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SPIRITUAL MISFIT by Michelle DeRusha


A Memoir of Uneasy Faith

by Michelle DeRusha

Pub Date: April 15th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-60142-532-4
Publisher: Convergent/Crown

A slight memoir detailing one soul-searching woman’s rekindling of her religious faith.

Nebraska-based freelance writer, blogger and columnist DeRusha tracks her incremental estrangement from religion to a time when, as a child, she stole a necklace from a classmate then, wracked with guilt, believed she would be “bound for the unquenchable fires of hell.” An obsession with her own premature death and failure to establish a meaningful connection with God distanced her further, even as her father, a high school guidance counselor with his own complex relationship with faith, offered little solace. As the author aged, the increasingly dense fog of her spiritual deficiency manifested in the defeatist notion of “God” as an unapproachable manifestation. In college, she attended Mass simply to scope out potential dating partners. Things changed after she met and married Lutheran Minnesotan Brad in graduate school, was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, relocated to Lincoln and had two sons. Content with motherhood yet yearning for divine direction, she began to reconsider her disbelief in theocracy and found God in the everyday. While there was no rapturous, revelatory event responsible for the restoration of her faith, the narrative represents the author’s return to the Catholic Church—and an enlightenment that, for her, became particularly elusive and hard-won. DeRusha’s newfound communion will resonate with readers plagued with fears, doubts and frustrations in discovering their own spiritual nexuses amid the hustle of contemporary life. There’s lots of domestic household and homiletical filler suffusing the memoir’s second half, however, which has the odd effect of bolstering DeRusha’s overall experience and simultaneously diluting the impact of her divine investment.

An intermittently rambling book that may nevertheless serve as a potent source of inspiration for the spiritually and religiously inclined.