An open letter to Jen Hatmaker,
(Well not totally open, just to those of you who follow me because I didn’t want to be all stockerish and send it to her directly. But yes I did tag her in it as well because, obvi.)
I have never read anything you’ve written before beyond the length of a Facebook post. I’ve never been to a talk you’ve given and I didn’t know you had an HGTV show (but I binged it after reading your book-I love your home!). I was raised Mormon and left when I was 31 without a church to replace it. I’m 44 and what I would consider a Culturally Mormon Agnostic. I know there’s a divine choreography of the universe, I just don’t know what it is enough to define it.
And yet. I was drawn to you. Which is bizarre because the moment a personal development book mentions God I’m generally out.
But you kept me in.
On the first page of your introduction you shared “I was set up to succeed there as a Type A rule-follower, thirsty for affirmation and irrationally defensive of the status quo.” At which point I had to pause because no one had ever called me out so eloquently and specifically in all of my 44 years. Who the hell is this Jen chick and when did she read my journal?
After I caught my breath I kept going and going and going. I was brought in by your honesty, by your vulnerability and your willingness to be completely imperfect, uncertain and yet so clear that you had found a light that was guiding you in your life. And on top of that I felt an implicit permission for mine to be called different as long as I knew I was worth it.
I feel like I walked through so many parts of not only my faith journey but the journey I’ve walked as a 40 something mother not always sure of who she was but wanting to be the best I could be. I feel heard. I feel seen and I feel like I have a sister in the universe who is walking the path I am walking.
Thank you for not being perfect.
Thank you for being honest.
Thank you for being sassy and frustrated and angry.
But also loving and forgiving and compassionate.
But most of all, thank you for sharing your life.
You’ve made it easier to share mine even if it’s different.
And that is everything.
Your virtual bff, Mandy