Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith

( 7 )

Overview

I decided to admit once and for all that I didn’t know what I was doing, what I thought, what I believed, even sometimes if I truly believed. I would tell the truth: I wasn’t like them; I didn’t fit in. I wasn’t a proper Christian. I didn’t have it all together like they did. Why not, I figured? What in the world did I have to lose?
_____
 
After twenty years of unbelief, estranged from her childhood ...

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Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith

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Overview

I decided to admit once and for all that I didn’t know what I was doing, what I thought, what I believed, even sometimes if I truly believed. I would tell the truth: I wasn’t like them; I didn’t fit in. I wasn’t a proper Christian. I didn’t have it all together like they did. Why not, I figured? What in the world did I have to lose?
_____
 
After twenty years of unbelief, estranged from her childhood faith and ultimately from God, Michelle DeRusha unexpectedly found herself wrestling hard with questions of spirituality— and deeply frustrated by the lack of clear answers.
 
Until she realized that the questions themselves paved a way for faith.
 
“Declaring my unbelief,” writes DeRusha, “was the first step; declaring my unbelief allowed me to begin to seek authentically.”
 
Spiritual Misfit chronicles one woman’s journey toward an understanding that belief and doubt can coexist. This poignant and startlingly candid memoir reveals how being honest about our questions, our fears, and our discomfort with black-and-white definitions of faith can move us toward an authentic and a deepening relationship with God.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Spiritual Misfit

“Derusha is not a familiar figure on the landscape of spiritual writing, but the merit of her prose may lie in her very typicality. Married with two children in Nebraska, a columnist (Lincoln Journal Star) and occasional author, she writes with unassuming verve and charm reminiscent of Anne Lamott; her frequent admissions of her own shortcomings, doubts, and fears are presented with humor, wit, and intelligence. Her journey and struggle—to accommodate uncertainties within faith—resonate with the experience of many Christians today.
 
Verdict: One of the most appealing spiritual memoirs of the last several years, this book deserves readers well beyond church reading groups. It will speak to the lives of many individual seekers within Christianity and without.”
—Library Journal

“This book is profoundly insightful and laugh-out-loud funny—the kind of book you carry with you to the kitchen sink and to the laundry room and even to the bathroom, because you can’t.stop.reading. World, meet Michelle DeRusha—master storyteller, brilliant writer, spiritual misfit. With candor and humor, Michelle picks up the pieces of her faith story (and her faithless story), then spreads them out on the pages like an offering. This book reveals a loving God who isn’t surprised or repelled by our misfit tendencies, but who pulls us closer. Spiritual Misfit is for any one of us who has ever groped through the dark, which is pretty much every one of us.”
—Jennifer Dukes Lee, author of Love Idol

“Michelle DeRusha shares an honest and heartfelt personal perspective on the journey of faith. She takes us to the hard places, through the doubts, and brings us to this reassuring truth: sometimes when you’re searching for a place to belong, what you really need to discover is how much you’ve been loved all along.”
—Holley Gerth, best-selling author of You’re Already Amazing

“It is rare to find someone who seeks God as Michelle DeRusha does—with an authenticity the world lacks, with the wit and candor of Anne Lamott, and with the humility of Christ himself. Spiritual Misfit is the unadulterated journey of a woman who knows what it is to struggle and what it is to overcome. You’ll come away changed.”
—Emily T. Wierenga, author of Atlas Girl

“Michelle DeRusha’s Spiritual Misfit is a generous and honest portrait of stumbling into faith. This book is an invitation to wonder and journey, masterfully crafted by Michelle’s insights and humor. At once vulnerable, at once assured, this narrative offers a welcome and fresh perspective on the spiritual memoir and on the coming to terms of faith within ourselves and our communities.”
—Preston Yancey, author of Tables in the Wilderness: A Memoir of God Found, Lost, and Found Again

“This is the book we’ve been waiting for! It’s the book we need, because there is no way we get to faith without asking a bunch of questions and fumbling around in the dark for a while. This book frees us to be ourselves with Jesus, and to let him pursue us and woo us and love us and challenge us and stretch us. Michelle tells her story with humor and heart. It’s as if she knew someone needed to go first, giving the rest of us courage to exhale and say, ‘Whew! I’m not the only one!’”
—Deidra Riggs, managing editor, The High Calling; founder, JumpingTandem

“Michelle DeRusha is a masterful writer who brings fresh insight, imagery, and wisdom to the spiritual memoir genre. Spiritual Misfit invites the reader to climb a tree and cock the head to see the world from a whole new perspective. It’s funny, smart, and brimming with hope—a book for those new to faith and those who long for a faith that’s new. I look forward to reading everything Michelle DeRusha writes.”
—Rachel Held Evans, author of A Year of Biblical Womanhood 

Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-29
A slight memoir detailing one soul-searching woman's rekindling of her religious faith. Nebraska-based freelance writer, blogger and columnist DeRusha tracks her incremental estrangement from religion to a time when, as a child, she stole a necklace from a classmate then, wracked with guilt, believed she would be "bound for the unquenchable fires of hell." An obsession with her own premature death and failure to establish a meaningful connection with God distanced her further, even as her father, a high school guidance counselor with his own complex relationship with faith, offered little solace. As the author aged, the increasingly dense fog of her spiritual deficiency manifested in the defeatist notion of "God" as an unapproachable manifestation. In college, she attended Mass simply to scope out potential dating partners. Things changed after she met and married Lutheran Minnesotan Brad in graduate school, was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, relocated to Lincoln and had two sons. Content with motherhood yet yearning for divine direction, she began to reconsider her disbelief in theocracy and found God in the everyday. While there was no rapturous, revelatory event responsible for the restoration of her faith, the narrative represents the author's return to the Catholic Church—and an enlightenment that, for her, became particularly elusive and hard-won. DeRusha's newfound communion will resonate with readers plagued with fears, doubts and frustrations in discovering their own spiritual nexuses amid the hustle of contemporary life. There's lots of domestic household and homiletical filler suffusing the memoir's second half, however, which has the odd effect of bolstering DeRusha's overall experience and simultaneously diluting the impact of her divine investment. An intermittently rambling book that may nevertheless serve as a potent source of inspiration for the spiritually and religiously inclined.
Library Journal
05/15/2014
DeRusha is not a familiar figure on the landscape of spiritual writing, but the merit of her prose may lie in her very typicality. Married with two children in Nebraska, a columnist (Lincoln Journal Star) and occasional author, she writes with an unassuming verve and charm reminiscent of Anne Lamott; her frequent admissions of her own shortcomings, doubts, and fears are presented with humor, wit, and intelligence. Her journey and struggle—to accommodate uncertainties within faith—resonate with the experience of many Christians today. VERDICT One of the most appealing spiritual memoirs of the last several years, this book deserves readers well beyond church reading groups. It will speak to the lives of many individual seekers within Christianity and without.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601425324
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/15/2014
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 117,375
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 7.99 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Michelle DeRusha writes a monthly column on religion and spirituality for The Lincoln Journal Star and has published a number of articles and personal essays in both print and online media. She also writes a blog, MichelleDerusha.com. She and her husband, Brad, live in Nebraska with their two boys and pet lizard.

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Read an Excerpt

The Beginning of the End

Falsehood is so easy, truth so difficult.
—George Eliot

In third grade I stole a necklace. As I labored over fractions, nibbling a rubbery pencil eraser and spitting grainy flecks onto the floor, I spied it glinting from Kim’s desk across the aisle. We all sat at those Formica elementary school desks, the ones that yawned wide open over our laps so our pencil cases and workbooks and glue sticks were readily accessible. The necklace sat right at the edge, within reach. It was exquisite, exotic—a choker with a black velvet strap and a single brilliant faux sapphire, like something Barbie would wear with a sequined halter, the red convertible top down, Ken at the wheel.

I had to have it, pined for it, battling a desire so strong it made my stomach clench. So while Mrs. Grant bent over Kim’s shoulder, I quickly reached behind their backs, slid my fingers into the open desk, grabbed the velvet strand, and balled it into the front pocket of my corduroys, a snake slipping into a dark hole.

Regret rushed in almost instantly. The thrilling high of the conquest crashed into gut-wrenching fear. Aware of its weight all day in my pocket, I passed up my usual penny drops on the junglegym at recess for fear the necklace would plunk into the sand as I swung by my knees. Later I dashed to the girls’ room and perched on the toilet with the gem balanced on my thigh. I thought seriously about flushing my loot but worried it would plug up the system. Plus I realized that wouldn’t solve the real problem anyway, the whole rotting-in-hell dilemma. A simple flush would not hide my sin from the all-seeing eyes of God.

I never wore the necklace, of course. How could I? My mother would have noticed immediately and interrogated me; none of my relatives would have given me such a flashy piece of jewelry—we were more a mother-of-pearl crowd. I couldn’t even tell my best friend, Andrea. I knew she’d rat me out to her mother, who would then tell my mother, and I’d be history.

Occasionally, with the door of my bedroom tightly closed, I held the choker up to my neck before the mirror—I never dared latch the clasp—to admire its sparkle and dream of how it would look with my rainbow-striped velour top, wishing I could wear it to Heather’s rollerskating party. I realized it was pointless to own such a gem when I
couldn’t flaunt it, but it was too late to put it back.

Stealing, I knew, was a ticket straight to hell. “Thou shalt not steal” was, in fact, one of the more clearly defined commandments. I may not have fully grasped the nuances of “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife” or “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” but there wasn’t much fuzziness around the seventh commandment. I could practically hear God thundering, “Thou shalt not steal…Michelle.”

Breaking a commandment was a mortal sin, especially when the act was premeditated, and I knew I had definitely schemed to get that necklace into my pocket. While venial sins, like fibbing or gossiping, might land you in Purgatory for a few decades if you failed to confess before you died, the unconfessed mortal sin would send you spiraling directly to the eternal fires of hell. I knew if I didn’t do something soon, I was destined to shrivel up in hell like a clam neck in the Frialator. Thankfully, I had an out: all I had to do was confess my sin to Father Loiselle. My mother dragged my sister and me to Saint Michael’s for confession once a month and every Friday during Lent.

And I loved it. Well, not the act of confession itself. That was like visiting gnarled Aunt Bell in Mount Saint Margaret’s nursing home and having Dr. Mallard’s gaggy fluoride treatment, all at the same time. But oh, that feeling: the lightness that spread like a warm wave through my body after I exited the confessional. Nothing, nothing came close to that heady burst of liberation as I danced down the church steps, my soul pure and unblemished once again. The hope! The promise! The possibility! This time, I swear, I’m going to be good. I am so done with sinning!

Each month I steeled myself, buoying my spirits with a pep talk. “Okay. This is it. Yup. Here we go. You can do it. Seriously, no problem. I mean, aren’t there worse sins than stealing? Like murder, you know, something bloody and gross, like the guy who stuffed his wife’s body through the wood chipper. That’s way worse than stealing some dumb fake necklace. Just get in there and do it.”

After drawing aside the red velvet drapes, I crept into the dim confessional and knelt before the grated window, hands clasped, white-knuckled and clammy. The window whooshed open, and from the shadowy figure hunched on the other side came a quiet voice: “You may begin, my child.”

Wait, wait, did he say “my child”? How the heck does he know I’m a kid? Shoot. Crap. Shootshootcrapcrapcrap, can he see me?! “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It’s been one month since my last confession and these are my sins: I lied to my mom and dad; I disobeyed my parents; I kicked my sister on the couch while we were watching The Love Boat; I called Andrea a dork.”

Give or take a few minor infractions, I recited the same list every time, and I always left off the big one; I simply couldn’t bring myself to confess the theft. I would leave the confessional uncleansed, kneel in the pew to recite my penance, and curse myself for my cowardice. Had there been a flagellation whip at hand, I would have used it in an instant, anything to gain a feeling of atonement.

After some months of this, my soul started to feel like my mother’s Sunday T-bone, smoldering on the grill about ten minutes too long and shrunken to a blackened lump.

Finally, after about the fifth failed confession, I came up with a brilliant idea: I would start wearing a scapular. A scapular is a “sacramental”—a religious object worn by Roman Catholics. It’s commonly given to young children when they make their First Communion, which was exactly when I had received mine. My scapular consisted of two small squares of cloth connected by a loop of thread and worn over the shoulders, so that one square rested on the chest and the other on the back between the shoulder blades. It was of the “brown scapular” variety (nicknamed for the color of the cloth)—officially called the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel—and it was authentic, having been blessed by a priest before it was given to me.

Ordinarily I kept the scapular in a small wooden box on the bookshelf next to my bed. But when I decided to take it out, drape the threads over my head, and nestle the two squares under my clothing, I did so for one reason and one reason only. Inscribed on the scapular in gothic script was this line: “Whosoever dies wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire.” This, I felt, was like Monopoly’s much-soughtafter Get Out of Jail Free card. This was my loophole, my free pass into heaven. All I had to do was keep the scapular on my body, and I would be saved.

The use of the scapular is steeped in tradition and mystery. It’s believed to have been originally given by the Virgin Mary to Saint Simon Stock, who, legend has it, lived in the hollow of an oak tree as a young boy before joining the Order of the Carmelites in 1212. When he appealed to Mary in a prayer for his oppressed order, it’s said she appeared before him with the scapular in her hand, saying, “Take, beloved son this scapular of thy order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and all Carmelites a special sign of grace; whoever dies in this garment, will not suffer everlasting fire. It is the sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant.”1 With the scapular tucked beneath my clothes I felt invincible, as if I were wrapped in an invisible, magical cloak, a shield of protection. So what if it was a bit of a hassle? Sometimes it wrapped itself two or three times around my neck and threatened to strangle me as I slept. And sometimes it slid into the folds of my turtleneck, rubbing a raw spot until I had to flee to the girls’ room to straighten it out. The rule was that you had to wear the scapular all the time, even under your soccer uniform and your nightgown. Unsure how bathing worked, I stashed it on the sink counter and splashed through my shower at breakneck speed, hoping I wouldn’t slip on the soap, crack open my head, and plummet straight to hell. For weeks I turned down open swim night at the town pool. After all, I couldn’t very well display the scapular over my bathing suit like a nun.

To me, wearing the scapular was worth all the trouble. Its presence released me from fear and allowed me to feel free and safe again. The constant chafing of the rough fabric against my skin was a reminder of my sin, a penance of sorts. In my mind, the subtle but everpresent discomfort was an atonement, a substitute for the fact that I
hadn’t actually confessed my sin to a priest. I told myself it was okay because I was doing something better; I was making an even greater sacrifice: I was wearing a scapular every day for the rest of my life! It also helped that the scapular was hideous; it was fitting that I forced myself to wear an unattractive accessory in place of the sparkling, alluring necklace. The scapular—rough, primitive, and ugly—was exactly what I deserved.

I never connected the scapular with any thoughts about God; it never occurred to me that I should first have faith in God before I expected the scapular to make good on its claims. I simply wore it as proof, like a legal deed granting me the “right” to enter heaven. I wasn’t exactly sure who was granting me this right—the priest who blessed the scapular and gave it to me on my First Communion? Jesus? God? But that didn’t matter. I simply figured if I followed the rules just right—wore those two squares of cloth appropriately and didn’t ever remove them from my body—then the inscribed words would come true.

At the time I hadn’t known about Mary’s message to Simon, but even if I had, I surely would have missed the nuances of her speech. I certainly would not have appreciated that she meant the scapular to be merely a symbol of Simon’s faith and a sign of grace. It wasn’t the pieces of cloth that bore any power, but the faith behind them. Mary stated her intent clearly when she emphasized to Simon that the scapular was a “badge of my confraternity,” a “sign of grace,” a “sign of salvation,” and a “pledge of peace and of the covenant.” Whether the priest made that distinction clear when he handed me the scapular, or whether I chose not to hear it, I don’t recall. All I know is that I considered those two squares of cloth my passport to eternal life.

Eventually, inevitably, I lost the scapular. I’m not sure if it got tangled in my sweater and was sucked out with the dirty water in the washing machine, or if the strings wore thin and it slipped out the bottom of my shirt and onto the street. All I remember is that I discovered one evening to my absolute horror that the scapular was gone. I
searched frantically for it, pawing through the hamper, retracing my steps through the apple orchard in back of our house, scanning the hallways of Mountain View Elementary the next morning, peering into the stalls of the girls’ room, and combing the soccer field. But it was gone.

Once again I was defenseless, stripped of my armor, gripped by terror, and bound for the unquenchable fires of hell.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 25, 2014

    Spiritual Misfit was hard to put down! I laughed, shed tears, la

    Spiritual Misfit was hard to put down! I laughed, shed tears, laughed some more and was profoundly touched as I read it. Michelle's story touched my heart and it was so easy to relate it to my own spiritual journey. Honest, not at all pretentious or "pious", this memoir is real. Written in a delightful conversational tone, you feel like you are chatting with her over a cup of coffee on the back deck. Thank you, Michelle, for being honest, vulnerable and sharing your journey.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2014

    Few memoirs have made me laugh like Spiritual Misfit. Michelle D

    Few memoirs have made me laugh like Spiritual Misfit. Michelle DeRusha’s brave honesty will have you looking at your own uneasy faith and perhaps even voicing a few shaky feelings to God.

    Michelle deftly walks you through her tenuous faith journey. From her Catholic upbringing to her personal doubts to the warming of her heart, she testifies to a God Who loved her completely and pursued her passionately. 

    Spiritual Misfit is a perfect selection for a book club and is sure to invite a lively discussion. Her experience is unique, but her ponderings are universal. Michelle writes in such a way that everyone can connect with her and may even breathe a sigh of relief that they’re not alone in their questions about God.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    There are a whole lotta ways to write a ¿come to Jesus¿ story. S

    There are a whole lotta ways to write a ‘come to Jesus’ story. Strong stories of dramatic conversions are always around — usually quite popular, in fact. And they are often told in lurid detail, outlining the horrors of drug abuse, or alcoholism, of sexual misconduct or abuse, telling tales of wild living and rough edges. LOTS of very rough edges.




    When I was an adolescent and young adult, I used to quietly envy anyone with such a story. Why? Because mine was so ordinary – my life was pretty much drama-free. I never got ‘saved’ from anything horrific, so I had no redemption story worth telling. As I got older, however, and began having and raising children, that envy just dissipated and was blown away by the sweet breeze of grace. In truth, that old envy morphed into a deep well of gratitude. I am grateful for the story that is uniquely mine to tell, uniquely mine to live.




    As I lived into my own life, I began to realize that ordinary no longer looked so bad. In fact, ordinary began to take on all kinds of layers, colors, even edges. I slowly came to understand that God works in all kinds of ways, his children to redeem. All kinds of ways. For some, that may mean drama, and lots of it. For others of us, those grace-breezes are gentler and more subtle. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to redemption stories – everyone has a story worth telling, and ANY story of grace-at-work is a story I want to hear.




    Or read.




    And believe me when I tell you this, Michelle DeRusha has told us a corker. This is, hands down, one of the best spiritual memoirs I have ever read. It is honest, hysterically funny at points, gracious and gratifying and gorgeous. It took seven years for this beautiful gem to come to light and the wait has been so worth it. SO worth it.




    Michelle tells us how her particular childhood experience of church did not lead her to an understanding of grace. So instead of looking to God for help, she focussed all her considerable energy and intelligence on taking charge of her own life, choosing to believe there was no God. She grew up and went to college in New England, working in NYC for a while. During graduate school, she met and married her husband, Brad, whose personal faith was strong and steady and whose heart welcomed Michelle exactly where she was. Together, they moved to the midwestern state of Nebraska, welcoming one little boy almost immediately and a second, several years later.




    Their Nebraska adventure became Michelle’s faith adventure and the story is told in crackling prose, filled with descriptions that bring both belly laughs and tears of recognition. They began attending a Lutheran church because apparently, EVERYONE in Nebraska goes to church. Brad felt right at home and Michelle managed to ‘cough’ her way through the Nicene Creed for the first few years! Slowly, but surely, the beauty of the gospel began to seep into her spirit, however, and her big questions began to subtly change. Instead of, “Why believe in God?”, she began to ask, “Why not believe in God?” 




    Michelle’s story is quite different from mine. I’ve known and believed in Jesus for as long as I can remember, and despite occasional bouts of what Madeleine L’Engle used to call ‘viral atheism,’ my faith has always been a part of my story. Michelle came to Jesus later in life, as a young mom in her 30s, carrying a long history of disbelief and disconnection from faith. And yet, I resonated so strongly with this book. Why?




    Because I am a misfit, too. Not in the same ways that Michelle believes she is — after all, I know the lingo, right? I’m familiar with the Bible, I know a lot about church history, biblical studies — you know the drill. But Michelle puts her finger on something very, very important in this book: the truth that most of us don’t ‘fit’ in one way or another.




    And also? The bigger truth that it doesn’t matter that we don’t fit. Because being a misfit — well, that’s what makes us who we are. And Michelle, misfit though she may be, speaks for all of us as she writes about doubt, flashes of insight, small gifts of grace in the middle of daily living.




    Because this is our story, too. This story of not fitting in, not having all the answers, not getting it. What she — and we — come to realize is that all of that is okay. It is more than okay — it is the way in. The way in to a vibrant, day-to-day relationship with the living God, the way in which a spiritual misfit becomes God’s Beloved Misfit. “We are all walking around shining like the sun,” Thomas Merton says (and Michelle quotes on page 98). ALL of us, dear friends, beloved misfits, shining like the sun. Wow.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 15, 2014

    No matter where you find yourself in the faith journey, you are

    No matter where you find yourself in the faith journey, you are sure to find yourself on the pages of this book. Michelle talks about the doubts and curiosities we all experience as we grapple to get our little arms around a big God and all that he offers us. As I read Spiritual Misfit, I nodded my head in agreement and paused to reflect on my own coming to faith over and over again. She left me with a deeper sense that God really loves me just the way I am, right where I am, questions and all. Michelle's gift of telling it like it is will crack you up. out loud. no matter where you are. So be warned - reading in a public bathroom might not be the best idea. You are gonna love this one!

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  • Posted April 15, 2014

    Writing about her book Spiritual Misfit A Memoir of Uneasy Faith

    Writing about her book Spiritual Misfit A Memoir of Uneasy Faith, Michelle DeRusha says:

    "My story is ordinary – it’s not a dramatic conversion story; nothing “big” happened to me along the way. I didn't experience a near-death situation. I didn’t survive a tragedy. But in a lot of ways, that’s what makes my story so accessible. It’s about an ordinary person with ordinary questions, fears and doubts who was transformed in an extraordinary way."

    I believe this is exactly why this is a must read book for us all. We who feel just "ordinary" always need to be reminded of just how extraordinary our God is. How many of us find ourselves naked before our Lord, trembling just a bit, scratching our heads, mumbling "I believe Lord, help my unbelief?"

    In this close to the bone memoir Michelle shares with brave openness her doubts, fears and growing reliance on a Lord Who asks us to believe what we can not always see.

    Some pages left me giggling, like the story of tossed Cheez-It crumbs; others are stained by tears of recognition, when God shows Himself in quiet glory. Then there are the pages striped by coloured highlighters, that will beckon me to return to the words again and again, like these:

    "While faith through grace alone is probably liberating for most people, freeing them from the inescapable burden of sin, it scared the crap out of me because it required that I relinquish control. It carried me full circle back to the aspects of God I couldn't define, hem in, deconstruct, or rationalize. It carried me back to the heart, which was a much more difficult realm to navigate than the head. Honestly, I would much rather have earned my entrance to heaven than take a flying leap onto the slippery slope of faith. Earning seemed much more predictable, orderly, and measurable, so much less fraught with fear, than leaping. Leaping into faith required me to trust and surrender to someone I couldn't see."

    Those could have been my own words, so closely they struck my spirit. I believe you will be struck in similar fashion. You need to read this book. You need to share this book. It will speak loudly to everyone, no matter where they find themselves on this wild journey of faith.

    I was given an advance reading copy of this book. The opinions I have shared, as always, are my own.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2014

    Have you been a Christian long enough to know the Sunday school

    Have you been a Christian long enough to know the Sunday school answer? Everyone knows Jesus is the answer and everything else is
    wrong. Everyone, that is, except Michelle DeRusha. This girl says what no respectable Christian would about her faith in her spiritual memoir. She is brave enough to say all the things we Christians have thought then promptly dismissed as inappropriate. Michelle stares her uneasy, fragile faith in the eye. With an equally scant measure of defiance pitted against her paltry faith, Michelle plods on in her awkward and jolting relationship to God. She's determined to hammer out her Christianity no matter what it looks like, even if she misses and hits her thumb -- or worse, God's -- in the process. Her story is both funny and heartfelt, and you might find your own feeble faith in her journey, give or take a few details. This is an uncensored look at what true faith looks like in the raw, yet offers hope and grace to all who struggle with their faith or yearn to have some.

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  • Posted April 15, 2014

    Recently I was asked this question ¿ What are the top three reas

    Recently I was asked this question … What are the top three reasons I would recommend this book? Here are my reasons:

    #3 – This book will make you laugh! Seriously, the woman has the funniest sense of humor. She describes situations and emotions which will not only make you laugh with her but you will laugh at yourself because you will see reflections of yourself in her stories. Michelle makes you realize, there are so many experiences in life which are common to us all. And funny as they are, these experiences still point us to God, revealing Him in ways which make Him all the more tangible in our lives.
    #2 – This book will make you cry!! Michelle shares with a transparency which will touch your heart. She lets you into places most of us hold close to ourselves to reveal her own personal struggles. We come to see God has been at work in each of our lives through all things. She shares her skepticism, her shortcomings, and her fragile faith.
    And the #1 reason!!! – This book will surely grow your faith and relationship with God. Throughout each page, we discover our search to belong, to fit in, leads us to the profound truth which is this – we have been loved all along. We come to grips with the fact that this journey of faith – well – it is just that … our journey. For each of us, it will look different. And yet it will look similar.
    Michelle’s memoir and journey is transparent, honest and authentic. We all have doubts and questions at various times throughout our lives. I have come to realize these are the very catalysts which God uses to grow us in our faith. He moves us deeper into our awareness of Himself and Who He is. We come to see facets of faith which may have remained hidden had we not questioned. These times become the means by which as Michelle explains,

    “…we learn how to seek God every day, in ordinary life, and to learn how to shape my life to reflect him.” (page 208)

    After all, that is truly the goal – to be transformed so that we reflect Him and our lives bring Him glory.I cannot recommend this book highly enough!

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