(I now interrupt this regularly scheduled bookshelf with a special edition review of Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker. Thanks to Tyndale Publishers and Jen Hatmaker herself for this ARC opportunity!)
Jen Hatmaker and her publisher have updated her bestselling book, Interrupted, and offered a limited number of ARC's to her readers. And I scored one! So excited. I love Jen Hatmaker. I loved her book, 7, and knew that I would love this book. In fact, Jen herself loves this book more than the wildly popular 7, she says (and she's right) that there would have been no 7 without Interrupted.
Jen and I seem to share a lot of common ground. We share the same birthday month and the same number of years on this earth (40) and we share the year 2007. In 2007 Jen asked God for a holy passion and he answered. At the same time she was getting her answer I was getting the same kind of passion also as I traveled to Kenya in June 2007. It changed my life FOREVER and Jen's prayer changed her life forever as well. So I feel connected to her even though we have never met and probably never will.
Jen prayed for holy passion and God's answer was to thoroughly interrupt her cushy Christian life. Praise God. Praise God he knew what she was actually asking for even though she most likely didn't. Jen chronicles what happened to her and her family as God interrupted them for his Kingdom. Scary, confusing, exhilarating, isolating, beautiful, and chaotic. These are some of the things that Jen and her family felt and experienced in their interruption and it's what anyone else who gets interrupted by God will experience also. Oh but it is the best kind of life upheaval you can go through.
Sometimes I can pick a particular portion from a book and use that to be the foundation for a review and some thoughtful comments. Unfortunately I can't do this with Interrupted because I highlighted about 2/3 (or more?) of the book. Yes. Yes, that good. Yes, that much resonated with me. Yes, that much compels me to continue to allow the interruption of God in my life. Yes, that much prompts me to consider what have I missed by not allowing some interruption God was trying to place on me? Comfortable Christianity has no appeal to me, it isn't supported biblically, Jesus certainly didn't model it for us. Since getting uncomfortable in my Christianity I have learned more about God and his nature than I ever had in the years prior when I was comfy and cushy in my faith. Jen writes of a similar outcome.
Does the idea of being interrupted frighten you? Does it mess with the little bubble you have blown around yourself? Does it unsettle the seat you warm each Sunday morning? If so then you should read this book. If not, you should still read this book if nothing else for the evidence that you are not alone in your wanderings, you aren't as weird as some have tried to make you believe you are, and that there is more you can do with the interruptions God has placed in your life.
Love God? Then love his interruptions in your life.
Jennifer Hatmaker, Jen, 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.