Saturday, we wait. Sunday, we rise.

I am moving.

Before I share all the details of when, where, who, and how; let me start from the beginning of this journey for me personally.

A few years ago, my friend Patty and I were reflecting on Saturday, the day after Jesus died, and how in life we have Saturdays; days of grief and pain. The beauty is Saturday does not last forever. Our hearts anticipate Sunday, the rising, the resurrection. In order to get to Sunday, we must endure Saturday. During this time, I’ve been in a liminal space between where I am and where I am headed. The wait has felt like, anticipating a package in the mail but it hasn’t arrived yet. You know its enroute, you just don’t have it in your possession.

The past 7 months have been heartbreaking and healing for me personally.  It’s been my Saturday and I have cried more times than I can count. It hasn’t been easy but saying yes to Jesus will and plan for my life has and will always be the best yes, I’ve ever given.

While traveling on tour for work a few years ago I got this deep sense that I would move and I wouldn’t stay in Texas. The main thing keeping me in Texas was my family. I decided on the tour the two cities I could afford to live in (I love you Cali but I am not ready for you to have all my money!) were Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC. Both cities caught my attention but I came home tried to re-settle into Houston beginning of 2017. I tried to truly settle in but I just didn’t feel deeply connected. I LOVE Houston so this was really weird for me. I’ve also stayed to myself quite a bit in this season so I really wasn’t sure what God was up to.

One day I pondered moving, once again, but now I lived in a townhouse with my brother, his wife, and my nephew. It didn’t seem feasible and I really wanted to be a part of my nephew’s life. My parents moved us to Texas away from family so I know how it is to grow up away from your aunties, uncles, and cousins. My brother and I always talked about staying close to one another if we could so moving was off the table for the moment.

A few weeks later, my brother tells me that he is praying about moving to Greenville, South Carolina (located right in between Atlanta and Charlotte, NC) to serve under Pastor John Gray who is taking over Redemption Church, soon to be named Relentless Church. I was shocked because we just signed an 18-month lease for a townhouse in Rice Military, I was just feeling like I had some sense of “permanency”.

No one in our family had ever been to Greenville, SC so I decided I wanted to go check it out in January. My friend Stephanie told me to fly into Atlanta and she would drive me to Greenville and we would look around. Stephanie has been a pillar for me during this season of singleness. She is one of the first people I talked to after my break-up last year and has prayed me through some of the toughest times in my life. At the end of the trip, we sat in a little coffee shop, wrote out our life roadmap using the passion planner layout and then talked about our dreams and goals. I shared with her that I felt like I needed to move to Greenville but I wasn’t sure why and I knew everyone would think it was all for my brother but I felt deep inside there was a purpose for me too, I just don’t know what it is yet. While tears poured down my face, Stephanie spoke life over me and I felt hope begin to arise in my heart.

I went home with a full heart and LOTS of questions but I began planning a cross-country move while beginning the semester for graduate school as an intern and taking one online course. Full-time work and full-time school. If you haven’t seen or heard from me much, now you know why.

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Here are some FAQ, I’ll answer below:

Where are you working?

I’ve worked for Legacy Collective for about two years, as the Communications and Programming Director. I work remotely but fly/drive to any work meetings or events I need to attend.

What is Legacy Collective?

Legacy Collective is a donor-advised fund, where people give anywhere from $10-$250+ per month and we give quarterly grants to organizations providing sustainable solutions to systemic issues. Basically, young people like me can give $20 a month a be a huge part of the $60,000+ grants we give away. We ONLY give to organizations nominated by our community members. Together we help further the work of existing organizations doing great work.  Members donate ($10-$99); partners donate + nominate organizations for funding ($100-$249), investors donate+ Nominate+ Vote on who receives funding ($250+).

If you want to learn more about the organization I work for visit our Website.

And if you want to join our community by donating monthly, join online.

(Shameless plug for my job)

When are you finished with Grad School?

I have 5 weeks left of my internship, I finish May 4th! I then have a Maymester course and one Summer Course that finishes in August. After this semester, I have two classes standing between me and a graduate degree!

What do you plan to do with your Social Work Degree?

Study and take the licensing exam, then continue working for Legacy Collective. I absolutely LOVE my job.

Are you still going to be roommates with your brother and his family?

No, I am not. I will be living in a loft right outside of downtown! I haven’t been there physically but I know I am going to love it. I selected my apartment end of February and ironically enough a week and a half ago, my brother found a place 5 minutes from me, so we will still be close by!

What will you do in Greenville?

I will work for Legacy Collective, study for my LMSW exam, and most likely start a Be The Bridge group there! You all know I am passionate about racial reconciliation and I completely adore our BTB ambassador team, that works tirelessly to make our BTB so great!

I will make new friends, get involved at Relentless Chruch, continue being an Auntie, and join local advocacy groups. And I will write to my heart’s content.

What about your mom?

She is going, too! She will live with me to start off as she learns the city and gets her bearings. She has never been to Greenville so the day she arrives will be her first time in the city! I am excited for her to come because she will be my trainer and get my butt back in shape, ha.

Will you and your brother keep your YOUTUBE show?

YES! We plan to continue. Moving has taken over our lives the past few months but we will re-group once I get settled.

Are you excited?

I am thrilled. I have been longing for adventure and a change of pace. This move places me closer to my Atlanta sisters and I am so grateful for that. I am also really ready for something different and I am excited to explore the states around me! I am gearing up for some summer travel and after being on a bit of a travel hiatus due to interning, I am itching to get on a plane, ASAP.

When do you move?

In 5 weeks. I won’t be able to see everyone before I go but if you are in Houston, I’d love to hug your neck!

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I am coming into my Sunday and I have long awaited this day. The clouds that seemed to hang over my head are dissipating. Worry is only but a whisper and fear is not gripping my heart. I am walking forward with open hands and a heart that is an open space. I’ve spent a lot of time in prayer about this upcoming season and I feel deeply grateful for what is to come.

I believe Barbra Brown Taylor’s article eloquently describes Holy Saturday. I will leave a quote below.

That is what Holy Saturday has taught me about being Christian. Between the great dramas of life, there is almost always a time of empty waiting — with nothing to do and no church service to help — a time when it is necessary to come up with your own words and see how they sound with no other sounds to cover them up. If you are willing to rest in this Sabbath, where you cannot see your hand in front of your face and none of your self-protective labors can do you one bit of good, then you may come as close to the Christ as you will ever get — there in that quiet cave where you wait to see how the Maker of All Life will choose to come to you in the dark.

May Grace and Peace be with you all.

xoxo

FaitthB

Everyone is Hurting

I know most people feel like they limped into 2017. Some bruised. Some wounded. Some angry. Some grieving. Some questioning. Some filled with joy. I feel like some people are trying to sort through the heightened emotions of 2016 the way we sort through our dirty laundry. Which clothes do I wash first?

I know most people feel like they limped into 2017. Some bruised. Some wounded. Some angry. Some grieving. Some questioning. Some filled with joy.  I feel like some people are trying to sort through the heightened emotions of 2016 the way we sort through our dirty laundry. Which clothes do I wash first? The colored clothes or the white clothes? Which issue will I address first? The personal issue in my family? The fact that the evangelical church is splintered and very torn- and I have real questions about my spiritual upbringing? Or the fact that our nation is very divided and 2016 felt like we were at war, especially if you are on Facebook. Thank God for Christmas and people having babies, everyone has put their political posts to rest (for now…). We all needed a break from debating with or reading the debates online. Its exhausting. At some point we have to get offline to being sorting through our laundry and cleaning our clothes.

Last year, I felt overwhelmed by the pain and hurt everyone was experiencing. As a black woman I mourned for the many injustices that occurred. As a black Christian woman I felt torn by “the churches” political stance and complete divide…it almost felt as if you had to choose a side and there was no leaning into the discomfort of disagreement. As if all Christians had to display uniformity…and if you didn’t- either way your faith was called into question, no matter what “side” you landed on. I know I landed in the camp of outsiders, feeling spiritually homeless. And now that Trump will be president in less than two weeks, I am nervously holding my breath for what will happen next. How our country will change and how I must choose to advocate going forward? Can Trump voters and non-trump voters peacefully co-exist? I know we can. Year after year, people co-exist peacefully despite political differences. Why does it seem so hard to do now? If your friendship with someone is contingent on their political affiliation you weren’t friends anyways. We can respectfully disagree without being aggressive or on the defense ready to be offended. 

In spite of all this stuff, I landed on a few truths for myself that have been life changing.

  1. I have complete hope in Jesus. My trust is not in a church or evangelicalism. My hope is not in tradition or a list of rules. My hope is in Jesus. There are mysteries I do not understand in the Bible. I am okay with the unknown. I do not have to have an answer for everything, nor do I need one. People will fail me. My trust is not in church “leaders”. I know many people lost their faith in the church and I’ll be honest, I almost did too. Church sometimes feels more like a cooperation but really, regular people make the church what it is today. Not a building, pastoral staff, ministry, or event. The church is you and me. I am friends with many beautiful souls and collectively we are the church. My relationships with them give me hope for us as people trying our best to live this one life we have for Jesus and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. We won’t get it all right but if we can commit to love we are on the right track.
  2.  I need to limit my time online. Just CLOSE Facebook and walk away.
  3. My physical, emotional, and mental health is important to me. I will take care of myself and not put my health on the back burner.
  4. I have spent more time with friends and mentors who are smarter than me. I can waste my time scrolling through my feed online or I can surround myself with people who will help propel me into my future. This was an easy decision for me.

So while we are all sorting through what we want to keep and throw out in 2017, lets remember that people came into 2017 with some real hurt. We can extend grace and compassion to one another, even when we do not agree. And even if it seems hard, find something nice to say instead of being an emotional terrorist behind the keyboard, causing havoc online. We can assume the best about one another. This year we need less judging and more loving. Maybe we can all try to heal together in 2017.

Deeply Hopeful-

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Are You Really Ready?

No one said risking it all wasn’t scary.

BUT I think staying still is scarier.

#Write31Days

Day 1

Have you ever had those prayer times where you are proclaiming your undying love to God and you tell him “Yes, Lord I will do whatever you want me to and I’ll go wherever you want me to go!”

Be CAREFUL

BE VERY CAREFUL

You may find your world turned upside down. All the sudden what you planned (which was a pretty stellar plan, by the way) will be null and void. Things will shift and change and what you thought this next season of your life would look like has taken a turn in the opposite direction. When I begin to wonder why that happens, I remind myself that I said “yes”. I chose to be interrupted. In fact, I cheered for it. I cried out for it. So really, there should be absolutely no shock when I get exactly what I prayed for. Nonetheless, there is still shock. There is awe. There are moments of silence and mourning for what you will lose and faint smiles and a flicker of excitement for what you will gain.

So to my fellow reader friends, BE CAREFUL.

You may not be ready for the life of surrender you are crying out for.

It will cost you something.

Matthew 10:38-39 “If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.

The price of losing my life in order to find it in Christ is invaluable.

I will risk it all for Him. Every time.

(With tears in my eyes, butterflies in my tummy, and a mustard seed of faith)

No one said risking it all wasn’t scary.

BUT I think staying still is scarier.

XOXO

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Dreaming Keeps Me Awake At Night

One of my friends called me last night with the best news ever. We squealed like little girls for while, bursting with excitement. Do any of you dream with your friends? If you don’t have a few trusted people to dream with it’s quite boring. My old roommate and I have talked about our lives and dreams for years. To see a glimpse and a part of that dream come to life is heart warming. It’s inspiring. It’s worth squealing over. I’ve said it time and time again. My friends are world changers. They have the most giving hearts. I am so privileged to know them.

After dreaming with my sweet friend, I could not sleep. I laid wide awake. So of course I started to write until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. When I woke up, I was plastered to my pillow half-regretting my writing escapade into the wee hours of the morning. Yet, part of me woke up really excited and fulfilled because a dream worth pursuing is worth staying up late for. Dreams are worth believing in. Worth praying over. Worth crying over. Worth fighting for.

I believe Generation Y is a significant generation. We will either make a huge difference or mess everything up. I like to think that we will make a huge impact. I get excited when I see my peers starting a business, creating an app, becoming lawyers and doctors, moving overseas, getting married, having children,starting amazing careers, and writing. We have something to offer this world. We may be young but our age doesn’t define us. We all have something unique and significant to offer.

The next time you feel like you have failed because you don’t know what your dreams are, haven’t found your dream job, or you feel really stuck; remember that you are valid. Keep working towards your dreams and goals. Things take time. Our generation believes in instantaneous success that will involve little-to-no effort, unfortunately, that is a shallow point of view. If you want something bad enough you will work for it. Educate yourself in college or trade school. Get some credibility and knowledge. Learn to present yourself as a professional. Carry yourself with confidence. Write out your goals and things you would like to accomplish. I recently wrote out my #Next5 (Goals I want to accomplish in the next 5 years). If I actually accomplished 3 out of the 5 goals, I would feel really great. My goals are pretty ambitious and a little fear started to creep in but I told fear to shut up.

 

So if you are like me and your dreams keep you awake at night, keep dreaming & drink a lot of coffee.

I’ll be introducing you all to a few of my friends who have big dreams and goals in a blog series called “Not so Ordinary Dreamers”. They are doing great things in their communities. I can’t wait to introduce them to you! Gen Y, let’s stick together.

 

XOXO

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Beauty In A Broken Shoe

Somehow breaking my shoe, broke something inside of me.

[God speaks to me in the oddest ways so just keep reading]

As weird as that sounds, my last blog revealed what I’ve been struggling with, and I’ve been dead set on showing up in my life. I’ve been set on being present and not shrinking back when I make a mistake. I’ve been set on showing myself mercy instead of criticism. I’ve been set on choosing joy instead of wallowing in sadness. I’ve been learning that comparison will fail me every time. However,the one thing I’ve been trying to learn forever, is how to except and believe that I am beautiful. I wanted to really see it all the time. I wanted to see what people see in me.

Can I tell you something?

My idea of beauty is not what true beauty is. I’ve felt like beauty equates to women who seem to have their “hair done, nails done, and everything did” I am not that girl. While I enjoy dressing cute, I don’t wear heels all the time. I would rather wear flats. I’m not the chick that needs to be perfectly put together every time I step foot out of my house. I’ve considered myself the “girl next door” in looks. Not drop dead gorgeous but good looking. Still, in spite of feeling beautiful when people tell me or looking in the mirror and thinking, “okay today you look alright”, I had yet to get it for myself. Don’t get me wrong people, I’ve been working on this area of my life. It has not been neglected. I have a plethora of Christian books about beauty and purity to supply a whole youth ministry. Somehow I still missed the point.

Today, I was almost at my job (I have to walk about .25 miles to my actual office from my car) and I hear a tearing noise. My worst fear was happening. I stopped. Looked at my shoe and thought okay it’s fine. I Looked back up, took one more step, and then the strap on my shoe broke. Now I was faced with the problem of walking really weird all the way to my office. My shoes were making that awful scuffing noise and I was trying to hold them together. I tried taping them at my desk and that failed. I managed to get through the day scuffing my way through the office while my shoe was held up by a binder clip.

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Yes, I know, so tacky but I was desperate. Feeling confident about my contraption I decided to walk back to my car with my binder clip shoe on. I seemingly fixed the problem right? So why should I worry? I cross the street no problem, than I get to the sidewalk and immediately my shoe falls apart again. By now, This is when the light bulbs start going off in my head,
I realized that I could work really hard to hold something together and scuff my way through it. I could walk around trying to blend in and make sure no one knew my shoe was falling apart. Or I could just take my shoes off and stop pretending that they aren’t broken.

When I took my physical shoes off, my mental shoes and blinders came off too. All the sudden the way I wanted to feel about my value and worth was clear because I changed my perspective. I wasn’t worried about being put together. I wasn’t comparing myself to those with their shoes on or how nice or expensive they were. I was enjoying my freedom. My feet were touching the unsanitary heat-filled concrete. And with every step on the .25 mile walk to my car, a little piece of self-doubt vanished. I got home looked at myself in the mirror and I could finally see what everyone else sees.

BEAUTY.

Hopefully it won’t take you breaking your shoes to get a breakthrough like I did! I have no clue how these revelations come to me and bring me freedom but God knows how to speak to me.

Here’s a little poem I wrote about beauty:

Beauty beauty
I want to be you
Easily desired
And easily pursued
They told me what your made of
And I’m buying all the ingredients
But when I dress up like you
I don’t get the same results
You get love
I get side hugs
Measuring up to you and Proverbs 31 is much too hard
I’m not sure all I am is all of what you are
Then again maybe I’ve been given the wrong ingredients
I got my recipe from magazines,TV, men, and music
They have got you all wrong
You are strong
You are brave
You are wise
You are lovely
Yet, somehow you were belittled to looks only
If beauty was just looks, we would be in trouble
There would be no room for
Intellect
Character
And integrity
All of which encompass beauty
A Beauty that exists everywhere
A Beauty that is seen
A Beauty that is heard
A Beauty that is adored
A Beauty that is roared from the smallest soul to the oldest
I am beauty and so are you
Roar Beauty Roar

 
XOXO
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What’s Mom Got To Do With It?

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In one of my previous blog posts I touched on my relationship with my mom. Feel free to read that one first and then come back to this post.

I have realized that Mom has to do with my whole life.

  1. Mom laid down pursuing her dreams to awaken the dreamer in me.
  2. Mom made $10,000 her first year as a single mother.
  3. Mom worked part-time at Ann Taylor to support us while building her life-coaching business.
  4. Mom served others.
  5. Mom served me when I was so unworthy of her generosity.
  6. Mom stayed strong when I was in pain.
  7. Mom told me that I would influence this generation so many times that I actually believe her now.
  8. Mom taught me life lessons I’ll never forget.
  9. Mom never judged me and always welcomed me home with open arms when I made mistakes.
  10. As an adult, Mom taught me to think on my own and make informed decisions.
  11. Mom let me grow up and she let me have space to learn on my own.
  12. Mom always stayed close by.
  13. Mom is beautiful and taught me to love my beautiful brown face and hair. She would look me in the eyes and say, “You are a beautiful brown girl and I love you.”
  14. Mom affirmed me, even when I went through a phase where I was convinced she did not love me.
  15. Mom cheers me on and encourages me. My favorite quotes from her are: “You are Faitth with two t’s because you are unique and no one can be you” “Go for it my little trailblazer” “I love you princess” “My little fireball”
Yeah, she ran an half-marathon or maybe it was a full marathon...either way she ran a long distance.
Yeah, she ran an half-marathon or maybe it was a full marathon…either way she ran a long distance.

My mom would always correct me when needed but she was careful not to crush “my spirit.” I have a strong personality. I am opinionated, I talk a lot, I am animated and dramatic, I am passionate, there is not an introverted aspect to my personality at all, and I talk to strangers. I am the child that calls home to tell my mom about my passion for missions and at 20 years old I am leading a trip to Thailand with a bunch of college kids. I am the child that rides on an elephants neck in Thailand and feels alive, I am the child that said “I am not a girly girl” and kept up with everything my brother did, I am the child that would harbor sins of the heart and not overt disobedience. I am the child that made her get on her knees and pray a lot, I hurt her feelings several times, I made her cry several times, and I was a whole lot to handle. Somehow, she never spoke negatively about me. In fact, she told me how much she loved my bubbly personality and the fact that I could make the whole family laugh till they cried. She let me sing to my hearts content and encouraged me to write songs and pursue my love for music. If I was being disrespectful she would say, “Faitth you are very respectful.” She wasn’t saying it sarcastically either, she would call out greatness and eventually (sometimes years later) see the fruit of those confessions. My mom knew she was raising leaders. She would often pray over my brother and I “God don’t promote them to a place their character can’t keep them.” Her prayer was that our character would always be developed first before we were promoted to any position. This has remained her prayer and she has seen it answered time and time again.

When developing a relationship with my brother and I as adults, she completely switched gears from mommy to friend and guidance counselor. She still does mommy-like things but she lets me have freedom. I moved in with my mom after college and it was a little rough at first but my brother told me to stick it out. He literally had to tell me how good it was for me to have this time with my mom, I felt he was fooling me because he had roommates and that seemed more appealing. In the beginning I was counting down till our lease was up so I could move out. Well 2 and a half years later, we are still living together. Our only request to each other is to keep one another posted on our whereabouts, that’s it. She set up no rules for me- we are roommates. I pay my half and she pays hers. She will give suggestions laced with prayer and guidance; she has learned how to influence me as an adult. She is sneaky but it works.

My mom went skydiving with friends while I was in college.
My mom went skydiving with friends…isn’t she cute?

 We are so opposite. I will run around and stay busy at all times. My mom will stay home and read books and throw in occasional socialization. She reads probably one book a week. She is brilliant people. I mean brilliant. She is my opposite but I love it. I love introverts so much. It has taken me a while to understand you people but now I want to be your friend. Obviously it’s not surprising that half of my close friends are introverts. My mom is so calm that I get frazzled when I am surrounded by people that are easily stressed. She would always say “don’t sweat the small stuff Faitth.” She has learned all about who I am from living with me as an adult. She has learned that sometimes I want affection, other times I don’t want to be bothered at all (this is my “do not talk to me at all” mood), I want her to listen to my ranting social justice discussions(She is so gracious- I have a lot of these moments), I want us to watch a show together, I want to sleep in her bed because I had a hard day and I want her near by. She is always available. She lives her life like that for other people as well.

If I go through a break up I can expect ice cream girl talk at Chick-Fil-A. If I go on a road trip and I am tired she will talk to me most of the way. Sometimes she is just on the phone and we aren’t saying anything. She has prayer meetings with me and my friends( Jessica you know what that is all about! lol). She makes my friends her daughters. In fact my best friend Abby and my mom text each other, Ha. It is the funniest thing ever. She is present and her presence gives me confidence. So mom you should write a book on parenting because being an African-American homeschool mother with her Masters Degree in Christian counseling, creating your own high school transcripts for your homeschooled kids that went onto graduate from college and begin successful careers. Raising two children that adore you- is pretty rare these days. People need your voice.

Did you know my mom is a life coach, speaker, and author? :)
Did you know my mom is a life coach, speaker, and author? 🙂

I could go on and on about how my mother’s influence has changed my life. In the teenage years a lot of times girls disconnect with their mothers because we see things about our mom’s that we don’t want to be. Little do we know, years later we will take on some of those character traits that we loathed (Trust me mom’s you will get a laugh when this happens). We will realize that we need you and holding you at bay is not productive. Give us time mom’s. We will come around.

XOXO

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Francine Pierson: facebook and website

 

How I got Interrupted.

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I have been at an critical place in my young adult life. This book review will be a filled with my journey and how Jen Hatmaker’s books wrecked me.

I had spent a month in Rwanda in 2010 and a month in Thailand in 2011. Seeing the love for Christ people had overseas shook me. Their approach to engaging their community and their humility taught me how apathetic and bored I was with church as I knew it to be, yet while overseas I came alive. I loved the way they worshipped God. There was sincerity in it. In America we can just fake it and we get so wrapped up in our appearance that the whole idea of being real with our questions, doubts and concerns is so foreign. Its like we are all waiting for that outspoken person to name the elephant in the room. As if we are all on the edge of our seats, waiting for someone to ask, is this it? Is this what church is about? Can church be really simple like it is for the Rwandan people and the Thai people? These were some of my questions back then and they have lingered in my mind for years.

I have never come home from another country and not cried at least for a week because I am just so broken by all that I have experienced and I wonder what I am missing. I’ve never decided to dig deeper into those questions or really ask God those hard questions because I didn’t know where to start and lets be real- I felt crazy for having those questions. I was raised in church, ministry was my life but somehow it felt like I was missing the main point.

So lets fast-forward to April 2014 when things really changed. I read 7 by Jen Hatmaker. I had been following her blog for a year so naturally when my best friend says she has been crying and reading this book and I have to get it, I bought it the same day. She said oh you will love it. (Jenna and I are like hippie-Jesus loving free spirits that believe anything is possible. We used to sit in the children’s book section in the local bookstore and dream. Yep, we would let our imaginations go where only they could and believe that God could/would do something amazing. ) I had never read anything by an author that openly shared her wrestles and questions with life and church culture, as I knew it to be. As far as I knew, I only talked with a few friends in hopes that I wouldn’t be shunned for my thoughts on the “stuff” we do in church that has nothing to do with souls and Jesus. Most of what I was involved in was all about self-promotion and using that man made platform to build the kingdom. That is what I grew up seeing. In Jen’s book 7 she really digs deep into her transforming journey of letting go of excess and the pursuit of “stuff stuff stuff, more more more” and looking into how her family could change the course of their lives by pouring their finances and resources into things that actually matter. But really, 7 is just the sequel to her book Interrupted. Interrupted is the book I want to talk to you about.

I just gave you a super long intro but I really wanted to set the stage for this book. Reading 7 and interrupted led to the most impactful permutation in my young adult life.

 I will cover a few key areas that wrecked me while reading interrupted.

One major area I wrestled with was the churches responsibility to care for the hurting and broken. I knew that an occasional food drive was not really going to address the needs of the community. It had to start with us the church (the individuals). Jen explains it this way: “We don’t get to opt out of living on mission because we might not be appreciated. We’re not allowed to neglect the oppressed because we have reservations about their discernment. We cannot deny love because it might be despised or misunderstood. We can’t withhold social relief because we are not convinced it will be properly managed. We can’t project our advantaged perspective onto struggling people and expect results available only to the privileged. Must we be wise? Absolutely but doing nothing is a blatant sin of omission.”

I found myself on the cusp of ignoring the needs of the community, forgetting the life transforming moments overseas, and settling into my own world oblivious to the needs of those around me and depending on others to see the need and meet it, not me. The real question is why not me? Why not you? Why aren’t we engaging in our community. This simple wrestle is what Jen’s beautifully documents. It’s her journey from ministry and life as she knew it to God brining her husband and family into a “new thing” and ministry via community and building relationships and out of those relationships people coming to Christ. Allowing people to belong before expecting them to behave. Her journey is raw, exciting, and thought provoking. You really can’t read this book without asking yourself, what am I all about? When was the last time I spent time with my neighbor or served the poor not because I was looking to be thanked, but because I was purely interested in their world and serving them because they are human. They have life. They are family. Somehow, life became all about us and we won’t reach out to others if it is an inconvenience or if the people around us don’t look and act like us. Where did we adapt that attitude? Where did I adapt that attitude?

 Jen talks about movement and going when you feel God is leading you into a new thing

Jen states, “When we feel we are supposed to do something radical we can expect it to be misunderstood.” I am not sure what that looks like for you. Maybe its moving to a new city, going back to college, getting a new job, restoring broken relationships. Whatever the case maybe, Jen mentions, “part of the task is going without knowing…if you go wherever God says and when, expect to be misunderstood. And go anyway” Oftentimes, we are waiting on the approval from too many people to just leap when we know in our gut that is what we are supposed to do. No one said leaping would be easy. No one said the next steps would be painted in the sky but wouldn’t we spoil everything if we knew it all? Most of the time we don’t need all the details.

 Interrupted describes a crossroad that many people, including myself, are at. Are you ready for a radical life-transforming adventure? If you are, maybe your heart is open to allowing God to interrupt life and church, as you know it. Interrupted gives you the permission to wrestle and the permission to evaluate your world. You can’t get through this book without feeling, inspired, challenged, and broken for the least. You also can’t read this book and expect to stay stagnant and not call into question life as you know it. If I assume correctly, we have all been challenged to allow God to interrupt our life but maybe fear, doubt, or worry have kept us from fully diving in. Either way, we must do it. We must make a conscious effort to be all in.

Jen’s approach is fun, relatable, and humble. While reading her book you feel as if you on a coffee date catching up on months of time that has passed and you just get to listen to this deep transformation that has taken place in her life. Through this story you leave inspired to love better, be more informed about your community, and allow God to interrupt you. Truth is, if I cam so consumed with serving God the way I want to, whose kingdom am I really building-his kingdom or my own? Comfortable Christianity won’t cut it anymore.

I have never been in a place of such humility and brokenness until recently. I have never felt more vibrant, awake, and passionate about His kingdom before. I have layed my service schedule down and I have decided to follow his lead. I’ve been inspired, challenged, and interrupted.

Get the book, you won’t regret it.

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ABOUT JEN HATMAKER:

Jen Hatmaker is the author of 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess and A Modern Girl’s Bible Study series. With a heart for her generation, she speaks at conferences around the country. Jen resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband, Brandon, and their five children. To learn more about Jen and follow her blog, go to www.jenhatmaker.com.