Giving You the Gospel with Cora Jakes Coleman
Cora Jakes Coleman (the eldest daughter of T.D. Jakes), is finally telling her deeply personal, wildly compelling story of a near-death car accident, fertility struggles, and her adoption success stories. Cora reveals these issues and more in her new book, Faithing It: Bringing Purpose Back To Your Life! She recently spoke with JET about what made her step out to write this book and gives us a sneak peek into her story!
JET: What made you step out and write this book Faithing It?
Cora: Faithing It was based on the premise of “we overcome by the word of our testimony.” I thought that it was very important that people don’t just see the winning that happens after you’ve overcome, but they see the process that it takes in order for you to get to the confidence of overcoming. So, Faithing It was based on my desire to overcome but also my desire for the world as a whole to overcome. It teaches you what God told me and what God did to help me get through the struggles that I faced in life.
JET: It takes a lot of courage for many people to be transparent about their lives in the way you are in this book. Was that a challenge for you?
Cora: Not at all. I would say it has a lot to do with growing up in a fish bowl as I mention in the book. I guess because of that, the story of my struggles didn’t really lend itself to being private. I honestly feel that even if I wanted to have kept my story quiet, it would’ve gotten out anyways [sic]. I prefer to be the teller of my story than to give someone else the opportunity to tell it.
JET: At only 28 years old you have already experienced — firsthand — many of the same heartbreaks and struggles millions of women go through every day. You also address many of the hidden feelings that keep people distracted from their purpose. What are some of those feelings? What can we as believers do about them?
Cora: Well, when we talk about the different stages or feelings rather, I talk about those in two different instances. The first instance is that when we have to let go of our plan and our idea of what we want for our life and give it up and sacrifice it to the better will of whatever we believe in, then we go through the literal stages of grieving that in which we had planned. We literally go through the denial, we go through the anger, we go through the depression, we go through the isolation, and then eventually we all hit acceptance understanding that whatever it is that God has for us and whatever it is that we are believing for, it will come to pass once you are able to reach acceptance. It’s something that we all have to go through. But, the minute that we are able to face that we all have to go through the emotions of anger, isolation and depression in order to reach the place of acceptance, then we’ll be that much better in the long run. It’s my hope that I’ll be able to encourage people to endure the race.
JET: In your book, you write “be careful whose life you envy.” In the age of social media, this statement is relevant. How do you feel this applies to society’s constant thirst for rich and famous lifestyles or even to the countless people who seem to wish they were someone else?
Cora: When we look at other people, it is very easy to judge others when we don’t have to worry about being self-examined or we don’t have to worry about looking at ourselves and what’s wrong with us, and why we are not where we want to be. Then, it’s also very easy to live in the life of others vicariously through pictures and videos because that’s easier than dealing with the real issue of self. So, what I tell people is “worry about yourself.” If you spent half as much time worried about you as you do about what everyone else is doing, then you will be much further along than where you are now. We have to stop looking at others before we look at ourselves because it causes a hindrance. It doesn’t help us get to our full potential or to accomplish that in which we have been designed to accomplish.
JET: You shared quite a few challenging experiences in this book. Can you give us a sneak peek of what the reader can expect to learn about those experiences?
Cora: Yes, I touch on my infertility and my early years of relationships where…well, I guess they say you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you get to your prince — and my frogs couldn’t keep their hands to themselves. I went through a lot of abusive relationships. I went through molestation as a young girl in elementary school. I went through rape by a boyfriend of mine, and then later infertility. I’ve lived a lot of life, and I’ve gone through a lot of experiences that I speak on in my book. But again, when we talk about overcoming by our testimony, it means the world to me to not only be able to share my testimony, but to be able to see others be able to thrive because of it.
JET: Let’s talk more about your story of infertility. You have a very unique perspective on that topic.
Cora: Absolutely. That’s one of my favorite questions because immediately when you say “infertility” you lose the men, and you lose women who have had children because people tend to solely define infertility as not being able to conceive. But, when you think of the definition of infertile, it means “the inability to produce.” Now when you think about your purpose and your dreams and the promises and the things that you’ve desired, when you allow the fear of your tests and trials to stop you, then you are not producing that in which you have desired or want to call your purpose. It puts you in an infertile place. From that perspective, we all have a level of infertility in life. The subject is whether you’re going to let your fear fail you or motivate you to go forward anyway.
JET: What would you say to those asking themselves the question: “Is it okay to be angry after a major set back?”
Cora: It is absolutely okay for you to be angry. It would be unrealistic for you to not have some type of anger when you have gone through an extreme loss. There is an anger, a depression and a discouragement that happens whenever you’re going through setbacks in any magnitude. I think it’s important for people to understand that it’s ok for you to be angry, it’s okay to be discouraged, and it’s okay to be disappointed. But, it is not okay for you to stop fighting. When you do not fight for your promise, who will? You have the power to speak life to your situation. Trust God’s ability. You have to believe or “faith” bigger, understand bigger, and be able to have a personal relationship with God.
JET: In your book, you speak about depression. Did it take you long to find your way out of that place?
Cora: Yes! Especially after IVF (in vitro fertilization). When we went through our first IVF cycle, and we started foster care, we received a foster son and then after the failed IVF, they also took the foster son that we had. It was absolutely devastating for me… It seemed like blows back to back to back. It was very difficult for me to get up. But, the minute that I started writing about my infertility… the minute that I started to tell my testimony, I became stronger. When I began to boast about my weakness, then God really became strong in me and I was able to overcome the depression that the enemy would have tried to drown me in. I was able to overcome and birth anew because of my belief in God. It’s easy to stay under the water, but the trust and the faith is to reach up and believe that God is going to pull you out. That’s what I did. I trusted, I reached, and God pulled me out.
JET: What have you learned throughout your journey so far?
I have learned that the enemy is small, that you will receive the enemy the way you perceive him. You should change your perspective to see him as small and ineffective because that is what he is. I have learned that social media is what you make it. I have learned that if you have a large audience on social media, you should use it for the glory of God. I joined Periscope not too long ago and I’m excited and honored to use that space and others to be an advocate and a presenter of God’s ability.
JET: You’re a mother now, you have adopted children who you have taken in as your own. Tell us a little about that…
Yes, I am a mother — it is the most amazing gift that God could give. It is a pleasure and a process every day. There are challenges along the way, but I am glad and happy and honored to able to be a mom in any capacity. I’ve enjoyed myself so, so much.
I wouldn’t say that I’m fully on the other side of my journey yet, but I am certainly enjoying the side that I am on. I’m being encouraged as I watch God move and prepare a way for me to able to have all of the things that He has promised me. My story isn’t over yet.
JET: How can people connect with you and the Faithing It movement that is connected to this book?
Cora: Get the book! Then, write me your testimonies and send me videos of how the book is helping and encouraging you. You can email me via my website, www.corajakescoleman.com. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Instagram and Periscope.