This time last year I was preparing an introduction for my father at Woman Thou Art Loosed that would change the very essence of who I am. A year later and I have experienced many highs and lows, but I haven’t faced anything as devastating as who I was before I gave in to that small still voice. I, nor anyone who knows me, would have ever imagined that I would stand before a crowd and speak from the heart about who I am, what I’ve done, and how God used me anyway.  When I spoke last year at the conference I spoke about what I did and what happened TO me, this year I will stand a living testimony about what I discovered was IN me.

 

I let what happened to me, determine what I felt could be birthed from the inside of me. I set my own boundaries and parameters letting what happened handcuff what could be. The beauty of divine direction is that what happens to us can be used to help us propel  into a destiny of purpose. Many changes have occurred between last year and now…I’ve shed many tears, laughed until I had the sweetest tummy ache, and seen the most beautiful glimpse of where God can take me if only I trust Him.

 

A part of trusting Him, for me, means being honest with the people He has placed me in front of… From the moment thousands heard my reality or read my blog there has been one consistent message: transparency… It is the desire of my heart to always remain the most authentic version of myself, to never lead a life that suggests there was no need for the blood shed on Calvary. I will not choose to live a life where I lead people to a God, I can no longer access for myself. I truly believe his strength is made perfect in my weakness. I will constantly live a life displaying my weakness and vulnerability so I can tell you about the strength of our God.

 

So here I am….teen mom, divorcee, preacher’s kid, daughter, sister, book lover, writer, chef, part-time comedienne, smart mouth, mother, friend, food lover, and television enthusiast…good and bad this is what I have to offer… I may look like a mess on paper, may not be much to look at yet, but He still trusts me with this genuine message. I am not perfect, I am not always right, I do not always handle things the right way, and I have certainly had my fair share of struggle, but I am redeemed.

 

I believe in redemption so strong that it can make a broken, struggling Christian believe that she can save another just by telling her truth… That truth for me is not whose daughter I am, though very honored to be apart of my family. It’s not about how old I am, though I’m proud of my age. It’s not about who I married nor who I divorced…It’s not about how old I was when I had my child or how many tears I have cried.. It’s about how all of those things help me discover what was in me, what I was capable of facing!

 

Last year at WTAL we asked God to help us Face Forward, to stop looking back so we could focus on what’s ahead…. This year we are asking him to give us the clues that exist inside of us, so that we can see the potential that was always in us… If it was in me, wretched as I am…It’s. In. You

 

God, help us look beyond the pains of life and into the hope for our tomorrow. Open our eyes that we may be able to see the purpose in our misery, the destiny that was produced in our pain. Continue to show us that focusing on one part of who we are isolates us from Your promise. May we continue to understand and accept that the bad does not cancel out the good in our lives, it just makes it that much greater. Release the fear that hovers over us, so that we can see be kissed by the Son, primed for our mission, and prepared to bring out what’s in us. I believe that we are greater than our mistakes and stronger than our fears…Made in Your image, if ever we should doubt what’s in us, may we always trust that whatever we are seeking it’s in You..

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.

79 Responses

    • Tanisha

      Can I just say I love love everything u said in this blog. I pray that everything u pray for come to pass. U have touched my heart seriously. And for me not to know u I can honestly say I know this story. Just wanted to say thank u

      Reply
  1. Tiffani Minor

    This blessed me! My story mirrors yours in so many ways… THANK YOU!

    Reply
  2. Synthia Jones

    Sara heart touching and beautiful as I always. I love your transparency and you meek and humble spirit. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Trust me it’s helping many. God Bless you.

    Reply
  3. Dalya White

    “I will not live a life where I lead people to a God, I can no longer access for myself”. This is so liberating and yes your transparency is refreshing. God bless you for allowing him to use you to minister to others from your brokeness. I am so looking forward to Atlanta this week. See you there!

    Dalya

    Reply
  4. Jewell Coleman

    I will share this with my three daughters. Two are engaged and taking their
    time before they say I do. The other one is in a committed relationship. I just want them to wait on the Lord. You are a young woman who can be an inspiratin to all young people. Thank you for your honesty.

    Reply
  5. Rosalind

    Wow!! Thanks 4 that it lets me know that no matter what comes & go I can face forward cause I hve it in me..Bless you Sarah 4 sharing. .

    Reply
  6. Linda Long

    May God continue to lift you higher in HiIM, your humbleness is needed ! Peace & Blessings for everything God Ordained for your future.

    Reply
  7. Rev. Rosemary Swinehart

    Sarah I remember you standing at that podium giving that testimony as the camera pans over and we see your mom rubbing your dads hand giving him comfort. I will be forever changed by that testimony not because of who’s daughter you are but in TD Jakes fashion it was just real. You being real has freed many women regardless of age. Do what God has called you to do there are many that travel the path with you. Much live to you.

    Reply
  8. Joy

    This is simply beautiful! An on time expression of truth. Thank you for sharing, encouraging us, “women around the world”, your refreshing outlook, and your courage to help us all. Keep doin’ what you do!!!!!

    Reply
  9. Teka Cox

    Hi sarah,
    I think I began reading your blog right after you introduced your father and I have continued to read ever since. Lately I kept checking to see if you wrote anything else and I now sooo happy and excited that you are writing again. I think its awesome!. I want to congratulate you on stepping forward boldly. You are saying to the world again I might be broken and hurt but I will not quit! You have unwavering courage because you did not allow what you went through to stop you for seeking God’s face!. You are allowing everything to push you into God and no let go. Continue to write and work for the Lord. In due season God will give you a just reward. He is the true pay master. God bless and keep you as always sista!

    Reply
  10. yvette daniels

    so beautiful, can’t wait to share God’s Glory with you this weekend!! continue to allow God to use you you area Blessing to so many!!! love ya!!

    Reply
  11. Regina Wragg

    Thank you for the prayers and authenticity, Sister! God bless you for your strength to let your life be an example of His constantly present and potent grace and love!

    Reply
  12. Theresa Thomas

    Sara,
    This piece brought me to tears. Like me, so many women are going to be delivered from pain & suffering of their past. In fact, I believe that wtal-2012 will be the most powerful yet!!! Because of the transparency of one brave young woman who in order to help others give so much of herself. I believe many will let go of their past pains and sufferings. Liberating and empowering themselves to focus and live for a much brighter future, As you have yourself chosen to do. We all truly are prodogies of God’s “Beauty for Ashes” a preacher once said; it just wouldn’t be fair to see the glory before the story. God Bless Always Daughter of The Promise…keep doing it big!!!

    Reply
  13. Hope

    Sarah, The only title that really matters in the end is redeemed. I am a preachers kid myself. I know the unrealistic expectations people sometimes have of you. Just focus on being who God created you to be. You are a blessing by God’s design.

    Reply
  14. Sarah

    So so encouraged! Awesome! Found in His grace alone! What a Word from heaven! This is what this world needs. A word of hope!

    Reply
  15. favour

    hi Sarah,i shed tears as i read this message bcs of ur boldness and courage.i love u sarah and Jesus loves u more.no one can condemn u cos God has redeemed u.and God is so proud of u for sharing his gospel and for encouraging the people of God.

    Reply
  16. Felicia Oliver

    WOG you have truly blessed me thanks for telling your story. I thank God for your life. I pray that God continues to bless you and all that you put your hands too.

    Reply
  17. Audra Richard

    I am so inspired by your story. If we as christian women could only share our stories (we ALL have them) you never now how it could bless someone else. Sometimes in our going through we feel like know one else has had to face this trial nor circumstance. I am learning everyday that there is someone worst off than me.

    So let’s share our stories and bless someone else.

    Reply
  18. Porsha

    If only we could move past our hurt, misfortune, or simply ourselves, we’d have access to all that God has prepared for us in him. God I thank you for using Sarah even in her brokenness to be a vessel for your glory. God says “It is so much bigger than you” and Sarah responds with meekness by saying simply “It’s in you” and only through passionate pursuit of Christ is an individual able to be as transparent as you are and carry a cross and continue to follow Christ. May God continually send his angels to pursue you and carry you until the end because I am confident that he who began a good work will carry it out. (Phil1:6)

    In your words, lets continue to blaze this trail.

    All the best,

    Porsha

    Reply
  19. melissa

    As a Christian woman who also might “look like a mess on paper”, I appreciate this blog’s honesty. Because of my various trials, I am now able to see the diamond in me pushing through the outer coal shell that I used to hide behind. I thank God for everything that’s in me, and walk confidently forward to my destiny. Thank You!!!!

    Reply
  20. Gail Cleveland

    Lady Sarah, this is so true. I’m going to believe it’s not too late for me and that I have nothing to fear from my pass. My focus will be forward and my prayer is that God will continue to lead and guide my steps as He is doing for you and all others who are going through their go throughs. You said we have to trust Him. Lord I want to learn to relax and trust You more. God continue to bless you and the little ones. I can’t make it to WTAL but I’ll be there in spirit for sure. I know it will a success and the spirit will be all over ATL. Much love and prayers for the Jakes family.

    Reply
  21. Somewhere in Ohio

    What I love about you is that you could take the “deep” approach that so many Christians hide behind, yet you choose to be transparent, allowing other people that may be going through the same thing to able to relate. You are a wonderful example, keep allowing God’s light to shine through.

    Reply
  22. rodney thomas

    Hi Sara,

    know that the Lord is your shield and your very great reward. Know that every thorn in your flesh will be removed out of your life. I know this time is hard and the transition is tough. but you have so much greatness in you, that history will be made. You are a history maker in the making and let nothing stop you from what is in you.

    What the Lord has for you to carry will require you to have a strong back. Do you have backbone? I know you do. Your back may ache but your God is making you stronger.

    much love sis!

    Reply
  23. Emonne @ BeautyMarked

    So proud of you, Sarah. I remember when you first started the blog! Your humility and transparency are inspiring to many. You’ve done so well, and yet, the best is yet to come. Can’t wait to see what’s “in you”. ;)

    Reply
  24. SoulJoy

    Thanks Sarah. I had planned to be in Atlanta this year for the conference but wasn’t able to make it. Thanks again for sharing,

    Reply
  25. Cristi Love

    Because of who you are inside, people like me admire you! You are such a blessing.. Keep speading the gospel.

    Reply
  26. CECELIA

    SO IM 27 AND I HAVE NOTHING- NO DEGREE NO KIDS ,NO MAN, NO STAMPS IN MY PASSPORT NO FRIENDS NO JOB AND I STILL LIVE AT HOME WITH MY MOM. I JUST NEVER HAD THE COURAGE TO FINISH ANYTHING. MY MOM WAS A SINGLE PARENT OF TWO. I TAKE CARE OF MY LIL BRO WHEN SHE WAS AT WORK. MY MOM DID EVERYTHING FOR ME COOK CLEAN THE HOUSE BUY WHAT I WANTED. YES WE HAD ARGUMNETS ALL THE TIME I WOULD MOVE OUT AND LIVE WITH MY B/F AT THE TIME THEN MOVE BACK HOME WHENEVER. I DID GO TO COLLEGE BUT DROP OUT. I MUSTER U 11CREDITS. ALL TOGETHER.
    AND NOW I SIT HERE AND SEE MY OLD FIRENDS PROGESSING AND LEAVING ME BEHIND. IM STUCK AT THIS PLACE AND I WONDER IS IT MY ATITUDE (OF I DONT CARE OR IM GET U BE4 U GET ME )OR HOW BUT MY TONE IN MY SPEAKING. OR MAYBE IT BECAUSE I NEVER INCLUDED GOD IN MY PLANS.
    I TRIED OF BEING STUCK I TRY TO FIND MY WEAKNESS BUT I DONT KNO WHAT IT IS.
    I CAN GET A JOB KNO I GET THEM BE CAN NEVER KEEP THEM. I WANT TO BE BETTER. I KNOW IT STARTS WITH GOD 1ST THEN BELIEVING IN MYSELF
    BUT IM SO CONFUSED. AND NO THAT I HAVE NO HELP I REALLY LOST.
    I TRY TO END MY LIFE AND 6 WEEKS AGO AND MOM DIDDNT EVEN BLINK.
    AND IM STILL TRYING TO FIGHT THE FIGHT BUT I DONT KNOW WHAT IM FIGHT.

    Reply
    • Martha

      Hi Cecelia,

      My name is Martha and I would love to chat with you via http://www.mytblecommunity.net. You have life and that’s worth more than you’d ever know.

      Sarah this is very inspiring and encouraging… keep bless others and God will continue to pour blessings into you! When I was going though a difficult time in my marriage, my brother told me that I couldn’t minister to anyone about a broken marriage if I’ve never had one.

      Reply
    • robbie

      Cecelia I feel you, get the bible in children’s books, get to know the stories, learn the characters like they are your kin folks. It will help you get to know God like a relative (Father). Then graduate to an adult bible. Sometimes when your not winning in life, the script in your mind can feel mis-filed. learning the word of God will help clean up the file cabinet of your mind. Take baby steps by listing the things you have to do on a daily basis, you will then begin to experience peace. No God, No Peace, Know God Know Peace!!!

      Reply
  27. Tonya Johnson

    Sara thank you for sharing your story. Your testimony will help so many other young christian women. I thank you for your honesty may God continue to bless you as you bless others

    Reply
  28. Sarpomaa

    I was tempted to sit in judgement on you for choosing so foully in your men twice at least. But then God reminded me of redemption and how he died on a rugged cross at calvary that our sins may be cleansed away and forgiven and that definitely includes you. I think you need some time for incubation and recuperation. You possibly married too early when you did not really know who you were at 20 like many ladies. I’m now 34 and am receiving proposals, but I am only currently finding out who I am inside. Your situation is more pressured because you are a mother of two. And you have to be an adult for them. I wish you God’s excellence and covering forever dear darling honey.

    Reply
    • Lanisha Williams

      My reply is to Ms Sarpomaa. Honey in yor comment your are coming off as being very judgmental. Who are you to judge? I’m pretty sure that you yourself has not always made the right decisions when it came to men. Sara is not perfect NONE of us is perfect. Sara is woman enough to realize all of her mistakes and as a woman of God she put herself in front of the wrld to tell her story to inspire woe]men especially young women like me. I thank God for her inspiration and to know that she is just like me makes me admire her even more. In other words, God Bless You Sarpomaa.

      Reply
  29. Deon

    Weeping me, weeping me. Your testimony made me cry knowing that you’ve had to go through so much at a young age. Thank you for being so open. It is this authenticity that makes me feel like God can really redeem me, weak and failing me, and love me. Thanks Sarah.

    Reply
  30. Shelly

    Be blessed sis…. I got to see that moment when you PREACHED with your parents at the opening of the WTAL Conference. God has a special anointing on you. This is JUST THE BEGINNING! As your dad would say, “Get ready Get ready Get ready Get ready!!!!” PHEW!

    Reply
  31. Nicole Oliver

    As I’m reading this I shed a little tears this is so inspiring. It as allowed me to really think about what I need to do and what direction I must take in life. Thanks for writing and sharing your story my GOD continue to bless you.

    Reply
  32. Jarina

    Thank you for sharing…as a PK and once a teen mom myself, I remember all too well the feelings of guilt, shame and living under the shadow of beliefs that PKs should be angelic and have no need for the grace and mercy of God. It’s liberating to see someone be able to be transparent without the fear of the oohs and ah-has…God bless you as you continue to speak to women all over the world

    Reply
  33. Delzoria Lucas

    This really blesses me. I can see so much of me in this story. I think that you are really just reminding all of us that all of the bad, and good of our journeys in life are what individualize us in God. It makes us a special piece of a dynasty much greater than ourselves. You remind me that although my journey magnifies my individuality it also makes me apart of God’s Kingdom after being redeemed. Sarah, I truly love your message, and thank you for being transparent, and loving enough to share your heart in this format. God Bless you, and everyone connected to you

    Reply
  34. Shakora brooks

    I couldn’t go to bed and.i knew God had a message for me because I had an urge to hear the word. So I listened to the potter’s touch and as always I was blessed and then I came upon your blog and I knew that God kept me awake for this. I too was a teen mom and 2 days from now i’ll be 23, and i’m going through a divorce. I needed to hear your truth, and it gave me the inspiration needed to seek God more and to realize what I have in me.Thank you sarah

    Reply
  35. Lerry

    This is really touching considering your age. On the other hand thank God for finding you worthy to be an instrument of use especially in this hypocritical era when people feel that being a christian does not come with challenges and costs. I want to you to be encouraged, knowing that everything about you is father filled by God (our father).
    1. You have won the battle of honesty and openess, so the devil had received a big blow.
    2. This is the time for you to give the devil a big knockout………FORGIVENESS
    Go on my dear and receive strength from the Lord, you great daughter of Zion. If I can overcome with the Lord’s weapon of FORGIVENESS, You can…….

    Reply
  36. Nats

    Hi Sarah,

    I know the Lord will see you through. I know there are no guarantees in life but all I know is God always makes away. Keep on shining for the Lord as he shapes you, molds and breaks you, the best is yet to come. God bless

    Reply
  37. Shon

    I am praying with you. Thank you for your honesty. I am also a PK. I grew up under so much scrutiny that I value my privacy so much now. I understand more than you know. I went through an abusive marriage and everyone knew about it. I did not go to church during that time because I couldn’t deal with all of the comments from my father’s congregation. We divorced and I am now remarried. Sarah, I am telling you, God’s plans are so much better than ours. I was making preparations to get a job in Germany and raise my son over there, when I met my current husband.

    I would have never imagined being really loved by a man who fears God; it’s so much better this time and I thank God everyday. I thank you because your blog has taken the shame of my failed first marriage away, and given me courage to share my testimony. God bless you and he will sustain you. I love you my “Sister- in – Christ.”

    Reply
  38. Cinda Brown

    All I can say is agree. I will put forth my best effort to trust God with all my heart in every situation concerning me.

    Reply
  39. Kristi McKinney

    May God continue to bless you girl. You are so awesome and such an inspiration to many women, young and old. (Including Me). MAY YOUR YEARS BE WONDERFUL.!!!

    Reply
  40. jullyann

    wow just right at this moment l was looking back at my past kicking myself for the things l could not change,the still small voice you are talking about kept whispering scriptures and l am now more convinced that he can rewrite my life story God has the capability to give me a new name nad identity its just by the blood.Thanks sarah

    Reply
  41. Ursula Tara Davis

    Beautiful blog message…I Don’t see over-comer…The Word of the Lord says,”We over-come by the blood of the lamb and the words of our testimony…
    It’s an awesome responsibility to carry the mantle of God.
    All the time the Man of God, your Father was interceding for your present and your future…
    Woman Thou are Loose has blessed so many women and will continue to do so.
    Thank God for having a Man of God, anointed by God to under-gird you while you pursue your life and purpose in him…
    You are no longer a teen mom, the blood of Jesus covered that, you are no longer married but free, the blood of Jesus covered that too!!!
    What you are… like all of us, that truly love the Lord Jesus Christ is an Over-comer…
    God Bless you Woman of God, God’s Woman!

    Reply
  42. chandra clark

    may god keep using you.you have lifted me up.thank you for that encouragement. to keep fighting the good fight of faith.

    Reply
  43. jacai walker

    SARAH!!!!!! I WAS there when introduce your father. And your introduction loosed me. Om a young single mother. And my baby father parents are pastors. So I know how it feel to be single out because of that matter. I truly thank God for using you. Its ok be young single save and satisfied. U go girl!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  44. Deja

    It ain’t over until God says it’s over
    It ain’t over until God says it’s done
    It ain’t over until God says it’s over
    Keep fighting until your victory is won

    Maurette Brown-clark – It Ain’t Over

    This song dropped in my spirit as I read your message :)

    Reply
  45. jensar

    Hey Sarah. Do you. Be you.Live you. You’ll figure it out. It’s hard to give advice to someone you don’t know, or to take it from someone who you don’t know either, but I hope you read this. Whenever the doubts, fears and feelings of failure come along, as much as I am embarrassed to write this, I probably won’t read this again after I write it. You still have much to be thankful for. At 40, I wish I had a son and a daughter, wish I had wedding photos and a marriage. Because you know what? When you think about it, you were left with so much more the tangibles and the wisdom. (And to the other sisters who might read this, please don’t judge me for this note, if you feel you must just pray for me). The paragraph that started “I believe in redemption” is the most transparent thing I’ve read, and I get her. I think no one has a perfect life, but after everthing that is shaken, what remains is God’s message to me about me. Thank you Sarah.We’re all proud of you — even if you feel it’s not been perfect, I don’t care and God cares less about all that stuff because He saw it before we stepped through it, worked through it and His love just waits for us on the other side as we wade through everything and wade through life.

    Reply
  46. Taylor

    Wow What inspiration for someone to see that God works on us all its a blessing to know that no matter who or where you are in life that his hand or arm is never to short to fix or counsol the very issues we face in our lives and that we have people that maybe going through the very same things God bless you sis Sarah for you life is in his hands so he can mold you to what he wants you to be what a wonderful God we serve.

    Reply
  47. Candice

    As a young Christian woman, mother and newlywed Thanks for sharing your heart. Your words and experiences have made me think on my lifes situations and it feels good to be able to relate to someone. I thank God for your courage to share you life with us :)

    Reply
  48. Meli

    I like that so many people are supportive. Who said “we” don’t support each other?

    Reply
  49. Tasja

    Hi Sarah,

    A friend of mines told me about your story. Besides being surprised at what you’ve gone through, I’m finding myself in parts of your testimony. I’m not divorced yet, but i will be. No children, and although i was mad at God for not granting me that desire, I understand why He didn’t allow a child to witness the mess that was taking place in my life. I’m so glad that you have allowed God to use you to encourage women everywhere. May God bless you with more wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

    Reply
  50. Minister Davonna Davis

    Stay Powerful in Prayer and God will Illuminate the Light Within You that will Take You onto the Next Level in Your Life. Be of Good Courage and He will strengthen You. I have endured many things as a young woman, wife and minister as well. But God will bring you out on both feet after you’ve been on your knees. God Bless You!

    Reply
  51. Rugail

    I’m speechless# you are one of my biggest motivations a young brave woman of God. This is just the beginnig of many many greater things one thing that really stands out above many is your transparncy! You a a blessing and I always use you as a example when I encourage of motivate someone!!! I Love you Sarah

    Reply
  52. Jeremiah

    GOD knew..before the Foundation of the world who you’d be and what you do…and still you are..be ye encouraged also..equally as much as you seek to be to those who are
    without…and within..

    Reply
  53. Zion H. Mukisa

    Thank you so much for sharing. Maybe it is time I reflected on my life in 2012 and posted it on my blog! Some of it has been too painful to even think about calmly but reading your post makes me want to try. Thanks again.

    Reply
  54. Gugu

    ‘It is the desire of my heart to always remain the most authentic version of myself, to never lead a life that suggests there was no need for the blood shed on Calvary.’….this statement gave me goosebumps!! If we were perfect, then the gospel would have been about us…..but Christ in us became our perfection, if anything our testimony should be of how His strength was made perfect in our weakness, how he has beautified our lives, how he loved us regardless of who we were. Most christians are trying desperately to show the world how perfect they have become, their testimonies are riddled with how THEY prayed so much, how THEY fasted so much to get to a point were God has blessed them so much…..their testimonies have become void of the power that saved them and the grace that sustained them and continues to propel them to greater levels of glory. Its not how perfect we are that will change and inspire people…..Its not the testimony of our achievements in ministry that will change and inspire people but the testimony of how we too were weak at some point but how His strength was made perfect in our weakness, how we too at some point were foolish but how he has made us wiser, how we too were sick and impoverished but how He has healed us and empowered us..How the Blood is still speaking on your behalf!! I thank God for everything that you went through because we have identified with that weakness, with your struggles….If you went through and came out victorious…then surely this God can do it for us too!! Your life is a blessing….may he continue to elevate you! I love you sis!!!#much love from africa!!!

    Reply

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