by Shannon M. Dietz
Pleasant Word, 2010
At World Youth Day 2005 in Kolin, Germany, Shannon Dietz was approached by a stranger with a startling message. “God is using you and wants you to be bold. He wants you to tell your story – all of it. Some people may not believe you, and some will come against you, telling you not to share what you have always kept secret. But he knows they need to hear you and witness what he’s done for you.” A priest in the confessional told her that she has a gift of the Spirit – the ability to discern what is evil and what is of God.
“Exposed” is Shannon’s story of that good and evil in her own life. It is a pain-filled tale. She has experienced far more than any one person should ever have to – including two rapes, emotional abuse, and seeing physical manifestations of evil. She made her share of poor decisions and struggled with her Catholic faith for many years. Through it all, even when she thought He had, God never abandoned her. It wasn’t until she was a mother struggling with the challenges of parenting that she fully turned her life over to God and experienced a life-changing conversion.
God led her to become a youth minister in her local parish and to share her story about God’s presence in our lives. As Shannon states, her story “exposes the truth that, no matter how deeply our wounds may run, we will always be worthy of God’s healing grace.”
It took great courage for Shannon to share her story. It is an important one for young people who are struggling with addiction or abuse and those who question whether God still cares for them in spite of their sin.
You can learn more about Shannon and her ministry at http://www.shannonmdeitz.com.