As you may know, Not Marked reached 100% of its funding on Thursday, September 5th, twenty days before the end of the campaign. Amazing! The next phase of the project is stretch goals.
What are stretch goals?Stretch goals expand the campaign and help get the book into more hands. The cool thing for you (if you're a backer) is that stretch goals, if met, simply add to your rewards. For instance, if I reach the $25,000 goal, every single backer will receive an audio book.
With that in mind, I’m excited to announce the crazy-audacious stretch goals for Not Marked. I’m beyond surprised and grateful for the support that’s come in so far. Reading your comments has really blessed me.
As I’m writing this, Not Marked is with my substantive editor. I spent the weekend tweaking and editing it before I sent it her way.
Here's me chatting about the stretch goals:
Here are our stretch goals for Not Marked.
We made it to $15,000! All backers now have the opportunity to ask a question about sexual abuse. Hooray!
We made it to $17,000! All backers will have a free webinar. Date: Monday, September 30th, 7:00 PM CST.
We made it to $19,000. All backers will receive an E-study guide for the book. Estimated delivery, March 2014.
We made it to $21,000! I'll begin work on the bonus chapter, to be included in the book's release.
Look for an upcoming webinar about learning to create boundaries with bestselling author Allison Bottke. Webinar scheduled Wednesday October 9th, 7:00 PM CST.
This has funded! Now, every single backer will receive the audio recording, ready for your listening pleasure. (Hint: Maybe I can even convince my hubby to read his part!)
Call a truce on the effects of sexual abuse.
I didn't do this. For far too many years. I resigned myself to let the rapes from the past mess with my head and heart. Flashbacks invaded my sleep. I startled far too easily. Sex within marriage became scary and complicated. I often wondered if I'd ever be normal. I even disconnected from those I loved the most.
The mark that sexual abuse gave me felt indelible, permanently inked with a Sharpie pen. And no matter of scrubbing erased it. (Have you ever felt this way?)
The problem was, I felt that I should be "over" it (and well-meaning people said those same things to me.) After all, I became a Christian, and I heard all those sermons about everything being made brand spanking new. I believed that when I met Jesus, all those scars and marks and fears would instantly leave.
But they didn't erase.
The pathway to healing came when I realized I needed to face the past again, to choose to heal for my sake and for the sake of those who loved me. I desperately needed freedom. Have you had this same ache?
You are not alone.
Here's my story from my memoir, Thin Places (Zondervan).
This is how I looked when the neighborhood teenagers raped me:
Your Abuse Hurts Others Too
I wish I could say that sexual abuse only affected the little girl in that picture, but the truth is, other people are hurt because we've been hurt. It's so not fair, but it's reality.
That's why I felt it extremely important to add Patrick's voice to this project. After every chapter, he shares his perspective as the spouse of a victim, how he coped, what he did right and wrong, and how we healed together. Here's what Patrick has to say:
I wrote Not Marked for those who have been exploited, but I also wrote it for those who want to help the person in your life who can't seem to get beyond that painful memory.
Articles Around the Web
I have not been silent about this journey--I just haven't published an entire book about my healing process--yet.
I've written about my struggle in marriage in this viral post, "The Sexy Wife I Can't Be." in A Deeper Church
Patrick and I also wrote a post for Christianity Today (Today's Christian Woman) titled "Opening the Door to Healing."
And I stuck up for victims in the Her.meneutics post, "I'm Sick of Hearing of Your Smoking Hot Wife."
On my website, I've exposed sexual abuse in the Amish community in "Bonnets, Buggies and Sexual Abuse."
And recently, I read a letter to those boys who molested me:
I wrote Not Marked because it's the book I needed to read (and I believe it's a book many need to read).
I did find solace in a counseling-based book, but since it hadn't been written from an abuse-victim's perspective, I had a hard time believing the tools shared would help. I asked for a lot of prayer. I went to counseling. I read anything that pertained to healing from sexual abuse, but to be honest, I often felt utterly alone. I believed no one understood. I kept wanting to GET OVER IT, but couldn't.
Not Marked is the book I was created to write. It's tearing back the curtain from my healing journey--the good, the bad, the frustrating, the victorious. It explores the multifaceted way we get well--spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally. It gives practical guidance, mixed with story and hope.
I sit here writing this Indiegogo page as an unmarked girl, one who has healed so beautifully from the past that many don't even know I walked that trail of tears.
And yet, I still ache...not as much for me and that abused little girl, but for YOU.
I want to see you find raucous, wild healing, to be set free from what has marked you. I want you to hold this book in your hands, read the message of hope, and then start down your own freedom path.
Read how others have responded to Mary's story of healing:
"It amazes me how you, someone I've never met and probably never will
on this earth, could in so many ways offer such insight to me of
myself--mainly through God giving you the ability to make yourself so
transparent and gifting you with the talent of expressing it in words." Kerstin
"Thanks again for your authenticity. It's refreshing to see and read,
resonating with life in a fallen world, where God's glory shines
brightest in our weakness and darkness." Paul
"I have been wounded by the same kind of teachings about marital
intimacy and pleasing our husbands. Your testimony gave me 'permission'
to still be broken - not an excuse, not justification to withhold
myself...just the grace to not be 'sexy wife.'" Christine
"On so many areas of my life Mary is the brave voice that spoke out
loud for all to hear what I can't even verbalize to myself." Deborah
"What makes it beautiful is the courage Mary displays by opening up
her life for all to see, all the painful, awful things that happened to
her, the ways it still affects her now, and how she's found, and is
finding, freedom." Chuck
"I just asked my husband to read [about being marked], and it
provided a springboard for much needed conversation. I kept saying to
him, 'This is me; this is me.' He is reading it, and our conversations
after 20 years of marriage have reached a whole new depth." Kathleen
- "I was deeply touched that you normalize this journey and give hope. This hope will touch generations. My family is directly impacted by your book. I sat down with it feeling very discouraged. Like I was losing the battle for intimacy - physical & emotional - (you know those days where everything triggers you?) but it gave me courage in my journey which infused grace into the interactions with my family for the rest of the day." Timi
How You Can Help:
I've already written Not Marked. Like I've done with my 15 other traditionally published books, I've shopped Not Marked to publishers. But the book is too risky, too raw, and they're afraid to publish it. I totally get that. But I believe in the book's hopeful message, so I'm taking on the risk myself, and asking if you'd be willing to shoulder some of it alongside me.
Publishing a book takes money if you want to do it right. And this book deserves to be handled with excellence. The money from this Indiegogo campaign does NOT go into my purse. It will go into the pockets of:
- and a Book Printer
Thanks for helping me shed light on this dark, dark secret. Your generosity will help set people free.
As a thank you for your help, I've provided many different types of backing levels with books, teaching, and speaking as an incentive. I even ask for YOUR story as one of the backing levels.
Stuff You Get:
Most of the levels are self-explanatory, but here are a few highlights:
These six audio sessions will help you get past your past. I tell my story accompanied by teaching and biblical truth. All six messages ask you life-changing questions and offer hope for the future. Read more about the audio retreat here.
Live Uncaged started as a compilation of all my posts on healing from the past. That morphed into a
real, live book--95 pages of wisdom, hard won, ripped from the headlines of my life.
It’s my great, big wish that you’d find soaring healing, deep freedom,
and the uncaged life you've longed for. Find out more about Live Uncaged here.
Watching the tree limbs keeps resilient nine-year-old Mara Weatherall from the pain of General’s daily attacks–attacks he warns her to keep secret, or else. In the small world of 1979 Burl, Texas, all Mara really has are the tree limbs, a lumbering Aunt Elma, her boyfriend Officer Gus, the bully General, and her new best friend Camilla who rhymes maddening snatches of truth. This novel displays the healing journey from sexual abuse in story form. Read more about Watching the Tree Limbs here.
God says “I love you” in many ways, some of which are hard to hear. Like every teenager, Maranatha tries to sort out the confusing layers of love–of friends, of family, of suitors, and, desperately, of God. She struggles to find herself before the darkness of the past pulls her back to the shadow of the girl she used to be in this moving follow-up to the critically praised Watching the Tree Limbs. Read more about Wishing on Dandelions here.
This Isn't My First Rodeo:Publishing is a difficult journey, no matter how you pursue it. Having a tribe of people backing this sensitive project will not only bolster Not Marked's success, but it also will encourage me in this crazy writing adventure.
It's been a long journey, starting with my first published book in 2005.
I've written dozens of books with publishers like Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, Tyndale, NavPress and Harvest House Publishers.
I also speak around the world about living an uncaged life. If you'd like to find out more about me, visit my website. Find me on Facebook here. Follow me on Twitter here. Visit me on Google+ here. And link with me at Linked In here.