Seed Coat

When I wrote about my teenage pregnancy I knew it would create a buzz. I even sent out a mass text message to some of my closest friends asking them to pray for me because I was planning to open my heart. One of my good friends asked, “Aren’t you afraid of what people will say?” I thought about it for a moment but then I realized…no one could say anything to me, that I hadn’t already thought myself… There wasn’t a name nor statistic that I hadn’t already looked up. I knew the odds were against me… I remember the letters that came telling me my life was over, the calls to the church telling me that my child was born in sin and would not live. I knew what the lady in the store thought when she saw my young face then noticed my growing frame. I knew that from the outside looking in I didn’t look like I’d ever be much.

When I moved to Virginia and my husband, a professional football player, would introduce me and people would tell me “I lucked up” I knew what they were thinking too. Most of the time people assumed I was a young girl who got lucky, married a man with potential, and was living the life (even though we all know he’s the lucky one lol). People often judge a person based on what they see on the outside. They need two or three characteristics and they assume they know your whole life. Teen mom? That won’t be your last baby, you’ll be on welfare, food stamps, and whatever else you can get by 19. Live in the hood? You’ll never get out unless it’s on a prison bus or in a casket. Homeless? Must have an addiction or too lazy to work.

I didn’t graduate from high school two years after having my son because it was easy. I graduated when I did because, in spite of what it looked like on the outside, I had promise inside of me. I dared to define myself, not by what others thought, but by what God said I could be.

Looking back on that time in my life, I realize the mistakes I made that should have ended my future, are the reasons I even have one to look forward to. Life would be much easier without the trials and troubles we go through. I know for a fact my parents would have preferred to meet their grandson later in life but God wasn’t working on THEIR present he was working on MY future.

When I had my son I thought maybe God was trying to tighten our family bond. A few years later, I though God was also trying to insure that I didn’t lose focus in school. It wasn’t until a month ago when I wrote “Guided Me Home” that I realized I had my son for this moment, this season in my life. Had I not learned to withstand the critics and hate when my young body began to grow with life, how could I withstand the critics when thousands read a little blog that was supposed to be my diary? How else would I have learned the value of transparency if I weren’t forced to be transparent? After all you can’t hide a baby, it’s even harder when your dad’s church has 36,000 members. I learned very quickly that my pregnancy would not be a private matter.

How amazing is our God that He can take our past, place it in His slingshot and use it to propel us into the future? What you are facing now may have several purposes..it may be to strengthen you, maybe it’s to show you who people are in your life, maybe it’s to wake you up……You know what else it could be? It could be to set you up for your future.

My daughter and I went to the store and purchased one of my favorite snacks, sunflower seeds. When I got home I noticed she reached for one and put the whole seed in her mouth. She didn’t realize that there was a hard shell protecting what was on the inside.

You are looking from the outside of your situation and you don’t see the worth in your struggle. I want you to know something: the outside is just a covering, your destiny lies within. In biology, they say that the seed coat is only removed when the elements are right and it is time for the seed to produce new life. Your past did not steal your future, it just helped crack the seed coat that leads to His promises for your life.

When I think about the not so quiet whispers of those who judged me, I realize they weren’t looking at my seed, they didn’t know it was in there, they were looking at my seed coat. My coat may be banged up by life, it may be bruised by sins, and scratched by my mistakes…but each hit I took cracked my seed coat, leading me one step closer to unleashing my destiny. Don’t forget that you still have life in you! You are not the seed coat, you are the seed. God is protecting your potential, even in the midst of trials and struggles. When the environment is right and the world is ready, He will remove the coat and we will all see the abilities, He knew was in you all along.

God I thank you for reminding me that there is life in me. Thank you for your schematic plan that led to this moment. My words have reached across the street, down the corner, up the interstate, and around the globe…touching Your people. Thank you for showing me early that I was made for such a time as this. Somewhere, someone is looking at themselves thinking they have no promise…thinking they have no potential…. God strengthen them today. Help them to see that there is life in them. Help them to remember, in spite of what people may say, that they are the seed, not the seed coat.

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Comments

  1. I’m a attendee of WTAL 2011. Last night, was my first time hearing your testimony and I’m encouraged!!! I have walked in the shoes of your parents. Thank you for your transparency. It’s not about us but it’s about what GOD wants to do in ALL of our lives. Your family is a blessing to my family. Love….

  2. what an awesome word

  3. Awesome

  4. Rita Rogers says:

    So beautifully written. Thank you!

  5. Awesome Sarah indeed touching. You are an inspiration!

  6. Awesome!

  7. Michelle4jesus says:

    Thank you for letting me know that I have a powerful sees in me. Thank you for sharing. This is what I know, you sharing your heart shows me that I can too share the deepest of my heart. I am a felon. Many are surprised to see me til they see the barest of my soul. The seed in me is what produces Gods most amazing grace. Thank you Jesus for mercy. Thank you for dear mrs precious Sarah Henson. She is a blessing to our lives.

  8. Thank you Sarah. I can’t help it I just need to cry. Your blog continues to bless and strengthen me!

    GOD BLESS YOU.

  9. Your words today meant so much to me. I had to repost some of them on my facebook page. You know what I went through and now the doctors think they might have to cut me again. I felt my spriit fall so low that I was starting to give up. Being so strong for everyone else I wasn’t strong for myself. Thank you for alowing God to use you to remind me that he isn’t finish with me yet. I need to trust him and know that only him can dicate my future. I must believe in him and only him to direct my path.

    Father I give myself unto you. Forgive me clense me lead me to you the path you want me to take.

  10. Okay, now that I have picked myself up once again from your readings and wiped my eyes and smile at this precious “jewel” that you are. I’ve said it before & will say it again, continue to be “bold” for him & don’t 2nd guess what “HE” has given you to speak on. I’m so proud of you and your tenaciousness to stand up against the enemy. I know in my spirit that he is doing great things for you & I truly believe that the ears have not heard, nor eyes have seen what the Goodness of the Lord has in store for you. This is your season & I encourage you to walk in it. Please note that you have more supporters & far much more LOVE than you do “haters”!! But I’m loving how they hating on you sis, because they don’t realize it is ONLY making you stronger for the task that God has ahead of you! Keep being “YOU”, because you’re doing a very fine & classy job at it!! Love you much!! ##soproud##

  11. it touchd ma heart too…thnx

  12. I needed to hear this, its from the Lord’s heart 🙂 Thank You!

  13. This really touched my heart,and helped me to have more faith in God.
    Thank you

  14. Sonya Goins says:

    You are truly helping me with this thing call life…. 🙂 Thank you

  15. Thank You!

  16. Amazing, beautiful, transparent message – truly a blessing to the body of CHRIST – THANK YOU SARAH FOR YOUR BRAVERY AND COURAGE TO OBEY GOD against all odds.

  17. whoa. your blogs keep getting better and better every time!!! :))
    awesome job Sarah!!

  18. Continue to live a strong and courageous life. You are walking in your purpose and you will be able to reach the masses with your message. Young women need to hear what you have to say. You have great creditability as you have walked this thing out. Your blog always inspires me. There is power in sharing your struggles, trials and ultimate triumph!

  19. Wow…that was powerful. Thank you for sharing.

  20. SoGrateful says:

    Speechless….THERE ARE NO WORDS THAT I CAN EVEN GRASP TO DESCRIBE MY FEELINGS RIGHT NOW. Thank you for being obedient to God and most of all availabe.

    Heavenly Father wrap your arms around my sister right now. I thank you for all that you are doing in her and for her in this season. We bind up the hands of the enemy and speak that every plot and plan of the enemy shall fall to the ground and die. No weapon formed against her shall prosper in Jesus Name. Thank you for the lives that will be changed by the thousands…. In Jesus Name, Amen!

  21. April Johnson says:

    My eyes are watery.. I needed this and it serves as a reminder that greatness is on the end side of me. Dispite my struggles, trails and tribulations what people think so say. Thank you for your transparency and boldness to share your journey with the world. The bible says iron sharpens iron it was by accident I read your blog. Sarah this so much I can saw but I wouldn’t enough space to write it all. You are sweet power house continue to write as God inspires you through his holy spirit!! Blessings!!

  22. For all of us with a vision thank u! Just the word to get us to the next day! God is using u Transparency will lead us to Transformation! God Bless

  23. Thanks Sarah you are an absolute jewel!

  24. Alana Watkins says:

    Beautiful words. Experience with our Father blesses every life when we share it. Thank you!

  25. A powerful word. The Seed Coat. Thank you for your transparency.

  26. I absolutely love this post. Every word is so true. Indeed written for such a time as this!

    Reading all the way from London, UK

  27. timothy sunday says:

    Am an orphan, I can payed my final school fees here In Nigeria myself, but I focus on is inspiration words and I believe I can go better 4 here. Thanks sarah I love u

  28. Life Changing!!!

  29. So many lessons shared in the “Seed Coat”. Looking forward to the day that God perfects unconditional love in us and through us. Only one suggestion. Readers should grab a box of Kleenex. Thanks for sharing your heart and being a walking testimony of the Life within.

  30. This is my first time reading your blog, but, after reading this, it will not be my last. God put it on my mind and in my heart to stop what I was doing and read this. It speaks volumes for what I too went through and am going through. Thank you sooo much Sarah for sharing

  31. Zaey Zaey says:

    May the good Lord bless you in every way possible. As you use your writing to help others, I pray he provides for your needs and helps you to be a good mother and wife to your kids and husband in Jesus most precious name I pray. Thank you yet again. X

  32. Wonderful example of a loving God’s amazing grace! Thanks for sharing your story. Blessings on you.

  33. Sarah, you are a true hero and I love you and miss you so much, You are an inspiration to women all over the world

  34. such an on time inspiration for thank-you and Bless God!!

  35. miss braham says:

    You are a blessing. You have no idea how much I needed this. Thank you for writing. God bless you

  36. Thank you for reminding me that he continues to protect me while I go through.Inspite of what people think or say. As long as I know I’m alright knowing that Jesus is on myside. Glory!!!!

  37. Sarah, Sarah! I hadn’t visited your blog sine “Dear America” and I meant to visit last night but I am in Awe this morning after prayer to read this “Fresh Oil” that God has given you, “Seed Coat.”

    I am scheduled to preach on Sunday in a Women’s Day Service and the Theme: “Lord Heal My Heart.” Your blog has given me the conclusion of what God spoke into my spirit for the women and men that will be present in this service. I have already shared it with my FB family. I call you the Female Carbon Copy of your Dad, Bishop T.D. Jakes (one of my all-time favorite Preachers).

    I am a Grandmother that raised 4 of my daughter’s children after she was murdered in 1999. My 19 year old grand daughter is pregnant now. She decided to move out. I have never had the opportunity to meet her boyfriend, so she is very Angry with me because of her mistake. She graduated from high school last year and I had high hopes for her. I really don’t know how to reach her, so I keep her on the altar whereas God can deal with her heart. Certainly, I am embarassed as was your parents for we would like our kids to graduate and go on to college and have successful careers. Life isn’t always what we expect it to be.

    I will send her this blog. Keep her in your prayers. I love you and appreciate the Gift that is in your Seed.

  38. This post speaks to me in so many ways. Its amazing.

    Thank you, Sarah, for making yourself so transparent that even those of us who thought we knew you are standing in awe of you at this very moment. Looking back, I never thought I’d be saying this to you, but regardless of close we’ve been or are now, I’m thankful to know you and be able to see this side of you. I’m glad you’re in my life, in some form.

    You’re talented, intellegent, and wise beyond your years.

    Thank you. Thank God for you.

  39. As always Sarah…WOW! Thanks 4 the continues inspiration! Either you are on point with where I am or where I have traveled already. It’s a great reminder or ispiration to continue with my journey! Great Work!

  40. Minister M says:

    Holding back the tears…from the “joy of your morning.” Your husband is not “lucky” but BLESSED and favored to have beauty, intellect and grace..wrapped in the Robe of our heavenly Father. Next time I eat a sunflower seed..I’ll remember the SON is in the seed.

  41. Stacia Williams says:

    Wonderful:)

  42. Carmen Stovall says:

    wow,you are truely gifted,i stumbled across you from a retweet frm T D Jakes last week and i have been following you every since…..just your words are a big help

  43. Wonderfully articulated!!! Me being a scientist loved the seed coat metaphor. As always I admire your courage and boldness! The voice of this generation! KEEP WRITING!!! Patiently awaiting your book release…#3 FAN

  44. Natalie Mott says:

    Wow, this is an amazing message! I appreciate your transparency and I find hope in this message today. I was a teenage mother and a high school drop out, but I returned to receive my GED shortly after giving birth. I am a first time college student at a University and I finally realize that everything that happened to me was really happening for me and to fulfill God’s purpose in my life. Blessings to you – Sarah and your family! Your words give me hope to continue on this journey!

  45. I’m reading your blog and my worship cd changes to the next song which is journey by the daystar singers…I can’t help but cry reading your words and listening to the song. I just want to thank you because I allowed the enemy (people, the judging etc..) to confuse me in believing all I am is the seed coat..Now I want to cherish the seed and give God thanks for the seed inside of me!!!!

  46. Lovely. Touching. Inspiring. And your seed/seed coat illustration drove the point home. Thanks 4 sharing.

  47. TashaGRich says:

    Another word from you that hits us all where we live. Keep it up. Your words are what the world needs more of, realism. India, you are not your hair, well sister, I am NOT my seed coat.

  48. Thank you woman of God for this word. God knew exactly what I neeed to hear on this day, and he sent this word through you, just for me. Be blessed and continue to bless others with your work.

  49. Deep, hmmmnnnn.

    Just like a chick about to hatch, the real me is about to be revealed. Am coming out!!!!!

  50. Brittany Eady says:

    Wow – This has really brought tears to my eyes. Often times we get caught up in our mistakes or what we did not accomplish at that time when all the while God was preparing us. I love the illustration you gave about the “the seed!” My God – SELAH! God bless you!

  51. THANKS THANKS THANKS!!! Your blogs are blessing so many people!! Love you your #2 Fan

  52. Sydney Brooks says:

    Sarah, excellent. I was in a situation similar but, I decided to place my son up for adoption. At the the time, I did not hagve a job, did not really have a place to stay, refuse to go on welfare, family that a story in itself lol. I did what was best for him, because I new that at the time I wasnot able to take care of him, I could’nt take care of myself. My so called friends gave me A hard time. ex. How could you do something like that? you must be crazy etc…. I replied until you walk in my shoes don’t judge. Sarah , just keep doing what you are doing and as Bishop said Sunday “KILL THAT THANG”! 🙂

  53. Beautifully written….Wow!

  54. Jeannette humphrey says:

    Very good read keep doing what you do best

  55. Loved this – and the title and the premise!!! Thank you for your transparency. I have everything I went through wasn’t just for me, it was for everyone who I will help, inspire and encourage. Please continue to do what you do! Many blessings!!

  56. Loved this article…and your transparency.

    Loving the premise and precept of the Seed Coat as well.

    Be inspired to continue doing what you’re doing. I know now through my own experiences that what I’ve been through has only been to help others around me and give them encouragement & hope.

    Bless you!!!

  57. Jay Onland says:

    Hi Sarah, Thank you for being so candid. I personally believe that you have outgrown this space! Blessings.
    Jay
    BTW I’m from MD and my pastor Jamal Bryant believes he rules words with friends. He deserves a good challenger.I think you can beat him:)

  58. I experienced the same ridicule as you, being an unwed mother. I didn’t allow it to hinder God’s purpose for my life. I entered into His loving embrace and received a boldness that took me through a pregnancy, graduating from uni and now as a mum raising a son on my own. In 7 days he will be 6 yrs old.I have been joyfully counting the days down, not just because of another birthday but because I was told I couldn’t do it. One individual said, ‘look at you now, what are you going to be in 5 yrs?’ I’ve done so much more in 5 yrs than that individual.
    My seed coat was hard and unpleasant, but the potential that was within was enormously greater. It has plummeted me into my destiny.
    Sarah, God is using you to build confidence in the lives of people. That despite the depth of their failures/our failures, He’s a forgiving God. His grace is sufficient!

  59. My niece got pregnant the summer before her junior year. She lives in a small town outside “the city” code for there was only ONE high-school. Parents told their kids to stop hanging out with her, the list goes on, pages long. Her father works in administration at the school district and her mother is the dr. (psychologist) for the district. She was/is an “A” student in AP classes. My sister/her mother called and said what do I tell people? (once they had to go public) I looked up to the heavens, literally crying just asking God for one word on how to handle the beginning of a new journey. We knew how difficult and ugly people including family could be. We desperately wanted to shield and protect her. I had no words. I told her I would seek God……we hung up, moments later I called her back. God dropped in my spirit “we don’t celebrate sin, but we do celebrate life.” There’s so much more to the story – I don’t have the room to write. But my niece is now a Senior finishing up school. I’m passing your blog post along to her. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, your personal disclosure will minister to her in areas only someone who’s walked in those shoes would understand. Thank you for sharing and for walking forward!

  60. Again, another POWERFUL post!

    Thanks again for being so transparent. I have made many missteps as well; I am a divorcee and I was the first in my immediate family to have one. To describe my feelings of shame and disappointment would take quite some time. I understand how you must have felt back then when you became pregnant at a young age. Yet, this is true: the seed coat is only the outer shell that protects our true potential, despite our mistakes or missteps. We are SO MUCH MORE than what others see! I am thankful that my seed coat is finally shedding and the real me is emerging!

    I cannot wait to see where your seed coat shedding will take YOU!

  61. #blessing

  62. I am just crying Sarah, you speak to my heart.. you do…OH MY GOODNESS Sarah my sister in the Lord… WE NEED TO TALK, We def need to meet, you write and speak to my heart, into my life, you minister to me, I know you do and each time I read, I cry, I cry so much because I relate… I relate in many ways..”.When I think about the not so quiet whispers of those who judged me, I realize they weren’t looking at my seed, they didn’t know it was in there…” Thank you, you have inspired me in many ways… I hope you will read this, please whenever you can, http://rutendomu.wordpress.com/ my 1st blog testify some more…. EXTRA-ORDINARY SEEDS!

  63. Woow, Sarah I don’t think you have any idea how much God is working through your blog. I am personally going thru a rough time dealing with shame and guilt of being in a past relationship. I feel so ashame I can’t even begin to say .
    Before I took the subway I saw your tweet asking if we wanted to read u I replied Yes and while in the sub was thinking about my shame and all I could do was cry.
    When I came out I read your piece it was really like the most soothing embrace ever . Thats the second time it has happened and all I can say is wow God really speaks to me thru my twitter feed .
    In the end all I want to say is simply thank you !!! Keep writing God is using u . Im still learning to forgive myself but this here will sure help on this journey
    Bless You

  64. I felt my belly leap like when Elizabeth and Mary’s wombs came together w/ Jesus and John the Baptist….thank you for inspriring me and being obedient to the anointing within you to call out the deep things within us.

  65. Tasha Smith says:

    Bishop said the thing that led to the thing! Love it! This generation needs to know how we got/get through trials not just that we did. God bless you woman of God! Keep inspiring us.

  66. “in spite of what it looked like on the outside, I had promise inside of me.I dared to define myself, not by what others thought, but by what God said I could be. I want you to know something: the outside is just a covering, your destiny lies within.Your past did not steal your future, it just helped crack the seed coat that leads to His promises for your life.God is protecting your potential, even in the midst of trials and struggles. ”

    This is good,encouraging and on time!.I sometimes find myself overwhelmed by the challenges of life.Praying,crying and seeking God.For I only want to Live out His Purpose for me.And when I read about how God has brought people through, I KNOW He will bring me through.I found, that you kept holding on to God’s unchanging hand.There is some kind of peace in knowing that no matter WHAT happens all you have to do is say “Jesus,I know You’re listening, and I need Your help”..He is there…God’s Grace covers us.Any problem that we might have GOD IS BIGGER THAN THAT!!..For God can Dream a dream bigger than we could Ever Imagine!

    Keep Writing Sarah, I’m reading and learning.God Bless.

  67. Wow!You did it again. Bless you mighty woman of God!

  68. You are truly gifted on so many levels. I know that you may have heard or read this from many of your followers.
    For me, this is what I believe, if you don’t mind me sharing…
    There are many who won’t answer the call, have decided that they didn’t want the responsibility to be the voice God needed them to be for his people. You were chosen, you speak of it yourself, you have weathered the storm and have decided, ‘I’ll do it’. You were equipped to be the beacon.
    Think of Mary, the mother of Jesus, a young teen mom. I’m certain that some of the thoughts, tongue wagging and stares mirrored yours.
    I shake my head at myself because I wonder if I’m one of those people I speak of above (although I’ve not totally given up).

    You have moved me…to want to move forward and I thank God for you.

  69. Kaldejia Faulk says:

    Thank you for your transparency

  70. pvarsenec says:

    Simply lovely!

  71. Thanks for your transparency & wisdom. This blessed me indeed….

  72. Alfreda Pittman says:

    That one hit home for me Sarah. All I can say is, thank you.

  73. “Standing Ovation”. What a liberator u are!!

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