Several years ago I sort of set out on a journey to own my own life.
For me it meant embracing the good and facing the ugly in my world.
Dealing with imperfections and coming up with plans to work on them opened my eyes to beauty peeking out of the cracks and breaks in my systems. Layer upon layer of life–the bold goodness, the nuanced depth, the obvious flaws–began calling me to greater risk and steadier faith.
Long before I read the pages of For the Love, I had begun the painful process of figuring out what to show up for, if I wanted to have a life that I loved.
Late one night, while finishing up a long day at a Brighten A Corner project, I scrolled casually down my Facebook feed to see that Jen Hatmaker was creating a launch group for her latest book. 500 everyday folks would get an advanced copy, join a private Facebook page, and help to promote the book upon its release….It sounded like an adventure and an opportunity to learn something new. Plus I have this friend who I believe will publish a book someday soon, so I thought perhaps I could
steal get a line on some great ideas for her.
Apparently 4,999 other people thought it would be fun, too. Imagine that.
I was tickled when I got an e-mail a few weeks later saying that I had been picked for the launch group, would be receiving my book in the mail soon, and was added to the For the Love Launch Group on Facebook. I decided not to watch from a distance, but to show up and own the opportunity. In an instant everyone else on Facebook disappeared.
The Launch Girls were my world.
I shared prayer requests. I prayed for others. I had an opinion for everyone about everything. I survived the Supreme Court Decision while disagreeing passionately with people. I learned how to hashtag. I grew as a writer because of the input and support of the team. I found delightful friends. I laughed until I cried. I wept over losses. I shook my head in awe at how wacky life can be.
I lived out the words of the book that brought us all together.
Which is why I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Life is a kick in the pants. Being a Jen Hatmaker fan has been a bi-polar experience for me. I have liked and unliked her page numerous times based on a moment, or a mood, or a half-understood perception.
Sometimes I just don’t get it.
This book, this group, this season of life forced me to figure out if I was looking for agreement or honesty. I realized if I want a life that profoundly honors God, I was going to have to get used to the tension that comes with differences. Living in that tension is where the love people talk about really exists. It is not waiting for me to surround myself with homogenized versions of me. It is tucked away in community with variety.
The book and the launch team could not have come at a better time. My life is richer, fuller, more on track to my dreams in the Lord than it has been in a long, long time. I so, so, so want that for you. I want you, and me, to own our lives. There is so much room for others when we do….THIS is what I am talking about:
Now fully able to cheer wildly for friends and colleagues, I am free to be me without the constrictive mesh netting around my heart. Everyone else is free to be themselves, and I am thrilled about us all. For the Love, by Jen Hatmaker.