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