Book Review: Lost and Found by Sarah Jakes Roberts

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Happy new month everyone.

So, after sharing twenty lessons I learnt from Sarah Jakes Roberts – Lost & Found in my last post, my friend Teni put me up to this. She pushed me to do a proper review of the book.

Book Review- Lost and Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life.

The book Lost and found was written by Sarah Jakes Roberts. She is the fourth child and second daughter of Bishop T.D Jakes, pastor of ‘The Potters House’ in Dallas, Texas. She was born July 17th, 1989, eleven months and twenty-nine days after her sister Cora Jakes Coleman was born. At the time of publishing the book, Sarah was 25. Sarah Jakes got married to pastor Toure Roberts; head pastor of One Church International in Los Angeles on November 11th, 2014 and together they have one daughter Ella, and five kids from previous relationships (two from Sarah; Malachi and Makenzie and three from Pastor Toure Roberts). Sarah was formerly married to NFL player, Robert Henson in 2008 and got divorced in 2012. The union produced one child- Makenzie.

Publishing Details: The book was published in April 2014 by Bethany House Publishers a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Book Type: Lost and Found: Finding Hope through the detours of Life is a memoir that shares extensively the experiences of the author accumulated over a period of ten years. Those experiences are tied to mistakes she made as a teenager/young adult and the attendant consequences- pain, betrayal and bitterness
The book opens up with a brief note by the author.

“Because of family I’ll never be able to fully thank, friends that could never be replaced, and a blog that encouraged more people than I will ever get the chance to hug. For the tears I cried and the ones I held on the inside. For the truth I wanted to erase and lies I thought I had to tell. Then there are two hearts that grew inside of me that protected me from danger i’ll never know. The insecurities I thought I could never love and the past I tried to escape. Because I believe all things, even our missteps, work together for the good of those who love him. I gave him my pain. I gave him my shame. And he gave me the grace to heal.”

The foreword was written by Bishop T.D Jakes.

The 234 paged book has 12 chapters and opens up with an introduction-Getting Lost and closes with a conclusion- Being Found.

The book begins with the author sharing her experiences as a preachers kid, the expectations people have of PK’s and the high standards they are held to. She shares about family, life in church, not fitting in, low self-esteem and peer pressure.

“I had a small group of friends who, like me, were too cool to be in church, too naive to be in the world. We laughed at the our peers who were so on fire for God because we didn’t understand the exact moment when we were no longer playing church…. Being their pastor’s daughter naturally made me the leader of the pack. At the time I had no clue that a leader without direction is dangerous. Instead of using the influence to challenge us to become better, more diligent and immersed in God’s word, I became more like the world around us. The blind leading the blind”

She shares how she discovered she was pregnant few months to her 14th birthday.

“I knew long before I took a test on Easter of 2002 that I was pregnant. The signs came long before the plus sign appeared. Mainly, my cycles stopped coming nearly three months before I took the test, I was unusually tired, and the smell of some of my favourite rite foods began to nauseate me….I stared at the pregnancy test, knowing that my life would be changed forever…”

And how her sister Cora broke the news to her parents by writing a letter. In an interview I watched on YouTube, she described her parents response to the news of her pregnancy as that of shock.

I remember [my parents] being completely silent for a really long time. I know that may not be a big deal in most homes, but when your father speaks for a living, to render him speechless is quite the task….I was 14-years-old. No one dreams that their child will have a child at that age. For a very long time they grieved the dream that they had for their daughter, but once we got through that – and it was a process – then we started looking at the practical matters of healthcare, school and education”

She writes about how supportive her parents were and even though the decisions she made and the choices she took made their parenting effort look bad, and especially made people criticise the integrity of the ministry, they never gave up on her. Even when she proceeded to college, flunked and eventually dropped out, and then proceeded to waitressing at a strip club.

My parents never expected that I wouldn’t mess up again, they just wanted me to know and believe that better was possible for me”

I recall watching this interview she had with Dr Phil on YouTube and her response to the question of how her choices were not reflective of the virtues her parents preached really caught me.

I think that we all have our own journeys,” she said. “I know it was something we spoke about a lot in our ministry, but just because my parents were preaching about it doesn’t mean that I will live by it – that’s the reality of it, that we all find out on our own.”

The book is very transparent and goes in deep on the many detours Sarah had on her way to getting found. The book especially focuses on the consequences that comes from making decisions and taking choices without a thought to future implications and seeks to encourage readers to be more careful in their decision making process.

She shares on getting married at 19 to a man who lied and cheated severally, she talked about the ‘other women’ and how the accumulated pain and advice from  friends, pushed her into starting a blog and how the blog eventually birthed the book- Lost and Found.

The book offers hope and encouragement to women who have found themselves in the same situation as the author and serves as conviction and precaution for other women not to tread on the same path she did.

Now because of the shadow cast by my past, I hope others can be saved from the scorching pain of taking the same path I chose.”

Choice of words: Simple.

Style of writing: Engaging and interactional.

How to get the book: I mentioned in my last post, I got the hard copy book through a friend who got it through someone else who got the book out of the country. At the moment I am not sure if the hard copy is available in Nigeria but popular stores like Laterna and Roving Heights should have it. The kindle version  is however available on Amazon.

Other books by the author:
1. Don’t Settle for Safe.

2. Colliding With Destiny: Finding Hope in the Legacy of Ruth,

3. Dear Mary: Lessons From the Mother of Jesus for the Modern Mom

4. Don’t Settle for Safe.

I shared 20 lessons I gleaned from the book in my last post. I will be sharing SIX more in this review.

1. If we are to make it easier for others to find God, we must be more diligent about sharing our stories, openly and honestly.

2. Temptation comes to all of us, our decision to give in or not depends on our ability to recognise its disguise.

3. Part of being an adult is admitting that you failed and then moving on with so much grace.

4. Accepting love on someone’s level even though it has proven to bring you down over and over is not worth it.

5. The difficulty of a relationship increases dramatically when it is built on a deficiency.

6. When people love you, they pour hope into you. Love embraces who you are and inspires you to become better.

If you have ever made poor relationship choices, you are christian but you struggle with not ‘fitting in’ in church, you are a preacher’s kid who just wants to be treated like every other normal kid out there, you believe you don’t have talents that can be explored especially in church, you suffer from low self-esteem, your past mistakes makes you feel like you need to prove a point to those who hurt you, you are bitter because you are finding it hard to forgive, you have given up on life because you are too familiar with shame, you believe your life is beyond redemption, you are young and adventurous and you just want to explore what is on the other side of life but you are too scared to try because you have been told repeatedly ‘there is nothing there’, lastly, if you are a woman who just needs perspective about life especially now that you are in your formative years (late teens to mid twenties)…this book is for you.

Buy it, read it, learn the lessons, apply and your life will be better for it.

I love love love this book and I will definitely be on a lookout for the hard copy. I need this book in my library. I mentioned in my last post how I read the book twice In four days, I read it one more time again, just in case I missed something. I thoroughly  enjoyed reading it.

P.S I loved writing this. Thank you Teni for pushing me to do this.