Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Book Review: Lost and Found, by Sarah Jakes

Like every girl, Sarah Jakes dreamed of a life full of love, laughter, and happy endings. But her dreams changed dramatically when she became pregnant at age fourteen, a reality only compounded by the fact that her father, Bishop T.D. Jakes, was one of the most influential megachurch pastors in the nation. As a teen mom and a high-profile preacher's kid, her road was lonely. She was shunned at school, gossiped about at church. And a few years later, when a fairy-tale marriage ended in a spiral of hurt and rejection, she could have let her pain dictate her future. 

Instead, she found herself surrounded by a God she'd given up on, crashing headlong with Him into a destiny she'd never dreamed of. For the first time, she shares her captivating journey. Unflinchingly honest and deeply vulnerable, Sarah's story is a vivid reminder that God can turn even the deepest pain into His perfection.

But more than a memoir, "Lost and Found" offers hope and encouragement to women of all ages who, like Sarah, find themselves wandering the detours of a life--and shows that no matter how lost they feel, they, too, can be found.


To be honest, I picked this book up out of mere curiosity. I always ponder how people in situations different than mine handle what has been given them. I gather inspiration for my faith from the testimony of others, and I love the truth and grace and strength of God that can be found in these stories.

Before this book, I'd never heard of the Jakes family. I don't know if that's because I'm Canadian or simply because I don't have as wide a church base or knowledge, but whichever it is, I was able to come from a perspective that was fairly unaffected. 

But I didn't stay unaffected. This memoir is heart-wrenching, to say the least. Sarah is very open and honest about her sins, her need for forgiveness. She doesn't try to dismiss her behaviour, she simply tries to explain events leading up to certain situations. And in one part, she actually apologizes to a woman she hurt. While some might argue that she's merely trying to make herself look better, the point of the book is that she's not better than anyone else. As I said before, she doesn't try to hide the fact that she sinned. She doesn't glorify it, but she does make it clear that she is imperfect.

And I loved her for it. This is a great book; you truly get to see someone grow in their relationship with Christ. Even when you think things are going to be all right, she makes another mistake and you're left gritting your teeth. But also wanting to be there beside her, because you see how hurt she is and how much she desires pure love and affection.

When she finally is "found", it's refreshing: it's not because she's finally with a good Christian man who's saved her from herself. It's not because she's become perfect. It's because she's finally WITH GOD. It's the real thing, not the romantic ending of a story book--at least, not with a "Prince Charming", as Sarah says in the book.

Basically, if you enjoyed the movie Juno but did not agree with its morality, here is a Christian, TRUE LIFE version of that same tale. And my, what a tale it is!

Four stars for the book, but Five stars for this girl! Sarah Jakes, you have my deepest respect.

I received a copy of this book from the Bethany House Blogger Review Program in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for the opportunity!