As the daughter of Bible teacher and Pastor Robert Jeffress, Julia Jeffress Sadler knows what it is to apply God’s word to her life and receive answers to prayer. Julia and her husband Ryan’s bold prayer journey began with repeated miscarriages. To be succinct, Julia and Ryan experienced three miscarriages in one year. While their infertility was unexplained, they chose to trust God. They asked for what they really wanted which was to have biological children of their own. Then the miraculous happened. Julia conceived and gave birth to healthy triplets, the family landed roles on the TLC reality show “Rattled” and the opportunity to share their story with millions around the country.
Moms.com recently had the opportunity to speak with Counselor, Girls Ministry director and mom about her current book, “Pray Big Things”.
For parents who are not familiar with your story, can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Julia and my husband’s name is Ryan. About four years ago, we just decided that we were going to start praying bigger prayers over our lives. On that list of things was the request for three children and for God to be more and bring more into our lives than anything we could imagine. Then, we actually ended up experiencing three miscarriages in less than a year and we had to decide if we were going to give up, or if we are getting keep having faith that God was going to answer our prayers. We ended up going to the doctor and becoming pregnant with triplets.
For people who don't have a foundational understanding of what faith is, what are some practical things that you did to push through the pain of infertility, as well as what inspired you to keep going and trying for kids?
6.1 million American women struggle with infertility, and it's something that affects a lot of families and couples. For my husband and I, we decided that we were going to start taking God's word seriously and we chose to keep praying and believing. We are glad that we did, because as a result, we found our purpose for this season. So, spiritually it was a moment in our lives where we were figuring out our purpose while sticking to our faith. Also, I'm actually a professional therapist. I began to practice the things that I tell other people, like being honest about how we feel. Telling trusted people around us, family members and friends, the things we needed and the things we were struggling with, was so very important.
In your book “Pray Big Things,” you reference the Biblical figure Joseph often and how the favor of God was on his life, but that he also had many “waiting seasons”. What are some practical words of encouragement that you would say to women who are in their waiting season and waiting for the promises of God to come to fruition, or for non-believers who are just waiting and may need encouragement?
That's a good question. In the waiting time, it is important not to lose heart. I just think of the Churchill quote, “Never, never, never give up.” We have to resolve that. We have to decide. It's okay to have feelings. We're human. It doesn't matter if you're a believer or you're not a believer when it comes to emotions. We all have emotions and feelings. We have emotions that have to get expressed or else they're going to come out in bad ways. My personal belief is that God is in control, and because I have that faith it changes how I see time. Knowing that there's a purpose, knowing there's someone in control that loves you, really changes how you view life.
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“Home is wherever I’m with you!” 😘😘😘 2 years ago we moved into a hospital and 1 year ago God redeemed this day by having it be the exact day we moved in to our new home! We moved so near to the hospital that I told Ryan I may have to take a different way home because the memories were too much and I didn’t want to be reminded of bedrest and the NICU every day. Slowly that drive has become a time of remembrance and celebration and every day we have worked to make this house a home. Thankfully, we were able to use our toddler parenting skills and FaceTiming relatives to recreate our first family picture in this home! (Swipe for 1 year ago!) 👩👧👨👦👦👶🏼👶🏼👶🏼🏡 #thesadlerdiaries #thesadlertriplets #praybigthings #home
There is a theme in the book that supports the notion that faith must be accompanied with action. Did you and your husband go to a fertility doctor?
After we had three miscarriages in less than a year, we didn't think there was anything Holy about losing more children. We decided to go to a fertility doctor, and we were just grateful that we live in a day and age where God has provided incredible medical practices. I think that a lot of times Christians try to over spiritualize fertility stuff, and we do the same for psychology.
The Bible says we are supposed to seek counsel, and sometimes that counsel is to see doctors. I believe that because we were praying so specifically, and coupled our faith with taking action to get some practical help, is how we ended up conceiving our miracle triplets. I think that there's nothing Holy about being lazy, and God uses medical professionals too. He uses their wisdom of the world we live in today to be able to help us, and we are definitely grateful.