Interrupted: My Life Imitating Jen Hatmaker’s Bestseller
This saying has proven to be true for me the last couple of months. About the time that I agreed to share my thoughts on Jen Hatmaker’s eye-opening book, Interrupted, my own life became a whirlwind of grown up decisions when I decided to move to Nashville. It has been quite the adventure saying hello to new everything and saying “See you later” to all that I love back home. Y’all should know that I’m terrible at saying goodbye. Anyone who witnessed me running (literally) out of homes and restaurants in an effort to not cry in front of my people can testify to this. That being said, I’m vetoing making any and all grown up decisions from here until November because I am just over all the job applications and interviews and house hunting and mountains of forms you have to sign when you move and goodbyes. So now that I’m (mostly) settled into my new apartment, in my new town and working on finding a new church, I’ve finally found time to read this incredible book.
Anytime I read something of Jen’s, whether it’s a book or blog, I always feel like I’m listening to a kindred spirit share her heart and humor with me. Interrupted was no different an experience. In short, this book is about what happened in the lives of the Hatmaker’s when Jen prayed what proved to be a life changing prayer; “God, raise up in me a holy passion.” The Hatmaker’s knew that there was a piece of the puzzle they were missing. As pastors of an affluent church in Austin, they were continually blessing the blessed and stuck in a Christian safe zone. They felt as though they were missing the point of this whole ‘living a life like Christ’ thing. Rest assured dear reader, God soon pointed them in the right direction directly after a serious upheaval of their hearts and lives.
I’m sure I’m not going to ruin your life or reading experience by telling you that most of this journey involved leaving their positions (and salary) at the church they were serving to begin a new church dedicated to the service of “the last, the least, the forgotten, and the forsaken.” I appreciate this thought from Jen: “This is not about Brandon and Jen Hatmaker, church planters, because we are ordinary and our church is imperfect, same as yours. This is about the bride of Christ. Church simply provides a nice context for us to live on mission together. It’s not about your church and how it is thrilling or failing you. Rather, what kind of bride are you helping to prepare? With the glorious addition of you and your gifts, is she becoming radiant? Shane Claiborne wrote, “There is a movement bubbling up that goes beyond cynicism and celebrates a new way of living, a generation that stops complaining about the church it sees and becomes the church it dreams of.””
This book is as encouraging as it is honest when it comes to living on mission and allowing God to raise up a holy passion in all of His children. Maybe you feel stuck in a rut with your faith as Jen did, feeling as though there is something more and not being able to put your finger on it. Maybe you feel a disconnection between the faith journey God wants to lead you on and the prosperity Christianity that is popular & attractive in America. Maybe you want to know what possessed these radical Jesus lovers to give up everything and allow God to do a new thing in their faith, their family, and their community. Whatever you may be experiencing in your journey with God right now, I highly recommend this book.
Not too long ago, God disrupted my life and turned my entire world inside out. I had always known there was a missing link in my relationship with God and how that relationship was supposed to effect everything else in my life. I wish I could tell you it was a pleasant experience but it was far from that. The refining process that God has to take us through in order to make us who He needs us to be is painful and uncomfortable. We allow excess to trap us into comfort and comfort keeps us from doing the work of God. God often uses the analogy of purifying silver or gold. In order to rid it of it’s impurities it has to be heated up to it’s melting point in order to skim off the parts that keep it from being valuable. As Christians desiring to live out the Great Commission, we have to be brought to our breaking point in order to be truly used by God. I don’t like that notion anymore than you do but having been through the process I can assure you that it is the best way.
Throughout it all, I became the person I had always wanted to be but had no idea how to get to her. Suddenly, I saw people on corners not “Please help” signs to ignore. I understood that just because I’ve never had trouble finding work didn’t mean that was true for everyone. My heart was turned towards the women who give their bodies up for money not because they are whores but because they are prisoners to sex slavery or have little ones to feed and they see no tangible way out. For whatever reason, God allowed me to be born into privilege so I won’t feel guilty for that. However, I will spend the rest of life trying to figure out how I can use what I’ve been given to help those who have been given nothing.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is curious about an Interrupted life. Side note: They don’t sell the books water logged. Most of my reading was done by the pool and well… that happened.
P.S. One of my favorite things about the book is that her husband joined in on the writing with “Brandon’s Take”. This was a family journey and was rightfully written by both Jen & Brandon.
P.P.S. Want to learn more about Jen? Check out her website: Jen Hatmaker
Here’s a post I wrote about another book from Jen Hatmaker a while back called 7:An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. This is considered the sequel to Interrupted.