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Ferocious Faith

Cora Jakes Coleman dreamed of becoming a mother even when she was a little girl. She also knew she wanted to go into ministry. When she was five-years-old Cora wasn’t shy about telling everyone, who asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. “I’m going to be a preacher like my daddy,” she would respond. Today, she preaches just like her father, but Cora isn’t riding on her father’s coattails. She has fought battles of her own.  
Growing up, Cora didn’t like what she saw in the mirror. She explains, “At the age of twelve or thirteen, I went through depression. As a young brown-skinned girl, I didn’t feel like I was pretty or even valuable. It wasn’t like I didn’t feel loved. My family and friends made me feel extremely loved. I just didn’t love myself... I believe I attempted suicide at least three times during that season in my life.” She began to dig into the Word of God to remind herself how the Lord saw her. Cora explains, “I started telling myself a different story—the story of what God said about me—and kept repeating it until I finally believed it. That is ferocious faith.”

After a car accident, doctor’s discovered large cysts on her ovaries leading to surgery to have one ovary removed. She was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which causes infertility issues. “I vividly remember the day the doctors told me it would be difficult for me to get pregnant. I can still feel the dampness from the tears that flowed down my face,” she recounts. After several failed IVF attempts, she and her husband Brandon decided to adopt. Cora explains, “Amauri came into my life after my first failed IVF cycle. I remember the first time I saw her picture and was told she was available to adopt. I was apprehensive because my daughter is half-Hispanic and half-black, and I didn’t want her to feel out of place in our African American family. Little did I know that God had already set us up for success.” When her husband saw the photo of Amauri, he knew she was their daughter. When they first met her, she ran and jumped into their arms. “She received my family as if God had been showing her all along who we were,” Cora says.

Josiah “JoJo” Jackson was her first son. “He was the first baby boy I would love beyond words. After my initial IVF cycle and Amauri’s adoption, my husband and I decided to keep growing our family through foster care.” After they cared for and bonded with baby JoJo, Cora received an email saying that his life-giver wanted him to be placed with another family. Cora was devastated! “I have never felt so much sorrow and anger at one time,” she shares. Through all the pain, Cora went into a deep depression. She knew that the only way to get through it was to submerge herself into the things of God and learn to fight spiritually. She began to dig deep into the word of God. She began to pray, praise, and worship Him. She understood that God must have a different plan. Cora explains, “It hurt my heart when JoJo was taken from us, but the healing process God took me through helped make me ferocious. I thought losing JoJo was going to destroy me, but instead, it brought out the strength in me I never knew I had.”  Little did she know that one of her biggest tests was yet to come.

When Cora and Brandon were presented with adopting Jason, they learned that he would come to them as a newborn. “We were there for his first bath, his first steps, his first words—the whole nine yards,” she says. A year after Jason was born, his mother relinquished her parental rights to Brandon and Cora. They were ecstatic! A year after that when they were finalizing the adoption, they faced the fight of their lives. The adoption was contested. They had to face a judge to defend their character. The whole process took almost two years.  In the end, the judge ruled in their favor and they officially adopted Jason on September 12, 2018.

During these intense battles, Cora learned how to fight by using the weapons God has given to all his children: The weapon of prayer, fasting, and God’s word. Cora explains, “If you don’t have a consistent lifestyle of communication with God, you won’t be able to handle the weight of the responsibility that comes with what you are seeking in prayer.” It’s not enough to have the weapons, you have to know how to skillfully use them.

You also have to learn how to think like a warrior. Cora explains, “You would be surprised how much your thinking controls your outcomes. The Bible tells us, ‘For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he’” (Prov. 23:7, KJV). Paying attention to what we allow our minds to dwell on is crucial to learning to fight effectively.  

The weapon of approach is also important. “How you approach is as important as your weapon,” Cora says, “When David faced Goliath, he made a point to shut him down. That is how you approach the enemy.” As we pray, read the word, and fast, we understand our authority in Christ. This is key when we approach the enemy because we cannot waiver and allow fear and doubt to creep in during battle.

Mentioned in the Video

Guest Info


Author, latest: Ferocious Warrior (Charisma House, July 2019)

New York Times bestselling author


Celebrity advisor

Director of children’s ministry at Potter’s House

Serves in various capacities at Potter’s House

Married to Brandon with two adopted children.


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