Mary DeMuth: His Love Heals Old Wounds
By Mia Evans-Saracual
The 700 Club
“I grew up in a pretty unsafe home where there were drugs and wild parties. It was scary to me. All I really wanted was to be safe. All I really wanted was to be taken care of. All I really wanted was to be loved.”
Mary Demuth felt the sting of loneliness as a little girl. She fended for herself while her mother and stepfather were preoccupied with their own lives, partying frequently. She was farmed out to a babysitter who cared nothing about her safety.
“I would go to my babysitter’s house. These neighborhood boys who were probably 13 and 16--they were brothers--and they would come to the house every day. They would ask if they could take me out to play. My babysitter did not really want to be bothered with having to take care of me, and so she said ‘Sure, go ahead.’ So they would take me anywhere where I wouldn’t be seen or heard. They took me to their bedroom in their bunk bed when their mother was making cookies, and they would rape me over and over again. They would take me to deep ravines in the woods. When that was happening, I would just kind of escape in my mind. I would look up at the trees, and I would just watch the limbs. I would just look at them sway above me, and it was my way of disconnecting.”
The abuse went on for months.
“But one day when the boys started bringing their friends to join in with what they were doing, I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t have more people come and be a part of this molestation, this sexual abuse.”
Mary gathered up the courage to tell her babysitter. “I fully believed that the babysitter would tell my mother. The next day there was a knock on the door again, and the boys were there and they took me out. And the next day they came again. And the next day they came again.”
Mary found an escape at the babysitter’s house. “I would pretend to sleep for hours and hours and hours. And the boys would come and knock and for some reason when I was ‘sleeping’ she wouldn’t make me wake up.”
After Mary finished kingergarten, she never saw her abusers again. “The abuse stopped, thankfully, because we moved far, far away. They couldn’t get me anymore.”
But the emotional torment caused by the abuse followed her for years.
Then came the news of her biological father’s sudden death. Mary was devastated. “My father was my hero. I only saw him every other weekend for a day or two. When he died something died in me. Sometimes I would pray, even though I didn’t really even know who God was. I just had so much grief I didn’t know what to do with it. So at that point I thought, ‘What in the world am I doing on this earth? Why am I even here? What’s the point?’”
She penned a suicide poem, but she never followed through with it.
“I was in a desperate state. I started to make more friends, thankfully, during this time. One of my good friends invited me to Young Life, which is a ministry to high school kids. At the weekend camp, I heard everything that you need to know about Jesus and more: life, death, resurrection, the whole Gospel. As I heard the story about Jesus and how He died on the cross for me, I knew that He was the One who would never leave me. I had such an insatiable need for Jesus. It was as if I was dying of thirst and He was that glass of water that I needed to live. I looked up to that sky underneath the tree. I remember the bark against my backbone. I said to Jesus, ‘I’m a mess. I hope You don’t regret this. Please take me.’ He met me in that moment. His presence was there, and I knew that I would never be the same, that my life was completely changed, and that all that abandonment and pain and strife was gone.”
Mary says Jesus began to heal her emotional wounds and her relationship with her mom.
“Once I met Jesus I was kind of on a truth hunt. Jesus was the Truth and He had set me free but I wanted to know more of the truth. I wanted to know if my mom knew about the rapes that happened to me when I was little. And then she said to me ‘I didn’t know. The babysitter never told me.’ So that really did help heal a part of our relationship.”
The healing continued in college. God surrounded Mary with Christian friends.
“They spent those 4 years just laying hands on me and praying for me, letting me cry when I needed to cry. All that healing just came at the other end of their hands and their prayers. That’s just the power of God healing.”
Mary says through Christ, she was able to forgive the boys who molested her. “I just breathed a prayer and just said ‘Lord, I forgive them. Bless their lives. I pray that the abuse that they gave me wouldn’t inform the rest of their lives. I pray they bring it out into the open. I pray that they would be set free.’ And something in me broke then -- just this ability to pray for those who had done that to me.”
Now a wife, a mother and an author, Mary invites her readers on a journey to discover the love, freedom and eternal life found in Jesus Christ. “That’s the gospel: transformed lives. That God would reach down from heaven, pull us out of the pit, set our feet on a rock and make our footsteps firm. That’s what God does for us. He is capable of turning whatever trial that you’ve been through into some sort of triumph for His glory alone.”
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