Growing in the church and discovery she’d be a teen mother was one of the most challenging moments in her life.
She talked with theGrio about her pregnancy, losing faith, being angry with God and her new book, “Lost & Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life.”
“I was terrified,” Jakes told theGrio talking about before she told her parent’s about the pregnancy. “You have this idea of ‘I’m going to get in trouble,’ like ‘I’m going to be grounded forever’ because you have nothing else really at that point to compare it to.”
Her parents couldn’t fathom the words. Her sister told their parents after discovering a letter she left in the mailbox to tell the family.
“My parents were speechless. I mean, my father was a preacher, who speaks for a living, and he was speechless,” Jakes said. “And that’s when it dawned on me that this was so much bigger than being grounded. [I was] bringing a life into the world and while I certainly had other options, whether abortions or adoptions, there was something inside of me that said I could do it.”
Before Jakes book, she was blogging and socially sharing her life experiences.
“I started blogging about three years ago and at the time, I was married and my husband was expecting a child from another woman. I really wasn’t sure that I wanted to make the decision to divorce or to even put that part of my life out on a blog but I knew I had this pain and these emotions,” she said. “I was angry with God, I was bitter, and I just wanted to write about it.”
Her blog became popular and she shared her pregnancy and her roller-coaster marriage to NFL linebacker Robert Henson and later, her divorce.
“I believe the blog was very much an opportunity and permission to say we don’t have it all together and it hurts and life sucks right now but you know we are still trying,” Jakes said. “So when I got approached by my publisher as a result of the blog, I decided to be as transparent as my blog followers felt that I was on the website and that came through me sharing my own story.”
Being a preacher’s daughter meant she was held at a higher moral standard, and she withdrew under that pressuring microscope.
“Outside of wanting to know what would be the ministry legacy that you would create from your last name, they also wanted you to know that everything needed to be perfect,” Jakes said.
She continued with:
“In my case, you’re pregnant at 14, your stomach is growing, you’re sitting in a church, within service and people want to know who the father is and how it all happened. I mean that pressure very much made me want to hide and I became comfortable being an introvert,” she added.
But she chose to be honest and share her struggles with others.
“I think the most challenging part is probably being as transparent as I am. I had the opportunity where I could not have said anything and no one would have known at all,” Jakes admitted.
Her book “Lost & Found” was released on April 1 and can be found on amazon.com.