The term, “thin places” has its roots deep in Celtic Christianity. The thought is that there are two layers or dimensions of reality to our existence while here on earth: the tangible, visible world of our ordinary experience and the hidden, unseen world of the Spirit. However, there are brief moments in ones life when the thin curtain separating the two worlds is drawn back and we“see” or experience that unseen world.
In scripture, when Moses met God in a burning bush or Peter, James and John had their own “can’t we stay here forever?” mountain-top experience, they met God in a thin place.
At times in retrospect, we glance back at our own lives and see that God often met us in such a thin place in the midst of pain or tragedy. Those times when sometimes we seemed most abandoned by humans and perhaps by God are often the times when He actually drew more near.
Author and friend Mary DeMuth releases this week her new book entitled Thin Places; A Memoir. I first met Mary thorough our connection at Hearts at Home. My father-in-law passed away and I had to cancel an appearance at a west coast conference. Mary graciously took my place. I watched her launch her writing career, beginning with non-fiction books for moms designed to help them build the Christian family they never had. From there she tried her hand (very successfully, I might add) at fiction, penning a trilogy of books set in the east Texas town of Defiance. Now, she writes a memoir.
Below is a brief description of that memoir Thin Places, followed by a short interview with this amazing writer. And today, Mary is generously offering to give away a signed copy to one of you who leaves a comment, so don’t forget to chime in at the close of this post.
In this moving spiritual memoir ”Thin Places” Mary DeMuth traces the winding path of thin places in her life, places where she experienced longing and healing more intensely than before. From surviving abuse as a latchkey kid to discovering a heavenly Father who never leaves, Mary’s story invites you to a deeper understanding of your own story. She calls you to discover new ways to look for God in the past so that you might experience him more profoundly in the present.
What if you could retrace your life and discover its thin places—”places where the division between this world and the eternal fades? Thin places are snatches of holy ground, tucked into the corners of our world, where we might just catch a glimpse of eternity. They are aha moments, beautiful realizations, when the Son of God bursts through the hazy fog of our monotony and shines on us afresh. He has come near to your life. This book will will show you how.
Now, let’s hear from Mary….
Mary, when and how did God nudge you, prompting you to write Thin Places?
A few years ago, everything just came to me. I’d been through so much healing, and God said it was time to write about the past in a more detailed way. Thin Places, as a metaphor, came in a similar way. I pitched the book to my agent who loved it, then sent it to Zondervan. They loved it too, thankfully. I wrote the book, giving myself the freedom to say everything and anything, with no filter. My editor, bless him, then helped me rein in my meandering thoughts. But giving myself permission to say it all really helped the book. So many times, we censor ourselves before we even come to the page.
How was writing this memoir different from writing your non-fiction parenting books and your fiction trilogy?
In some ways, since I’m a storyteller, not much was different, only this time I wasn’t writing a novel or a parenting narrative. I was the heroine/needy girl in of the story. The story arc was my own. In a strange sense, I was a character in the story God wrote for me long before the foundation of the world. The difficulty was getting it all down in a cohesive way.
What do you desire for women to learn from walking alongside you in your past on the pages of Thin Places?
I know most of your blog readers are women, but alas, even men are getting blessed by the book, which was one of my hopes. The CEO of Children’s Hope Chest, Tom Davis, (a novelist himself) wrote, “I am not the same after reading this book.” So for anyone reading this book, I pray they’ll see some of their own story in mine, discern the way Jesus breaks through the dark places, and be brave enough to want healing. Healing is a difficult journey, and many of us shy away because of the darkness. We forget that Jesus is the great light in the darkness.
What is one nugget of encouragement you can give others who too have experienced a painful or shameful past?
See your loss as a positive thing. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Paul asserts that God is only strong in our weakness. Think about that a moment. We’re running around like crazy people trying to put on this facade of strength, denying our pasts, trying to decorate over our pain, when in actuality it’s our pain and weakness that gives God permission to be strong. I’m glad I’m weak. I’m thankful. Because of that, Jesus comes through all the brighter. Embrace your weakness!
Thank you Mary for sharing a bit with us and for offering a signed book to one of our cyber-sisters today.
You are very welcome!
Okay everyone, I cannot tell you how much this book impacted me. I picked it up a little over a week ago to peruse before drifting off to sleep around 10:oo pm. I needed to decide just where it should go in my ever-growing stack of “books written by both friends and strangers that I really need to read”.
I read the first three pages….and then the reaming 212 all at once!!!!”
Finally cried myself to sleep (in a very good way) at 1:23 am.
Could. Not. Put. This. Book. Down!!!
I encourage you to experience God’s ever-near presence throughout the pages of this painful and beautiful story.
So please leave a comment today. It can be a simple “I’m in!” comment or perchance one about a thin place of your own where now, looking back, you can see God was there.
The winner will be announced tomorrow.
Thin Placed Blessings,