Recently, Adam and I have been talking about how it’s a good thing that more people are living transparently—not faking fine, or keeping up appearances, but being open about their brokenness. However, it seems that in this culture of authenticity, people are glorifying brokenness, content to remain in their pain without hope of moving from it. This is a depressing way to live.
Enter Jennifer Watson’s timely and important book, Freedom! The Gutsy Pursuit of Breakthrough and Life Beyond It. Jennifer is familiar with brokenness yet she knows that the breakthrough beyond it, is God’s desire for us.
Our pain is not something to make light of, or just hurry up and get over, yet God has more for us than staying stuck there. Jesus came to die for our sin, brokenness, and pain, so that we could experience freedom and victory from it!
It is an honor to interview Jennifer today as part of the on-going Author Interview Series. Let’s give her a warm welcome.
Disclosure: Affiliate links are used in this post. If you choose to purchase through the links, I may be compensated at no additional cost to you. See full disclosure policy.
Interview with Jennifer Renee Watson
1. Every person has experienced trauma or brokenness, and God meets us in those places and seasons. But how can we know when we’ve become “stuck” in that broken place and can’t move forward?
Our natural tendency is to run and hide instead of facing our battles. This is completely normal but also a really big factor in why we feel stuck in our brokenness. Another good indicator for me, when I find myself stuck, is that I constantly talk about the problem and fixate on it in an unhealthy way. Taking my thoughts captive and praying scriptures has been the biggest tool to help me move forward in my life.
If you feel stuck, here are three truths that can anchor you when you are going through difficult times:
- What I am facing is temporary.
- What I am feeling is temporary.
- Good things will come from this pain, even though I can’t see them yet.
I have learned that each painful moment in our life can lead to some kind of breakthrough. I have watched God turn my pain into purpose and lead me to a group of people I could personally help. I have learned that God never wastes our pain and He sees us like no one else can – whole and wholly His. No matter what we have been through in life, the Holy Spirit will always be more powerful than the moments that try to break us.No matter what we have been through in life, the Holy Spirit will always be more powerful than the moments that try to break us. @JreneeWatson Click To Tweet
3. Our culture puts a high value on transparency and authenticity. Why do we have such a deep desire for those around us to “be real” about their own struggles?
We place a high premium on transparency and authenticity because, as women, we long to be known and to truly know the people we love. We crave connection with others on a deeper level that only authenticity brings.
4. When does our honesty about brokenness become an obstacle for us in our own healing?
Sometimes we make really good friends with our baggage. So much of my identity in the past was tethered to the brokenness in my life. But, now it’s just something that I have experienced and one part of my story, not my identity.
5. What is your definition of breakthrough?
One meaning of breakthrough is advancement through enemy territory. I love the visual picture of how God leads us beyond enemy territory and redeems our stories in such a beautiful way. Breakthrough is hope moving forward even when life hurts. I truly believe that those moments that hurt and cut us to the core can be our starting place, where the ultimate destination is wholeness of soul.Breakthrough is hope moving forward even when life hurts. @JreneeWatson Click To Tweet
6. You share a Gutsy Girl Mandate in the opening pages of the book. I’d love you to walk us through it.
When I wrote the Gutsy Girl Mandate I had tears streaming down my face. It was almost like speaking directly to every lie I have believed as a woman and telling it that it no longer held any weight in my life. It has become a very powerful declaration for me during uncertain times.
Here’s what it says:
- “I am not stuck; I am steady.
- I am not a lost cause, too much, or not enough. I am worth fighting for.
- I am ready to make good use of my brokenness because God already paid for my wholeness. I will not be the only one standing in my way.”
7. What is your prayer for the woman who is picking up this book?
I wrote Freedom! after going through a long season of being stuck and circling the same issues. I was ready to get to the root of the issues and make real progress in my life. Something shifted in my heart and mind when I realized that I wasn’t just celebrating my brokenness- I was magnifying it. I was ready to do whatever it took to live all the way free, not the pseudo-freedom I was settling for. I traded the internal train wreck that I had welcomed as my norm for unwavering peace that was waiting on the other side of my bloody battle. I broke rank, took back enemy territory, and prayed that I would be able to help other women to do the same thing through the pages of this book.
Jennifer Renee Watson is a blogger, speaker, youth minister, pastor’s wife, and mom who has been featured on (in)courage, Guideposts, The Mighty, She Believes, For Every Mom, and more. She co-founded Broken Girl Ministries in 2011 to help women find the same healing she found in Jesus Christ. Jennifer lives with her husband and two children in Northwest Arkansas. Learn more at jenniferreneewatson.com.
Take an important step to breakthrough by picking up Freedom!
You might also like: