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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thin Places by Mary DeMuth

Mary DeMuth's memoir, Thin Places, speaks to those moments in life when God reaches down to touch our lives.

My first thought when I read her book was, "wow, that must've been an incredibly healing experience for her." My second thought was about how I tend to judge people and their memoirs. So many times, a memoir is merely an excuse to blame everyone else for all the bad things that have happened in their lives. Mary does not do that. She examines the painful things most of us would just as soon leave alone through the lens of God's protection and grace.

Her book reminds me in some ways of the Footprints poem, only from the angle of showing the places where God carried her in celebration of the fact that He did carry her.

After reading Thin Places, I realized that I have many stories inside me that need healing- places where I still wonder, "where was God?" I decided to write my own memoir. Not one that I ever intend for anyone else to read, but something for me and God. Our place to record ways He showed up in my own life.

Thank you, Mary, for being vulnerable so that others could find healing for their own painful memories.

About Thin Places

Every two minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted and of the millions of sexual abuse and rape victims, 15 percent are under the age of 12, according to a 2007 study by the U.S. Department of Justice. Critically acclaimed author Mary DeMuth is among the millions of adults who are victims of childhood rape and are living with the emotional scars of the haunting abuse.

DeMuth bravely shares her painful story in her new memoir, Thin Places (February 2010). Repeatedly raped by two neighborhood boys at a young age, DeMuth details her traumatic and disturbing childhood in the memoir. Raised in a broken home, she lost her biological father when she was ten and was stripped of her innocence growing up in an unstable environment where drugs were commonplace.

But Thin Places is about hope and healing more than it is about the traumatic events of DeMuth’s childhood. According to DeMuth, thin places are “snatches of time, moments really, when we sense God intersecting our world in tangible, unmistakable ways.” When she encountered the true love of Jesus at a Young Life camp in high school, DeMuth’s life trajectory changed. God reassembled the pieces of her emotionally fragile self, which initiated true healing and peace.

“Folks may wonder why I’ve spent all this time looking back,” says DeMuth, “dredging up what God sees of my story, what my eyes see. Jesus says truth sets people free. This is my way of doing that—of telling the stark truth on the page so others can be set free.”

DeMuth’s desire is to see readers set free from their family secrets. In light of that, she’s started a blog for readers to anonymously share their family secrets. Since the blog launched in February 2009, over 200 survivors have emailed their family secrets for DeMuth to anonymously post, and the blog was featured on Christianity Today’s blog, Her.meneutics. For more information, visit: http://blog.myfamilysecrets.org.

“Thin Places offers a poignant look at the development of a well-known Christian writer,” says Christian Retailing, and author Tosca Lee calls Thin Places, “brave, moving and poignant.”

Writing is a cathartic experience for DeMuth, and remnants from her past influence her books. They are infused into her nonfiction parenting advice as well as her fictional characters and plots. Her literary fiction features gritty story lines and touches on the dark subject of abuse. Her first novel, Watching the Tree Limbs, featured a 9-year-old girl who was raped by a neighborhood bully, and the Defiance Texas Trilogy examines the emotional pain that results from the disappearance of a young girl in Texas. DeMuth talks about these writing projects in Thin Places. “Writing [Watching the Tree Limbs] is a thin place where I see
God’s desire to heal me,” says DeMuth, “and I understand that He loves me no matter what emotions I express.”

About the Author:

Mary DeMuth
Author and speaker Mary DeMuth helps people turn their trials to triumph. Her books include Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God; Building the Christian Family You Never Had; Watching the Tree Limbs; Wishing on Dandelions; Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture and the first two books in the Defiance, Texas Trilogy: Daisy Chain and A Slow Burn.
National media regularly seek Mary’s candid ability to connect with their listeners. Her radio appearances include FamilyLife Today, Moody Midday Connection, Point of View and U.S.A. Radio Network and is frequently featured on Chuck Colson’s BreakPoint. She has published articles in In Touch, HomeLife, Writer’s Digest and The Writer.
Mary lives with her husband Patrick and their three children in Texas.

Learn more about Mary at http://marydemuth.com.

Thin Places
Release: February 2010
Soft cover, 224 pp., $14.99
ISBN: 031028418X

1 comment:

Denise Miller Holmes said...

I've got many thin places in my memories, and I'm just not tough enough right now to read Mary's book. However, many will benefit from her story because, if you're in the right place, a story like Mary's brings powerful healing. She did more than survive her trauma, she thrived. God is good.