As the daughter of T.D. Jakes, Sarah Jakes knows all about living in the spotlight and unrealistic expectations. Today she's found freedom and is helping others as well. Check out our exclusive interview with the daughter of the megachurch pastor.
CHARISMA: When did you first discover that your testimony could help bring healing to others?
Sarah Jakes: I created this blog and took what I was feeling and I put it into words. It exposed my wounds and helped me vent. I revealed situations that still had pain, and I found out that I wasn't just telling my story, I was telling the story of a lot of other people. The blog began to really grow. It helped me to heal from things I didn't know I was still dealing with. I found healing through telling my story.
CHARISMA: What types of situations did you share on your blog?
Jakes: I was married for four years, but when I first got married I was still coping with loving myself. When I got married I really wanted [my husband] to love me back so that it could be validation for me that I was lovable. But because he had his own issues and his own brokenness, we ended up breaking each other even more.
At the time I started the blog there was this lady who was pregnant with a child by my husband. She was due July 19 and my birthday was July 17. I was trying to become this perfect wife. I had been through a teen pregnancy and had cleaned up my act—I was doing things the "right" way. Yet I was still hurting and saying, "Why? Why is this happening to me?"
That's why I began writing the blog. [Until now] the general public has only known about my teen pregnancy; they haven't known about some of the difficulties I endured in my marriage.
So I'm excited to see the inspiration that comes from me being willing to share that part. It's amazing to see how God really covered me during that time, even though I tried to create a perfect picture. He really did show me that my life didn't have to be picture perfect for Him to bless it.
CHARISMA: What spiritual lessons did you learn from your experiences?
Jakes: Life is funny. When I was pregnant with my son, I thought it would bring [my husband and me] closer together. Our baby was premature and so we really had to huddle together to get through the pregnancy.
I thought maybe God was showing us how to work together. Now that I'm in a different stage of life, I realize that maybe my teen pregnancy was preparation for a larger stage where you have to learn to deal with isolation and people not always liking you or the things you've gone through. So I would say right now the greatest lesson is that it really is OK to be broken.
CHARISMA: You reveal this in your new book, Lost and Found. Explain the title.
Jakes: I called it Lost and Found because I didn't really know that I was lost. I was still trying to find my way, and my heart was in the right place. I didn't think that you could be lost if you were doing the right things and you were trying. Then finally when I really admitted [that I was lost], that gave me the grace for God to really find me.
CHARISMA: What would you like readers to take away from your book?
Jakes: That they have the grace to try again. Whether it's a divorce, whether it's a teen pregnancy, or whether you were the victim or the villain in someone's story, you really do have the grace to try again.
One mistake doesn't have to define the remainder of your life. You still have time and you still have hope, and if God is with you, He said He's going to complete this work in you.
But we have to really give Him permission to complete that work. And if readers of this book really accept grace and the ability to try again, then I know that God will meet them as He has met me.
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