As a wife, mother, minister, and daughter of Bishop T.D. Jakes and Serita Jakes, Sarah Jakes Roberts wears many hats. But she’s also a bestselling author with her latest book Woman Evolve: Break Up with Your Fears and Revolutionize Your Life. Her heart for seeing women living to their fullest potential has led her to write several books over the years. Her most recent book came with opening her mind to a Bible character who often gets a bad rep.
As Jakes Roberts reveals Eve in a light not often depicted in Christian spaces, she also pulls from her own life experiences to share the goodness and redemption of God to women all over the world.
What was the writing process for this book? What motivated you to write? What daily life lessons are put into the writing process of this book?
I’ve been speaking and connecting with women over the last five years of my life pretty heavily. That’s been the space that I’ve really functioned in the most. The more I met women, the more I recognized that so many of us were dealing with issues related to esteem, worth, value, and confidence. For me, everything draws back to my faith. I started looking in scripture for a woman who may have felt that way to see how God responded to her. And that’s when I discovered this revelation about Eve that I felt like every woman should be exposed to. So, I would say that I spent five years of really gathering research and data about the issues that plague women, the obstacles that stand in their way. And then I sat down, armed with the story of Eve to really create this guide for how we can re-emerge after the moments that leave us feeling stuck or even complacent in our lives when we’re ready to really move into the next dimension of our identity.
What do you love most about working with and ministering to women?
Women… I could go on and on because we have this unspoken sisterhood. Especially as women of color, we know what it takes for a woman to show up in the world. When you see a woman who just graduated from school, or you see a woman climbing a corporate ladder, we recognize that when she is moving into her lane that she’s not just carrying herself, but that she’s opening a door for so many other women to follow through as well. There’s something beautiful about a woman who recognizes her worth, her potential, and then applies it to the effort that is in front of her. It doesn’t just uplift her, it uplifts the community. What I love about working with women is that for the most part, we see outside of ourselves. We recognize that this is not just my moment, this is an opportunity for someone else to have the moment as well. And I’ve always said, when you get the heart of a woman, you get her entire community, because we are going to tell you about the latest hairstyles, lipstick, faith-based book, whatever it is. We believe in uplifting those around us.
You center Eve in this book and you talk about seeing her in a different light than before. Since changing your perspective on Eve, is there any other Bible character God has revealed to you in a new way?
Oh goodness. Eve for sure as it relates to womanhood. There have been other women, but I think other women get their flowers. If you take a woman like Rahab, who was a prostitute but yet she’s mentioned in Hebrew as a woman of faith. Even the woman at the well, there was a perspective that even those around her had about her and her many relationships, but once again she had this direct connection with God. I don’t know if there’s another woman that I thought has been as vilified as Eve, but I’m always digging and studying and combing through to see if there are any other unsung heroes that should be acknowledged.
What would you say to the woman reading this interview that’s considering starting over or trying to navigate life after making a wrong choice?
For every wrong turn that anyone has ever taken there has been a beautiful exposure if only we were willing to wait, pause, breathe in our environment, and learn from those moments. There are no wrong turns when we look back in hindsight and excavate the wisdom connected to what we’ve gone through. So, I would tell that woman that if you’re at a space where you’re wondering how could any of this add up to anything that could work for my good to consider reading this book and see throughout history, whether it was with Eve or even in my own life, God has this history of taking what should have been evil, what should’ve torn us down, and instead used it to build us stronger than we were before.
Following your career and ministry journey has been refreshing. People naturally compare others to those that have come before them or doing similar work. How do you show up in spaces to let others know that you’re more than just Bishop T.D. Jakes’s daughter or just another Christian woman?
I spent a really long time trying to make sure that there was distinction and that I was seen as my own person. I feel like in the process of trying to prove who I was not, that I lost the point on who I am. So now what I do is I recognize that that’s a part of my story, right? I’m not going to be able to change that or separate it or distance myself from it and nor should I. There’s so many beautiful parts of who I am that have been deposited in me from my father’s legacy. What I have learned is when I just decided this is who I am, all of who I am, and stayed in that space, the message resonated even more loudly because I was just standing in who I am as it relates to women in ministry. What I have learned is underneath it all whether you are male or female, we all are dealing with life. We may be processing it differently, but the trauma of life is showing up in all of our existences. My goal is to make sure that when I’m in a room that I can unify the room with our common experiences so that we can each receive the revelation and healing we need from whatever message I’m sharing.
Sarah Jakes Roberts has a Woman Evolve book club, podcast, and clothing line where women can continue to be supported and feel a sense of community. Follow her on Instagram @sarahjakesroberts to learn more.
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Sierra Lyons is a senior Broadcast Journalism student at Florida A&M University. She has extensive experience in writing and speaking on race relations, politics, and culture. She currently is the Opinions’ Editor for FAMU’s award-winning publication, The Famuan. Sierra is deeply committed to creating dialogue and strategy in eradicating social injustices from a Biblical perspective.