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HGTV’s “Big Family Renovation” Matriarch Jen Hatmaker

Jen Hatmaker shares what it’s like to be part of a home remodel in front of a national television audience and how her faith has been challenged in recent years. Read Transcript


Reporter: DO YOU ATTEND

CHURCH ON SUNDAY MORNING,

SING, LIFT YOUR HANDS, GIVE

MONEY, MAYBE VOLUNTEER IN

THE NURSERY OR TEACH SUNDAY

SCHOOL?

MILLIONS OF PEOPLE SAY THEY

DID, BUT IS THAT ENOUGH?

THERE IS MORE TO OUR WALK

WITH GOD THAN PLAYING IT

SAFE.

Terry: WELL, TO TALK TO

US MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC IS

THE AUTHOR OF "INTERPRETED,

WHEN JESUS WRECKS YOUR

COMFORTABLE CHRISTIANITY."

IT IS SO GOOD TO HAVE YOU

HERE WITH US, JEN.

I'M SO GLAD TO BE HERE.

THANK YOU.

Terry: YOU HAD A

LIFE-CHANGING TURPTION

INTERRUPTION AND IT CHANGED

YOU?

IT DID.

I WASN'T EXPECTING IT.

I WAS RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF

BEING AWESOME AT MY OWN

CHRISTIAN LIFE.

SO I DIDN'T EXPECT ANY SORT

OF TRANSFORMATION.

I WAS A CHRISTIAN AUTHOR AT

THE TIME, I WAS TRAVELLING

AND SPEAKING AND I'M MARRIED

TO A PASTOR, I MEAN FULL

IMMERSION INTO CHRISTIAN

CULTURE.

I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE LOOKED

AT ME ON PAPER AND THOUGHT,

I'M NAILING IT.

AND IT WAS SURPRISING TO

FIND IN THE MIDST OF ALL OF

THAT CHRISTIAN WORK, THAT I

WAS REALLY EMOTIONAL,

SPIRITUALLY DRY.

I FELT DISCONNECTED FROM

GOD.

I FELT DISCONNECTED FROM THE

CHURCH, FROM PEOPLE.

I THOUGHT, I HAVE NO IDEA

WHAT TO DO BECAUSE I CAN'T

WORK HARDER.

I CAN'T WORK MORE.

I DON'T HAVE ANYMORE HOURS

IN THE WEEK.

Terry: AND I'M GIVING

THIS MESSAGE, AND WHERE IS

THE REALITY OF IT?

IF IT'S NOT BEARING DOWN

ON MY LIFE, I'M LITERALLY AT

A LOSS.

ONLY BECAUSE I DIDN'T KNOW

WHAT ELSE TO DO, I PRAYED A

ONE-LINE PRAYER ON SOME

RANDOM SUNDAY DRIVING HOME

FROM CHURCH IN THE CAR.

I SAID, GOD, I NEED YOU TO

RAISE UP IN ME A HOLY

PASSION.

WHAT I MEANT BY THAT IS,

GOD, I HAVE TENSION, AND I

DON'T UNDERSTAND IT, AND I

DON'T WANT TO FEEL IT

ANYMORE.

IF YOU COULD JUST FIX THIS.

Terry: SOLVE THIS.

SOLVE THIS.

AND IT BEGAN THIS

INTERRUPTION IN OUR LIFE

THAT WEEK THAT LITERALLY

SHOOK US DOWN TO OUR CORE,

AND DUMPED OUT EVERY BUCKET

WITH HAD EVER FILLED

SPIRITUALLY AND STARTED

ANEW.

Terry: WHAT WERE SOME

OF THE SIGNS?

I KNOW THERE ARE LOTS OF US

WHO ARE IN THE PLACE WHERE

WE FEEL DRY, BUT HOW DID YOU

KNOW YOU WERE IN THE WRONG

MODE, SO TO SPEAK?

GREAT QUESTION.

IT WAS SOME SURPRISING

TRIGGERS WHERE ALL OF A

SUDDEN I STARTED WONDERING,

MY LIFE FEELS REALLY, REALLY

SAFE, SUPER COMFORTABLE.

IT FEELS REALLY

PREDICTABLE.

AND WHERE IS THE ADVENTURE?

WHERE IS THE KINGDOM?

WHERE IS THE STRUGGLE?

IT JUST FELT TOO SMALL AND

TOO NARROW.

AND, HONESTLY, I JUST HAD

NEVER PEEKED OVER MY OWN

FENCE.

I WAS SO IMMERSED IN MY OWN

LITTLE CHRISTIAN NICHE, THAT

I WAS COMPLETELY

DISCONNECTED.

AND I MEAN COMPLETELY FROM

ANYTHING THAT LOOKED LIKE

SUFFERING OR STRUGGLE,

POVERTY, CRISIS, INJUSTICE.

I DIDN'T HAVE TIME FOR

THAT.

I SPENT ALL OF MY TIME

SERVING SAFE PEOPLE AND

BLESSING BLESSED PEOPLE.

SO IF THOSE BLESSED, SAVED

PEOPLE CANNOT GIVE

THEMSELVES TO MY CHURCH

CAMPUS, I'M SORRY, I DON'T

KNOW YOU EXIST.

Andrew: YOU PRAYED THIS

PRAYER, BUT YOUR HUSBAND HAD

TO COME ALONG FOR THE RIDE.

WHAT CHANGED HIM?

THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION.

HE WROTE THIS WITH ME.

IT SORT OF STARTED IN ME,

AND HE KIND OF SAT OFF TO

THE SIDE AND HE THOUGHT,

WHAT'S HAPPENING?

I THINK SHE IS ABOUT TO RUIN

OUR LIVES?

OUR LIVES WERE LOVELY, SUPER

LOVELY.

AND FINALLY WE BEGAN TO PRAY

TOGETHER, AND JUST LIKE

THAT, WE WERE ON THE SAME

PAGE SPIRITUALLY.

AND ULTIMATELY, IT ENDED UP

LOOKING LIKE OUR FAMILY

LEAVING WHERE WE WERE AND WE

STARTED A NEW CHURCH.

AND WE HAD NO AMBITIONS TO

BE CHURCH PLANNERS.

I REMEMBER ASKING BRANDON,

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE WE

CAN DO?

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER

SKILLS.

BUT WE ULTIMATELY STARTED A

CHURCH CALLED THE LOST

CHURCH IN OUR CITY.

AND WE ARE SO HUNGRY TO SEE

JUSTICE COME IN OUR CITY, IN

OUR COMMUNITY, AND IN OUR

WORLD.

Andrew: WHAT OPENED

YOUR EYES TO THIS POVERTY

SITUATION?

IT WAS A BIT OF A SLOW

RUNWAY, TO BE HONEST WITH

YOU.

WE STARTED LISTENING TO NEW

THINKERS, INTO LEADERS,

DIFFERENT KINDS OF PASTORS.

WE THOUGHT, IF WE'RE NOT OUT

THERE TO KNOW WHAT IS GOING

ON IN THE WORLD, WHO IS?

SO WE REALLY BEGAN TO LISTEN

AND ASK NEW QUESTIONS.

AND FINALLY IT WAS A MATTER

OF GOD SAYING, YOU KNOW

WHAT, SWEET LITTLE LAMB,

YOU'VE GOT TO JUST GET OUT

THERE IN GO.

AND IT STARTED WITH THE

HOMELESS COMMUNITY, WHICH WE

KNEW NOTHING ABOUT.

Terry: WHAT WAS YOUR

FIRST FORAY INTO THAT?

IT WAS TERRIBLE.

WE COULDN'T HAVE BEEN MORE

AWKWARD, MORE CLUNKY, BUT WE

JUST BROUGHT OUR KIDS WITH

US BECAUSE THEY LIVE WITH

US, SO WE THOUGHT, MAYBE YOU

SHOULD COME.

AND WE WENT DOWNTOWN, AND

WE'VE GOT A STREET CORNER IN

AUSTIN, WHERE WE LIVE.

OUR HOMELESS COMMUNITY IS

CONCENTRATED.

AND WE CAME DOWN WITH NOTES

AND CARDS AND BURGERS, AND

WE DIDN'T KNOW ANYTHING

ABOUT THE CYCLES OF POVERTY,

BUT WE STARTED SOMEWHERE.

AND THAT'S WHERE WE BEGAN.

AND WE JUST FOUND LEADERS

AND ACTIVISTS IN OUR CITY

WHO ARE SMART AND MOBILIZED

AND ALREADY ON THE GROUND,

AND WE GLOMMED ON TO THEM

AND SAID, CAN YOU TEACH US

EVERYTHING YOU KNOW.

Andrew: BECAUSE YOU

DON'T HAVE TIMES IN THIS

SITUATION TO THINK ABOUT

THINGS SPIRITUALLY DRY?

OH, NO.

THAT'S A LUXURY OF THE

PRIVILEGED.

IF YOU DECIDE TO THROW YOUR

LOT IN WITH THE POOR, WITH

THOSE WHO STRUGGLE AND THOSE

WHO ARE SUFFERING AT ANY

SORT OF INJUSTICE, ALL OF A

SUDDEN YOU DON'T HAVE TIME

FOR THE THINGS THAT ONCE

SEEMED SUPER, SUPER

IMPORTANT.

YOU'RE IN THE MIDDLE OF IT.

IF THAT SOUNDS LIKE BAD

NEWS -- IF SOMEBODY IS

LISTENING GOING, I DON'T

WANT TO DO THIS.

THAT SOUNDS LIKE A TERRIBLE

STORY.

BUT IT IS AMAZING.

WE FOUND LIFE AGAIN.

I MOVED INTO THIS ARENA

EMPTY, AND I CAME OUT OF IT

WHOLE.

AND FOUND THAT GOD IS ACTIVE

AND PEOPLE ARE ON THE

GROUND.

Terry: YOU SEE HIM WORK

RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR

FACE.

RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR

FACE.

IT IS NO LONGER ENCAPSULATED

IN A FANCY CEREMONY WHERE

EVERYTHING STARTS WITH AN

"M."

AND YOU SEE REDEMPTION

RISING UP IN FRONT OF YOU.

YOU SEE HIM INTERVENE IN

MIRACULOUS WAYS.

I DIDN'T NEED GOD FOR

MIRACLES IN MY SAFE,

COMFORTABLE CHRISTIAN LIFE.

I WAS DOING FINE WITHOUT

HIM.

BUT YOU GET OUT TO THE EDGES

OF STRUGGLE AND CONFLICT AND

PERSECUTION, AND YOU NEED

HIM IN A DESPERATE NEW WAY.

AND SO WE FOUND GOD ON THE

MARGINS, WHERE WE HAD LOST

HIM AT THE BULL'S EYE.

Andrew: AND THE LORD

ALSO TAUGHT YOU HOW TO

CONQUER YOUR FEARS GOING

INTO THIS?

I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT

TO EXPECT.

Terry: IT IS SCARY

BECAUSE YOU THINK OF THE

FACT HOW MUCH OF MY LIFE IS

THIS GOING TO COST ME?

LET'S BE HONEST, THAT'S

EXACTLY WHAT I THOUGHT.

AND I WENT INTO IT SO

IGNORANT.

I THOUGHT, AM I GOING TO

HURT MORE THAN I HELP?

AND THAT'S A REAL

CONVERSATION THAT WE SHOULD

BE HAVING.

AND WE'VE LEARN SO MUCH IN

THE LAST FIVE YEARS ABOUT

EMPOWERMENT, AND NOT JUST

ENABLING, AND GOD HAS REALLY

JUST SHOWN US SO MANY

THINGS.

YEAH, WE SORT OF MOVED

SCARED.

I TOLD GOD, I WOULD LIKE

SOME MORE ANSWERS, PLEASE,

BEFORE WE START THIS TRAIN.

I WOULD LIKE A LITTLE MORE

OF A BUSINESS PLAN.

AND HE'S LIKE, OUT YOU GO.

AND SO WE LEARNED ON THE

RUN.

Terry: WELL, THAT'S THE

BEST WAY, PROBABLY, DON'T

YOU THINK?

JUMP IN THE POOL AND SWIM?

I THINK IT IS THE BEST

WAY.

THERE ARE ONLY SO MANY

THINGS YOU CAN MANUFACTURE

SITTING IN A PEW LEARNING

ABOUT SOMETHING.

Terry: PLUS WHEN WE

PLAN, WE PLAN TO SOLVE IT.

WHEN WE JUMP INTO THE DEEP

END, GOD SHOWS UP.

THERE IS SO MUCH IN YOUR

BOOK.

WE HAVE TOUCHED ON JUST THE

SURFACE OF IT.

YOU CAN LEARN MORE, AND THE

BOOK IS CALLED

"INTERPRETED," AND YOU CAN

FIND IT WHEREVER BOOKS ARE

SOLD, AND IT WILL WOO YOU

INTO THE DEEP END OF THE

POOL.

Andrew: AND CAN I ASK

YOU ABOUT YOUR NEW SHOW?

IT CAME OUT OF NOWHERE.

WE GOT AN E-MAIL FROM THE

EXECUTIVE AND SAID WE

ADOPTED TWO KIDS FROM

ETHIOPIA AND THE FIVE KIDS.

WE THINK WE CAN TRANSLATE

YOUR FAMILY'S ENERGY TO AN

HGTV SHOW.

AND FAST FORWARD, AND WE

THOUGHT THIS IS AN AMAZING

OPPORTUNITY.

WHO GETS TO DO THIS.

SO WE FILMED ALL LAST YEAR,P

, AND THE SHOW AIRED ON

THURSDAY.

Terry: I SAW THAT IT

WAS WONDERFUL.

THANK YOU.

Terry: AND WILL BE EVEN

BETTER YET.

AND YOUR RENOVATING YOUR

100-PLUS-YEAR-OLD HOUSE FROM

TOP TO BOTTOM, YOU BRAVE

PEOPLE.

OR CRAZY PEOPLE.

LET'S GET THE ADJECTIVE

RIGHT.

WE RENOVATED A 105-YEAR-OLD

FARM HOUSE, AND WE MOVED

THREE MINUTES AWAY FROM THE

COMMUNITY WE LIVED IN.

AND WE JUST HAD A BALL.

IT WAS SUCH A GOOD TIME.

Andrew: BE SURE TO

WATCH JEN AND HER FAMILY AND

"MY BIG FAMILY RENOVATION,"

ON HGTV ON THURSDAY.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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