Mary, I want to thank you for sharing your heart and allowing me to post this interview, via our e-mail back and forth! It has been such a blessing in so many ways corresponding with you over the past few weeks. I will have to say, because of something I am praying over now, page 166 and 167 are marked up and dog eared in my book. Because of what it says to my heart. The seeking heart of us all. (And yes, I put the page numbers in because I want our readers to GET the book and read it for themselves!) 🙂
Your book begins with a traumatic childhood experience. Can you share with us how God uses this trauma in your life to impact others in ministry?
Because He has healed me and continues to heal me of the trauma and He’s given me the ability to share it openly, I often get in discussions with folks about their own secrets. It’s a privilege to see them set free. I also get a lot of correspondence about Thin Places, which enables me to continue a dialog.
As a parent and wife?
I’m more aware of gratitude. Because I had a difficult upbringing, I don’t take my current family for granted. I’m often astounded that God has given me three amazing children and a dear, dear husband. All these folks, I cherish.
I know one of my daughters tells me I am so “over protective” sometimes with my grandkids–worrying about various things. Do you find yourself worrying excessively?
No, and I don’t really know why. I figured if I could survive such a mess and God was big and capable of healing me, I didn’t need to worry excessively about things.
Mary, throughout your book, I had a sense that you and your husband share a very open and communicative relationship–was this hard won for you?
No, we started our relationship that way. Of course we are like everyone else, in that life interrupts. Money and stress and schedules make a mess of things. We have to choose to interact.
Do you find it difficult at times to express your feelings? (I am speaking as a wife that DOES experience the difficulties of communication at times)
No. Why? I think part of how God made me to cope with my upbringing was an ability to share exactly how I felt (later in life). I’m pretty in touch with that, and I’ve had lots of practice as I’ve shared my heart with friends.
As I read the parts in the book of your love of music and singing–I wanted to HEAR you sing! I imagine that God used your love of music to bring healing to your heart.
So much so. Even today as I was painting our front door, I had music on to listen to. It completely mesmerizes me, reorients me. I love to sing worship songs. For a short time, I led worship when we lived in France.
Mary, I deal with self-esteem issues at times–I know that there are more women who do as well–those who may or may not recognize this–I have friends/acquaintances who react in an abrupt manner at times, maybe not really meaning to, simply because of the way we view ourselves–can you help us understand how we can change our focus–or maybe how we can pray for one another in this area?
Maybe more about prayer. I believe every woman struggles with inferiority and insecurity. Just look at the magazines lining the checkout lines. We never measure up. The best way we can be there for our girlfriends is to offer grace as often as we can. Even harder: Train yourself to offer sweet grace to yourself.
I just want to encourage our readers, get this book. “Thin Places” is not just about Mary’s life–it’s about looking into the mirror at our own. –At the places where God has been nearest–but perhaps seemed the most distant.–
Can you leave us today with some parting words of wisdom–something that perhaps the Lord has done in your life since the publishing of your book?
He’s shown me that telling my story was a gift of love to others. In telling it, folks don’t feel so alone. I’m thankful for that. It was painful to write and put out there, but the rewards are that many women are being set free. Freedom is such an important thing!
Thank you Mary, for your time and most of all for sharing such an amazing journey with us! I believe with all my heart, as you continue to be the voice God has called you to be, that HE will continue to use the tragedy in your life to bring triumph in another life!
Now, before you go any further, just a little surprise for our readers! For every comment and link back here, you will be entered into a drawing for a “Fire Bible” purchased from Gospel Publishing House just for this interview! I would love it if you shared on Facebook as well! Send friends over to Mary’s web page which you can find by clicking on the picture of her book!
Thank you FATHER! For connecting the hearts and lives of Your children, so that we can find strength and our faith is renewed in the journey of another!
Contest ends April 30, 2010