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Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith Paperback – April 15, 2014


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Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith + Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval - and Seeing Yourself through God's Eyes + Rhinestone Jesus: Saying Yes to God When Sparkly, Safe Faith Is No Longer Enough
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Convergent Books (April 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601425325
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601425324
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #278,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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 

About 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.

More About the Author

A Massachusetts native, Michelle DeRusha moved to Nebraska in 2001, where she discovered the Great Plains, grasshoppers the size of Cornish hens ... and God. She writes about finding and keeping faith in the everyday at michellederusha.com, as well as for the Lincoln Journal Star, Prodigal Magazine and The High Calling.

Michelle earned a Bachelor's Degree in English from the University of Massachusetts and a Master's Degree in English from the University of Connecticut. She worked as a magazine writer and editor in New York City, a PR and marketing specialist for a community college and a fundraiser for PBS and NPR before settling down into her career and calling as a writer.

She's mom to two bug-loving boys, Noah and Rowan, and is married to Brad, an English professor who reads Moby Dick for fun.

Customer Reviews

This book made me laugh out loud.
Mary Bonner
That's what Michelle DeRusha illustrates so wonderfully as she shares the story of her journey into a deeper faith with us.
Laura J. Boggess
Michelle tells the story in a voice that is both sincere and funny.
Deidra Riggs

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Deidra Riggs on April 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For everyone who's ever asked a question about God, or faith, or church, or grace. Not since "Blue Like Jazz" have I read a book that reassured me God is madly in love with me, even with all my questions and doubts, and my failures. Michelle DeRusha writes beautifully about her journey away from church and God, and all the questions that—much to her surprise—led her to a deep, joyful, and real relationship with God. Michelle tells the story in a voice that is both sincere and funny. I laughed and cried and sat awestruck at the lovely way her writing transported me to revel in the beauty of nature right outside her back door, and also to the crazy and hilarious chaos experienced by any mom of two lively and delightful boys. Finding grace in the everyday experiences of life is a gift, and Michelle teaches us well in this book. It's the book we've been waiting for, and it's the book we need.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Laura J. Boggess on April 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
That's what Michelle DeRusha illustrates so wonderfully as she shares the story of her journey into a deeper faith with us. This book made me laugh and cry in turns, the writing so carefully crafted, the stories so compelling. Michelle writes with transparency about the doubts and questions we all have faced. I devoured this book straight-through in one sitting, enjoying every word. It's more than a memoir, it's a story of God's great love and grace.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lisa notes... on April 15, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Even if you grew up in a different faith tradition than author Michelle DeRusha, you’ll relate to much in her book. I did. We may have differed in what we doubted—she, if God existed at all; me, if grace was as good as it sounded, but we both have had doubts to work through.

This book is the story of her journey to discovering that yes, God exists and grace is very good.

“My quest for faith began with sincerity—with admitting to myself that I did not believe in God. After all, I never would have been open to the possibility of God if I hadn’t first admitted to myself that I had doubts. Declaring my unbelief was the first step; declaring my unbelief allowed me to begin to seek authenticity. If I hadn’t faced this truth head-on, I would have persisted in my pretend faith, perpetuating the false notion that I believed while in reality practicing faith in name only.” – Michelle DeRusha

She shares quite openly how she journeyed from a closet atheist to one who now believes (on most good days anyway) in the “radical embrace of grace and love, the embrace of Jesus.” She includes many humorous but relatable stories in her books, including the infamous tale of Cheez-Its during a bedtime meltdown.

Michelle is the real deal. Her blog attests to her authenticity, and who would make up this stuff anyway?
“I even thought about suggesting to the kids that we pray out loud together. But I ditched that idea when I realized it probably would have panicked them further. ‘What?! Mommy’s praying? Mommy’s praying! We’re all gonna die!!’ We made it to shore. I lived to tell about it and complain about it.
Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Chripczuk on April 15, 2014
Format: Paperback
Michelle writes candidly and humorously about her own slow, uneasy journey out of darkness and into light.

This book is truly funny. Yes, that's right, Michelle is a Christian and she's terribly, terribly funny. Not funny in a cheesy, naive way, but funny in that truly human way that emerges when one dares to strip away all pretense, to expose the depths of one's own deep humanity.

Writing about the tension between knowing and believing and the choice to give belief a chance, this book is far from being a "how-to." Michelle resists the temptation to turn her life story into a three-step process finding faith and for this, I'm grateful. As it stands, Spiritual Misfit's deeply personal nature is what will give it a nearly universal appeal for those losing and finding faith. In shedding the masks and rules, Michelle dives in at the deep end and finds a way to float in the midst of faith and doubt. Lifted by the grace she comes to know and trust, she invites us also to dive in, to open up, and look closely for the footprints of God in our own stories, our own lives.

A great choice for a book club or discussion group.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Dukes Lee on April 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book. This book!!! It is one of the finest faith memoirs I have ever read, and I can't stop telling people about it.

I was privileged to read an advance copy of this book, a few months before the book was released. Since then, I've pre-ordered several copies, and told many friends, family members -- and even strangers -- about it. I loved it so much that, during a women's retreat last weekend when I was speaking about faith journeys, I asked all the women attending to please open their notebooks and write down these five words:

"Spiritual Misfit by Michelle DeRusha."

This is the part of the review where I might say, "I will be recommending this to all my friends." Except that I already HAVE recommended it to all of my friends. :)

This book will melt your heart, make you gut-split laugh, and challenge you in the very best ways.
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