Dear Jen Hatmaker ~This is crazy!

I’ve never met you

And this is crazy

But here’s my blog post

So read it maybe?

Jen with daughter, Remy

Okay,Okay ; slightly cheesy but I got your attention,right?

Dear Jen,

First of all , can I call you Jen? Or should it be Mrs. Hatmaker? Or perhaps Mom of Remy, the nighttime prayer queen?  I’ll stick with Jen. 😉

It’s kind of sad, but a year ago I hadn’t ever heard of you. I think I had read some of your blog posts but never really remembered your name~it’s not you! You’re not forgettable  It’s just that I was reading so much that I got lost in all the blogs and wonderfully rich writing. It was sweet honey for my thirsty, tired, bitter soul.

I think the first post that I ever read of yours was something about Ben and Remy. Actually, I’m pretty confident it was THIS ONE.   The one where God clearly spoke, you clearly heard and then….confusion. And worry. And fear. And wondering.

When I read that post , we were deep in the throws of family upheaval. Husband and son had moved to the city 5 hours away while I stayed with the 3 girls waiting for our house to sell. But it didn’t sell.  And oldest daughter; headstrong,bull-headed daughter decided she needed to go to the city too. School and opportunities. It was the right thing, but it was a hard thing. And then what? We just sit here and wait? But what if….?? No, I would not entertain any of my family’s well-intentioned questioning. We were NOT going to go there. This was temporary and that was that.

I read your post about Remy’s fits of rage.  And I wept with your weeping…as if it were my own. Because it was.

“When we said “we’re confused”, it involved crying and wailing and days when I couldn’t get out of bed. It included a string of months where, I swear to you, time stood still. I sobbed over other people’s happy adoption news as I typed nice words on their Facebook pages. It included a phone call from my mother-in-law after my daughter told her, “I’m worried about my mom.” My hair started falling out in clumps and my fingernails peeled off in layers. I lashed out at Brandon and my kids and Jesus on bad days; on worse days, I wondered aloud if God had any control at all over this chaotic, broken world. I doubted his invervention and questioned his sovereignty.

So yeah, that’s what I mean by “confused.”

Oh my heart. I knew EXACTLY what that was all about.

And so, when videos were posted online of that day that Ben came home.  I was laughing, and crying…weeping…I couldn’t contain it.

I still can’t watch THIS VIDEO of Ben and Remy in Africa without sobbing tears. It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

My happiness for you was all out there in blubbering fashion.  And I wept for us that we still did not  do not have a sale on our house and it’s been 16 months.

And then came “7” . Wow. I saw the lead up. I was watching your posts. By that time I was a full-blown Jen Hatmaker fan club groupie. Your posts on Twitter made me laugh.  And they made me weep.  I caught up with you on Facebook and loved your openness and lavish family love. If I could be half the mother and wife that you are…wow.

“7”‘  was a game-changer for me.  Being separated from my family for never-ending months made me re-access my love of my home.  A home is nothing without your kids and your husband.  And you taught me that boldly,bravely and with no conviction whatsoever. ( hee hee). I began to purge.  I read that book in the morning,at night.  I reviewed. I re-read. I was coming face to face with all the STUFF that was bogging us down. I am still on this pilgrimage. No where near where I want to be but thankful for open eyes and a willing heart.

It was around this time that I read  Pete Wilson’s “Empty Promises” and Jennie Allen’s “Anything”.  I realized then that we all~ us western, hoarding, consumer thieving  people~ we are on the cusp of a revival. And the Jen Hatmakers of the world are going to lead us.  You are a prophet, my friend.  You have some profound, anointed  gifts in you that are changing the way I look at people, church, serving and loving.

Recently, you came under attack. You know….that post on Facebook. The one about the LGBT community and how the church is not loving but judging.  My thoughts on this issue are somewhat muddy.  I confess, I don’t have gay friends. Well, maybe I do but I don’t even know.  I do , however , have a couple of gay family members . They don’t live near me and I don’t know what they face daily. I have no idea.  I know that there are a LOT of opinions(for some reason everyone has a vocal opinion on this but on other more pressing issues….not so much).  What you did on your FB page was shine a big, hairy spotlight on all of our hearts.  And I love that. Because I have been guilty of casting judgment where it has been completely inappropriate for me to do so.  I don’t think most people realize that you are a mom of 5, a pastor’s wife, an advocate for the poor and undermined.  I don’t think they realize that you are stepping out in faith each day but also being incredibly vulnerable to share your life with all of us.   But you are bold. You are gutsy and you are changing the way I think about ministry- The way I think about sharing my faith – And the way I choose my words.  Thank you for that. Thank you for showing me that I’m not done yet.  Thank you for risking friendships and reputation for the sake of the vulnerable…whomever they may be. Thank God for people like you.  And in your words:

 “‘Church, the homosexual community has been so violently abused, ostracized, alienated, demeaned, devalued, humiliated, and singled-out from the Christian community, perhaps it is time for us to err on the side of mercy. They certainly know our theology. Maybe it’s time they get a taste of our love, which Jesus said was the specific way others would know we were his disciples.

He said that.”

Someday, Jen Hatmaker….come to Canada. Come with your husband and your kids. Come and bless us and we’ll bless you. I’ll make you Western Canadian cuisine and we’ll treat you to snowmobile rides(if you come in winter) or camping by the lake.  Whatever you want, we’ll do. Just come. Come and share your heart for people. We sure need more of that wisdom and big, ol’ Texas heart.

Sincerely,

Juanita, mom on the prairie.

For those of you new to the Hatmakers.  May I suggest…in this order:

Interrupted  by Jen

Barefoot Church by Brandon

 and “7” An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen….

POWERFUL BOOKS!!

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4 thoughts on “Dear Jen Hatmaker ~This is crazy!

  1. Pingback: Dear Sarah~ Jesus Made a Feminist out of Me | Once Upon a Prairie....

  2. I don’t take issue with the idea of showing love to EVERYONE. However, Jesus was talking to believers when He said that the world would know we are His followers by our love FOR ONE ANOTHER (John 13:35). Not our love for everyone, our love for fellow believers. Of course it is still true that we should love everyone; however, we must be careful about how we use scripture.

    I think we walk a fine line between loving a person and condoning their behavior. When it comes to homosexuality we tend to have two different approaches in the U.S. – either we vilify or we apologize. We ought to be loving and discipling all in our sphere of influence. If we truly love people we will neither write them off because they are sinners (because, you know, so are we!) nor accept their sin because we are afraid to hurt their feelings or scare them away. We can be both loving and truthful, both gentle and firm.

  3. Wow! I went in search of idea’s for beating the Christmas crap…the give me’s, I want’s…all the things that have nothing to do with Christmas and I found you and your blog in my google search. I read your post about Christmas and I kept saying “Amen!” and then found my way to this post. I have never heard of this Jen and her husband but WOW! I cannot wait to dig in to their words as well as more of yours. These things written here and on your Christmas post really spoke and resinated with me since I have been speaking of this kind of stuff as of late.Thank you! God bless you and yours!

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