I can assure you, the two days we spent in California were an epoch in my life, an Is-This-Even-Real-Or-Am-I-Hallucinating couple of days.

There was a moment in the middle of my reading at the release party when I hit the line “…because you matter” and I remember lifting up my eyes and seeing a roomful of you, all of you, looking straight back at me, so beautiful and present, and I nearly burst into tears at the sight of you.

So much of what I do is on the other side of a computer, just me pecking away here at my sticky laptop in the middle of my pink 90s kitchen while Evelynn naps and the older tinies are at school. And, so to see you – really see your faces, look into your eyes – as I read those words aloud? They meant something new all over again.

You matter. You matter. You matter to me.

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Brian and I got on a plane on Thursday morning and by the afternoon, I was on Sunset in Hollywood, eating Chinese food and getting my hair done, trying to figure out if that really was Def Jam’s Russell Simmons who nearly hit me with his mini-cooper.

Welcome to California!

Laura and Nish kept laughing me and telling me to stop welling up with tears – it’s a happy day! – but I couldn’t help it. I had one big day-long moment, not the least of which was the fun of having Brian there for all of it. This was our first time away without a single baby in our care in over seven years, and so this was his first time to really be there for this weird part of my life.  Of all the moments of the two days – and there were plenty – the best part of it all was that we got to do it together. (Even if he did have a creepy moustache for Mo-vember on his face. Not that I’m bitter.) The tinies had a lovely time with their Granny & Papa for those nights, too, so that was a big relief.

Saying “thank you” feels horribly inadequate for the gift of those two days, but I need to say it anyway: thank you.

Thank you to my dearest friends, Laura and JJ, for such a beautiful party to celebrate the release of Jesus Feminist. True friends are rare, I know this, the kind of friends who are with you in every season of your life. Laura, Nish, and JJ make celebrating their friends look like a spiritual gift. I could have gone home happy after just our afternoon together getting our hair done, eating Chinese food, and hanging out. Thanks to my beloved Kristen Howerton as well for participating in the reading of the book, along with Brian, Nish, and me.

I was pretty sure that it would be just me and Brian and a few of the girls, sitting around drinking champagne and toasting an empty room. I was actually genuinely surprised to see so many people! I didn’t think I knew many people in California – but instead, it was a packed room, shoulder to shoulder. I was flabbergasted.

Thank you  to each of you who came to the events for telling me your stories and for letting me hug you awkwardly.

Thank you to every single person who braved the rain in Hollywood just to say hi to a Canadian blogger they didn’t really know at all and get a signature in my little yellow book.

Thank you to the Junia Project for all of their hard work for the Friday event. It was beautiful and life-giving. We loved hanging out with Kate and Gail Wallace and the rest of the team. They’re good people who are bringing a lot of the conversations about egalitarianism to the people outside of academia. We loved them. I even got to hug Diana Trautwein! I think my favourite part of the night was during the Q&A when Brian got up on stage to help answer a few questions. Maybe we could be a double-act from now on…..

Thanks to everyone who stuck around (for too long) just to have a chat and a chance to meet face-to-face. It was a privilege and a gift to spend even those few moments with each of you.

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After the party, we joined the rest of Hollywood at In-and-Out burger. I could not believe that it was so packed, people lined up out the door at 11:30 on a Thursday night! But we got our burgers and shakes and stuffed our faces, talked over our favourite parts of the night, and had a few laughs.

You know, being a blogger and a writer is weird sometimes. Sometimes it’s infuriating, isolating, and frustrating.

But every once in a while, a dream comes true. And it’s worth paying attention to those moments, too.

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In which this is also about the men
In which this is a Christmas Gift Guide to Empower Women
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  • Congrats, Sarah! Wish I could have been there!

  • This is one of the first times I have wished I still lived in Los Angeles!

  • This last photo is the best one of all because you look FABULOUS, and you are totally eating a burger at midnight. Congratulations yet again on this amazing accomplishment!

  • Sigh. Just wonderful and wonderful.

  • Sean Michael Ishum

    Congratulations! that looks like a really awesome release party. I like Brian’s mustache. It looks tough. Probably not what he was going for, but it’s very cool.

  • JViola79

    Congratulations! Now that looks like a party 🙂

  • KimberlyCoyle

    It’s the loveliest thing in the world to watch a writer’s dreams come true in real time:) Congratulations!

  • Shelbey

    Hi Sarah, I was at The Junia Project event and it was so fun to see you in person! I had to leave right after the reading (I was the one with the baby in the back, who had an ear infection, and was oh so tired but would not sleep…) so I didn’t get a chance to meet you, but I wanted to say thanks for coming! I loved when you read excerpt from the book, its definitely my favorite part!

  • That night was so incredible! I woke up the next morning and it felt like a dream 🙂 I can’t imagine what it was like for you! Thank you for not judging my emotional breakdown as I ugly cried and told you just how much I appreciated you and your book. It was a true joy to meet you and support you. <3

  • Love this, Sarah. I hope to have the chance to hug you awkwardly sometime soon! xoxo.

  • Leanne

    It was a wonderful evening! And I laughed when you said you ate at In’N’Out Burger afterwards. We stopped there on our way to see you, thinking naively since we are non-Californians that it would be quick. And instead it made us late! But late or not, the evening was fabulous, and I hope you left as encouraged as we did.

  • Kristi Scott

    It was a blast and I’m still shocked that you didn’t expect a huge turnout! You have no idea how many people’s lives have been changed because of you, mine included.

  • Kate Wallace-The Junia Project

    We LOVED having you in CA! I can’t even tell you ow much you and Brian mean to us! Thank you from the whole team! – Kate and The Junia Project

  • This looks like an amazing, life-giving book party! Congratulations again, Sarah!! (Side note: It’s definitely California: there are so many people in the pictures with ombre hair!)

  • wonderful evening! warm hug followed by listening to you read that last chapter. so privileged to be a part of your celebration. thanks for being persistent and brave in your writing of Jesus Feminist.

  • Billyekaye

    I am reading your book; only to page 88 so far, but you have touched on so many of the thoughts I ‘ve had over the years. I feel you are my soul sister in Christ

  • I can’t believe I was mere minutes away. Imbi and I coulda and woulda been there. If I’d be a little more aware. Sigh.

  • Bev Murrill

    Really BIG congratulations, Sarah. You have done so well with this.

  • Laura

    Congratulations, Sarah! I think it would be really neat if you had a post where Brian shared the answers to the questions at your book release.

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  • cindyfinley

    Of course there was a wonderful turn-out! 🙂 East Coast party?

  • sarah j

    SARAH BESSEY, I am doing my darndest to get you down to Seattle Pacific to talk with the amazing, spicy, passionate, loving women in that community. Planting the seed here on the interwebs first…