Mattie Jackson Selecman
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Lemons on Friday
Release date: 11.16.21
Publisher: Thomas Nelson/W Publishing Group
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Nashville has always been home. Growing up in a quintessential country music family (Google: Alan Jackson for more info), I have enjoyed writing and storytelling from an early age, a love that eventually led me to a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Tennessee. I’ve wanted to be an author ever since. But at 22, my daddy reminded me, “You’ve got a gift, sugar, but you haven’t lived life yet; go live it and find something you want to write about.” And so I did. I lived life to the fullest and stumbled upon a new passion along the way: wine.
For most of my twenties, I worked in the food and wine industry. I loved everything about wine: the history, the science, the art, the culture, the romance, and okay, the buzz. It fostered community and connection and celebration in a similar way that music and sharing stories did. But after six years working all across the industry (in retail, with an Italian importer, a Napa Valley winery, and eventually opening my own wine bar in 2016), the Lord began calling my heart somewhere entirely different.
So, I closed my restaurant and had no idea what to do next. But in the way God does when we take scary, faithful steps, he dropped the most amazing opportunity right in my lap – one through which I could serve, encourage, and work with all kinds of women. I am now the Co-Founder of a women’s philanthropic apparel brand, NaSHEville, where the proceeds of our products support non-profits serving orphans, widows, and trafficked women. I also became the voice for our podcast, She’s in the City. I was ready to change some lives for the Kingdom! Little did I know, it was my life that was about to change forever.
Just six-weeks before we launched NaSHEville, my husband, Ben, passed away suddenly from a traumatic brain injury. It was three weeks before our first wedding anniversary. He was the love of my life – the most animated, kind, full-of-life man I’d ever known, and all of the sudden he was gone, before our life together ever really got to start. I lost my best friend, my marriage, and a lot of myself on the day he died. And while I’ve since questioned and bargained with and gotten angry at God for letting Ben go, I have also never known him or trusted him or relied on him more deeply than I do today. The valley of the shadow of death is a real place we will all face if not once, many times, in our lives. But God is just as gracious in the valley as he is on mountaintops, if not more! And hear me: Christ is more than enough to endure anything you may face.
My ultimate desire is to point people to the insane love of Jesus that is ready and available for the taking. He is ready to pour himself out to all of us, if we simply and humbly ask him. I am here to walk with all those who have lost husbands, lost love, lost hope, lost anything. I am here to encourage you – be honest about your pain at the same time you trust in the Lord to heal what seems un-healable. I am here to share stories of women facing all kinds of sorrow and celebration in this messy life; from loss to gain, from struggle to success. We all have a story, and very likely, one that if it were shared, could help turn someone else’s story from broken to beautiful.