Spiritual Misfit: A book giveaway

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I grew up in the church, the daughter of pastor parents who believed, more than anything, in living like they were the hands and feet of Jesus. I rubbed shoulders with the doubters and the deep believers, the sick and the healed. I knew what a life looked like when Jesus called it redeemed. I saw bondage and I saw set free. I saw my parents sit right in the thick of it all with an unshakeable faith, a faith I caught early and caught hard.

A few weeks ago, my friend Michelle sent me a copy of her memoir Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith, and I knew it would be funny because she’s funny. I knew it would be beautifully crafted and vulnerable and written like a letter from one friend to another. I didn’t know that I would find myself in the pages of her book too. Our spiritual journeys are different in every way. They resemble spiritual bookends, and we meet where God’s story unfolds, right smack in the middle.

Michelle began exploring her faith by asking the question “Why not?” Why not believe God exists? Why not believe the Bible is God’s word and Jesus is His son? Really, why not? I explored my faith by asking the same question, only viewing it through the lens of a lifelong believer.  Regardless of the way we approached it, we came to the same conclusion.

Before I read Michelle’s book, I wouldn’t have labeled myself a spiritual misfit. I know all the right words, the catch phrases, and the appropriate ways to behave. I know the pat answers, the trite prayers, and the ways we try to earn our way into heaven. I know what it means to” Be the Church”, which is a highly unpopular thing to admit to these days. Holding fast to what I believe in, in a world that doesn’t believe with me, helps me better understand Michelle’s story. Wherever we are in our faith journey, we may find it hard to fit in. We’re misfits in the world we enter or the world we leave behind, with God’s story unfolding right smack in the middle.

Spiritual Misfit launches today, so head on over to the virtual book store of your choice and order yourself a copy. Get one for a friend, too. You know someone who needs to hear it’s ok to ask “Why not?” They might find themselves with an answer as they read about Michelle’s journey. It’s poignant and it’s funny, and the Cheez-It story alone makes this book worth buying.

I’m giving away two copies of Spiritual Misfit to a reader who leaves a comment. Tell me where you most feel like a spiritual misfit, where you are in your spiritual journey, or if that’s a bit heavy for a Tuesday, tell me how you feel about Cheez-its. I will use the highly scientific method of allowing my kids to choose two numbers at random from a hat. Also, (disclaimer) your book won’t come as cutely packaged as the photo above. That was my copy, and Michelle apparently possesses packaging skills that I do not. The giveaway is open until Good Friday, April 18th.

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This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to the winners, Cara and Marie! Thanks for commenting, friends!

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  • Ooh- that looks like a good read. 🙂 I am more in your shoes, as the spiritual misfit who has grown up in the church.
    (And also, I used to love Cheez-its, until I found I had a gluten intolerance. There are a few decent substitutes, though)

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Cara, I think you’ll find something to love in the book. It’s guaranteed gluten-free;)

  • 1lori_1

    http://lorisprayercloset.com/2014/04/15/growing-up-misfit/
    Would love to win this to give away……I am heading out today to buy it!

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Sweet:) Love your generous heart!

  • Lou Ann Rudd

    After seeing all the recommendations online, I am anxious to read this book. I feel sure a 50something daughter of a pastor will be able to relate. Thanks!

    • KimberlyCoyle

      I’m sure you’ll relate, Lou Ann:) This PK sure did!

  • Marie Bride

    Oh, Dear Kimberly,
    I feel most like a Spiritual Misfit in so many ways.
    But mostly these days when I am involved in a Activity with what is supposed to be a group of “Faith” filled women/or individuals and they make everything and “I” “I” or a “Me” “Me” (meaning all about themselves) instead of being Christ centered. I unfortunately have only read the first chapter. But when this happens I am a Spiritual Misfit because I want to discipline these bad self-centered behaviors, such as look this is No way to act in the House of the Lord.
    Any way I spend a good amount of time in reconciliation trying to free myself of the frustration and anxiety that I went to this Activity for Jesus with my heart in the it is all about you Jesus! And end up being frustrated that I just wasted my time.
    Most fortunately the priest was wonderful and I came away in awe of being forgiven in my Misfittedness as I proclaimed I did not want to be associated with individuals that behave in such a manner he was able to draw my focus back to why I had gone to begin with.
    So Thank You Kimberly for your post!

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Marie, I’m so sorry you had such a difficult experience. It’s hard when our humanity shows up at church too, but it does remind me how much I need, as well as need to extend, grace.

  • Karrilee Aggett

    LOL – I love how techy you are, my friend! I think in this season, I feel like a spiritual misfit because we are having such a hard time finding a home church to gather with on Sunday mornings… or more accurately maybe, because I am less convinced that it needs to be on Sunday mornings and if that’s the case, then we have an awesome ‘church’ already… even though it’s not a ‘church’ … gah… There ya go! Honesty on a Tuesday afternoon… and Cheez-its? Well – we don’t have them often around here but when we do they are those Duo’s with Monterey Jack and Aged White Cheddar and they are like crack! (Which is why we don’t have them very often! …because crack is bad for you!)

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Karrilee, I totally agree. Who says church has to meet on Sunday, or in a church building for that matter? Last time I checked, we ARE the church;)

  • Kelly Greer

    Hi! My friend attempted to post a comment here after I shared your post on facebook Kimberly – I hope you don’t mind, but I am entering for her. Her name is Michelle Burns. o you mind adding her name to the hat? Unorthodox I know, but we do what we can for our friends 😉 I was blessed to get an advance copy and so I don’t need another copy – but know my friends will love Michelle’s book. Thanks for your generous offer!

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Hi, Kelly! I’d be happy to enter Michelle for you:)

  • Do I EVER feel like a spiritual misfit! First of all, I started my faith journey at four years old when at a tent meeting, I walked up the aisle to give my heart to Jesus. As a six year old, I spent Sundays at Catholic church with mom and dad after having spent Friday and Saturday evenings at more tent meetings and non denominational churches. I was always the one who didn’t quite fit the mold. Three of my mother’s siblings are pastors and I attended two of their churches. As a teen, this put me under the microscope in a big way. After being the center of a teen scandal at church (picked to be the one for the bus to ride over), I developed a deep fear of church goers as I only saw persecution and judgement from them not to mention abandonment from those who knew what went on yet turned the other way. It hurt for years, and I’m still damaged, but now I get it. It is just a symptom of being human. We make bad choices and we hurt people. There is not one of us who haven’t been party to hurting or judging someone else. Not one.

    I didn’t slip away from Jesus but I did slip away from church for many years. I was more comfortable with sinners than the saints, because the saints simply didn’t like me. They did not get me. I made them uncomfortable. My worldly (for lack of a better word) friends got that I would talk about Jesus and also got that I was imperfect and believed without a doubt that Jesus died for me in spite of it.

    At this time I am pretty happy with my spiritual journey. I am always learning and always reaching. My greatest joy is praying for others and loving out loud. I go to church though I am still wary (working on it). I live in awe of what God has done in my life and in the lives of others. Sorry about the wordiness. I’m an on-air host, so I tend to be chatty. 🙂

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Kelly, thanks so much for sharing your story. What a journey you’ve experienced! Thank God He holds our hand every step of the way.

      • Amen. My misfitness (yep I know not a word) has definitely equipped me in a different way. And that is only one piece of a unique puzzle. Thanks again for sharing Michelle’s book.

  • I feel like a spiritual misfit when I feel like I fall short from doing what I feel God would have me to do. And Cheeze-Its! I love them!

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thanks for sharing, Barbie. We all have a bit of the misfit in us, don’t we?

  • Carol Ann

    I have heard a lot of good things about Spiritual Misfit from my friend, Kelly. I feel like a spiritual misfit when I see how much more some people do for God than I do. White Cheddar is my down-fall Cheezit.

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Thanks for stopping by, Carol! I can’t even go there with the White Cheddar. The regular ones are addictive enough:)

  • I’m a spiritual misfit because although I grew up in the church, married a pastor, and am now drowning in a church plant, I didn’t fully surrender to Christ until about 9 months ago. How sad is that? I’ve been a spinner of plates that look and smell like Jesus for most all of my life, and I finally just got tired of spinning plates. So THANKFUL for the grace given to me by a Savior who never asked me to spin plates. He simply asked for me. (thank you for leading our group!)

    • KimberlyCoyle

      So thankful for grace, and for you, Lori! Now that your plate spinning days are behind you, I’m sure you’ll have much to offer others in the way of hope.

  • I feel like a spiritual misfit after moving back to the US. I’m less “this” and I was and more “that” than I was — but churches tend to be “this” OR “that.” I’m “this” and “that.” 🙂

    • KimberlyCoyle

      As a fellow expat, I can so relate to this, Amy! You’re not alone.

  • This is a great review, Kimberly, and it just solidifies what I’ve hoped all along for this book: that it might speak to anyone at any place on the “faith spectrum.” Thanks for all of your encouragement, support, prayers and cheering along the way, Kimberly – I am so, so very glad we roomed together at that slightly awkward conference! 😉

    • KimberlyCoyle

      Awkward for sure, but your bat pajamas put me at ease:) So happy to cheer you on!

  • Jenn MySquareInch

    As someone who did NOT grow up with a family who believed in church I feel like a misfit. A lot. I don’t know the usual saying, I don’t understand them. But I can explain to you how walking up to someone and telling them about Jesus isn’t going to work! I CAN tell you how being nice and helpful to people will allow you to talk to people about Jesus. I have a perspective many people in the church don’t.

  • Marian Vischer

    Well, this book had me at “misfit.” I’ve pretty much always felt like one of those, especially in the spiritual department. So interested in this!

  • Before I browse Michelle’s book, I wouldn’t have tagged myself a religious unusual person. i do know all the proper words, the catch phrases, and therefore the applicable ways that to behave. i do know the pat answers, the banal prayers, and therefore the ways that we have a tendency to try and earn our method into heaven…