About the Book:
EXPOSED is a true modern day love story between God and a girl and the enemy who wants to tear them apart.
Raped at seventeen and then again as a freshman in college, Shannon Deitz felt completely bypassed by love. Rebelling against the violent attacks on her body and struggling to quiet the pain through self–abuse, her feelings of worthlessness eventually became so palpable she could not fathom how anyone – most especially God – could love her. This only caused her to push deeper into her own torment.
Shannon Deitz spent nearly two decades of her life in the darkest valleys of self–destruction, believing she was unworthy of God's love. After witnessing as a child the sex and drug–induced downfall of her older sister, Shannon turned away from her Catholic faith and upbringing and found herself caught in a wild and carefree lifestyle. She drank, partied, and sought comfort in abusive relationships, only to be raped not once but twice–by two different men.
"I endured countless, inexcusable trials walking further and further way from the embrace of Christ because I felt too unworthy to look back," Deitz recounts. "And worse, I didn't want to be like them, those who were self–righteous...holier than thou. I liked me." At least she thought she did.
Then, at the age of 27, unable to fight the battle raging inside her any longer, she gave it all up. Face down on her bedroom floor with her life in shambles all around her, Deitz surrendered every aspect of her being to God. She gave up the self–judgment, the condemnation, the need to be better. She let it all go. And in that moment she finally understood the truth–that her life had never belonged to her. It had always belonged to God.
Exposed: Inexcusable Me . . . Irreplaceable Him is one woman's courageous journey down the path of spiritual self–discovery. Not only does this book expose the awful truths of physical and emotional abuse, but it also exposes the truth that, no matter how deeply our wounds may run, we will always be worthy of God's healing grace.
This book offers faith–based encouragement for teenagers and adults who have suffered physical or emotional abuse. Through the extremely personal, no–holds–barred account of one woman's journey down a self–destructive path, it addresses such issues as spiritual warfare, the need to be loved, and the need to relinquish control of one's self to God.
Shannon Deitz tells a powerful and very readable story. She was the middle child in a middle class family, and I'm guessing she's about ten years younger than I am, meaning she was born in the early 1970's. She sought the approval of her older siblings who, it turns out, were involved in drugs. When in high school she was the perfect child on the outside but out of her parents sight she drank too much and was sexually active. Raised Catholic, she started attending a youth group at a Protestant church, but left when the youth minister tried to make her pick between his church and hers. She went off to college where she continued to drink way too much and to give her body to the guys she dated. She suffered through one date rape in high school and another in college. Counselling led to the sacrament of confession and then to more self-respect and more healthy relationships with men. After marriage and motherhood she first becomes a youth minister and then a speaker and author.
Shannon tells stories of her experiences with demons and seeing a white light she knew was her miscarried baby. She tells of feeling evil in some people. She tells of a somewhat supernatural experience at World Youth Day. In short, Shannon hasn't just experienced evil in the form of sin or lack of love, she believes she has seen it personified, present to her senses.
One of the Catholic bookstores for whom I review books always asks me about the Orthodoxy of the books they send me. They didn't send me this one, a publicist with B&B Media Group did, however I will try to address that point. Deitz was born and raised Catholic. However, she claims her first powerful spiritual experience was in her aunt's Protestant church where she answered an altar call at the age of nine. During high school she drew much spiritual nourishment and friendship from the youth group at a friend's Protestant church. She quit going to Mass during college, except when she was at home and of course during high school and college she quit living according to any Christian beliefs. When she felt the presence of demons she'd pray them away with the Our Father, Hail Mary and St. Michael prayers. The Sacrament of Reconciliation was an important part of her healing process. While she touts Eucharistic Adoration, it is a Protestant minister with whom she discusses spiritual warfare on an ongoing basis. She admits there is much she does not know about the Catholic faith, but she tries to learn.
I read her story and think "but for the grace of God, there go I". No, I never drank to the extent that she did and luckily the guys I ran with did take no for an answer, but I made many of the same dumb choices she did, and I can spend the next few years praying that my daughter doesn't make those dumb choices--and realizing that she probably will make some dumb ones.
I'd like to thank B & B Media Group for sending me a review copy. Grade: B+.
You can read more about Shannon and her ministry at Hopeful Hearts Ministry.