Sarah Jakes may have a famous father (Bishop T.D. Jakes), but the mom of two is well on her way to becoming a household name in her own right.
In her brand new memoir “Lost & Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life,” Jakes shares her story of being a mom at 14, living under a microscope, becoming a divorcée and overcoming life’s obstacles while strengthening and maintaining her faith.
At only 25, Jakes has mastered a writing style that is conversational and completely transparent. “Lost & Found,” draws readers in as if you’re peeking into your best friend’s or sister’s diary. She doesn’t shy away from providing in-depth details about her life that some may view as less-than-favorable (especially being the daughter of a renowned pastor), but instead includes them in hopes that they will serve as examples to inspire and encourage other young women.
I recently spoke with the West Virginia-born author to discuss her book, her favorite beauty product and more!
“Lost & Found” will be released April 1st here, $18.49
Check out the Q&A below:
BGG: Congratulations on such a great read! I know that you will touch so many young women with your story.
Sarah Jakes: Thank you so much. I’m so excited and anxious to finally get it out.
BGG: The entire book is so enlightening, but what is the most important thing that you’d want readers to take from your book?
SJ: It’s my prayer that people will read the book and not just see my story but see parts of themselves and their thought patterns that they may have had about themselves and then hopefully take those thoughts (like I had to learn how to do) and use them to empower yourself and be more transparent with our fellow sisters. I think Sometimes we can feel isolated when we have an opportunity to help one another by discussing the challneges that we face. I hope that it opens a discussion that continues for years and years to come.
BGG: What if any was the most difficult part of your memoir to write?
SJ: I think talking about my marriage was probably one of the most difficult parts becaues I’m not sure that I realized until I sat down to read the book exactly how lost I was and how hurt and broken I was. Reliving those moments and revisiting them were very hard.
BGG: When you were approached by book publishers (after telling your story at a women’s conference), did you ever have any hesitation about essentially sharing your story with the world?
SJ: Well, when they first approached me about writing my memoir I didn’t think I had enough material to write a memoir. So that was my only hesitancy. After I wrote the memoir, I said there are quite a few things in here! (laughing)
BGG: Growing up did you ever think you’d become an author?
SJ: Absolutely not. I never thought that writing was a gift. We learned to write in grade school so I thought that everyone wrote. I never thought it was anything special; I thought everyone did it. It wasn’t until I started my blog that I recognized that I might really have a gift.
BGG: Would you say starting your blog (in 2010) essentially changed your life?
SJ: It completely changded my life. That’s why I could never regret any of the things that I faced with my marriage because it allowed me to learn and develop a gift that I had not discovered. Also, I think there was something about knowing that I wasn’t alone that made me feel like if everyone is hurting maybe we can all heal.
BGG: Besides your father, is there anyone else whom you look to for spiritual guidance?
SJ: Funny as this may sound, I really look at my children. I admire their ability to bounce back and to make amends with friends. They have such forgiving and loving hearts because they haven’t been jaded by life yet. So I always try to look at them and say if they can laugh after wailing and crying seconds ago, then I can too. We are more resilient than we give ourselves credit for.
BGG: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
SJ: Most recently someone told me to be careful reading the book reviews with the negative headlines and I thought that was really good for me. A lot of times critics might look at my story and compare it to other authors. I didn’t grow up feeling like I wanted to be this author, I’m just a person who’s sharing her story. Also, Dr. Nicole (her marriage counselor) told me to own my process. Meaning, don’t let your process fit other people’s expectations.
BGG: In this nonstop digital age with so many distractions at our fingertips, how do you stay spiritually connected on a daily basis?
SJ: The one thing I do constantly is that I’m always checking in with God. I’m always praying in some form all throughout the day. They’re not long expressive prayers like we have at night and in the morning, but there are so many opportunities to thank Him for the smallest things. I’ve found that since I’ve done that and made it my mission to find something to be thankful for at every moment beautiful things have bloomed in my life. It’s like we’re planting seeds.
BGG: I’m going to shift gears a bit. What’s the one beauty product that you can’t live without?
SJ: Whoop Ash body lotion! I saw it on TV (“Hollywood Exes” star Sheree Fletcher created the brand) and thought the name was funny. I buy like 10 jars at a time! I also give them out as gifts. I love it! (Check out my review here)
BGG: Who are some of your favorite clothing designers?
SJ: I’m pretty classic with my style. Every now and then I’ll add something trendy to the classic look. From day-to-day it’s probably tomboy chic because I’m always running the kids to school or running errands. Oh and Target is my favorite store. When I have to get dressed up for events I always call on J. Bolin who’s been styling me. He gets me together whether it’s a piece from H&M that we jazz up with accessories from J. Crew, but I try to be economical because I’m still a mom and I’m planning for the future. I don’t go too far into the really expensive designers.
BGG: Where do you hope to be in 5 years when you’re 30?
SJ: I believe people will be probably be comparing me to Oprah because I’ll have my own talk show! I pray that whatever I do whether it’s blogging, writing or ending up on television that my message continues to be relatable, transparent and leads people back to God.
BGG: If you could tell your 15-year-old self one thing what would it be?
SJ: Slow down and pace yourself; you don’t have to move that fast.
Sarah 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. Also, be sure to check out her blog sarahjakes.com.
**One lucky reader will win a copy of “Lost & Found.” Simply leave a comment sharing what bit of advice would you tell your teenage self? The winner will be randomly selected and announced next Wednesday, April 2nd. This giveaway is only open to U.S residents)