Okay, I admit it. I am a bit late with my review.
I was overjoyed a couple of months ago when I found out that not only would I be a part of Jen Hatmaker’s launch team for her latest book, “Fierce, Free, And Full of Fire”, but I was also one of a group within that team chosen to receive a physical advanced reader’s copy of the book (Others received an ebook version). Not to knock ebooks, but there is something special about holding a physical book in your hands.
Aaaaand then COVID-19 happened. Lockdown was occurring everywhere. I got swept up in the current of the ever-changing news cycle. I would check at least once an hour, though details didn’t change much and the news didn’t offer me much in the way of comfort. I kept hearing news of friends who had lost their jobs, and friends of friends who got ill. My twitter feed began to fill with daily announcements from mourners who had lost a loved one to the disease and were turning to strangers for comfort.
I got lost somewhere in the midst of anxiety and grief as I took on the emotions of everyone I came in contact with and I worried for the safety of my loved ones.
Reading became a challenge. I stopped reading for over a month because it was too difficult to concentrate, which if you know me: that is huge. And sadly, this book got pushed to the back burner.
So. If Jen Hatmaker should ever read this, please consider this my apology to you for flaking (ever so briefly) on my launch team duties.
I did pick up the book. I did read it, and I am so glad that I did. I feel like it is a desperately needed book for these days.
This book is, at it’s core, a guide to help women tap into their authentic selves.
This is not a book to boost self-esteem.
This is not a book on the power of positive thinking.
This is not a book on how to be your best self now.
This is a book designed to help us uncover who we are under all of the layers of baggage laid upon us by our culture, our churches, our families, whatever. If there is a system that has ever told you, “this is who you are supposed to be in order to be a proper woman/Christian/etc…” This is the book that will help you tell that system to go bug someone else, and learn how to love the you that God created you to be.
Hatmaker addresses the pretenses we tend to put on in order to be that person we think we’re supposed to be: Bigger and better. Maybe meeker or milder.
She talks about the various forms of drama that can show up in a relationship and how to avoid it.
She talks about learning to say yes and no authentically. Not the fake yes, hoping to people-please or get out of commitments later. But a full-on committed yes when we are completely on board with something. She talks about how to say no to someone without the guilt (because Lord knows, the “no guilt” is real).
Hatmaker even discusses that favourite little nugget that so many of us progressive Christians love: The enneagram. She gives a great introduction for those who are not familiar with it and shows how it can be used as a self-awareness tool to show us our strengths and our weaknesses, allowing us to fully embrace who we are.
She also discusses things like finding new friendships as adults (something so many of us can struggle with), body acceptance, and owning our dreams and ambitions.
This book is an empowering message for all women. I happily gave it a full 5 stars on good reads. I even sent a copy to one of my besties because I loved the message so much.
I highly recommend this one. Grab your copy today!
Protip: if you buy the audiobook, it comes with tons of extras like interviews and additional commentary from Jen that does not appear in the written format. You’re welcome.