abuse. I would love to have this b
    ook to share with the precious but broken women that the Lord places in our lives. May He continue to bless andand fill you with His goodness, and use your life for His glory!
    to bless,

  101. Thank you for this. I’m married to an abuse survivor and it is my heart’s desire to be a support and not a hindrance to him as God heals him. May God bless you for writing about such an important topic so that others may find healing.

  102. I have been praying for a resource like this. Desperate for help but terrified of bringing a hidden childhood to light. In need of a step forward. I know this has also been hurting my husband…the possibility that it could help him understand…amazing. Thank you for your courage. From the comments you can see….you are not alone. With love from one “she” to another.

  103. I am so glad this post was written this way. When I told my pastor I needed pray because of the nightmares and memory flashbacks he told me that God didn’t want me to remember those things. He just didn’t know. No one knew how to help at first. But, my Christian counselor and other counselors, survivors/thrivers, my husband, and my best friends have been good Samaritans to me. I think that is why my Facebook page and my blog are titled Another Samaritan Woman. I want to be there for others because no one was there for me when I needed someone desperately. They didn’t know how to be because they too had not walked through emotional healing and understood the necessity of it.

    • So grateful you founds support in other ways, Melinda. But I’m sorry for your pastor’s response. I actually just got a response like that last week, chastising me for not being “over it,” that I hadn’t claimed my healing. Yikes.

  104. Your bravery never ceases to amaze me. I’m so privileged to call you friend and be a part of this process from the beginning until now.

    I don’t understand why we continue to be victimized by others who don’t understand our pain. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just about the whole mark sexual abuse leaves on us and somehow we’re drawn to unsafe, predators (maybe not sexual ones but even those that abuse our hearts and our character and our self worth etc) as a result of that who won’t validate the pain but in some ways validate the abuse and the shame, blame etc we have felt since it happened. I think that’s why the safe person piece is so important and I’m so glad you included it in the book. But even being able to recognize who is safe and who isn’t has been such a process for me as I have always been drawn to unsafe people because of my abuse and my moms role in it. Unsafe is all I’ve known and I’m still working through that in counseling.

    I love this book and you and hope I can be half as brave as you in sharing my story some day. Thank you.

  105. Thanks for sharing Mary; a great reminder that there all types of hurts in the world that people are experiencing – and the great need for us to hear and help with a heart of love and compassion.

  106. I haven’t experienced sexual abuse but when I lost my son total strangers who had lost their children reached out and helped me greatly.

    I have a close family member who has been abused multiple times who might benefit from this book. Thanks so much for writing it and sharing your story. You can see from all the comments how many people have been affected by this horrible abuse.

  107. We are all battle scarred and broken..BUT Jesus…thank you for the generous giveaway..and blessings to all

  108. As I read this post tears poured down my face, it was something I needed to read today. I was sexually abused when I was 4 and again at 11 by different men, most of the memories were repressed, and not until the age of 49 did I know of the trauma at 4, but my life started to make sense, the un-named fears that kept me in chains, a prison of someone else’s making. I have found it hardest to tell my story to my parents, as they don’t want to be involved, which only magnifies the pain and lie’s I believed, but God has been there every step of the way, and healing continues slowly, but I would love an opportunity for my husband to read the book, as I find so much I can’t put into words. Thank you for writing it, and even it I don’t win I will buy a copy. Bless you in your journey forward.

  109. I often struggle with knowing how to help my sweet granddaughter who was molested by a family member. He is in prison now but she is angry with God for allowing it to happen. I hope your book will help me help her.

  110. Bless you for ministering to others through your own suffering. I plan to share your blog with my adult Sunday school class. We are studying 1st Peter 3:8 and the sympathy and tender hearted-ness you were shown and now seek to share with others is so exemplified in your story. One of our questions in class was why is it so hard to risk sharing your broken heart with your church family. I love the example of the Good Samaritan . I have a 13 year old adopted granddaughter who was molested by her grandfather as well as a niece and nephew by their grandfather and 2 sister n laws who experienced this violation as well. I have always been at a loss as to how to minister to them and believe your book will be a great tool. God bless you and your husband!
    Susan

  111. Thank you for writing this much-needed book. I often liken the well-meaning but painful words of others as those from the friends of Job, after he had lost everything. But it’s true, we need Good Samaritans to come along side those who have been deeply wounded through sexual violence. My ex-husband is serving a 40-year prison sentence for sexually abusing one of our five children. The child was only a small 4-year-old at the time.

  112. I’m doing a women’s Bible study. Last week a woman shared that she was abused by her father. I haven’t known what to say and I did not want to be like the first two poeple in the story. I want to be the third but don’t know how. Hope that I may recieved a copy of the book. : )

  113. Mary, I am a survivor also, of child sexual abuse. Thank you for having the courage to share. The pain of that abuse has colored my whole life, but God’s grace is greater, and I am learning to let Him make beauty out of that ugliness. I look forward to reading your book.

    Paulette

  114. I am reminded of the ladies who have helped me through my divorce/moving out 1-2 years ago. Good reminder to *just* listen and encourage.

  115. I was sexually abused by my pastor for over 3 years as a young teen. Sad to say that finding a Good Samaritan, in a church, is next to impossible. It hits too close to home for them. I feel more alone in the church than anywhere else. It’s better to just not be there.

  116. SOOO needed. Every home group leader should read this. Thank you for the courage to blow open the doors on this issue!

  117. Oh, how I long to be a Good Samaritan to these women. I pray that God will place me in the paths of the women He wants me to help and that He will give me the words, and the actions to bring them closer to healing.

  118. I am the “she” and so is my daughter twice and my husband. It’s so hard to read what I just wrote. If it were not for God, I don’t know where we would be today. This book is much needed. Thank you!

  119. I have no abuse story, but I do have a tale of loss and grief, and know the power of an empathetic friend. I have been trying to increase my ability to empathise, and I know that part of that ability is grown simply through listening, letting the words go straight to our hearts. I would love to ‘listen’ to this book, and better learn to show God’s love to those who suffer from a history of sexual abuse. Thank you for sharing this powerful tool.

  120. thanks for sharing your story…there’s so much I’d like to say… I’ll just say that if God wills, I hope to write a book too, one day…God is so good and I’m so grateful to now know that what other’s might mean for evil, God meant for my good and His glory…thankful for grace and forgiveness!

  121. I need this book. To have the honor and sacred privilege to lead women in a very young church which means that I hug, cry with, and listen to so many stories all the while dealing with my own walk towards freedom. My husband and I counsel many young couples…again a sacred privilege that is almost never easy. I’m looking forward to learning from you and your experiences, Mary. Thank you for writing this.

  122. I am a survivor. I was a victim of incest from ages 10-14 by my father. This has been a devastating, life altering event in my life. ….but I serve a good God and He has delivered me from much of the hurst caused by my father. My parents divorced and our family was shattered over all of this. I am anxious to read your book. I am married and have 3 children, but it has been difficult and my husband and I have struggled with many issues. I think your book might help him understand some of my issues better. Thanks for writing!

    • Kelly, You may want to consider Beauty from Ashes by Joyce Meyer. She also has free You Tube video sermons and other free material. This book was recommended to my be my Social Worker and really started my journey to healing.

      Love,

      Amy

  123. I have been on both sides. I was raped twice by men I knew without my consent and I am also a recovering drug addict. I too was a IV drug user. I know from the life I led and the things I went through before Jesus called to me when I hit rock bottom that there are so many good Christian friends that just don’t understand. I myself rarely tell my story and have never told the whole thing to anyone except a few friends who have been there and I feel like I won’t be judged and it’s safe to share. It is so hard to keep it inside like the woman who was raped, it eats away at you. God has given me this compassion and love for people who need help, I can sometimes just sense it by they’re demeanor or see the pain in their eyes. And I want to get them in a corner like the woman did and share with them and help them to loosen up and share. I feel my life was planned before I was born and now I have Jesus in my life and a Christian husband and a new life, a peaceful life where He walks alongside me thru my days. I am 63 now but I feel God has something for me to do with where I’ve walked before. I pray for Him to show me what that would be. Thank you for writing the books you have written, I just bought “The Wall Around Your Heart” and can’t wait to read it and then this new book. Thank you the books you have written, I pass them along after I read them to others.

  124. Thank you for speaking your pain so that healing can continue. My daughter was raped and this is a book I would give her to read

  125. Mary,
    Would it be ok…To some how connect us who have posted to your book. We can ALL gain support from each other and help the healing process!!
    Blessings,
    Tina

  126. It saddens me to see so many affected by sexual abuse. I’ve been married to an amazingly loving man for 22 years who has been on my journey through healing. I’ve just been hit with more repressed memories 🙁 I ache for healing and trust God to finish what He has started in me. Thank you for writing this book. I look forward to reading it.

  127. I learned many years into my marriage that my husband had been abused by male cousins starting around age 10. Now knowing this, I can see and understand many ways I believe it has affected every area of his life. I would love for him to read your book and find true healing. Thank you for being so brave in sharing your heart and your story.

  128. I am a survivor of physical, emotional, mental and sexual abuse occuring over more than 45 years. I was raped in my twenties. And sexually harassed and assaulted but stopped short of rape by an in-law and a minister. No one would believe on help me. I was beated and stabbed and left for dead almost 11 years ago and I am just beginning to crawl down the road to healing. I have felt frozen for years and alone in this. I think I need a book like this. Almost no one truly understands.

  129. My granddaughter shared with me through a counselor how she had been drugged in a drink and raped at a party. I shared tears with her as my heart grieved for her, but I didn’t know where to go from there except the counselor’s advise of a support group, which she wasn’t comfortable with. I think this book might bring healing to her and help me to help her better.

  130. It wasn’t until I broke down and told my mentor, who graciously listened and prayed with me that I truly started to heal. I can now look back and be thankful to that person who was there when I needed it most, whereas before there was judgement, I had understanding.

  131. First, this is one of the most relevant and personal stories I have read on (in)courage. Thank you for sharing.
    I was sexually abused and tortured by 2 18-19 year old boys and a female. It started when I was 11 and we think it ended around my junior year in high school. I was stalked, spied on and chased nearly everyday. The worst part was one of the boys belonged to friends of my family. My own father threatened to beat me if I tried not to go with them to his house. The boy had a garage out back that had at one time had a pit area under the main floor. It was his man-cave. The torture was almost more humiliating than the repetitive rapes nearly every day. By the grace of God I never got pregnant because it was unprotected sex. I didn’t tell anyone until my final year of college. I wrote to one of my professors who was very kind and understanding, somebody I felt I could trust. Other than my therapist, she remains the only person who I know will always be there. I have trusted others and gotten the responses “I’m not equipped to handle this ” or “it’s time for intervention” or “maybe you should be in the hospital”. Not once have I received what I need from those I thought were my friends. Most of them dropped me like a hot potato leaving me completely alone. My mother says that it happened so long ago, I should be over it. My father chose to remain friends with his family and to not believe me. It has been close to 30 years since it started, but I kept it secret until 5 years ago. Every time I think I have a handle on it, I have a new memory or remember a new detail. I had completely blocked out the female until just a few months ago. Even though I am working on healing, I feel like I don’t even know who I am if you were to strip away the abuse. I was a preschool special ed teacher and literally had a 4 year old ripped from my arms and placed in a police car because he had used his milk cartons and his few words to tell me what was happening to him. Then I was an Early Interventionist and so much of what I saw were abusibe relationships and kids that were suffering just because they were born. Eventually I developed fibromyalgia and severe depression and PTSD. So severe, I qualified for disability. The depression never leaves and my whole view of the world has been tainted. I have an 11 year old son and boy did his 11th birthday throw me for a loop. I know I am very over protective but I found my nephew who was 9 ( and at the high end of autistic) naked and in bed with my then 2 year old son who was also naked. I still to this day don’t know if anything happened but it has been tough to forgive and love my nephew since. I didn’t mean to tell this much of my story (this is just the tip of the iceberg). It just sort of poured out of me. I would Love to read your book but being on disability means I don’t have the luxury to buy books. Thanks for sharing here. I apologize for the depth of the story I actually revealed. I rarely do that for strangers.

  132. Thank you for sharing and for writing this book. I hope that God can use me to be a better help to those who are in need.

  133. I’m behind in weeding through my emails, and tend to avoid checking it when they start to pile up. I happened to walk by my computer and the title of your email caught my eye, so I clicked on it because I wanted to read more. I have someone in my life who is desperate for me to be the Good Samaritan to them. I would LOVE to get my hands on a copy of this book. Thank you so much for this post… It was just what I needed to read today! 🙂

  134. I have been married to a wonderful man for 23 years, some good, some not so. I am still praying and waiting for the Lord to do a great work in me so that I can be free from tolerating while gritting my teeth. I do not want to just accept things they are with no hope of change.

  135. Thank you for writing such a book as this. One that encourages us that there is a hope of healing and a way of giving that hope of healing to others. Thank you for being obedient to His Call even when it seems risky. Let the healing begin! Let the healing continue!

  136. My heart breaks whenever I hear a story like yours. I pray that you and others like you find peace and comfort knowing that many are praying for you and that God is the healer that never leaves you.

  137. I am a former drug addict, and God interceded on my behalf. He knew there was so much more work to be done. I was sexually abused at 16 yrs. old, and held on to this travesty until I reached out for recovery of my addiction. There, someone took me in, allowed me to tell my story and relief rushed in. Today I listen to those tragedies and offer my strength and hope through Jesus Christ. He rescued me through another person, now I work for Him. May all whose stories need to be told find His answer, He will heal you.

  138. This book sounds exactly what I need right now. My daughter was sexually assaulted and I don’t have the words to say, I don’t know how to help. If I don’t win the book I will definitely have to buy it.

  139. Bonnie
    Feb 18, 2014
    First, this is one of the most relevant and personal stories I have read on (in)courage. Thank you for sharing.
    I was sexually abused and tortured by 2 18-19 year old boys and a female. It started when I was 11 and we think it ended around my junior year in high school. I was stalked, spied on and chased nearly everyday. The worst part was one of the boys belonged to friends of my family. My own father threatened to beat me if I tried not to go with them to his house. The boy had a garage out back that had at one time had a pit area under the main floor. It was his man-cave. The torture was almost more humiliating than the repetitive rapes nearly every day. By the grace of God I never got pregnant because it was unprotected sex. I didn’t tell anyone until my final year of college. I wrote to one of my professors who was very kind and understanding, somebody I felt I could trust. Other than my therapist, she remains the only person who I know will always be there. I have trusted others and gotten the responses “I’m not equipped to handle this ” or “it’s time for intervention” or “maybe you should be in the hospital”. Not once have I received what I need from those I thought were my friends. Most of them dropped me like a hot potato leaving me completely alone. My mother says that it happened so long ago, I should be over it. My father chose to remain friends with his family and to not believe me. It has been close to 30 years since it started, but I kept it secret until 5 years ago. Every time I think I have a handle on it, I have a new memory or remember a new detail. I had completely blocked out the female until just a few months ago. Even though I am working on healing, I feel like I don’t even know who I am if you were to strip away the abuse. I was a preschool special ed teacher and literally had a 4 year old ripped from my arms and placed in a police car because he had used his milk cartons and his few words to tell me what was happening to him. Then I was an Early Interventionist and so much of what I saw were abusibe relationships and kids that were suffering just because they were born. Eventually I developed fibromyalgia and severe depression and PTSD. So severe, I qualified for disability. The depression never leaves and my whole view of the world has been tainted. I have an 11 year old son and boy did his 11th birthday throw me for a loop. I know I am very over protective but I found my nephew who was 9 ( and at the high end of autistic) naked and in bed with my then 2 year old son who was also naked. I still to this day don’t know if anything happened but it has been tough to forgive and love my nephew since. I didn’t mean to tell this much of my story (this is just the tip of the iceberg). It just sort of poured out of me. I would Love to read your book but being on disability means I don’t have the luxury to buy books. Thanks for sharing here. I apologize for the depth of the story I actually revealed. I rarely do that for strangers.

  140. I am a “she”. The response of the church to my story and other stories like mine unfortunately reveals the true place of women in the “church”. I am less than and dangerous and responsible for what happens to me simply by the fact of my gender.

  141. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing. I was the unknowing Samaritan seven years ago to my daughter’s best friend who was afraid to tell her own mom. How do you start that conversation as a teenager? I never viewed myself as anything other than honored to be the one to hold her, tell her it was NOT what she wore or how she acted. It was NOT her fault and would NOT define her. She was brave enough to go with me to her mom,who stood beside her. I am so sorry for you, and all the others who don’t get this support. I pray that those hurt or ashamed will keep talking until someone listens…someone acknowledges their pain, even if they can’t relate to it. I am going to send the link to the little girl who stood up and told her story to me. She now holds a Masters in psychology and is helping those who have been abused. She knows…she listens..she gives them a safe place. She is in my book defined not as a victim but a courageous woman who is loved by Jesus. If even one is helped by your story and your sharing amen!

  142. Wow! Some of these stories just rip you apart. I am similar to many, searching for wholeness and healing from trauma and abuse. I’ve always tried to help others but often at the expense of helping myself. I now have a therapist. I have been attending a group for sexual abuse victims/survivors and have also started a 3 part, 13 week program called the Ultimate Journey, hoping to truly deal with my past in a healthy, God centered way. Reading The Wounded Heart is next on my list. I plan on adding your book to my process of recovery.

    Thank you for bravely sharing your story and inspiring so many to find the truth of who they are and can be as well as starting to release the pain and deeply agonizing shame that traps our souls in a place they were never meant to live.

    God bless you and all those who ever read this!

  143. I don’t have this story but one of a woman whose name I do not know at church who sought me out to listen as one who was exhausted and burned out. No one else did. It was so encouraging, that God caring shown to me. When I hear others’ stories, I try to listen well. I try to respond as that woman did to the Holy Spirit’s urging to listen; to hear. Thank you for sharing this and for the other women who have commented. I hope there is some who was or who will be a good Samaritan for you.

  144. I would love to read this book, as I am a life group leader in need of this type of information and understanding, so as not to get it wrong.

  145. My best friend just shared with me her story just yesterday; I’ve been through some abuse too and am honoured she chose me to be her Charlene. There can be such relief and freedom in finding someone who won’t compound the shame and guilt already present after horrific experiences like that. I’ve been blessed with a few myself, praise Jesus! I’m in Australia and will find it tricky to get your book here… luckily I’m moving to the US of A later this year! If I don’t win a free copy I look forward to finding it in a bookstore over there. Blessings by the bucket load on you and yours Mary; thank you, THANK YOU.

  146. My good samaritan was my oldest and best friend in the entire world. He convinced me that I wasn’t “broken, discarded goods” and enabled me to be able to tell the people that needed telling. My mother, and eventually the man who became my husband.

    Thank you for writing this book, a million times over.

  147. My husband and I both experienced sexual abuse throughout our childhood. The journey to healing and whole was is not an easy one individually or maritally. Often feels like navigating a field of landmines emotionally and sexually. Look forward to reading your book. Thanks for your courage.

  148. My best friend has struggled with her sexual assault for many years. I try very hard to be her Good Samaritan

  149. I have never been abused but oh I would like to be the Samaritan that helps heal those horrible wounds. I think it’s so important as women that we always be ready to help others because going through something like this is awful but to not have someone to help you I think is even worse.

  150. The words are so hard to find for those who are hurting. I think just to listen, without judgment and full of love. It is never a woman’s fault, and so often, they are made to feel that way. We need to be there for each other, with a listening ear, open heart and hugging arms.

  151. I would love to get this book for my sister. We went thru some rough stuff growing up. My heart bleeds for women who go thru this and my desire is to be a safe place for them to share their stories.

  152. God bless you for sharing this. It brought back some painful memories for me, come that I thought I had forgotten. Maybe now is the time to deal with this pain.

  153. My heart is shaken up reading all of the comments, for so many have suffered. Honestly, I couldn’t read them all without bawling my eyes out…I’m especially grateful for those who have found healing and redemption in the midst of such great pain.

    I think this book would be helpful to me to minister to those still hurting, and show me how to help in some way, while on their journey to healing.

    Bless you for writing this book. I pray God uses it to make “beauty out of ashes” of those who have lived through such pain.
    Hugs,

  154. I contniue to work on my own story of past abuse, and I now counsel and minister to other women who have suffered so. It is an honor and privilege to walk beside these brave women who choose to speak words of their terror and heart-ache. Thank you for your words above. I look forward to reading your book. I hope it becomes a resource I can pass along. May God continue to bless you and the work you do. Erin

  155. My story starts as a young child around the age of 6. My Mother worked 3 jobs to keep us off of welfare, so we spent a lot of time at the babysitters. My brother was with me at the sitters, he was almost 9. When my Mother came to pick us up from the sitters one day, the sitter said she could no longer keep us. My Mother questioned her why, only with the woman to reply “I’m getting old, it’s hard to keep up with small children.” My brother and I always entertained ourselves outside, never bothered the sitter except at lunch time we would come in for a nap. During those naps a relative of hers ( an 18 year old boy ) would come and stay with her. He would climb into bed with me, saying that he was cold and just wanted to lay beside me to warm up. Only that’s not what he was there for. He molested me day after day, week after week. He said that “this will be our little secret!” I finaly told the babysitter. That is when she told my Mother that she couldn’t keep us. “She threatened that she would have us taken away from our Mother if I told her. When we got in the car my Mother proceeded to screem at us demanding to know what we did to have her throw us out. My Mom needed to work and found herself with a problem, no sitter. So she scrambled to find one. The next one was great, she was not watching anyone else’s kids.

    A few years went buy and my Mom was going out with some friends, so she had one of her and her boyfriends, best friend watch us. My brother went upstairs and locked the door as a boy of 12 would do. He was embarrassed by having a sitter at the house. I was downstairs watching Little House on the Prairie. Their friend said” come lay by me and watch TV. I feel lonely!” So, as a trusting child I did. After all it was my parents best friend. Little did I know he had other things on his mind. He proceeded to molest me. I ran to the bathroom and locked the door. I hid between the toilet and the wall. He kept banging on the door trying to get me to come out, but I didn’t. I cried until the banging stopped and I could no longer see his feet under the door. I opened the door and ran up to the bedroom that my Mom and I shared. I locked it, only to get yelled at when she got home and the door was locked. She asked me why I locked it, afraid she wouldn’t believe me, I told her I was playing and forgot to unlock it before I fell asleep. We went to their friends house one day only to have him molest me there as well.

    I was molested by a family member at age11. At age 18 I was raped.

    At the age of 20 I got married. To a wonderful loving man. I told him of my pain only for him to discount it as the years went on. People would flirt with me in the family business. One so bold as to give me a $50.00 bottle of perfume. My then husband said “sweet, now I don’t have to buy you any for Christmas!” Not knowing the knife he was twisting in my back. Once I went to our local antique dealer to pick up something we had seen the day before. My Ex had to work that day so I went with my baby in the car seat, pulled up to the door way and stood by my car. The antique dealer said give me a hug. So as a kind person I did, he started to feel me up and I pushed him away. Shamed him and went home with purchase in hand. I told my husband what had happened and he said “sweet, we got a discount!” All the while discounting my feelings. He never got it and my lack of respect for him went down the drain. We divorced after 24 years. My kids won’t speak to me. I never told them the stories of distrust.

    I do share my story with others, hoping that, God forbid, the same thing happened to them, we could help heal one another. That happened a lot at the doctors office that I worked at. Painfully though I had to quit my job. I took a hard fall and messed my spine up, so I can no longer work. I miss that so much! The hugs, the tears, the strength of knowing you are not alone and we are there for one another, but most of all, put your trust in God! He will show you the path to healing.

    At 21 I looked up my parents best friend on the internet. I found his phone number, called and clarified that he knew my parents, then proceeded to tell him that I needed 5 minutes of his time, please don’t hang up, and I will never call you again! I told him how he robbed me of my childhood. He robbed me of ever getting close to one of the best fathers on the planet and he robbed me of a normal sex life when he molested me. I told him I am letting go of this now, God is in control. Now it’s your turn to live with this horrible live damaging truth. You are a child molester!

    My fiancé understands. He holds me when I need to be held and he gives me space when I need my space. God gave me the greatest gift besides my 3 sons, he gave me my fiancé. A man who loves me with his whole heart and is not willing to sacrifice my dignity with “a discount” on some antique we found!

    God bless to all! Stay strong! Know that God is with you, and he has a plan. The plan does not involve casting you aside! You are loved, you are prayed for, you will come out of the darkness and see the light! We are all in this together as brothers and sisters.

    God Bless! Give love, get light! Don’t give up!

  156. I am a survivor although I struggle daily, I would love to have this book to be able to help me heal the abuse that I have suffered from multiple people for multiple years. My faith and love in god has helped me greatly my family thinks I shpuld just get over it even though I relive the nightmare daily

  157. Thank you. Thank you for making a way to share, for making this subject bearable. Through God’s grace only forgiveness is possible, forgetting is harder.

  158. mary,

    Thank you so very much for listening to God and writing your story. I know it couldn’t be easy to relive those painful memories, but with god and you perhaps other women can be helped by the book!

    Blessings 🙂

  159. I bought your book and LOVED IT.. you gave me some tools to work on in my own healing path. I have been writing in my blog for 5 years now… walking and writing the journey to healing from the abuse I endured as a child. I have been in therapy for 7 years and I write in my blog about my therapy healing sessions..

    I am also in the process of writing a book.. I have an editor and I am hoping to have it out by the end of this year.. it will be called “Alone in the closet” my life healing through sexual abuse.

    Thank you for your amazing book … I am trying the index cards thing .. with the old messages and new messages ..

    Karen

  160. My granddaughter and daughter are survivors, daughter did not tell me until granddaughter told and it turned out to be same person, my heat broke in a million pieces. I got the news December 2012 and Evelynn was six when it happened. My prayers go out to all those affected and I know from experience sharing such things does not always being healing sometimes I think due to the other person’s brokenness they just do not know how to response or it triggers something in them and they run away. A support system is necessary and safe place to share too.

  161. I do not consider myself a “survivor”. I consider myself a testimony of what God can do through what has been done. (Romans 8:28). God has shown through my life testimony His Grace, His Mercy and His Love! It was through his grace that let me forgive my dad, it was through his mercy that enabled me to become the mother and wife I am today, and it was only through his love I was able to love my dad again!! It was only through Christ that got me out of my situation because I told my adopted mother and she turned her back on me. So, instead of being a “survivor” I will only be a testimony for Christ as he has brought me a wonderful man and has blessed me with my kids!