Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith   -     By: Michelle DeRusha
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Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith

Convergent Books / 2014 / Paperback

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Product Description

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.

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.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Convergent Books
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8 X 5.18 (inches)
ISBN: 1601425325
ISBN-13: 9781601425324
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

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.

Author Bio

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.

Endorsements

"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

Editorial Reviews

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 

Product Reviews

4.8 Stars Out Of 5
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  1. Columbus, GA
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    From Spiritual to Beloved Misfit
    August 5, 2014
    Janet
    Columbus, GA
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    God moved her to Nebraska to get her out of her comfort zone, to take her away from childhood misconceptions, and to open her heart and mind to Him. Spiritual Misfit is Michelle DeRusha's story, her testimony of God's gentle work in her life.

    Michelle starts at the beginning, documenting the particular event and the circumstances of her upbringing that led her, first, to live in fear, then, to reject belief in God. Michelle tells how she chose to keep this rejection private, attending church and going through the motions just as if she believed. She then goes on to tell how God used her children, her community, and all that was beyond her control to help her begin to consider His Truth.

    My favorite chapters were "Why Not," "Taking a Mulligan . . . Again," and "Beloved Misfit." I appreciated the natural progression of the entire story which started out as a simple testimony then subtly started exploring significant topics of the Christian faith through Michelle's experiences. And I got a kick out of Michelle's sense of humor toward herself, her environment, and life in general. If you enjoy reading the stories of God's personal work in individual lives, you may like this book.

    I received my complimentary copy from Blogging for Books in exchange for this honest review.
  2. Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Engaging, Direct, Circuitous, and Insightful
    July 30, 2014
    Life Breath Present
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Michelle DeRusha's book, Spiritual Misfit, is as open, engaging, and honest. The topic of spirituality in today's culture and society has become more open than it once was, so I think this book is a great place to begin a conversation. In the book, she discusses her entire path, all parts of it. From when she attended religious services out of duty, to her pure avoidance of the topic altogether, marrying someone with faith, and the slow walk to where she is today.

    She writes poignantly her story, a story that twists and turns, one that shows life doesn't have to be ascribed to through the beliefs of others. This book is powerful and impactful in that eventually Michelle finds her place. It wasn't through her husband, or her friends, or her family, but through herself. She came into her faith and spirituality on her own, with the help of others she sought, but also with the acceptance and understanding that she doesn't have to be like anyone else.
  3. USA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    An honest faith journey that connects w/everyone
    April 17, 2014
    Susan Stilwell
    USA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    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.
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Spiritual Misfit is a must read!
    April 14, 2014
    Laura
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Spiritual Misfit is heartfelt. It's real. It's raw. And...it's funny! Just when I thought I was reading someone else's story, I was reminded of God's love and grace for me. Michelle DeRusha tells her story with honesty - the kind that makes me brave to tell my story.
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