We know her as the wife of Bishop T.D. Jakes, the gifted Pastor, orator, best-selling author, successful movie producer, and the founder and spiritual leader of the Potter’s House ministries in Dallas, Texas. Yet, to simply identify first lady Serita Jakes as “the wife of” someone famous would be a big mistake.
She is so much more.
She describes herself as “witty, funny, real, caring, and giving” and she says she is “an introverted person who has been placed in an extroverted world!” And she is ready to take her place in that world in a new way that will allow her to be both creative and transparent at once.
Make no mistake, she is indeed a proud wife and life partner to Bishop Jakes, and a proud mother of five adult children. She is an oasis of comfort and support to the tens of thousands of parishioner’s at Potter’s House. And she has inspired millions of women around the globe through her healing ministry.
Yet, there is another side to this woman of God. She has nurtured her family, helped her husband build his ministry, served her fellow man, and now she is redefining herself; she is shifting her attention to all of those things she has wanted to pursue since she was a child: Writing compelling fiction (her first two books were non-fiction), teaching women how to be transparent so that they can achieve their true life destinies, acting in movies as well as on stage, and lastly she is a woman with a deep well of wisdom who is showing others that at whatever stage in life they may find themselves it is never too late to have a life and never too late to change one.
During a recent interview Lady Jakes talked about her new fiction book, ‘The Crossing’ and her humble beginnings and just where God is taking her.
Lady Jakes said, “Most people know that I started from very meager beginnings in West Virginia as a coal miner’s daughter. I was raised by my Aunt and Uncle, because my parents were too poor to afford to raise us. I saw them mostly on weekends. My Aunt and uncle had a tumultuous, abusive relationship with one another so I learned to tune out and delve into my creative side. I took an interest in drama — not in being a drama Queen (laughs), but I have a flare for the dramatic.
Thirty years later, [My husband and I] have built an incredible ministry, my children are all grown and I am ready to bring that creative side of me to life in new and meaningful ways. I have evolved from a very maternal figure in our church to the rebranding and redefinition of Serita Jakes — taking on a new role that is very unique to me, I have my own wings now and I plan to soar.”
“That is why my first fiction book, ‘The Crossing’ is so special to me. I am a risk-taker. I am transparent. These two virtues on display in my life, I hope will help other women to reach their full potential and achieve their dreams. We all have our closets, our skeletons, we all have things in our past that scare us, we all have things that make us think that our dreams won’t be realized and so with that, I’ve learned to embrace my own scars and share them as needed, particularly with the younger generation so they can understand I did not get to this place without trail, tribulation, scars and struggles to overcome.
We need young women to embrace their whole lives, not just the good parts. Through our scars and our stars, we need to become living letters that men can read every day. “
With her new book, she says, “You know, my new book is really sequential from my first book, ‘The Princess Within,’ which talked about my growing up, my marriage, my coming of age; it was a diary of who I was. My second book, ‘Beside Every Good Man: Loving Myself While Standing By Him’ talks about my relationship with the men in my life, including my husband, that book also reinforced who I am as a woman.”
“‘The Crossing,’ although fictional, is a compilation of experiences that allowed me to create these characters — it gave me a vehicle that allowed me to explore domestic violence, or [other] things that have happened in Biblical counseling sessions, people having marital issues, addiction issues, it was just an opportunity to open up even more what I think about things and the reality of what happens even in Christendom.”
“We like to think that once we have embraced our religious upbringing fully, that everything falls in place and that is simply not true. Everybody does not have a happy ending in life, even those in Christ. But we can always have hope, have faith, and share our story. We have developed this “pie in the sky” attitude that once we are “saved” all will go smoothly. That is not reality.”
‘The Crossing’ is metaphorical in that it is a “crossroads” moment in what begins with young people that have a traumatic event happen to them as seniors in high school that stays with them, and comes up again in their adulthood. The point of the book is to encourage us to be transparent with our true selves. It deals with issues of pride, how we hide our frailties because we want others to see us as perfect. I wrote it because I am a pastor’s wife and because I have babies of my own, and because I interact daily with families, parents, teens and hurt people.
“The takeaway that I hope people get is that it is a mistake for people to think that just because we have been divinely called that we should be called divine. Those who are called have to become more humble, more transparent instead of covering and hiding. I want people to overcome fear. The fear of rejection, the fear of acceptance, and embrace the fact that the only being that knows all about us and loves us still is the Lord. So what begins at the crossroads of life ultimately ends at the cross.”