Teen pregnancies, bad marriages and other poor choices may bring detours in life, but they don’t have to ruin it. That’s the message Sarah Jakes wants other women to understand.
The daughter of Bishop T.D. Jakes of Dallas megachurch the Potter’s House revisits her past in “Lost & Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life” (Bethany House; $24.99), a punishing but brave memoir that she hopes will reach women beyond a Christian audience.
Now 25, Jakes details life in a family that lives on an international stage. She puts her heart in readers’ hands as she tells what it was like to become pregnant at age 13 and a mother at 14 and then to recognize a bad boy in college but marry him anyway.
The divorced mother of two, who visits Houston this week, said her famous parents had “zero input” into what she wrote and didn’t read the book until early copies arrived. She was nervous about their reaction but said her father called it “flawless” and her mother, Serita Jakes, called her “courageous and brave.”
After having a baby at 14, Jakes changed schools and went into near isolation, constantly criticizing herself for letting down her church and her family. Later, at Texas Christian University, she was determined to do well but fell in love with a football player. She devoted so much time to him that she quit school after failing nearly all of her classes. She lied to her family about many of her actions, including that she worked as a waitress in a strip bar.
“I let shame run rampant on myself,” Jakes said of the emotional harm she inflicted on herself.
“When we were in Houston for Woman Thou Art Loosed, no one knew I had a child at an early age. It was more of a rumor than a fact because I didn’t have a baby during the time of Facebook and Twitter,” said Jakes, who told her story at the 2011 women’s conference her parents brought to Houston. “A grown woman at the conference told me that when I told my own story, I released her from the shame of having her baby at 14. Thirty-five years of shame is too long.”
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SOURCE: The Houston Chronicle