Sarah Jakes shares her testimony, says she is done 'running' from her last name

(Photo: Instagram/Sarah Jakes)Sarah Jakes

Essence Magazine is gearing up for their annual Essence Festival this July by highlighting festival alums in their Women Who Empower Us series. 

Wife, mother and One Church International first lady Sarah Jakes was featured last week, and her testimony of faith and forgiveness was shared in a powerful video. 

Jakes is the daughter of world-renowned Bishop TD Jakes, and felt pressured to be perfect in the high-profile family. 

After giving birth at age 14, she married and had a baby with former NFL player Robert Henson at age 19, then divorced four years later. The now 25-year-old said the experiences left her feeling unworthy of her last name. 

"I spent a really long time running from my last name because I didn't feel like I deserved it," she admitted in the "Faith" episode of her "Lost & Found" motivational series. 

"Because there's a lot of honour that comes with it, and I have a lot of shame they I'm dealing with," she continued.

"But actually, I'm OK with that. Because my last name is who I am. And I don't need you to separate me from me anymore than I already have."

Jakes' first book was also entitled "Lost & Found," with the message of "Finding HOPE in the detours of life." Her second book, "Colliding with Destiny," uses the biblical story of Ruth to encourage readers to let God direct their path. 

"I think there's this myth that 'If I were raised in Bishop Jakes' household, this wouldn't have happened to me,' 'If I would've had this, that wouldn't have happened to me,'" Jakes told reporters.

"The reality is that life doesn't spare its rod on anyone. You can have my father, or not have a father at all, and you would still have encountered some type of struggle and obstacle."

Jakes married megachurch pastor Touré Roberts in a private ceremony in November, and is expected to release a third book later this year. 

Lifestyle