Spiritual Misfit – A Memoir of Uneasy Faith

Spiritual MisfitThe first half of Michelle DeRusha’s debut book “Spiritual Misfit,” is largely a sad story about a woman who could desperately use help from the Divine but doesn’t realize she has access to it.

Unfortunately, her experience growing up Catholic was one where the Devil played the main character. In catechism, she writes, “I memorized the Ten Commandments and heard a lot about Satan and hell; a little about an amorphous, disconnected God; and hardly anything at all about Jesus.”

DeRusha doesn’t harshly criticize Catholicism, and in fact loves many aspects of the religion, including the “mystery, ritual and formality.” But she felt deeply ashamed of her disbelief in God; so ashamed that she keeps it a dark secret inside herself, afraid to tell her parents or even a priest in confession.

In her twenties when she suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, she writes, “Asking God for help never even crossed my mind.”

Ultimately, her journey from doubt to faith takes her to Lincoln, Nebraska where everyone talks about God and Jesus all the time: “Take, for instance, this question, posed with frightening regularity: ‘So, what church do you belong to?’”

Thankfully for DeRusha (and also for readers), the second half of this book if filled with inspiring and amusing anecdotes of a woman who finally admits her doubts about God and begins the process of building her relationship with the Divine.

The author has a great sense of humor, too, poking fun at her life as a middle-class wife and mother in America’s heartland. When making her first tentative attempts at prayer, she writes, “One minute I was earnestly asking God for patience with my children, the next minute – oh shoot, I forgot to buy Parmesan cheese again.”

All in all, “Spiritual Misfit” is a book that will resonate with a lot of people who are in the process of seeking and finding God in their day-to-day lives.

-Linda Hardesty

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