Who could you be if you fully owned your life’s experiences, both the good and the bad, and allowed them to aid in your growth as a woman? That’s the question pastor, motivational speaker, bestselling author and media personality Sarah Jakes Roberts poses to readers in her latest book, Woman Evolve.
“Woman Evolve is really a command,” explained Roberts, wife of Touré Roberts and daughter of renowned Christian figure Bishop T.D. Jakes. “It’s not just a book. It’s a command that every woman will have to answer at some point in their life. Will I stay stuck, or will I dare to evolve?”
Roberts believes that getting past our struggles and past adversities is a bigger mission than just coming out on the other side. “A lot of times we think that we are evolving because we just moved on past what happened,” Roberts explained. “But true evolving is when we take the time to gather every piece of ourselves, shattered as it may be, broken or disappointed as it may be, hopeful as it may be, and say, ‘What do I do with what I have left?’ I have found that a lot of times, when my own journey and the journey of women who have allowed me access to their lives and their soul, is that we think that moving on is pretending that never happened.”
Roberts wants women to journey deep with her and continue to seek their highest potential. “Woman Evolve really begs the question, who would you be if you could own that it happened? If you could recognize that, I don’t have to disconnect from that part of my life, but rather I have to dig in it and excavate the wisdom, so that the present and the future can be as vibrant as possible,” Roberts told ESSENCE. “Eventually when we disconnect from our lives, we go on but we end up feeling numb, and kind of disassociated with what’s happening around us. Because we learn to divide ourselves instead of collecting all of who we are for every part of our journey.”
Roberts is well-known for sharing her personal story as her ministry to women. Together, Roberts and her husband have six beautiful children, and during an interview with ESSENCE her message to her fellow busy moms with full plates was clear—take care of yourselves.
“I feel like a lot of times, for me as a mother, I feel pressure to show up for my children, to show up with energy, to show up with excitement, to show up as someone who’s gonna have dinner on the table by 6:00 and then read the stories in the best voice possible,” Roberts admitted. “But I have realized more and more lately that showing up for myself, even as it relates to motherhood, is inviting my children, as it is appropriate on their level, into my world. To say things like, ‘Mommy’s tired today, so I’m gonna order in, and maybe we can cozy up and watch a movie.’ Or, ‘Let’s watch one of your t- favorite TV shows. But I might fall asleep. Mommy’s tired.'”
Beyond the self-care being honest about your feelings provides, Roberts believes that it can leave a positive lasting impression on children too.
“Because I do feel like when we don’t see, especially as children, images of our mothers taking time to take care of themselves, then when we become adults, we have no point of reference for that,” she continued. “And, so even though it means that I have to take off a cape and let them know that I don’t have it all together all of the time, my prayer is that in doing that, it gives them permission, when they are walking in my shoes in whatever capacity, that is, to be able to choose themselves. Where they will be able to say, ‘That’s what Mommy meant when she said that she was tied. I get it now.’”
In Woman Evolve, Roberts aims to help women understand that their purpose in life does not change; it simply evolves. Roberts centers the book around the story of Eve in the Bible, telling ESSENCE, “Making her mistake in the Garden of Eden, Eve became the first woman to deal with rebuilding her life in the aftermath of her past and Eve knew better, but she didn’t do better. Your fears and insecurities may have changed how you viewed God, others, and yourself, but in Woman Evolve, you can breakthrough and use past mistakes to revolutionize your life. Like Eve, you don’t have to live your future defined by your past.”
Woman Evolve is available now.