June 12, 2015
Featured guest speakers Pastor Touré Roberts and his wife, Sarah Jakes-Roberts, shared a message of hope yesterday at the Nashville Mercy home. The couple leads One Church International, a progressive church community 80% comprised of artists and professionals in the West Hollywood area of Los Angeles. Together the Roberts shared with Nashville Mercy residents the importance of being open to receive God’s love, forgiveness and redemption.
Sarah, daughter of renowned Bishop T.D. Jakes, gave a transparent recounting of her past, acknowledging her teen pregnancy and the shame and guilt that stemmed from it. She said she tried to hide from her pain through academic achievement and perfectionism, but made further compromising choices that eventually led her to quit college and endure an unfaithful marriage that ultimately ended in divorce.
After going back to her parents’ home to heal, she realized the importance of loving and forgiving herself for her mistakes. “Before we can anticipate love from anyone else, we have to love ourselves,” she said. “I spent so long running from that 13 year old girl, I never took the time to hug her.”
Through self-love and the love of God and her family—which she referred to as “my own Mercy experience”—Sarah gained strength. She encouraged the Mercy residents saying, “No one has it all together. We all need to be saved from something.” Sarah challenged the girls to look to the future God has for them. “Connected to the pain is a purpose bigger than the tears you’ve cried,” she said.
Pastor Touré challenged the group to also consider Romans 12, which tells us to renew our minds, but first calls us to worship God. He pointed out that worshipping God first leads us to a deeper, more open place for our minds to be renewed. “The depth of our ability to open up is the depth of our ability to receive what God has for us,” said Touré.
Through a question and answer session, the Mercy residents were able to share their thoughts about the Roberts’ teaching and gain further insight for their individual situations. Here’s what some of the residents had to say:
I loved the authenticity that they both had. I was inspired to stop believing all the lies I have told myself and to start believing the truths. I need to be more open and transparent with God, so He can heal me. —Kaylee
I really liked hearing Sarah’s story. I loved it when she said ‘Open your heart, look past your walls, and look back at the pain you have numbed for so long. Be vulnerable! Let God’s grace heal you.’ I just really related to that because it is so hard for me to be vulnerable. –Skylar
I was so blessed by Sarah’s story. It made me feel like I am not the only one who has done or been through bad things. They were a beautiful couple. It gave me hope for future happiness. –Becky[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]