Large clothes covering a growing tummy, swollen feet, incessant slumber, too many emotions to fit in a young heart. Where do I go from here? Playing with fire, my hand got burned. Only God knew where I was…only He could save me. Too afraid of what those closest to me would feel. I’d rather play pretend then face the reality of who I am. It was too hard to admit that I had messed up this badly. I disappointed myself, wanted too much too soon. I hurt myself.

Sitting in the heart of our home expecting an outburst of anger, a yell of sorrow I learned in a loving embrace that you’d rather correct yourself than be corrected by God. You will never be able to stray so far away that God can’t reach you, but the further you stray the harder it is to find your way home. I found home at the age of 14 in a labor and delivery room, with my parent’s surrounding me, praying as God gave me an insurance policy that I’d never stray that far away again.

God gave us free will so that we can feel what life is like without Him. Submission is an invitation for Christ to dwell within us and lead us closer to His destiny for our life. I am faithful to God because I need Him to be faithful to me. I want to live a life that makes him proud of who I am and what I have done with the air He breathed into my lungs. I had to work twice as hard as everyone around me to make sure I didn’t get left behind. I exchanged sleepovers for late nights watching Barney, exchanged midriff tops for onesies… For all of this I am grateful. God gave me weight to slow me down, so that I wouldn’t be like the prodigal son giving away my worth.

I can remember feeling like everyone was staring at me, thinking negative thoughts…. I became very familiar with shame, learned quickly how loud whispers can be, how fast rumors travel. …More importantly I learned to never let anything or anyone convince me I was no longer worthy of dreaming, living my life to the fullest.

This is for you…You who chose to give up on your dream because you’re convinced the weight of your past will never outweigh the hope of your future. I just wanted to tell you something that I learned, something that remains true to this day….Find out who you are in Christ, allow him an invitation to live in the deepest darkest parts of your heart. When you know whose you are, you will without a doubt run into WHO you are. God doesn’t take into account the opinions of others before he decides whether or not to lend us grace.

God’s grace has seeped into the holes of crack houses, shelters, abortion clinics, jails, even the labor and delivery room of a 14 year old girl. God’s grace doesn’t consult the whispers’ of men because he knows their deepest, darkest secrets, as well.

What you’re going through may feel like punishment now but ,when you survive this you will see it was God guiding you back. Don’t talk yourself out of living because one time 8..12..17..20 years ago, God had to pull you back in. He’s pulled us all in, allowed us all to discover how difficult life can be without Him. Be thankful when God doesn’t let you have what you want, when you want it. He knows our limits, knows when we’ve had too much. God doesn’t serve us, we serve Him. I find myself pregnant again, at the age of 23, this time with possibility. I am embracing the obstacles of my past, they made me strong for such a time as this.

God I thank You for not giving up on me when man said I was unworthy. I thank You for being faithful to me even when I turned my back on You. I don’t know what You protected me from but I am grateful You saw worth in me that I did not see in myself. I realize now when I thank You for protection, that it includes protecting me from myself. My life could have taken a detour that left me lost, but You saw fit to not just create a roadblock but also guided me home….

About The Author

Sarah Jakes

Sarah Jakes oversees the women's ministry at The Potter's House of Dallas, the church led by her parents, Bishop T.D. Jakes and Mrs. Serita Jakes. She regularly blogs at sarahjakes.com and occasionally serves as a TV host on The Potter's Touch.

91 Responses

  1. shellylove2002

    Sarah, I am so thankful that you dared to be transparent here. This post encourages me in ways that I will have a difficult time expressing here without getting overwhelmed emotionally. I am so thankful that God didn’t ask others their permission before He extended His mercy and grace to us! God has been good to us, sis. Amen.

    Reply
  2. Joy Alaman

    This is as beautiful as the young lady you have become. Thank you for sharing your heart which speak to the issues of women both young and old. Some are still suffering in silence, but your voice gives them hope.

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  3. Pastorbhilliard

    Thanks Sarah for ministering to so many through your life lessons. God’s mercy impacts us all in different ways. If we would all be honest at some point in all our lives we had to find our way home. I am daily reminded “His Mercies are new every morning”. I love the statement “God thank You for not giving up on me…. What a blessing you are to so many!! Love your gift #2 Fan

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  4. blbrown

    Its funny you should write this. Its like you are in my head. This message came at the right time, for me, in my life. The last couple of days I’ve asked myself, ” who am I in God, in Christ?” And I’ve been battling with, how do I know who I am in Christ? I do feel like i’m being punished for the things I did in the past as well as the things that were done to me. I’ve wanted to give up on this and that and on life on several occassions. I just feel defeated. So my question is, where do I go from here? How do I get to that place where I no longer feel lost? How do I get “home”?

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  5. MsTBell

    Someone retweeted this link and I looked past it 2 times, but for some reason felt compelled to go back and open it. Now I no why, I too had my first child at 14, and the shame of my past has been almost crippling. THANK YOU SO MUCH for being another vessel of confirmation that it’s time to forgive myself.

    Reply
  6. queenessy2011

    beautiful how GOD brings out the best in us from the worst of circumstances/situations in life as the saying goes “he makes things beautiful at his own time”

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  7. tynelson

    There is always one line in your blogs that stop me in my soul and this one it was: Submission is an invitation for Christ to dwell within us and lead us closer to His destiny for our life.
    I can’t express how deeply that touched and inspired me! Thank you for contuning to share your heart to minister to our soul!
    And Congratulations on expecting!

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  8. tynelson

    There is always one line in your blogs that stop me in my soul and this one it was: Submission is an invitation for Christ to dwell within us and lead us closer to His destiny for our life.
    I can’t express how deeply that touched and inspired me! Thank you for continuning to share your heart to minister to our soul!
    And Congratulations on expecting!

    Reply
  9. elsie udofia

    Sarah, indeed ur transparent and ministering a lot of ppl thru ur blog. May God give u more grace

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  10. Grace Festus

    Great…very great. God sees our hurt but more importantly. He doesn’t want us to remain hurt forever, rather He wants us to discover the ministry in our misery. Women like Bathseba, Rahab, Ruth & Tamar had pasts that they often cried about but God looked past it to include them in Jesus’ lineage. The past was for a purpose Sarah, thanks for discovery purpose.

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  11. Patrice Hall

    Oh Sarah! All I can say… NEVER STOP WRITING!!! Your blog is so refreshing!!! Like Skeeter on The Help…. You are not afraid to tell the story that has never been told before AND to address issues that have never been addressed. At age 19(my sophomore year in college), I found myself in an abortion clinic, alone because i thought noone would understand, being the baby of 6 and the first in my family to go to college. Thank God for “guiding me home”! Only God can remove the guilt & shame of past mistakes. Continue to walk in boldness & confidence.

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  12. Tasha Smith

    Wow. Isn’t God amazing! I felt the same way about having my child at 16. “God gave me weight to slow me down, so that I wouldn’t be like the prodigal son giving away my worth”. Having my daughter brought me to God. I knew I would need help and man and statistics were against me But God! God bless you woman of God.

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  13. pvarsenec

    I love you Sarah Henson. I am over here balling right now. You know, I may not be as young as you, as I will soon turn 45, but it doesn’t matter how old anyone is, you transcend all of that. I know it sounds strange, but age used to be only a number to me. I am distinctly in touch with the fact that I am no longer young. Maybe it has something to do with the season I am at in my life right now or perhaps my dreams were never realized based on all the compromising I did in my walk. Shame has been a constant companion. Your writing just hits me to the core. I can’t even articulate it, but sis you are so precious. I have never met you, but I sense your genuine when so many in the body of Christ are not. I struggle with that a lot, because I am what you call “real”. It is difficult to find like minded individuals in this walk that have your kind of depth, maturity and empathy. I guess that’s why I find you so special and gravitate to you. Sis

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  14. pvarsenec

    Argh, I pressed the trigger and couldn’t edit… Lord have mercy. Alright now, you got the raw uncut version of a comment hot off my heart sis. Lol!!! Anyway, I can go on and on, but you get the jist. I am your Number #3, someone already claimed #1 and #2 Lol. Loved, loved, LOVED this blog!! You go Girl!!!!

    Reply
  15. Natalie Mott

    Thank you God for never leaving me even though I left you many times and placed road blocks in my heart – you have always guided me home…thank you for sharing – Sarah!

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  16. Lady

    Telling it like it is! Love the open-heart ministry, it is the joy that we relish in receiving Abundant Grace! Thank you!

    Reply
  17. Valerie

    My life could have taken a detour that left me lost, but You saw fit to not just create a roadblock but also guided me home….
    Powerful.
    Once again you have written a blog that cuts right to the root. Your being transparent just save someones life. It’s freeing them from the secret hurt of their past.
    Many that read this will be changed by the words of your testimony. God bless you my dearest little sister. Much love for you!!!

    Reply
  18. Mary Hooks

    Wow, you did it again! What an awesome God we serve. Your story touched home with me. I was given grace at the age of 15. Once you know that He is a forgiving God; and a God of second chances,nothing anyone say or do can keep you a victim of your past. He will turn what you felt at the time around and cause it to strengthen you in areas way beyond your years. Continue to allow the Lord to Order your Steps!

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  19. Shirley

    I had no idea that I was getting ready to have a feast. What can anybody say after what you just ministered.

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  20. Elizabeth

    Thanks for your transparency and Congratulations!!! May God richly bless you and your family!

    Reply
  21. Nema W.

    Great read, your an awesome writer. I became a mom at 23 but looked younger so I can identify with all that you wrote. Thank you for sharing this, keep up the good work. God Bless

    Reply
  22. Macy

    I learned about you from a RT on twitter. I’ve been silently reading your blogs. I can no longer keep my silence. I must confess that over a week ago I read your blog “The Anger Of Yesterday”. I could have sworn that a friend sold you my story. Now, I am reading “Guided Me Home”. And while I did not have your exact experience, I felt as though you were speaking to me about my lifes journey.

    I grew up in a wonderful family. The daughter of highly respected community leaders. Both locally and abroad. And because I grew up in a ‘glass house’, I quickly learned how to smile in the midst of fake friends, and people with ulterior motives. I also learned how to give the “appearance” of keeping it together when hurt resided in every corner of my body. So when you were writing about being optimistic, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, etc. etc Sarah – you were describing me to a tee!

    AFTER reading your blog “The Anger of Yesterday” I can honestly say you have ministered the concept of forgivness in a simple, yet major way. A year ago I was blessed with the gift of a beautiful daughter. In addition, to settling into my role of motherhood, I was also seeking an attorney willing to take on the case of Annuling my marriage to the father of my child. As much as I know that I loved him dearly, yet for him our marriage was no more than a ploy by him to gain a Green Card and US Citizenship, forgiving him was the LAST thing I could try to do. Yes – I know that forgiveness is for me and not for him. And I also know every other cliche’ about forgiveness known to man. However, it was not until I read your blog that my understanding of forgivenss finally ‘clicked’. Your blog spoke so simple / yet powerful to the matter that I felt as though I had no choice but to forgive him. For real. I need to forgive him, I want to forgive and I have forgiven him … thanks to you Sarah. Besides – it’s about my relationship with God that matters, and no one else.

    I know this comment probably should have been placed in reference to your blog “The Anger of Yesterday” rather than “Guided Me Home”, but I just want to let you know that while I know you no more than you know me, you have inspired and blessed my life in a major way.

    May God continue to use you for a vessel.

    Sorry for the long comment *wiping tears from my eyes*

    Feel free to follow me @macysview

    Reply
  23. Annette Nsubuga

    Sometimes you encourage me to write…. other times you intimidate me (in a nice way). this blog falls in the category of intimidate…. hats off.

    Reply
  24. kcollier0827

    Great testimony!!! How true indeed! I’m thankful because I’ve been in a simular situatuion. Thank You & Thank God! I never looked at it that way!

    Reply
  25. Windy Williams

    Lady Sarah, once again your words have touched a special place in my heart. I’m a witness that God’s love lifted me above the guilt, shame and gossip and empowered me to be the best young mother I could be. His mercy picked me up and His grace carried me through those dark times and guided me back to His Light. Keep sharing what’s on your heart and God will keep reaching those that would not have been reached otherwise. #reachingthemasses

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  26. Betty

    God bless you so much for sharing this! I found out that I was 6 weeks pregnant last year, at 19 years old. I prayed God so hard, (cuz abortion was out of the question) and He heard my cry and stopped the pregnancy within a week. I finally realized that God wanted me to slow down! Today Im stronger, wiser than ever, and God is using me to preach the gospel.

    Just look at your life now Sarah! Glory to God. He’s turned your sorrow to joy. God is so faithful and He sure loves you so much. I’ll keep your family in prayers. You’re wonderful.

    Reply
  27. MyTopCoach- Kelly

    Sarah, your gift to write is a catharsis for the soul! Not just yours, but the countless others who have ‘been there, done that’ and to those who are there now! What an encouragement you are to the body! Keep on!

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  28. Naomi

    Sarah am reading this in tears, we need more real pple at church that share their struggles and their pains it shall help those suffering in silence to get up from they ashes and allow God to take them back and love on them once again

    Reply
  29. Trish

    Sarah your writing is more than a gift, more than a calling; it is a burden of the heart. The same burden your mother and father have for the souls of the people for Christ. You are a combination of your father’s preaching and your mother’s writing…Well Done! Continue to be open for Christ and He will continue to be open for you. Thank you

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  30. Minister M

    An amaaaaaaaaazing ministry of words to the hearts of all who feel and have felt faint..(every soul on the planet) . As a parent your words have encouraged me knowing the foot prints of the foundation we lay as parents will be the children’s guide. Amen. Thank you woman of God.

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  31. nandi

    Thank u Sarah, you’re amazing, God has really given u a wonderful gift, may He open more doors for u! Being a born again christian who fell pregnant outside wedlock last year, I’m still recovering from the guilt and the shame that’s why I’m so thankful for your testimony! Keep on being the wonderful vessel u are!

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  32. Sonya Goins

    Thank you Sarah, for such a touchy testimony. Thank you for being able to share what was needed for me to not give in and let the devil do to me what he did back in the day. Thank you for sharing a prayer at the end for letting me be so grateful that no matter what my trials and tribulations was back then, that he still protected me from myself. God bless and may God keep providing you with this wisdom to share with us. :)

    Reply
  33. AHMEsq

    Oustanding testimony of God’s grace and love. Without reprecussions we couldn’t know him as our redeemer. This brought tears to my eyes and stirred my spirit.

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  34. AHMEsq

    Such an outstanding testimony of God’s grace. Without reprecussions we wouldn’t know him as our redeemer. Your testimony brought tears to my eyes and stirred my spirit.

    Reply
    • sarahdhenson

      Wow !! I struggled with whether or not to put myself out like that but I wanted to tell my own story… I’m glad you didn’t judge me. Thank you.

      Reply
      • Daphne Tolbert Johnson

        Thank you for your transparency. I appreciate your testimony, and that you are allowing God to use you to share words of encouragement from your heart. Oftentimes what we think are our “messups” God can use for our MINISTRY.

        Keep being an encourager!

  35. Danielle

    Your testimony is powerful. It speaks volumes to teens on the dangers of sex. It speaks to the people that judge. It speaks to forgiveness. I thank you for sharing your story. You didn’t have to let the world know this. You became transparent so that God could use you. For that, I love you. I have never been in your shoes, but I do mentor young girls. You have a ministry to reach them. You understand. I hope you continue to share you experiences and God’s grace. SHARE. SHARE. SHARE. I hope other women will share their Damascus Road experience so that other girls can be saved.

    Reply
  36. James

    thank u so much.. sure this would lift up many who are depressed and feel messed up.

    Reply
  37. Grace

    Wow, what a fantastic testimony. I supposed Abba Father allows us to wander so as to enrich others with our testimony. Stay blessed

    Reply
  38. MJ

    Sister Sarah,

    You are simply amazing! Although I love your mom and dad, I think the best is yet to come through you and the fruit of your womb. Continue to be a light to the next 2, 3, 4 generations. I salute the wisdom and courage in you my Sister.

    Blessings from a seasoned saint,

    Reply
  39. Melita Tshabalala

    Sarah though, Lord knows why He guided me to you. You are such a beautiful soul, inside & out. I looooove you much & reading this made me realise im worthy of a second change. I just follow you on social networks only, but i never knew this about you. So proud of you woman of God. You didnt let people define you, you came back to God. Thanx for sharing your story. Much love from South Africa, XOXO!

    Reply
  40. peter Adiriemenwa

    Very Powerful! God Is Great and He Is A Mercyfull Father.

    Reply
  41. Awy

    Thank you for the inspiring message. God bless you&strengthen you more.

    Reply
  42. inonoje ovoke

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm! I’m speechless. Dis indeed a food for thought.

    Reply
  43. Apinokn emily

    Sarah thanks for dis wonerful message dat u brought to my life i wil neve give up

    Reply
  44. Udoye Amaka

    Reall there is nothing God cannot do.He knows the method to use inother to bring us back home.Am blessed with this write up.

    Reply
  45. Ekaette Umanah Tari

    A̶̲̥̅♏ so blessed . This is touching. God be praised!

    Reply
  46. anitha

    Lovely testimony Sarah, In fact while reading it i remember how God bought me back.. It is do true “God had to pull you back in. He’s pulled us all in, allowed us all to discover how difficult life can be without Him.”, He has truly pulled me back.

    Praise to the Lord!
    Love Jesus!

    Reply
  47. Lijoka Christianah

    God is always faithful… Thank God for everything

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  48. Ceil

    Sarah, such a beautiful and heartfelt testimony. I just read your blog because someone told me in a negative manner that T.D. Jakes’ youngest daughter had a baby at the age of 14years old and I did not believe that person. Finally, I were told were to read your blog for the truth. I were glad to find out that there was still a young teenager that felt ashamed at becoming pregnant at such a young age. Many of our teenagers are proud these days of having children so young. I had my first child when I were sixteen years old and by the age of nineteen I had 3 children. Now at the age of 59 I still feel ashame when I speak of having children at such a young age. However, to GOD be the GLORY because HE has directed and ordered by steps in such a beautiful and loving way. I have learned that no matter what happen in my life, GOD is in controll and can stop anything from happening. My life is a play, I am the main actress with the leading role, and GOD is the author and finisher of each chapter. I am sure your testimony has blessed and will continue to bless men and women young and old with the challenges or disappointments they will face in life; and will show them that they can overcome any challenges or disappointments that they face in life with the Grace of GOD. GOD knows and sees the heart of each individual, something that man can never see nor know.
    May GOD continue to bless you.

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  49. teddie

    awwwwwwwwwww i have loved this already,i just believe i love everything about you,Thank you sarah,thanx again!

    Reply
  50. Denice

    Thank you for sharing your story. I was also a teen mother and I can relate to you in many ways. I am a witness that God can get the glory out of any situation. My son is getting ready to go to college now and he is the biggest blessing in my life. God is in control and He has a plan for us even when we don’t understand it at the time. Sending you encouragement and love!

    Reply
  51. Robynne

    Sister Sarah, Sister Sarah, all I can say to you is THANKS!!!!!! Thank you for your openess and transparency. Many women will be healed, delivered and set free by your willingness to allow God to heal, deliver and set you free. Again I say “THANKS!”

    Reply
  52. tamikarowe

    Thanks for the encouraging words. You helped me to see myself worthy even after all I have done. Thank you for being transparent

    Reply
  53. Monique

    God bless you for sharing this story & the magnitude of the truth in your words. As a mother of a teen faced with the pressures and deceiving desires if the world I will be sharing your story. Thank you, thank you, t

    Reply
  54. carol delugo

    Have u written a book. God has given you a gift indeed of being able to put your soul…our humanity ….on paper. Your testimony, so relateble, despite differences, scoops deep into the heart and puts it on display in understandble words. Translating emotions into readable sentences is never easy…often unsuccessful. Not so for you. Thank you…never walked your particular road….but so recognized the journey. Bless,bless you. Carol

    Reply
  55. Prophet Antonio

    you know honey after hearing the boldness in your testimony i already feel like a uncle or older brother to you,iam in ultra intersession for you…and as a prophet, my prophetic word to you is that in days to come,the Lord is gonna show himself mighty and strong, get ready babee,becuse God is about to open up a ministry of reconcillation to you that will blow your mind,and young women between the ages of 13 to 25 will be blown away in the spirit,i hear the Lord saying that you are his Debra,and that you should stand tall and strong ,becuse i the Lord your God shall increase your labor of love as he increases the harvest of ministry as a result of the new girding of your spirit person that will be a blessing to hundreds of thousands…be encourged honey

    Reply
  56. Nyasha Levy

    God Bless You. Tell your story. It helps. You see that 14 year old girl is me too..I did it again at 19. At 38 I buried my baby boy due to suicide. I still trust God and seeing you is confirmation. Continue to put God first & Love those babies.

    Reply
  57. Liliana Familia

    This is such an awesome testimony…..i may not have been the same exact thing but i was on my way there, because i wanted to fit in, but i realized that that wasn’t for me…..being an active member of the praise and worship team at my church i want to be more better and get back to the place God had me at, because i sometimes feel like i aint where i was at first…but thanks for this awesome testimony….the blogs are very uplifting, well at least to me… God bless You

    Reply
  58. Joshua V

    The Chinese have a saying ” when u point a finger at someone , there are 3 fingers pointing back at you ” Get a reality check of yourself in the Mirror , some of you (….)

    Sarah , I have been BLEST by you today . I have made my foolish mistakes & trying hard to give my Life back To Jesus . I heard a message b4 ” He Turns Our Scars To Stars ” . Praying for Strength n Courage n Sincere Friends for You .

    Reply

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