It’s the last episode of our Spring Back series–and we’re wrapping it up with a conversation that was the most listened to (and commented on) episode in our entire For the Love podcast history–and it’s with none other than Jen’s daughter, Sydney Hatmaker! Sydney first appeared on our show last summer, where she shared with the world that she was gay; walking us through her journey, beginning at 12 years old, and how hard she worked to reckon this with her faith and the beliefs of her family. This conversation between daughter and mother is so real, so brave, and if you haven’t heard it, you’re going to want to listen in as Jen and Sydney discuss some hard situations where religion and sexuality intersect and ultimately, how what they knew to be true about God and His love and mercy, was true for LGBTQ people of faith as well. And what better time to revisit our time with Sydney than during Pride month–plus we’ve got all new commentary from Jen and some updates about where Sydney is now in her life that you won’t want to miss!
On this incredibly meaningful, special bonus episode of For the Love, in honor of Pride Month, a mother and daughter come together to have a frank and beautiful conversation about what it’s like to grow up as the daughter of a popular Christian author and speaker and in a household steeped in the church . . . and realize you’re gay. This is Jen and Sydney Hatmaker’s experience—and in this episode, Sydney and her mom tell their story so that parents, family, and friends of LGBTQ+ kids who need trustworthy voices to lead them into love and affirmation will find hope here. Sydney bravely and tenderly shares how she grappled with reconciling her sexuality and her spirituality, all the while wondering if God would still love her if she decided to build a life where she could be who she was meant to be. The pair candidly discuss Sydney’s initial silent journey and Jen’s deep regret at not being more aware of what her daughter needed during these early days as Sydney wrestled alone with who she was. Jen and Sydney make a call to Christians to look at what it means to really love our LGBTQ+ family: recognizing them wholly as God’s children, who are wholly loved by God. Sydney also gives us insight into how we can come alongside our LGBTQ+ family by showing us what meaningful allyship looks like: supporting and protecting those who are subject to marginalization with tangible actions filled with love.
Pull out your notebooks and sharpen your pencils, because today we’re starting a brand-new series called For the Love of Back to School! Ahh, school. Some things never change (football games! clubs! writing your entire term paper the night before it’s due!), but today’s kids are dealing with challenges that weren’t around when some of us were younger. We wanted to get the inside scoop on the ways young folks think about school and the world they’re learning to live in, and we’re starting with two people Jen knows pretty well: her two college kids, Gavin and Sydney! Gavin’s a senior at Texas Tech, and Sydney’s a sophomore at UT Austin, and they graciously let their mom to grill them on all kinds of topics: what’s different about college from what they expected? Why are they excited to be part of Gen Z? What do they wish their parents knew? (and what do their parents, ahem, not know—besides Sydney and her friends have a major crush on Michelle Obama?) One thing the Hatmakers take away from their chat: as you learn how to be an adult or how to be the parent of an adult, keeping the lines of communication open lifts up everyone.