Book Review for Exposed by Shannon M. Deitz

Exposed: Inexcusable Me…Irreplaceable Him
Shannon M. Deitz
Non Fiction/Self Help

Back of the book:

Having spent nearly two decades of her life in the darkest valleys of self-destruction, Shannon Deitz believed she was unworthy of God’s love. After she witnessed, as a child, the sex and drug induced downfall of her sister, Shannon turned away from her Catholic faith and found herself caught in a wild and carefree lifestyle where she drank, partied and sought comfort in abusive relationships. She was raped—not once, but twice—by two different boyfriends. As she hit rock bottom, Shannon experienced an intense spiritual battle and inner struggle. Finally seeking truth, she understood that her life had never belonged to her. It had always belonged to God His desire was for her to come to Him on her own—not out of compulsion, but from a heart full of love.

Exposed: Inexcusable Me…Irreplaceable Him is the story of one woman’s courageous journey from a destructive self-filled life to a place of spiritual self-discovery. This book exposes the awful truths of sexual and emotional abuse that many experience today. But it also reveals a restorative truth—no matter how deeply your wounds may run, you will always be worthy of God’s healing grace.

About Shannon Deitz:

Shannon Deitz is a woman in love with God and excited about her faith. But it wasn’t always that way. While still a teen, her boyfriend was tragically killed in an auto accident, and she began to question a God who would claim a young man with so much life yet to be lived. At the fragile age of seventeen, she was raped and she began to distrust a God who would allow such a thing. Again, as a freshman in college, she was raped a second time, and she began to earnestly put as much distance between herself and God as she possibly could.

It has been said that the best thing about hitting bottom is that, when we do, we have no place else to go but up. Such was the case with Deitz. At the age of 27, having run from God as far as she could go, she found herself at the bottom of a life that was no longer tolerable. Having no place to go but up, she looked to Heaven. And there was God, surrounding her with His peace. It was the beginning of a love story that has grown more beautiful with each passing day.

Shortly after her love affair with God began in earnest, Deitz felt a distinct calling to begin teaching the teens at her local church. Not only did this give her an opportunity to share her own struggles as a teen and tell others how God changed her personal tragedy into triumph, but it also allowed her to look beyond the traditions to more deeply explore the intricacies of her Catholic faith.

Her work with teens led to a full-time youth ministry. Within the next four years, that ministry bloomed, allowing her to witness God’s amazing work in her church and her life. In 2007, her youth group was voted in the top five of EWTN’s Catholic Youth Groups in the United States, and in 2008 she was invited to speak on God’s unfailing love at the World Youth Day Festivities in Sydney, Australia. In 2011, she was again asked to speak at the WYD Festivities in Madrid, Spain.

Having spread the message of God’s amazing love to thousands of teens, she eventually felt called to broaden the sphere of those with whom she shared her personal story. In 2010, she wrote Exposed: Inexcusable Me…Irreplaceable Him (Pleasant Word Publishing) as a way of offering encouragement and hope to both teens and adults suffering from physical and emotional abuse. In 2011, she stepped away from her parish ministry to have more time for speaking engagements and to work on writing projects, including a follow-up to Exposed. The new book will be a continuation of her faith journey, specifically dealing with the daily bumps, twists and turns of marriage and parenthood.

“My goal,” Deitz explains, “is to see my generation get it. I want to see the 20-somethings, 30-somethings and 40-somethings seek out Christ in a way that they can give up the trials and errors of the day and turn them over to Him. We are inundated with worries upon worries, bills to pay, families to raise, marriages to save, parents to take care of, children to figure out, illnesses to bear, images to keep up with, co-workers to counsel, bosses to please and clients to tolerate. We each have our own cross, but God never intended for us to carry it alone.”

Deitz discovered God’s willingness to carry our burdens on the day she hit bottom. Now she delights in imparting that truth to others. It has become her calling, her passion and her joy and nothing pleases her more than the opportunity to share her love and excitement with everyone she meets.

Deitz and her husband, Neal, live in Kingwood, Texas, where they are active in their local church and community. The couple has two sons, Ryan and Seth, who provide them with endless joy and reason to continually count their blessings.

My thoughts:

Exposed is a very raw but very real account of one woman’s journey through some of life’s toughest challenges. Some of the events were results from the author’s own actions but other events were brought on by others. I was impressed with Shannon’s candor in relating her experiences for all to read.

Throughout the work we get to see the struggle of good and evil and of the constant wooing by God to come back and rest in Him. The account is couched in a Catholic background…because Shannon is Catholic. There were portions that I didn’t fully grasp because I’m not Catholic. But overall it was a great story about the power of love and redemption.

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