This week’s episode features two guests who discuss how they found authenticity and wholeness in God. First, we speak with Sadie Robertson, star of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and also A&E’s Duck Dynasty. Sadie shares her journey of finding freedom through being real and vulnerable to God and to others. She is passionate about speaking and writing in the hopes of encouraging others to embrace who they really are. Her latest book is entitled Live Fearless and Walk in Confidence of Freedom. Our second guest is Touré Roberts, pastor of The Potter’s House. Touré shares his background growing up with a single mom in an at-risk area of Los Angeles, and discusses how we can overcome our limitations and begin the journey to becoming whole in Christ.
Wholeness & Authenticity From the Inside Out: Sadie Robertson & Toure’ Roberts – Jesus Calling Podcast Episode #80
Narrator: Welcome to the Jesus Calling Podcast. Today, have two guests who discuss how they found authenticity and wholeness in God. First, we speak with Sadie Robertson, star of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and also A&E’s Duck Dynasty. Sadie shares her journey of finding freedom through being real and vulnerable to God and to others. She is passionate about speaking and writing in the hopes of encouraging others to embrace who they really are. Her latest book is entitled Live Fearless and Walk in Confidence of Freedom.
Sadie Robertson: I’m Sadie Robertson. I am really and truly just a follower of Jesus. I have been able to do a lot of cool things only because God’s opened some really cool doors. And I’m just walking in that, and it’s been a really fun journey so far.
I grew up in West Monroe, Louisiana. You’ve probably never heard of it because, truthfully, there really are more chickens than humans. That is a fact, I’m pretty sure. My family… we actually grew up running a small business called Duck Commander which a lot of people know now as Duck Dynasty. It was definitely not a dynasty when we were younger. We had this business running out of our garage, so we would make duck calls, and package t-shirts, and answer the phone calls. And, yeah, it was a very country lifestyle in a small town in Louisiana.
It’s really funny actually to think about the hopes and dreams when I was a child. I definitely went through wanting to do a lot of different things, but whenever I was five years old, I started preaching on my table at my house. I would stand up on the table, and I would preach to my parents. I would just tell them how God loves them and He has a plan for them and all these different things. At the time, when I was five years old, that was already what I just loved to. And my dad nicknamed me… well, actually, it’s kind of funny because my dad had a nickname for everyone, like all my friends, all my family, but not me which made me really mad. So I said, “Dad, I want a nickname so bad.” Finally he said, “Well, Sadie, you are just ‘The Original.’
You’re just ‘The Original.’” So he started calling me “The Original.”
As time goes on, now, of course, everything I do… my brand is “Live Original.” And that’s because when I was young that’s what my dad nicknamed me because of my passion to speak.
The Challenges of Overnight Fame
It is definitely a mix of fun times and challenges whenever you grow up and all of a sudden you have a reality TV show. I think, at first, we didn’t really realize any of the challenges, and it was all fun because we were just in West Monroe, Louisiana. I really was protected from knowing the extent of how Duck Dynasty had blown up because in West Monroe — since we had been there since we were young — nobody was bothering us, and I wasn’t going out. My parents were, but they always kept that shielded from us, and I didn’t have a public Instagram or anything. So I really didn’t know.
And I think the challenges came from whenever I got asked to be on Dancing With the Stars, that’s when things took a turn for me because going out to Hollywood and all of the sudden getting a public Instagram, all of the sudden overnight having 2 million people know your face and are following your lifestyle. It was weird. And so I think the biggest challenge for me was trying to find privacy, and I felt like everything had to be public. But, then, of course, as time goes on — and really with the help of my family because that goes back into the fun part of doing it with my family — we were able to help each other through these weird things we all were individually going through because we all took it differently.
“…the biggest challenge for me was trying to find privacy, and I felt everything had to be public.”
It was really cool to do it all together because we got to help each other through it. But, yeah, it was challenging, but even the challenges were kind of fun because we worked it out together as a family.
With “Reality TV,” stereotypically, people go crazy and families are destroyed. And the truth is, whenever Duck Dynasty started, our family had a lot of family meetings… a lot of like “Hey, if it gets to this point, we’re out. If this happens, we’re out.” And we stuck to that. There was one point in the show that they tried to take the prayer out, and my Papaw Phil said, “If you take the prayer out, we will not film TV. You can come, and you can put your cameras up, but we will not speak.” So we pulled out, and, of course, then they put the prayer in. So I think that with our family, we all fought together. We all were on the same page on what we wanted the end result to be. We knew it was 15 minutes of fame, and it is going to go away. This is not what our family… this is not like the prime time of our family’s whole life. We’ve been a family forever. This is a small glimpse of who our family really is. And so just keeping that perspective all together and talking about it helped a lot.
“We knew it was 15 minutes of fame, and it is going to go away.”
I’ll never forget, the first season that we were filming… actually the pilot. There were some producers there, and my Uncle Jace overheard them talking. They said “Man, we really hate to do this to this family because another good family is going to be destroyed.” And he shared that with us right after he heard it, and we were so determined to not let that be our family. But I think all of us individually, too, had to work really hard.
Letting God’s Character Shine Through
I remember what changed for me and kind of kept me grounded and keeping my perspective and my posture right is whenever I was starting to fall — as far as not going crazy on the outside but going crazy on the inside — and I was starting to get really anxious, and it really bothered me: this fame. I didn’t really want it. I was like, “I don’t really want people know who I am. I didn’t ask for this.” And you kind of get mad, and you get bitter. That’s dramatic, but it’s real.
And I remember, I went to this summer camp, and it was really good for me. I had this kind of a cry out to God. I was like, “God, why did you make me famous because I think you picked the wrong person. I don’t think I’m supposed to be a famous person. I don’t look like any of these other teenage girls. I don’t act like any of these other teenage girls. Am I supposed to look like them because I don’t?” And I was having this whole moment, and I just remember so clearly the Lord speaking to me and saying, “Sadie, I don’t need you to be another famous person. I need you to be a sister and a friend to people who don’t have a sister and a friend. When people see your page, I don’t even want them to see you. I want them to see Me and My character.” And I was like, “Ooh, wow.” That really did change everything for me.
And I know people can say that to me or my parents can say that to me, but it really took me asking God: “God, I need you to show me what you see in this because right now I’m just not seeing it.“
“I don’t need you to be another famous person. I need you to be a sister and a friend to people who don’t have a sister and a friend.”
I had to have that real moment for me to be able to walk on and do it the way I guess I’ve done, and the way family’s done it. I think we have all had that moment. My mom shared with me hers when she got down on her knees and stuff. And I think sometimes — even though you’re a family, and it’s important to listen to your family — it really is important to ask God: “What do You see?” That changed the game for me.
God wants to take our weaknesses and allow them to become a strength for the Kingdom of God. And I think the only way He can do that is if you give that up, and you give that to Him. The truth is… what’s happening with social media is it’s disguising itself as the most connected world ever, but we’re really the most separated that we’ve ever been because it’s not real… it’s not real. And whenever you look at something that’s not real and that’s perfect and you try to be that — and you’re never going to get that — it just causes so many problems.
I think that through words, through writing, and through the things that the Lord has walked me through, and really taking my pain from my past and turning it really into my passion and the things I talk about, it has not only been a huge thing for me to press on but for other girls to press on.
What Living Fearless Means
I think people are truthfully going to walk away from Live Fearless… fearless. I really mean that. I don’t think it’s just a book at all, by any means. I think that it is kind of the push and the movement to their walk in freedom because it is giving you a way to walk. It’s actually showing you. It’s giving you verses to declare over your life. It’s giving you the right words to say to Fear to get it out. It’s not one of those like, “Oh, you know, maybe you’ll become fearless if you do this like.” No. You will become fearless because in the name of Jesus, Fear has gotta go. So it’s just direct and straight on. It’s real. It’s my story. But when people read my story, truthfully, I feel like they’re not even going to think it’s me. They’re going to be thinking it’s them because it’s so real.
Most of the time, the things that I write about or the things that I talk about are the things I’m walking in right then, and I have to speak that over myself because I’m trying to get through it too. And I think it’s important girls know that.
To me, and I’ve quoted this a lot, but I always say, “Stop praying for your situation to change and start praying for your heart to change.” The situation may never change. It’s all about your posture. Walking into any situation with a joyful heart will carry you through.
“Stop praying for your situation to change and start praying for your heart to change.”
That’s Mary Kate’s, my sister-in-law, main message: “Walking into a joy-filled life.” Mary Kate was my best friend in high school along with her sister Kelly. Every Saturday, I would spend the night with them, and her dad would read us a Jesus Calling message the next morning, and it was always really powerful, and it was always just something consistent that her father would do to root the Word in our hearts and in our lives.
But I think that this whole “joy-filled” thing and walking in it, and even going back to Mary Kate being the friend that introduced me to it. I think that the reason that she’s there now is because of the things that she’s really dove into in the Word and finding that sustainability that’s carrying her through. Because she knows the Word of God is constant — He is the only constant thing that may ever be in our life — has really allowed her to find joy. And so I tell her story because her story was the most impacted from Jesus Calling, I think.
Narrator: Sadie shares a favorite passage from March 17th in Jesus Calling and tells us why it’s meaningful to her.
Sadie: “Nothing in all creation can separate you from My love. Pause and ponder what an astonishing promise this is. You live in a world where separations abound: wives from husbands, children from parents, friends from friends, childhood dreams from adult realities. But there is one terrible situation you will never have to face and that is the isolation from My loving presence. I want you to cling to Me with tenuous confidence. This gives you strength to cope with the uncertainties of living in such a broken unsustainable world.
“Anxious thoughts can assault your mind and fill you with fear if you forget that My love will never fail you. When you find yourself feeling afraid, grasp My hand in childlike trust. Rest in My protection and My presence, and remember that perfect love drives out fear.
“The greatest wealth on earth is minuscule compared with the riches of My boundless love.
Yet this is My free gift to all who follow Me. How priceless is Your unfailing love.”
I think that that is spot on because my prayer when I would get afraid is: “Hide me in the shadow of your wing, God. Just hide me in the shadow of your wing.” And even just knowing that you never have to face isolation because that’s one of the biggest fears ever. Just resting in the amount of love that is in the shadow of that wing and knowing that Somebody is there — and not only there, but covering you — has always been the thing that I’ve had to remind myself of, so this really could not be more spot on.
Narrator: We’ll have more of the Jesus Calling podcast after this brief message from Audible.
Audible Spot: As a special offering to you, the listeners of the Jesus Calling Podcast, Audible is offering a free audiobook download with a free 30-day trial to give you the opportunity to check out their service. Find your favorite Sarah Young titles, including Jesus Calling and Jesus Always in an audiobook version, and get it for free by trying Audible.com. Check out a small sample of the Jesus Calling audiobook featured at the end of this podcast. To download an entire free audiobook today, go to audibletrial.com/jesuscalling. Again, that’s audibiletrial.com/jesuscalling for your full, free audiobook. Now, onto the second half of our show.
Touré Roberts Finds Wholeness in Christ
Narrator: Our next guest is Touré Roberts, an author, speaker, producer, and founder of The Potter’s House at One LA, one of the fastest growing churches in Los Angeles. Touré was raised by a single mom, narrowly escaping the trappings of inner city life and finding success in corporate America. He shares his own transformational journey toward wholeness, which he has written about in his new book Wholeness: Winning in Life From the Inside Out.
Touré Roberts: My name is Touré Roberts, and I am a pastor and an author. I pastor two churches. They’re both Potter’s House churches. One is in Los Angeles. The other is in Denver, Colorado. I’m the Senior Pastor of both, and I write books. I love leaders and leadership, and I’m passionate about this new book called Wholeness. I think it’s an important work for for our time.
I am a California native. I was born in Oakland, California, but was raised in Los Angeles, in particular, south Los Angeles in a community called Watts which is only a couple of square miles. At the time that I was growing up there, there was so much crime concentrated in that small area that there was really no way to avoid being witness to some of the things that took place there. I was raised by my mom. She was a single parent. My father I had limited interaction with. They weren’t married when when I came into being, so my mom had to single-handedly raise a son in a tough neighborhood like that and work and climb up the corporate ladder. She did a really good job, particularly with the tools that she had.
I met Christ when I was nine. My understanding of Him was very limited. It was just that He died on the cross, I had a place in heaven, and if I got in trouble, He would bail me out. It would be much later that I went on a deeper journey which has kind of led me to the moment that I’m at now.
You know, my mom was really super smart. She knew, based on where she was financially at the time, she couldn’t necessarily move us entirely out of that area, but she could send me to places that would expose me to other things… diversity in culture and art. I remember her sending me to USC. They had a summer program for youth, and so I was literally taught the guitar by this awesome professor there on campus. She would send me to great summer camps and ultimately, to private school. She had a strategy. She sent me to a private Christian military school in Long Beach where I was not only exposed to a wide variety or a wider variety of people, but just to become a disciplined young man. It was also Christian, so it was very principle based. It was awesome. You know, I loved music. I loved to draw. And it was funny, at a really young age, I had this vision of being a child psychologist. I don’t know why, and I didn’t necessarily pursue that in school. But it’s funny now as you fast forward all these years, and I have an opportunity to speak truth and minister messages like Wholeness to God’s children. So you know, you’re always a little closer to purpose than you think. God puts it on the inside at an early age.
“You’re always a little closer to purpose than you think. God puts it on the inside at an early age.”
My background is business, and before being in ministry, I worked in corporate America for 11 years in the technology sector in the capacity of marketing and sales. I found myself being successful outside. I had a vibrant and robust social life. For my age, in particular, my finances were really, really strong. I had this trajectory for financial and social success, but inwardly, I was empty. I was broken. I didn’t like who I was. I was proud and arrogant. So there came a point in my life… you know, a lot of people meet God when they’re down and when they’re broken, and it wasn’t like that for me. I was broken inwardly but not outwardly, and so I began to seek the God that I embraced when I was nine years old. After a series of events over a seven month period, the message was clear: “I know that you believe in God, but now you need to surrender to God.”
Looking at How We Judge Ourselves
One of the chapters in the book I talk about is called “Thou Shall Know Thy Patterns.” We all have patterns. Oftentimes, we look at what we do, but we don’t look at why we do them. And I can recall a time in my life — and I actually talk about it in the book — where I finally reached a certain financial level where I could afford a very expensive watch.
So my gift to myself was this really expensive watch, and I would find myself not leaving out of the house unless I had on his watch. If I were going to the cleaners or somewhere, and I had on sweats or whatever, I would put on this watch. And one day, I just really had to be introspective and say, “Touré, why are you wearing this watch? It’s a nice watch and great for nice occasions, but you’re going to the cleaners, and you’ve got on sweats.” And as I began to really drill down and ask the question “Why?” I realized that I had a fear of people thinking that I was poor. I didn’t want to be rejected, you know? I live in an affluent area, and I wanted to feel like I fit in.
So here was something that seemed really simple and normal. I mean, hey, what’s wrong with putting on a nice watch? Well, there’s nothing wrong with putting on a nice watch unless you are finding your sense of adequacy in it.
Am I less worthy or less lovable or less of a person, a beautiful person, if I don’t spend this money on myself? So brokenness thrives in all of our blind spots. Right now in our culture, there’s a lot of division in our culture, and some of it rides on racial lines and different things.
I think on every side of that argument, the reality is sometimes maybe we are what people accuse us of. We are the hardest people to see. We can see everyone else and make comments and judgments about everyone else, but the only person that we cannot fully see is us.
“Brokenness thrives in all of our blind spots.”
Again, I think that’s why the message in Wholeness is important because it challenges you to look within and just maybe you’ll discover something that you could not see on your own that was actually a sabotaging element to the future that God wants you to live.
Ministry was really just an organic outpouring and overflow of what was happening in my life personally. And then being a business person, I said, “Well, it’s obvious God’s hand is on me. I’m in this church. I’m growing very fast.” When you’re young and you’re on fire, the pastor puts you over just about every ministry. And I said, “How can I facilitate this gift and this calling in a way that can reach more people?” And the end result was ultimately planting a church that became the Potter’s House.
I have a saying: “The word ‘No’ is anointed.” You can’t even added the word “anoint” without “no.”
Being Open To Our Brokenness
Wholeness has been a message I’ve been teaching for the past five years or so in one capacity or another. I thought that I was going to go away and sit down and write this book about what I mean about “wholeness.” Yeah, right. I get there, and God begins to reveal areas of brokenness that I didn’t even know I had. So in the process of writing Wholeness was another level of personal wholeness for me. I cried like a baby every chapter of the book.
You know, in Christendom, and I’m generalizing, but oftentimes we set the standard high, and I think that we should step to set the standard high; but sometimes we set it so high that we are afraid to really take a look within. We’re celebrated and rewarded for our accomplishments, for how long we’ve been married… “Bless God, we’ve been married 50 years.” Which I think is absolutely incredible. But here’s the reality: 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. I’m not happy about that, but that’s reality. And the reasons are plenteous. This means that in church — and the numbers, by the way, do not skew up or down Christian versus secular — in your congregation, you’ve got people who’ve been divorced and you’ve got people who are remarried. And I found that no one talks about these things, and again I’m generalizing and speaking from a limited perspective, but I just think that there was a lack of content in the Christian world about being self-aware and inviting God into heal your brokenness. I don’t hear that talked about enough.
I think we want everything to be perfect, and God willing, one day it will be. But sometimes it’s the very thing that you want to hide that if you get healed and you overcome it, it becomes what makes you really powerful and effective force in the earth.
Prioritizing What Matters Most
Narrator: Touré and his wife Sarah Jakes Roberts, who are co-pastors in their growing church, are intent on putting their family first. Touré shares how they balance their time serving others and taking care of their family.
We are extremely busy. We live in both California and Colorado. Our kids are in school here in Colorado. For us, we prioritize our lives. You know, people look at us, and they say, “Wow, you’re busy.” And some may consider it successful, but what they don’t know is that if our marriage gets in trouble or our kids need us, we will put guest speakers in both campuses for six months straight if necessary because we have learned to prioritize things. We both went through divorces in our past and in our history, and one thing that we knew going in is that this is going to be forever. We’re not going to make a decision about being together if we don’t think that this is what God is doing, and we are committed to walk this thing forever. So we prioritize.
We obviously love each other, and our marriage is for us. But we also recognize there are millions of people that are counting on us being the healthiest versions of ourselves and having the healthiest marriage. So for us, it’s priorities, priorities, priorities. We’ve had to cancel meetings. You always want to be a man of your word, but I’ve backed out of some things. And I have, of course, compensated so that no one would suffer any sort of financial loss. But at the end of the day, my marriage and my kids take precedence and priority over all the things we have going on.
Daily Time With God…The Key to Wholeness
Narrator: Touré describes how spending time with Christ daily is key to finding wholeness, and he explains how Jesus Calling by Sarah Young can usher us into time spent with the One who will ultimately bring wholeness to our lives.
Touré: The daily discipline of spending time with the Lord is everything. We can’t be changed, we can’t be transformed unless we spend time with him. The way that Sarah is able to break it down and to really bring information and wisdom in a devotional context that reaches people of all ages and in all stages is absolutely brilliant. I think that the journey to wholeness… a lot of it has to do with spending time with the Lord who, in Him, you are already whole. So I think it’s a brilliant work. I’m so grateful that it’s done so well. And I think it’s really a huge part, and I think it ties into the message of wholeness. I’ve got to spend time with the One who has my wholeness in his hands who is Jesus.
“We can’t be changed, we can’t be transformed unless we spend time with the Lord.”
If I were sitting across from a person who had just a challenging past and things just seemed so rough and the issues seem insurmountable, the first thing I would tell them is the fact that you have breath in your body right now is a sign to you that God is not finished with you. There is a passage in Jeremiah 29:11. We all know it. It says, “For I know,” this is God speaking, “For I know the plans that I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and to hope.” The fact that you are breathing means that you have a future. It doesn’t take away the fact that things happened to you in the past, but God has a way of working all things together for good.
There’s a passage in the Bible in one of the letters of John where he says, “For this purpose Jesus was manifest that he might destroy the works of the adversary.” Anything that has happened to you in your past, God killed it on the cross. He who knew no sin became sin. Jesus became sin, and He crushed in his body. And He was raised victorious, meaning that in him you are victorious. So if it’s a mistake that you have made, you’re going to have to forgive yourself. Jesus says, “I don’t even remember it anymore.” So if Jesus isn’t thinking about it, why are you?
One of the things I talk about in the book is about the danger of regret. Remorse is fine, but regret is different. Regret has a sense of finality, and it has a sense of death. It’s: “I’m forever in prison because of this thing.” Anything that does not have life and does not point you towards the future, God is not in. So I would say, “Hang in there. Press into God. Lean into God. Lean into His promises because He can take even that mess and turn it into something. He can give you beauty for those ashes.”
Narrator: Next time on the Jesus Calling podcast, we visit with the First Lady of Louisiana, Donna Edwards, who took a cue from her fellow First Lady in Tennessee and found out about a program that allows special editions of Jesus Calling books to be distributed to local prisons. She took it upon herself to personally take copies of Jesus Calling to women at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women; bringing a message of hope and encouragement to many who felt forgotten. She talks about the experience:
Donna Edwards: When I opened that door to the cafeteria and I stepped inside and 150 women who were imprisoned stood up and applauded the fact that I stepped into their life that day, it was the most humbling experience. I can’t even explain it. It still sometimes shocks me, you know, because I’m just an ordinary person just like you and anybody else that’s listening, and I know after visiting with them, we were a sign of hope for them.
Hear more great stories about the impact Jesus Calling is having all over the world. Be sure to subscribe to the Jesus Calling Podcast on iTunes. We value your reviews and comments so we can reach even more people with the message of Jesus Calling. And if you have your own story to share, we’d love to hear from you. Visit JesusCalling.com to share your story today.