BELONG
by Jen Hatmaker on November 23rd, 2015

Speaking on the Women of Faith LOVED Tour this fall has been one of the great privileges and joys of my whole life. Everyone who knows me has listened to me blather ON AND ON about the team, the experience, the legacy, and the delight. It is so real. These women have changed me and loved me and shown me what it looks like to serve with the same team across the nation, over and over.

As a writer who speaks (not a speaker who writes), traveling and conferences and stages and teaching has always been a labor - a labor of love to be sure - but a labor. I am not intrinsically geared for it and have to work super, duper hard to be even remotely competent. (This is not a fish for a compliment so don't give one. It is a fact that speaking is hard for me and I am not naturally gifted at it and it requires ten times the work that writing does.)

But then...this:
Luci Swindoll is my spirit animal.
She is exactly twice my age and I am OBSESSED with her.

I can't explain it exactly, but working with these amazing women who have served God and women so faithfully for so long and yet manage to do this without a sense of striving or competition or pressure, and in fact have the most fun I've ever actually seen on the road, well, I'm changed.

I've basically cried my eyes out the last two events because our tour is coming to an end.

But it is with the greatest, most sincere thrill I get to finally tell you about what's next:

For a whole year, we have been dreaming and building and praying and scheming on how to build on the very best of 20 years of Women of Faith and pay it forward into the next generation. How can we take all the love, all the transparency, all the laughter, all the power, all the story-telling, all the community and build something new, worthy of the legacy?

I am THRILLED to tell you about the Belong Tour coming Fall 2016! Same leadership team, same parent company, same beautiful desire to love God and women in our generation. I am joined by literally some of the best people I know:

Shauna Niequist
Sarah Jakes Roberts
Nichole Nordeman

And because GOD LOVES US, Patsy Clairmont has agreed to join the new tour with us, and for this, I could weep hot salty tears of gratitude. I love her so desperately and I am telling you: She is the very best kind of mentor. She loves our generation and has so much to invest, and we are basically the luckiest girls on earth.

YOU GUYS. This team is coming all over the United States next fall! We've been listening so intently to what you care about:
  • FAITH: how to deepen it, find it, hold on to it, nurture it, use it, express it, grow it. Amen and amen. Let it be said of our generation that we loved Jesus. We are deep diving into faith together, and no matter where you start on that spectrum, you are so welcome.

  • RELATIONSHIPS: how to care for them, heal them, invest in them, own them, expand them, honor God in them, strengthen them. Marriage, parenting, church, neighboring, loving this world - we care so much. Every bit of this will be covered in Belong.

  • PURPOSE AND PASSION: how to discover it, grow it, prioritize it, use it, thrive in it, offer it, develop it, share it. Oh man. You are singing our song. We believe so deeply in women and how God has gifted us and we are here to love and serve this world together.
And listen, there is a REASON we are calling the tour Belong. Because you do. Your friends do. Your neighbors do. Your colleagues do. Your churchy church friends do. Your totally not churchy church friends do. We are setting a big table, girls. Come to us. We love you. We love your people. You can trust us with the fragile hearts you love. You can trust us with your daughters and sisters. This is not a gathering of "insiders" where language and assumptions automatically exclude people outside of faith or church. NOPE.

You can come to us confused or mad, passionate or on fire, disassociated and ambivalent, scared or burned. We will hold your stories with tender hands. We are for you. (And wait until you hear OUR stories. Oh my word. Sarah once rammed a woman's car in her SUV, but I've already said too much.) All I'm saying is that we are regular women who've struggled and tried to love God in the midst of life, which we KNOW can be very, very hard.

NOW. Here is the deal. The Belong Tour gets blasted out to the world this Friday, but we only have 12 dates and when the seats are gone, they're gone. I want you to come. I so want you to come.

You can use my code here (JEN20) and get $20 off select tickets through this Thursday! Plus, every person who’s already bought a ticket or purchases tickets through 12/18/15 (including groups) will receive a FREE BELONG Tour T-shirt:

So basically, use THIS LINK (code: JEN20) by Thursday, get $20 off your ticket, get a free t-shirt, and YOU'RE IN! Yall, I am so serious: invite your friends, invite your neighbors, invite your church, invite your mom and sister and best friend and daughter. Ask for a ticket for Christmas! Give a ticket for Christmas!

This is big.
 
Bigger than any one of us. Because it’s not about one of us; it’s about all of us. When we gather, connect, and share, something happens. We change. We grow. We don’t just create an event, but a community.
 
We care deeply, right? For our people. For our communities. For our world. We want hearty exchanges with the people we love and safe places to fall. We want to unpeel the layers and offer the best of ourselves.  Our best is rarely perfect, but that’s BEYOND OK. We’ll take real over perfect any day. And real happens here.
 
Faith moves us. We’ve encountered it, wrestled with it, and embraced it. (Repeatedly.) We have learned what it means to experience God’s love in a real way and renewed our belief in each other (and ourselves).
 
When we look at you, we see untapped power that can change the world. There’s passion there, and fire, even if it’s just a spark. Let’s fan that flame and make things happen. We can do this. You are not alone.
 
We’ve readied a place for you to come in, to share and to heal and to dance . . .
 
To BELONG.
 


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