About the Author

Michelle lives in Nebraska, where she writes about real life and faith and lives with two bug-loving boys and a husband who reads Moby Dick for fun.

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Comments

  1. RISK being real and relatable… GAIN trust, gratitude, empathy and hearing others real stories.

  2. I have often felt like a misfit…. then one day I realized that is exactly what I am. Thank God I do not belong here, but Heaven Is My Home! 🙂 Once I figured that out I became very comfortable with my “misfit” status. I would like very much to read your book.

  3. It is scary to risk being real. Nearly everyone I have ever really let in on my life has used it to really hurt me–counselors very much included. After being hurt so many times it is terrifying to even think about being open with anyone else. At least if I stay alone it is harder for people to hurt me.

      • Hi va ! I understand va where you are coming from as I have experienced the same things.
        A pastor at a local church was talking about this yesterday and all I could think was “Yes, we need to tell our stories. We need to also to do it slow as trust takes time to build.”
        Its hurts when I want to build relationships, especially with God, and this mistrust gets in the way making me feel safer away from people and God too. I’ve learned that taking appropriate relationship risks takes listening to the Holy Spirit and the good people God puts in our lives, which is hard. Isolation is a lie that attempts to cut us off from God and good people.
        This is how I understand it-its a baby step journey. As hard as it is, I hope that you let God hold you and love you into relationship. It takes a lot of strength and courage and God won’t push unless He needs to. I know that you can heal from this and I know that its hard. Do the opposite of what the mistrust says and trust God. There may be pain and crap. Its worth it in the end. Praying for you 🙂

  4. I imagine that laying yourself bare in a memoir would be terrifying. This is why I don’t even write a blog, even an anonymous one. 😉 Congratulations on taking such a big leap!

  5. Thanks for these encouraging words, Michelle. I wholeheartedly agree. Trying to appear as though I have it all together has only succeeded in making me appear judgmental and unapproachable to others. When I’ve been honest about my life, it’s helped others breathe a sigh of relief, as if saying, “Oh, good. Me too!”

    • I hadn’t even thought about that aspect, but you are so right, Mandy – I think wearing the facade of perfection does make us not only inaccessible but also like we might be judging others for their less-than-perfect selves.

  6. Expressing gratitude to those around us who are brave and trusting enough to speak truth. Jesus always spoke truth. The woman who reached out in faith to Him for a healing told Him “all the truth”, and in Psalm 15 we are reminded of a characteristic of those that will abide in the Lord’s tabernacle… they speak truth in their heart. So thank you truth-speakers for clearing a path for others to follow.

  7. I can so identify with being a misfit…..in many areas of my life….even to having moved thousands of miles away from family, because of feeling like a misfit with them since childhood, and even now decades later, will be living that reality as I visit them and will feel (as I always do) that I don’t belong ( and never have)What a sad state of affairs. Thank God he invites me into his forever family, along with a whole lot of other misfits…..and we all belong !
    Would love to read this as I travel to visit my earthly family.

  8. I find it hard to be open with myself to others. It is difficult to get close enough to anyone to feel that trust in order to be able to share.

    • I absolutely know what you mean, Trish. It’s much easier for me to be open in my writing, because I am not standing face-to-face with another human. It requires a lot of trust to take that step toward truth-telling and presenting your authentic, true self.

  9. As your title popped up on my newsfeed I’d just written “Tell the truth, it may not be popular but it will be Christ like” and I just had to click in to see what God was saying through you – What a wonderful story of sharing your vulnerability and doing it for God’s glory and to help others. Bless you in this ministry. I love the cover 🙂

  10. Throwing cheese its sounds like something I could find myself doing. I’d love to read more, to see how you found grace as a snack thrower.

  11. I think we all have tendencies to sometimes feel inadequate, or incapable. That’s when I need to remember who’s I am! I have Christ living inside of me. I have the ability to tap into His power. He values me He loves me and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

  12. “….worry about being unavailable; worry about being absent or fraudulent. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it.” I love that quote… and Michelle, your transparency is what draws the reader in… I still have not read your book… thanks for opportunity to win your book!!!!!!!!

  13. My life is the same .. I feel I need God more but . Im a spiritual misfit. Thank you for a chance to win a great book. . By such a great writer. God bless all of yous.

  14. Brave….that’s the first word that comes to mind when I read your words. How incredibly brave you are to put down on paper, for all to read, the same kind of moments we have all lived out at some time or another in our lives. Thank you, for being that kind of brave friend. Your reference to the Cheezits immediately brought back a moment with my daughter that I too am ashamed of. But just that one tidbit today from you reminds me, that who we were then is not who we are now. Those moments in our memory bank sting, some deeper than others, but that is not who we are in “real life” as you said. We are His…growing, changing, molding. Can’t wait to read your book!!

    • As Paul says, “I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead…” (Philippians 3:13). Amen, Kimberly.

  15. “Share your story, your whole story. Risk vulnerability. Tell the truth. Risk being unliked.” It can be frightening to be honest about yourself, where others can witness you, raw and unprotected. This is undoubtedly challenging-thanks for the encouragement this morning!

  16. This was a read that helped me see the way Michelle connected with God and allowed me to think more closely about my connection too.

  17. I would love to read your story. Testimonies are so powerful in the way they reveal God reaching out to each person right where they are as well as encouraging others who may be in the same place to seek out God for themselves.

  18. I love the thought “tell the truth as you see it.” I often wondered how there could be so many books about the same thing, but written in different ways to meet the needs of many. Now I get it.

  19. I finished up your book just a couple of weeks ago and would love to win a copy to send to my friend who is currently struggling with her faith (she also grew up Catholic). I think it would speak life into her in a way I can’t on my own!

  20. I love books! But this one, as much as I don’t want to admit it, would be the absolute perfect gift to someone I’ve been praying for daily lately… my brother and his girlfriend. God’s been showing Himself faithful through this prayer journey and I want to believe that He already has it all figured out. Thank you for this beautiful post this morning!

  21. Thank you so much for your article. It encourages me, as I am writing my second book, also a memoir, and it’s so difficult to be REAL! Especially when it requires walking back through enormous pain and tragedy. It is a memoir with a message about how we miss the whole point of life.

    I can’t wait to read your book!!! Our stories are a powerful force in the world and you’re right, they will always validate someone else’s story, feelings and life.

    Kimberly, I agree with you BRAVE is the word and there is no greater bravery than to tell the truth and be vulnerable. The song “Brave” by Sarah Bareilles has become my theme song. 🙂

    Ruthie Lewis xoxoxoxo

  22. Michelle,
    You know I’ve been a fan for such a long time. Blessings and congratulations on the book and its impact-I’d love to win a copy.
    Peace and good to you in Jesus’ name,
    Chelle

  23. I would love to be able to have a copy of your book to read then share with my friends!! Love you writings!! May God Bless you do His work daily!!!

  24. Being vulnerable is very hard and I recognize that I need more courage in this area of my life. Thankful for the possibility of winning a copy of your memoir.

  25. How true this is….I struggle with feeling weak when I admit how things are NOT going. However, it is easy to get caught up in that negativity and forget the blessings part. This is a daily struggle for me….to thank God FIRST and then ask for His help with all the “other stuff”. It has cost me my marriage and I cannot let it cost me anything more. Thank you for your honesty and insight in this small blog section…I would love to read more and will purchase the book regardless!!!

    • Lois, thank you for your honesty and sharing a bit of your story. My heart breaks for you loss, yet I know, too, that God creates good out of all things for those who love him, and I have faith that he is doing that for you, too. It’s a struggle for me, too, to thank God FIRST. After I read Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts, I started a daily gratitude journal that I’ve kept going for 2 years now, and it’s really, really helped me see the myriad blessings in my everyday. Peace to you, friend.

  26. This “being real” is so needed…how I wish I had been on the receiving end of that during my teens and 20’s….why does it take so long to become comfortable in our own skin? Thanks for the giveaway!

  27. I just reread Moby Dick for fun (saw that about your husband in your bio!)–then by chance we drove by a whale skeleton just days later–so fun! congrats on getting your book(s) published! 🙂

  28. Never ceases to surprise me how God knows what I need at the exact moment. He has been showing me a lot of things lately, about being real, unfiltered, and honest. And this…this by you…only confirmed His voice speaking to me even more. Thank you for being real and for the encouragement as well.

  29. Thank you for the truthfulness in your book. We should all be open and truthful because we are all sinners in need of grace and mercy.

  30. my heart needed to hear this today. thank you! thank you! i look forward to reading your book.

  31. How I wish if started learning this lesson easier in my life! I was so worried people would find out that I wasn’t as together as I looked! In the last 5-10 years I’ve been convicted of the sin of pride that was behind my “private” life. I would love to win a copy of your book!

  32. As a people pleaser, I have tons of admiration for people who can so openly share themselves. I’m working on it, just not there yet. I have to be careful, as well, I can be terribly self-critical….oh to find some balance!

  33. Thanks, Michelle, I cannot get enough of these reminders to be real. I’ve discovered lately that being real about who I am causes others to be more real with who they are too. But I’m still working on believing this with my whole heart – I still retreat to the easy response of, “I’m fine” when I don’t think the audience is ready for my real story. Looking forward to reading your book!

  34. I think we all have a tendency to want to hide all of our “stuff” lest we be judged by those people whom we think have it all together. It’s so freeing to be real with people, especially those who really care about us. It also opens doors and presents opportunities to give and receive encouragement and hope. Thanks for being brave enough to share the “real” you. 🙂

  35. I am currently struggling with my relationship with God. I am feeling far away from Him. I know that he is close by me, and reaching out his hand to me to help me on the journey that I am on, and all I have to do is ask. There are many things that need to change. The battle of my mind is the biggest one. I tend to think negatively instead of positively. I have been honest with the people around me when they ask how are you doing I tell them I am struggling and they embrace me, tell me that they are there for me and they are praying for me. It is amazing how God’s love from others can help in such a great time of need.
    Congratulations on writing your books may God use them and you to his glory! I would love to read your books!!!

    • Oh Michele, I can so relate, sister. Faith does not come easily to me, and I, too, have struggled in my relationship with God, at times feeling so distant and disconnected from Him. Keep talking about it and reaching out to your loved ones. As Henri Nouwen once said, in times of doubt, our community can carry us until we are able to find faith again ourselves. From my own experience, I have found this to be very true. Peace and grace on the journey, friend, and thank you for speaking so honestly here.

  36. Beautifully said, Michelle. I think that is one of the things I really love about memoirs. Seeing the vulnerable and rough spots, and being able to relate, “Oh, me too! I’m not alone here.” Having that bit of solidarity makes all the difference.

  37. “In spite of your flaws, foibles and missteps, that you are always and forever God’s beloved.” Hurray! I love this! Even though we “feel” like misfits, in His eyes we are His beloved. Thank you for this ray of hope today, Michelle. Your book sounds so hope-giving.

  38. I just finished reading a memoir that really spoke to me, and I was hoping to find another one similar to it. Yours looks like the memoir I’d love to read next.

  39. Being real. Being vulnerable. I think that can be more attractive than the appearance of having it all together. Thanks for your post. I look forward to reading your book!

  40. “Tell the truth as you understand it.”

    This is the creed I keep coming back to in blogging and writing, as well as in speaking and teaching.

    Sometimes, I feel so inadequate…I wonder why anyone should care about my perspective…I get frustrated when people take offense at a stance I take, or try to draw me into debate so they can ‘prove’ me wrong.

    Sometimes I wonder how I can confidently speak on any biblical topic when my own views have changed so much over the years. It was much easier confidently speaking out on biblical truth back when I thought I had the answers to all the important questions.

    Sometimes, I just want to quit…and keep my personal perspective…you know…personal!

    Yet, God continues to challenge me to speak the truth as I understand it. So I do…

    Thanks for sharing, Michelle!

  41. I can’t wait to read this book! I suspect most of us will find more of ourselves in this memoir than we’ll admit:)

  42. Being real, honest and vulnerable is a gift we bring to others. It is not easy….but God!…makes it possible.

  43. I have always felt like I am a misfit but God gave me a wonderful quirk that lets me not feel so bad about being different. I have no problem sharing my down times, my needy moments, my insane parenting moments. I was thrilled to see the title of your book and I am looking forward to reading it!

    We are all different and I for one like you just the way you are, warts and all!

  44. Looking forward to reading this book. I identify well with your term “spiritual misfit.” Being open & honest about your questions and believing that belief & doubt can coexist…wow! Love the thoughts.

  45. Sounds like a book all women — or humans! — can relate to! And the cover is gorgeous.

  46. A book filled with real words and moments that almost all can relate to is refreshing for the soul. We all need a little more real and “misfit” in our lives. Fun learning you are a contributor to the paper from my hometown!

  47. It is your honesty about your shortcomings {injected with huge doses of humor} that makes you so relatable Michelle! It’s such a scary thing to share who we {really} are with others without feeling like we’ve shared too much.
    Just the other day on FB I commented on someone’s status…then proceeded to edit it…3 times… because I called the guy who had mistreated my friend a jerk. Hmmm. NOT so spiritual, yet it’s what I really would have said in real life. And so, the self-judgement began.
    Thank you for being real. I can’t stress how much that means to me and I’m sure, as you point out, others feel the same way.

  48. Whew! It is scary to put it all out there, but I’m finding that I’m not responsible for how others respond to my story. Some will resonate soundly with it. Others will think I’ve lost my mind. But that’s okay because all God calls me to is obedience. If I trust Him with the story and with the telling of it, surely I can trust Him with the response to it as well. Love the Anne Lamont quote too!

  49. Hi fellow Nebraskan! Your book sounds amazing. I feel like a misfit half the time (ok probably more than half the time. 🙂 ) I am pretty new to my faith and look forward to reading books such as yours.

  50. Oh Michelle … thank God for sisters-in-Christ like yourself that one can relate to both spiritually and personally. For so many years I lived by what I was supposed to do … but with a void in my heart and soul that any true Christian would have seen through in a moment. Many never did … as I taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, and even led our Youth Group Ministry. Looking back, I praise God that He guided my steps for my heart was so very prideful and coarse. I praise God for my new church, my restored marriage, my revived spirituality, and my redeemed relationship with my Saviour! It is like going from black and white to … 3D polygraphic color! His Holy Spirit challenges me daily to leave that grey of being a “spiritual misfit” behind, and encourages me to bloom into His spiritual mannerist. So looking forward to reading your published, Spiritual Misfit. Congratulations on just another one of your accomplishments to reveal His glory in your life, and may your continue to be a blessing to Him … and to all of us. Best of blessings in all of your future endeavors. ~Tami M. Tipton-Fletcher

  51. The tidbits you have given have been such an encouragement to me. it seems as if every day is a struggle, and I thought by my age I would be past that. Thank you.

  52. As a perfectionist, it is SO hard to be real and honest about how I’m broken on the inside and appear to have it all together on the outside. Thank you for your encouraging words. I would LOVE to read your book!

  53. A story that needs to be told, & I applaud you for being willing to openly & honestly share yours. So many of us spend our entire lives pretending to be who we think people will like just to find that friendships that are real are the ones in which we have been our “real”selves. Looking forward to reading your book, & along with so many others, I love the title.

  54. Thank you for a good post! Yes, we all need to be more open about our true selves even at a bit of a risk! After all, we are all in the same boat, so to speak!

  55. Your book sounds like something I can relate to. thanks for encouraging us writers to be vulnerable and tell it like it is. That tke a lot of courage. Good fo you!

  56. Your book sounds like something I can relate to. thanks for encouraging us writers to be vulnerable and tell it like it is. That takes a lot of courage. Good fo you!

  57. the book sounds like one that i would love to read. I cant wait to get a copy.

  58. Thank you for writing this book for the rest of us misfits! Although my children are now grown, I still feel guilt from time to time when I think back to how I lashed out at them in MY moments of frustration as a single mom.

    God’s grace abounds though! I have had the opportunity to seek their forgiveness and will never forget the response from my oldest, “It’s okay mom. It couldn’t have been easy for you, either.”

    He has blessed me with two wonderful sons and I thank Him for them every day.

    • You know, Elizabeth, not too long ago I had a conversation with my dad in which he apologize for an incident that had taken place many, many years ago, when I was a child. He deeply regretted his actions and words of that day, and he’d held that guilt and regret through all these years. His apology and my forgiveness, even all these years later, was a powerful testament of God’s abounding grace. And as I said to my dad, “God’s mercies are new every morning.” I believe that – I know I need to tell myself time and time again when I am holding onto unnecessary guilt and regret.

  59. Thanks for writing about the whole you. I want to be free to write- blog-whatever but I think I lack the courage. I am perhaps too tender-hearted. I know how people an be. Maybe b/c I am afraid of the rejection and judgement? How do you guard your heart in such a way as to hear truth but not be devastated?

    • I will be honest, Mary Ann – some days it is excruciatingly hard; some days, when I am judged, or if a reader misunderstands my intentions, it IS devastating. I will say this, though: you are the sole owner of your story, which means you get to tell how much of it you want to tell. Tell it in baby steps – step out of your comfort zone one tiny bit at a time and grow towards vulnerability and transparency in your writing. You don’t have to tell every single bit of your story – you make the decision of where to draw the line. Even though I wrote a memoir, and it’s truthful and authentic, it still doesn’t contain every bit of my life. Some things I keep private, between myself and my loved ones and/or myself and God. Just because you don’t tell every facet of your story doesn’t mean you aren’t truthful or authentic.

      Peace be with you, friend, as you step out in faith.

  60. This is the perfect gift for my sisters in Christ who are struggling with self-worth and acceptance. They believe in God but falter when their belief in themselves does not measure up to what they perceive as acceptable to others. The result is that they feel unworthy of God’s love and fail to trust in Him and love Him back with all their heart, soul, strength and mind.

  61. Thank you for your courage to write this book! I actually cringed for you when you asked the candidate those embarrassing questions…. it reminded me of meeting a brand new person at a twelve step meeting where I had shared my story. I was with a bunch of friends who regularly attended and the new person came up an introduced himself and I said “hi my name is..” and he said “oh, yea, I know you, I heard your share”. Talk about feeling naked!!

    I think one of the most off-putting things in church is seeing all those people who “have it all together” because that is what we have been taught from an early age. I am so very, very thankful that theology is making a shift to just be real and inviting and engaging. Real people with real faith.

  62. I am in the mist of my journey and praying on finding my gift and where I will fit in with God’s plans. I welcome the chance to receive your book as a gift to help mentor me through mine. Thank you for opening up and sharing your voice.

  63. I have been terribly hurt by being real, not believed, validated, criticized, etc. But, Jesus is using all of the my mistakes, my hurts, etc. He met me, loved on me, showed me Who He is during a long, dark, scary period of my life. He also is using all of that pain to help others now, for my continued and their healing. But, it is still hard. Even though I am responsible for the group, I still know I have to be real and let them know I don’t have it all together, but they can still have healing.

    • Joanne, I am so very sorry you have been hurt in your attempts to reveal your true self. Sometimes, I think, people are afraid of the truth, or perhaps what they see of themselves revealed via someone else, and they lash out in anger and bitterness. I’m sorry that happened to you – but I also praise GOD that you have found such comfort and solace in Him. Thank you for sharing a little bit of your self here today – I so appreciate that, and am grateful for YOU.

  64. I love reading your blog and know I would be inspired by your book. Please enter me in the giveaway. I don’t visit book stores too often but plan to look for yours when I do. Thanks! God bless!

  65. I would love to read this book. The title alone grabbed me. I’ve always felt like a misfit in so many areas of life. If I don’t win, I will still buy and read this!

  66. Misfits reminds me of the Rudolph TV movie where the “misfit” toys comforted each other & as a group gained the strength to move forward & resolve their problems. They accepted who they were & believed that someone would come to love them.

  67. Thank you for sharing the truth about your life and walk with God. Being real with ourselves and others is a gift.

    Blessings,
    Linda

  68. I would like to win your book to give to onw of my neices(after I read it first). Thanks for the good column!

  69. Love your title!! I SO get it .. I asked Jesus into my heart several years ago but I’m having trouble letting go and trusting Him with everything. Folks at my church are great and they are SO much more mature in their faith than I am. I look forward to reading your book :0)

    • Oh Kelly, I totally get it. I’ve been praying, especially recently, about the issue of trusting God — its an area of weakness for me. You are so right to turn to your community – I’ve found so much solace and hope amid my faith community, especially when my faith is wavering. I am praying God’s blessings and strength for you today, friend.

  70. I can agree from the male perspective, where sometimes the name of the game is never ‘fessing up to too many feelings–sadness, disappointment, insecurity (and all the rest of the usual suspects). When this stuff starts to come out, in even in a Christian forum, I get plenty nervous. It’s a vulnerability I don’t like. And yet on the other hand, I personally prefer honest writing. It sticks after everything else has fallen off. That’s probably why the Bible is so full of uncensored accounts. We really don’t do theology in steam-cleaned terrariums.

    • So, so true, John – some of the most honest, authentic people are found in the Bible – Jacob, David, Sara…flawed and fallible people who demonstrate time and time again that God never gives up on us.

  71. I write a lot about my weaknesses, insecurities, etc. and how the Lord works through that. It was hard to let myself go and do that, but when I did the healing that resulted was amazing. Thanks for the book drawing!

  72. I’ve added your book to my To Read list! I think there is so much more to life by being true to others and ourselves instead of the usual “I’m good” response.

  73. Oh how I feel like a spiritual misfit!! I have been wrestling with this subject for quite some time. I never feel I am good enough and wonder how God could love someone like me. Not having the love of a mom or dad made me feel unlovable to this day.
    Even if I don’t get a free copy I will definitely buy your book, thank your for writing it for all of the misfits in the world. Blessings to you.

    • Blessings right back to you, Sue. Thank you for your comment and your honesty here. Another great book to read, and one that really gets to the heart of our struggle with approval, is Jennifer Dukes Lee’s Love Idol. Have you heard of it or read it? I think you would find it not only a great read, but really beneficial too.

  74. Your timing is impeccable! I just returned from the She Speaks conference and am embracing the idea of writing a book about my messy, painful, far from perfect past. Your words are very encouraging and I’d love to read your book!

    • I am cheering loudly for you, Tracey! I pitched this book 3 years ago at SheSpeaks. It wasn’t picked up at that conference, but I learned so much there and made some really wonderful, lasting connections. May God walk with you every step of the way on this writing journey. Be brave, friend.

  75. Thank you for sharing about your father, and reminding me how God’s mercies are new every morning. I so struggle with regrets & guilt as my daughter struggles in darkness right now. I would love to win a copy of your book, read it, and pass it on to my daughter. Thank you for being real.

  76. Your book sounds intriguing! I have just recently begun to realize that unless we begin taking off our masks, others will think you have to be perfect in this journey called Christianity, and we definitely know that’s an impossible feat. I’m letting my mask slip sometimes (just being honest) and finding that it’s getting easier to be more honest and transparent as I open my heart to others about my struggles, hardships, insecurities, and mess ups. God doesn’t want us to be perfect. He just wants obedient and repentant hearts after Him. I would love to win a copy of your book to read.

  77. I find that the older I get, the more I am inclined to be real, because it’s too much work to pretend to be something I’m not. Even so, it’s still scary to put all my flaws out there for public consumption. I’ve been looking forward to reading this book!

  78. I am often ridiculed for being open and honest about my life. Saying I’m only seeking pity or sympathy. When in truth my desire is to encourage another person that they aren’t alone. I can only hope my story will help someone else.

  79. misfits are the best kind of “it’s” — we’re all a bit of a misfit… or we’re lying.

  80. Wow, that is just how I feel….a spiritual misfit. This book and your honesty look like a breath of fresh air.

  81. I have finally gotten to the place where I am willing and ready to share my story, LOTS of healing to get here. The problem is…most people are too busy to stop and listen. These days everyone wants to be listened to, yet few are willing to listen themselves. I pray for opportunities and that I myself would be quiet enough to hear His voice when he brings that person to me.

  82. Loved your story today. I’ve taken on a leadership position at my church and wonder how the people who asked me decided I was the right choice. I certainly don’t see that in myself and I’m hoping they don’t suddenly think, “Oops, what were we thinking?”.

  83. I love when people are open and share their story. Not only because it makes is brave, but because if reminds us that we aren’t the only ones with stories (Both happy & oftentimes difficult) to tell. It’s so easy to think that no one can relate, no one understands. But the truth is that we’ve all come from somewhere, and we can glean so much from one another.

  84. As a suicide loss left behinder, empty nester remarried box of raw messy life…being REAL absolutely gives me wings. Looking forward to your book!

  85. I love the honesty and transparency here! I’ve been telling my story for 5 years now and it always feels like a story of heartache with no happy ending. Until this past weekend! All of the healing and restoration taking place over the last few years came to a completion when I saw the main character in my story for the first time in almost 5 years. I never could have imagined the work that God did in me in those 2 days. Now my story is a story of grace and healing. And I still love to tell it and even more now that it has a happy ending. Now on to a happy new beginning!

  86. From the time I can remember as a little girl – I’ve always felt like I didn’t fit in – that I was the misfit and everyone else was fine.

    Here I am 60 years old in church – and still feel the same way.

    Does it ever end. This book’s title sounded like it was speaking to me.

    Thank you.

  87. Absolutely. Amen. And thank you. I’ve been petrified these last few months with this very thing, but at the same time I’m bound and determined to tell it all, be all, exactly how I am. What’s the point of my story- our stories- if we edit out the rough stuff. The whole point of the telling is to help and comfort another; right? I don’t see ribbons and roses and platitudes offering much towards that end. I’m so encouraged and inspired to see others opening up as well. Thank you!

  88. So true, but it takes courage and vulnerability. Always afraid it won’t turn out well.

  89. I have learned about the deep, love of God and tried to pass it on or model it or encourage my oldest daughter to grasp it but . . . to no avail and she feels like a misfit. I would love to share this with her. Thank you for the opportunity!

  90. I finally did tell my whole story to a friend just last Friday. It was embarrassing, painful and freeing at the same time. I didn’t want to. I was ashamed but I realized I had to. Secrets can destroy you from the inside out. Who wants to admit they have wants and needs not in line with God’s desire for your life? We don’t become perfected overnight just because we know Jesus. If we’re REALLY honest with ourselves we get mad at God, we are tempted, we are sometimes jealous, envious, weak and broken. I’m so mad at God right now I feel bitter but I know He understands why and forgives me anyway! I DON’T want to feel like this but I do just the same. I can only ask God’s forgiveness and understanding.

  91. I would love to read this. I feel like i’m a misfit in my family. I’m the only one who goes to church and i work for the church too and i love ministry.

  92. Thank you for being vulnerable enough to write this post. God has been dealing with me about writing portions of my story and the risk of being vulnerable and authentic as well as the fear associated with it is real. But I also truly believe that vulnerability and authenticity is really the only way to true community within the body of Christ.

  93. I have spent my whole life putting on my good girl face. Don’t let them see your flaws. Always keep the holy face forward. In the past bit, I’ve started being more honest; with myself and others. It’s pretty freeing!

  94. Oh The risk to be real and raw…. Yes I’m learning as I share with others what I’m going through how I’m not alone. And if others have made it through then so can I. Would love a copy if this book. I can relate.

  95. Risk vulnerability. Tell the truth. Risk being unliked.

    I think I’ve rewritten this now three times ’cause I’m so busy self-editing. I am attracted to people who make themselves vulnerable. I am honoured when someone does so to me and I have to work at doing the same. I struggle with rejection issues and the fear of being unliked….and yet my experience has been very positive when I’ve taken that step.

  96. A friend posted this to my wall because I asked for prayer for whatever fear was holding me back from writing. I am so glad she did. Would love a chance to win this book 🙂

  97. This theme is what I teach my undergrad psychology and leadership students. Would love to read your take on the topic.

  98. I’m thrilled to see this today! I posted my first writing to my blog yesterday after three years of God telling me to write my story. I believe He is wanting me to write my true and authentic story so that others can see how He leads me through each day on this journey of faith. It’s scary, for sure, being vulnerable, but His voice had become too strong to ignore.
    This post was so timely!!!! It encourages me!

  99. My husband always tells me that I should write my story. I told him I would get to it when I had something unique to say. I guess I am missing the point a bit, aren’t I? Thanks so much for encouraging authenticity and good luck with your book. From one Misfit to another.

  100. I received a Barnes and Noble gift card from a student and was wondering what to get. Now I know! Heading there now!

  101. Michelle, this article makes me want to tell the whole story, nor just the pretty parts so that others including myself can experience the freedom and love of Jesus in a way we never have. Hugs in Him!

  102. I SO needed this today! I have felt called to start a blog for over a year but have been so afraid of sharing for the reasons you stated…vulnerability is scary and risky! But it seems like every time I find the courage to share, I find more people who are like me and I feel like I am not so alone. I love to write. It is my passion and often it is my therapy. I have shared some of my stories with close friends and they always tell me that they love my writing and that it blesses them. I think there are more women out there that struggle with the same things I do than I realize. Thank you for giving me some courage today. It has actually been on my mind all day that I need to be brave and just take the risk!

  103. Telling the whole story, not just the shiny parts…sometimes a challenge & one that I am gaining courage in.

  104. I have always wanted to write, but have always been afraid to start! Can’t wait to read your book!

  105. The title of your book caught my eye…I so often feel like a misfit myself. I often feel like such a failure as a mother, yet however others view me, I know that I am a beloved daughter of the King and His love for me is all that truly matters.

  106. I like your comments about being vunerable to others about who you are and the truth that makes life one of joy and peace. Your book sounds very intriguing and I would love to read it. May you find success and blessing as you release this book to draw many to Jesus.

  107. Thank you for your honesty. It’s such a gift to others. When we can drop the masks we feel we need to wear and admit our flaws, we can turn to the One who can heal them all.

  108. As usual, perfect timing from God with a WORD I need to hear. So, this is me tonight, Michelle. Feeling totally insecure in my call to photograph and to write…after a weekend being pumped up at She Speaks, it seems Satan is now living on my shoulder and yelling it in my ear. Thank you for the reminder, the GLORIOUS reminder, that my story…my whole story…is important and worthy and in actuality, the worst part of my story is exactly what God will most likely use to draw people to Him. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I’d love to win a copy of your book…and if not, it’s on my short list to get in my hands anyway. xoxo

  109. Thank you, Michelle, for being willing to be honest! Your example speaks to my heart. Just recently, I have been a prime example of a spiritual misfit. I can definitely relate to Paul when he says “For I do not do the thing I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15). I am leading a young ladies’ Bible study for girls in my rural community. I told them some of the things I have been going through and, to be honest, feared their opinions of me. Instead, they showed me love. It is so hard to “be real”, as you put it! Thank you for challenging me to continue to be real! Blessings upon you and yours!

  110. I too am embarking on writing my life story. It’s time to tell the truth about what God has brought me through and it is time, after recent conversations, to tell the Truth by which I live. I have fallen very short of God’s glory but I am ready to be used in a mighty way. I have learned if God loves and accepts me than I don’t care what man thinks of me. It is about humility and standing in the line of fire without being burned. After all, I am not about being popular. I am about my Father’s business. I would be honored to read your story. Thank you for being brave. My turn!

  111. Love to the title of your book! I feel like a ‘misfit’ in many areas. I can’t wait to learn more about the book! Congrats

  112. Sounds like something I need to read – been going backwards in the faith lately.

  113. This is the first time I have heard of your book, I would love to read it. Thanks for your story.

  114. It’s amazing how terrified we are (myself included) about being vulnerable with others, yet when others are vulnerable we often respect and appreciate their honesty.

  115. Memoirs are good exactly because they’re truth. Thank you for your vulnerability and willingness to share your truth.

  116. I am excited to read this book. It is so important to relationships and others to tell your whole story. And I look forward to reading yours. Thank you for writing it.

  117. Michelle, found your post triggered the memories of my coming home, so to speak. Clicked on the link and read about you and your book…subscribed to the blog and thinking that I cannot wait to share your story as I read Spiritual Misfit…hoping to win! Thx!

  118. I have found that the more honest I am about myself, the freer I become. When I can share all the ugly stuff, it doesn’t have a hold on me. The enemy can’t come back at me later, and say, You were keeping this secret.

    I look forward to reading your book!

  119. I would love a copy of your book! To be real with others would be a major adjustment for me.

  120. Hi, Michelle!

    As a mother of five children, I can relate to the “Cheez-It” incident. (I had to shake my head as memories flooded my mind). As mothers, we want to be perfect, but we are not Jesus, so that is a perception that just isn’t going to happen. I often feel like a failure as a mother because my children’s lives were not as “normal” as most of their friends. However, they love me as if nothing was wrong with our “dysfunctional” family. Jealousy has over-taken me when I would see other mothers who seem to be perfect, and who can give their children everything that they could possibly imagine. After years of struggling, I now know that all that matters is the love that you give and receive. My children have turned out wonderfully, and I thank God every day for that. I would love to read your book!

  121. What blessing it will be to whomever wins a copy of this gem! If I don’t win, I will be buying it! Can’t wait to read it!

  122. I would love to win a copy of this. I have a fledgling blog, but I struggle with what to say. I wonder what I have to say, and being real is unnerving. I’d love this book for a dose of inspiration and courage. Congratulations on your book!

  123. ……ok here is reality God whispers me to a woman’s pregnancy resource center two doors down where I grew up & am edified by some great Ladies & shown forgiveness for past mistakes & now I need to help other post abortive Mama’s & to share is God is close by to those who love Him ….too many people cannot deal.so I need a little hmmmph….or a whole Lotta prayer Godchicks to get this message to the masses.

    • Anne,

      Prayers for the Hmmmmmmph to come your way! If God sent you there He will help you tell your story to glorify Him and make those other women aware they are not alone!!

      Father God,

      Please give Anne what she needs to be brave & tell her story to other women. She can glorify you in the process and help them sort out their lives.

      Blessings 🙂

  124. I have come to realize how important it is to be authentic, to unmasked, and tell God’s story of our life. Sounds like just the type of memoir people need to read, Michelle.

  125. I look forward to reading your story. I am struggling with vulnerability… How to tell my own story in the day to day… but longing to be authentically known.

  126. Telling your story is not an easy thing to do, but it is so necessary. I’ve come a long way from a year ago, and I still have a ways to go. Have to keep on keeping on.

  127. Isn’t it curious that to use “misfit” implies that all the other pieces/persons fit… yet when I feel that assumption directed at me, I feel I can no longer live from my authentic self because I’ll let down some other member of the team! How to invite each other into honesty by modeling it and by acknowledging that *each* of us is a work in progress… the walls that isolate us will crumble!

  128. When Jesus saved my life, I asked Him to give me the opportunity to share my story so I could glorify Him. Sure it’s been scary, but every time I have been embraced by those I have shared with. Dropping our protective walls is the best thing we can to to really live life here.

  129. Was thinking of changing my name to ‘misfit’. 🙂

    Women in church keep telling me, one day when you are ready your testimony is going to really bless someone, when I just think people will think ‘if that’s what life is like for a christian woman I want no part of it’.

    We all have a story and I suppose you have no idea how similar yours is or how it may help someone else unless you share it.

  130. Sounds like a great book! It’s a scary thing to be so honest, but so many people feel alone or not good enough and would be encouraged if we could all share our struggles. I am really looking forward to reading this.

  131. “spiritual misfit” could describe me. I would love to read your book, hear about your journey. Perhaps it will help me share my story.

  132. I would love to read your book! Any woman who is honest, open, transparent & vulnerable in sharing her story has the awesome ability to change the world, even if it’s just the little slice of the world that she travels. Too many of us women have been taught that wearing masks is appropriate, even the expectation. How Satan must revel in those of us who do! The older I get and the more mature I become in my walk with the Lord, I’ve realized that masks are not only wrong – they are harmful. As sisters in Christ, we need to be real with each other and our lives – and share the good and the bad, and the happy and the sad. There is so much that we can learn from each other! And we are walking our lives together for a reason! I’ve also learned that “mask wearing” as a mom is harmful, too. We are not accomplishing anything when we are not being honest, genuine and real with our kids. Our children need to see that their mom is a real person, with strengths and weaknesses. Who does the wrong thing sometimes, too – and seeks forgiveness, second-chances, and a better walk. Our children are looking to us and watching us more than we realize sometimes. Our authenticity and genuineness touches their hearts and makes life impacts way more than any rehearsed words or roles or mask wearing ever could. Yay for you in writing your book! The Lord must be smiling ….

  133. God’s timing is always perfect…In two weeks I’m taking the first step into walking out the purpose God gave me by sharing my story ~ the whole story, in a women’s group. I’ve known for a few years now He called me to minister to women and girls. Knowing that made sense of the life I’ve lived. As I began to prepare to lead this group, I found (in)courage and the (in)RL video series. Every blog I read, every video I watched confirms, “yes! it’s time to be brave and call out the courage in other women, to tell their stories.” God bless all of you for sharing your stories, I’m so excited to see what He is going to do at my church as we begin sharing stories and step into living in the freedom He intended for us! My prayer is that it starts a wave of the Holy Spirit that moves beyond us and out into our community to touch lives of the women living in isolation because they think no one else’s story is as bad as theirs. Sisters you have no idea and it’s time to be brave! ~ I’d love to read your book!

  134. spiritual misfit…sounds like a book I need to read. I sometimes feel I am stuck in unbelief and wish I could be in full belief and surrender. My own pride gets in my way more often than it should.

  135. I just read the Proverbs 31 Daily Devotional and Lysa talked about how it’s okay to say “no” and how we (because I struggle with it to) tend to say “yes” because we want to please people. Your story about interviewing that lady was similar to the P31 story because we tend to think we need to be seen as good and never let anyone down. In my struggle to please, I know I’ve definitely disappointed and it’s encouraging knowing I’m not the only one that struggles. Wanting to tell people “I’m really not that bad, I swear” shows that I’m trying to please man rather than God. Thank you for your post today! I definitely like God is using you to teach me something

  136. I get tired of truthfully answering, How are you feeling? after 8 yrs. of battling cancer off and on, and having many weary days lately as things look the worst they have. My hope and faith are in tact, but my answer to those asking is usually “Okay.” Short and sweet and accurate, but not always completely truthful. I’d love to read your book. Thanks for the chance and thanks for your honesty!

  137. Thank you for sharing your story. It does matter, and we need to hear it. We all need to know that working out this faith of ours takes time and mistakes and successes. I’m positive He has woven together a beautiful story in you. Can’t wait to read all about it.

  138. Michelle,

    I totally agree with your message here. We need to open and honest with people about our daily struggles. You may have to start out slowly and build up trust. That lets others know you are just like them struggling with the same issues. I want to know people really know them. If I ask “how are you” then tell me. Not just fine. I want to be able to encourage you and give you hugs.

    In that way we can share one another’s burdens.

    Blessings 🙂

  139. Hi!
    Thank you for writing this! I SO agree with what you wrote here, but I also think it is difficult to do. It is so easy to hide the real me, but what I’ve realized the last months is that it is when I show the real me and how my life really is, THAT is the time where I am building relations. That is the time where people come to me more than ever! Either it is for an advice, or it is just to “hang out together”.

    God bless you for the courage you’ve shown by being honest and showing the world the real you!
    -Ava Sophie

  140. Sharing your whole story is HARD, esp the ugly rusty dirty parts. Eeeek. Thank you for your story, honesty, vulnerability… A great model, inspiration & encouragement to us all. Would love to read this book!

  141. Wow, I needed to read this tonight! Thanks for the chance to win! So looking forward to reading the book!

  142. And you did it again… again you were vulnerable and told a real life story. A story that we can all recognize ourselves in. A story of insecurity in the middle of a work situation where you were in a position of leadership by doing an interview. Even then we get scared and insecure. I think it’s awesome you continue to be that vulnerable and real, not just in a book once but here again. NO ONE will think anything strange of you.

  143. Very interested in reading this book. I want to be transparent and honest, but when I have been, I’ve been chastened and rejected by people I cared about. Even saying that on a blog where I know no one is giving me pause. 🙁

  144. Marvellous title for the book. I’ll be intrigued to find out more. Thanks for making those points in your blog post above, great to remember.

  145. I have had my faith in one form or another as long as I can remember. (I’m 56) My faith has been through all of the good, bad and horrible times with me. But my faith has changed, for the better and for the worse at times. Because it has always been a part of me it helps to read the life stories of others and their faith’s journey. Thank you for your honesty. I feel that honesty in relating our lives and faith is what gives other’s the strength to go on.

  146. Congratulations on the book Michelle! I would love to own a copy 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway! Have a beautiful day!!

  147. That’s one thing I’ve seen lacking in Christian circles….. Realness. I adore your bravery to show the world ur not so sparkly moments in life bc I guarantee you, more women will connect with those moments than all the other ‘fluff’ they see or read in life. Stay brave.

  148. I have been finding myself fitting in with that name too, spiritual misfit. We come up with our own direction to go but then we become lost. My husband heard a quote from a rapper friend that said “too worldly for the Christians, and too Christian for the world” wow is that so very true.
    Thank you for blogging and sharing your story with others.

  149. Oh I want to read more! What an amazing excerpt: “And the truth is, when I question my doubts as much as I question my faltering, toddler-step, wavering faith, I see miracles everywhere.” Yes, I can totally relate. I have spent the majority of my 36 years here on earth as a non-believer and recently ‘saw the light’ as it were. I’m so full of doubt and frustration, and would LOVE to read your book and see how you battle it. (I am armed with my bible, various study guides and my christian radio – but there are still times when I have a hard time shutting those doubts out.)

  150. a “Spiritual Misfit’, oh my, how often I see myself in that space…being vulnerable and transparent, I often think, ‘how can I be a messenger of God as I plod through life?’…look forward to reading your book and thank you for the giveaway, God bless you!

  151. Always been a misfit, even when I wasn’t saved. It took me years to feel freedom in Christ which has enabled me to be able to share my trials and tribulations and the valuable lessons learned. I’ve learned to not focus on myself, but on the Lord. I intercedefor others to be delivered from wrong feelings of self worth.

  152. Thank you for the reminder that the “messy bits” are a huge part of the substance of our lives and should not be “sanitized” in order to please others! 😀

  153. Your book sounds fascinating and relatable to me. I’d love to give it to my eldest son who I think is still struggling with the doubt section of his faith journey.

  154. Hi Michelle! The fact that you are so honest in your writing is what makes your blog so appealing. I look forward to reading your book.

  155. Dear Michelle, I grew up Catholic also but have had a long journey to faith. Your book sounds like a very good read. I’ve been wanting to write a book about my life growing up spiritually. This morning my oldest 30 yr old alcoholic son FB messaged me after I sent him something I thought to inspire him, (what he said he needed, inspiration,) about friendship, a Helen Steiner Rice poem. But he said, “you think you’re spiritual, when you’re f’n crazy.” We had a turbulent teen time w/o his abusive (to me) dad, but since living with his dad when he turned 18 for two years then coming back to live with me for 4 years with me & his teen sister, (more turbulent times) & now his dad died, (which he blames me!?) & he’s lost a love because of his drinking, but blames that on me too. I pray our relationship mends someday. The way I found this link was clicking on the pic of cheezeits, (my g-kids fav snack) & then read your story of loss of parental control, something I’m familiar with, & patience from the fruit if the Spirit I’ve gained more over the years since my regrettable action when I was pregnant with my daughter. Still hard now with g-kids but would never do what I did that terrible evening. My son when he was 4 wouldn’t brush his teeth, which was the requirement for book before bed, so he threw the book @ me, which hit me & I threw back @ him! Had to go to a b-day party the next day with my son’s back eye from me. I was so upset & guilt ridden & your story & book sounds just what I as a single mother/now g-mother, (Ama) need. Third g-child is due in March! Been since 2005 & still haven’t started my book, but have managed to keep a journal since then. I keep thinking of a title & love yours. Love contests too,

  156. sounds like a good book. In life it is so hard to let our vulnerability to others in fear of being judged. I am really looking forward to reading this book so that I too can have to courage to share.
    thanks Julie

  157. Maybe a “misfit” in this world, but we are to keep our eyes on Christ and what He thinks of us…many opportunities all around us to distract and tempt us to believe lies instead of God’s truth about our life in Him – the Bible is full of “misfits” that God used in mighty ways to fulfill His purpose and plans – that’s encouraging and reassuring!

  158. This sounds like an excellent book and it speaks to everything I need to hear right now. The imperfections that I’m not alone in!!! I don’t know if this giveaway is still open but I’d love to enter if it is!! Thank you for your encouragement and the bare honest truth!!! 😀