Sadie Robertson Greets More Than 1,000 at the Billy Graham Library
Without knowing what was happening at the Billy Graham Library on Saturday, someone might look around the property and think the Library was selling tickets to a boy band concert.
More than 1,000 fans—mostly teenage and pre-teen girls—lined the sidewalks that wrap around the Graham family homeplace as they waited to meet their role model, Sadie Robertson, and to get books and other items signed.
The young star of A&E’s hit show Duck Dynasty traveled from West Monroe, Louisiana, to put some faces to the names of fans who follow her on Instagram and Twitter, and to emphasize her message and motto—which is the title of her book—Live Original.
“My motto is to ‘live original.’ That’s what I say everywhere I go and preach to whoever I meet. What that means is to be confident in the person God created you to be. Live to the fullest of who you are,” explained Sadie.
“(We) were created in such a unique way to benefit the world.”
She said the idea to write a book came to her some time after she had been thrust into the spotlight due to her family’s reality show. She began speaking, but as she put it: “I was 14 and nervous. The words I meant to say were not coming out.”
Her mother, Korie, suggested she write a book to pull her thoughts together in one place.
Live Original may be a relatively new release, but the title was determined more than a decade ago.
“My dad had nicknamed me ‘The Original’ when I was young. So once I wrote the book it made sense to title it Live Original,” said Sadie.
“Ever since I wrote the book, I’ve done so much speaking. It’s my passion, it’s my calling, and it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
Live Original is compiled of messages drawn from her own life experiences. The book is primarily geared toward teen girls, but Sadie said there is one particular chapter with a message that applies to everyone: Five seconds of awkward can save you from a lifetime of regret.
“It only takes five seconds to say no to something, or to take yourself out of a situation you know is not going to be good, to save you from a lifetime of regretting the moment you did it,” she said.
“You can be at any part of life and you have to say no to something, whether it’s because you have to stand up for your faith or you have to be true to who you are.”
Janeen Silver came with her daughters Jessi, Lacie and Brooke. They are all Duck Dynasty fans. But for Janeen, the reason for bringing her girls to meet Sadie goes far beyond shallow fandom.
“She is such a fantastic role model,” Janeen said. “She stands up for her beliefs, and her Christianity is obvious. That’s the kind of young woman I want influencing my daughters.”
She stood in the long line with her 10-year-old daughter Ricki (also daughter of the late NASCAR stock car driver Ricky Hendrick) and baby son Jennings.
“Duck Dynasty is really one of the only shows I let Ricki watch on television,” said Johnson.
Ricki then piped up and said, “Sadie is a really godly person. I want to be like her because she loves Jesus and plays sports.”
While so many teen and pre-teen girls at the Billy Graham Library on Saturday strive to be like Sadie, the young reality television star said she wants to imitate Jesus—and Billy Graham.
“I just think that it’s awesome to see how (God used) this one man to start this whole thing. So many people have been to this Library because of what God did through him,” she explained. “He stood up for his faith.”
Celebrity or not, 12-year-old Brooke Silver understands that the essence of Billy Graham’s and Sadie Robertson’s messages are pretty much the same: Jesus is all that matters.
“I want to be like Sadie, not because she’s famous, but because she doesn’t live for anyone but Jesus.”