Dear Jen Hatmaker:
We don’t know each other. In fact, truth be told, I’ve never read a single one of your books. I perused that “7” book, but I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind to continue reading it at the time. Your other books are on my “to read” list, but I haven’t gotten to them yet.
I actually “met” you on a Michael Hyatt webinar a couple years ago. I really enjoyed what you had to say about influencing others and making an impact. That it takes work to develop your craft and community. It also takes humility. And that we are all connected. I was hooked.
I started following your Instagram and Twitter (loved your recent travel pictures) and mostly just stayed in introverted lurker mode. That is until you announced your podcast. I love podcasts, and since I had already heard you in a similar setting, I knew I would love this.
So, last week, I downloaded your first podcast and went for a walk. I knew Shauna Niequist by name, but I had never read her books (I have them on my book-et list now). When you were talking about the table, inviting people in and feeding them, I reflected on the times I felt nourished or was able to nourish others.
Every year, I host an Easter dinner for people whose families are far away. We live far away from our parents, and since Easter isn’t really a time people get off from work, we used this opportunity to share in fellowship. This year, I wasn’t able to host, so one of my longtime friends ended up hosting it at her house, and it was perfect. It has truly grown into something sacred.
But, your podcast definitely challenged me to seek this out more.
And then that shelter question came up, and Shauna brought up those miscarriages. Here I am, walking through a neighborhood on a bright, sunny morning, and the wind gets knocked out of me. I didn’t know her story. I still technically don’t, but to hear how her friends were lifelines? I get that.
You see, I’ve had multiple pregnancy losses – a miscarriage and two fetal deaths. And in those moments, you remember who your lifelines were. And those moments after a loss, that space is also sacred. Because God makes his presence known through those people who enter into that space with a sense of humility and love. It’s been almost three years since I lost my first daughter, and I still have every voicemail saved from the people who called that day, the people who mourned with me and prayed for me, not knowing when I would hear it.
And like Shauna, I have become the person others go to. It feels like I fell into it by accident because I never intentionally sought after anyone. They came to me because they knew I would listen to them and I would hear them as well. And I got blessed by those encounters too.
I like that you started your podcast series off by talking about girlfriends. Community is how we are going to survive the crazy. And thank you so, so much for those precious reminders.