Several weeks ago on a Saturday, I received my copy of Mary DeMuth’s memoir, Thin Places, from Zondervan Publishers. I had been anxiously awaiting this book since Mary is a personal friend and writing mentor of mine, and I’ve been so moved by the personal stories that she has shared at writing conferences and in our conversations. I immediately opened the book and began reading. About two hours later, I was still standing in my kitchen, reading…
Mary has done a masterful job of weaving her past, present and future into an inspiring tome that will touch your heart. God’s grace, forgiveness and healing power resonate from every page. If you or someone you know has been hurt by abuse, especially sexual abuse, you will be blessed and encouraged by Mary’s remarkable story. I laughed as I read some pages and cried as I read many others. My heart broke for all those children who have been hurt by the adults they should have been able to trust.
Yet Thin Places never sinks into self-pity, despair or hopelessness. To the contrary, I found hope leaping off of every page. Though I (thankfully) was never a victim of sexual abuse, both my family and my husband’s family have a history of domestic violence. This has caused me to struggle with many of the same feelings of pain, helplessness, and low self esteem that Mary has experienced. Her ability to forgive her oppressors and rise above her feelings of victimization have inspired me and helped me to do the same.
Probably the most compelling and life-transforming truth that I have gained from reading Thin Places is the reality that we do not have to DO anything or BE a certain kind of person to deserve to be loved by God and others. God loves us because of Who He Is. And God loves us because of Who We Are – His precious daughters and sons. And we’re called to love others not based on their performance or their ability to be perfect, say all the right things, and do all the right things. We love people BECAUSE we are all flawed and in need of God’s grace. We don’t love them IN SPITE OF the fact that they are flawed.
This book will empower you to jump off of the hamster wheel of trying to earn favor from God and others; instead, you will be inspired to get rid of your spiritual, emotional and physical baggage and simply rest in the arms of Jesus.
“Sometimes I’m still that little girl fighting against the grief of the world, longing for a snatch of light in the midst of dark days,” Mary writes on pages 20 and 21 of Thin Places. Readers will identify with Mary’s pain and vulnerability. They’ll also rejoice in her remarkable gift for trusting the Lord to transform that pain into triumph through His grace and redemptive power. Every page emanates with the struggle with a young girl who has been wronged, yet still clings to her faith in a Savior who loves her and wants her to find wholeness and healing.
I’ve read quite a few memoirs, and I’d say that Thin Places has pulled the curtain of shame off of the issue of childhood sexual abuse, just as Frank McCourt’s memoir Angela’s Ashes poignantly illuminated the shocking problem of childhood poverty in Ireland. Like McCourt’s book, Thin Places is a well-wrought and luminous account of a life journey that led from dungeons of darkness to expansive places of light and hope. Mary’s book is available on www.amazon.com and at bookstores. I highly recommend it!