Jen Hatmaker, Christian author and former reality TV star, files for divorce

Hatmaker asked for prayers and for privacy as she and the family work through their grief and loss during the divorce process.

Author Jen Hatmaker. Courtesy photo

(RNS) — Jen Hatmaker, a popular Christian writer, blogger and former reality TV star, has filed for divorce.

Hatmaker announced the split from her husband, Brandon, on social media Sunday (Sept. 6). Court documents show the petition for divorce was filed in late August. 

“I don’t know how to say this, and I still cannot believe I am even saying it, but Brandon and I are getting divorced,” Hatmaker wrote on her Facebook page. “Although the details are ours alone, this was completely unexpected, and I remain stunned as we speak. I am shocked, grief-stricken, and broken-hearted.”

Jen and Brandon Hatmaker starred in the reality television show “My Big Family Renovation,” which featured the family and their five children. Along with their love for home improvement, the couple have been leaders at Austin New Church, where Brandon served for years as the church’s pastor. 

RELATED: The politics of Jen Hatmaker: Trump, Black Lives Matter, gay marriage and more

In 2016, Jen Hatmaker — a self-described “darling of white evangelical subculture” — announced her support of same-sex marriage, which lost her speaking engagements and disrupted her Christian publishing career.  She was also a vocal critic of Donald Trump and his evangelical supporters. 

She lost her place because her views changed, she told Religion News Service in an interview later that year. 

“The thing about that community is that the currency is belonging,” she told RNS. “When you are following all the rules, when you are hitting all the marks, when you are staying inside the lines, you are rewarded. Your reward is you get to be a part of it, you get to belong, you get to stay centered. But belonging is also used as a punishment. And so when you step outside of any of those lines, when you question, when you push, when you challenge, your belonging is the first thing that is revoked. And I knew it. I knew how the game works. I’d seen it happen to other people.”

In announcing her divorce, Hatmaker gave few details. She asked for prayer and she asked for people to respect her privacy.

“We have felt your prayers these last few weeks,” she wrote. “We have experienced your mercy. Thank you for being good to us. Know that we are deeply surrounded by love and have not been alone a single second in two months. Please help protect us and keep us safe as we try to heal and rebuild.”

RELATED: Jen Hatmaker on her new book, the pandemic and why she has no regrets

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