"A divorce, beautiful daughter, book deal, broken heart, international speaking calendar, and hundreds of tears later I’m back," writes Sarah Jakes.
A lot can happen in eight years. You can go from being daddy’s little girl to shattered into a thousand pieces. Not long after I attended the last MegaFest my life changed. Thousands of people gathered to be in the presence of God, yet if I could’ve whispered into my ear then, I would’ve told myself to hold on.
A divorce, beautiful daughter, book deal, broken heart, international speaking calendar, and hundreds of tears later I’m back. There’s this misconception that being born into a ministry family gives you direct access to God. I found myself searching for everyone, but Him. I thought that when I was finished living I could just come back into the fold. It wasn’t until I felt the kind of emotional pain that causes physical aching that I realized it may not be as easy to get back as I thought. Like a ton of bricks shame weighed on me pushing me further and further away.
Then I opened my mouth.
I gave the pain that dared to mute my hope a voice. At Woman Thou Art Loosed 2011, I dared to tell a room of people who I knew would judge me that I had my son at fourteen. I did it for myself. I did it because I needed my dad to know his ministry saved me. I didn’t know that among those thousands of women there were many secrets.
I didn’t mean to expose their wounds because I shared my scars. Somehow, knowing that even Bishop Jakes’ daughter had to struggle to find her way helped them. They called me transparent, because I was willing to grab a mic and tell what we were once told to whisper. I brought the peace from my pieces and shared it with the world.
For me, MegaFest is an opportunity to take the lessons I’ve learned along the way and remind someone different than me, that we’re all still fighting. We’re all still hoping that the one thing that set us back didn’t cancel our destination.
My life is a mess on paper. But I’m willing to bet if we all told the truth, we’re all just trying to make sense of our mess.
This year the focus for MegaFest is about gathering again. Here, in Dallas, under the umbrella of faith, music, empowerment, entertainment, and more we’re going to help families heal and be restored.
But we won’t have so much fun that we forget the pieces; the things that threatened to break us. Instead, we will dare to believe that even shattered we can still be used. It’s not about having this perfect image and painful reality. We are forcing our past to release its hold on our future. We are reminding the world that God can use anything from a movie to a sermon to reach His people.
And for me, this year is about realizing that the last time I took the stage I was a girl smiling for a spotlight. Now I’m a woman, bruised, but not broken daring to gather my ashes and trade them for beauty.
Sarah Jakes will appear at Woman Thou Art Loosed panels at Megafest.