Women of Strength / Sara- Family, Faith, Loss & Healing...
Every once in a while, we meet people with the ability to inspire us, to teach us something new, and to even challenge us. One of those people for me is Sara. Ever since I met Sara, I have learned so much about her, and I'm certain she doesn't even know it. She once wrote me a letter that I carry with me, and it's one of my biggest "pick me ups" when I need it the most. Read Sara's story of love for her family, God, faith, personal loss, and now thriving as a working mother and wife. You'll see why she is the reason why I started praying again.
My name is Sara Wiggins. I am a Christian, striving to live as I am called. I am the wife to an amazing man, David. He served in the Marine Corps for 13 years before budget cuts forced him to the civilian world. We have 5 amazing kids: Destiny, Faith, Gabriel, Christian, and Grace. Life has been full of joy and trials, but we stand strong together. I grew up in northern Michigan. I loved playing sports, softball being my favorite. My Dad coached me and led me to a softball scholarship at Spring Arbor University. I played fall of my freshmen year before tearing my ACL, MCL, and meniscus. I worked hard in rehab, determined to come back the following year. The next fall, my then boyfriend proposed to me. I made the decision not to return to college because I knew if I stayed, he would have given up his career so we could get married. We were married on his leave over Christmas. He is the love of my life, such an amazing man. Almost 11 years, 4 knee surgeries, 5 living children, 3 miscarried children, Marine Corps life, many moves, family member's passing, and finally led back to our hometown, we are here.
#1. How do you balance life with the daily demands of motherhood and being a wife? Do you have a specific routine?
I definitely struggle balancing the daily demands of motherhood, a wife, and working. Trying to find a time to accomplish all I need and want to is exhausting. I've been working on letting go of unreal expectations and living fully, enjoying every moment. If I can't get to something, there is always tomorrow to meet that need/goal. A schedule is essential to my life. Now, I don't mean it is the same every day and I panic if I don't accomplish something by a certain time, but I have a routine I follow. School really helps with that routine. I started working this summer and it was a crazy time, now we are more under control. Schedules need to be flexible. This way, if something unexpected happens or takes longer, I don't feel so overwhelmed about not doing what I was "supposed" to do.
#2. You are a Christian woman and you lost your father not too long ago. How has faith helped you to deal with his sudden loss?
My faith is very important to me. It has sustained me through many difficult times. The most recent being June 3-the present. My Dad had surgery on the 3rd and I had to say goodbye to him on the 16th. We were told this surgery had a 97% success rate. We were so prepared being at Mayo that not one of us thought it wouldn't end well. I arrived the night before the surgery, my Dad held Grace (my 6 month old daughter) while we laughed and joked. We woke that morning with more jokes and prepared for surgery. Dad had the nurses laughing in pre-op. He was such a strong man. He loved life and lived it to the fullest, and he was so excited to grow old with so many plans. After the surgery, the surgeon filled us in but wasn't honest with us. We were led to believe my Dad would make a full recovery, it would just take a little while for him to recover. It was so hard to see my Dad with all of those machines, tubing, etc. We've been through many heart procedures with him, so we are used to it...but this was different. My Mom found a doctor and asked for the truth, we realized we were getting the run around. The doctor was glad we had hope, but he was shocked we didn't know the extent of the situation and that my Dad was in more critical condition than we knew. God placed a very special woman in the waiting room with us, she reminded me a lot of my Grandma. She spoke about God, would quote verses, and would pray for us. She was so needed. Grace, my daughter, has no idea how much she helped me through this time as well. She is a true blessing. My Dad was taken to the OR many times. We were told more about the extent of my Dad because we were asking how many more times he would go back there. The time came when the doctor was as sincere, but as honest as he could be in the most gentle way. We were told my Dad wouldn't recover. Hard decisions were coming and we were not prepared. We respected and honored my Dad's wishes. I know children are supposed to outlive their parents but, as dumb as it sounds, I never expected to be without my parents. My faith was shaken during this time, but never lost. You better believe I questioned God why my Dad had to go, yelled and cried to Him, but never lost hope or stopped believing. I wouldn't have been able to get through this without Him. God brought so many amazing people into our lives during this time, to pray, to help, to bring meals, to listen, to hug, and to cry. My Dad...such a happy man, always laughing and smiling. He is in heaven, with my heavenly Father, holding his 3 grandchildren I never had the privilege of meeting in this world. God has been with me every step of the way, guiding us back home. I talk about my Dad often, but don't often acknowledge my feelings. I don't like going there. I don't like knowing he isn't with me in the physical form on earth. Knowing he is waiting for me in heaven is what I need. Knowing I will see him again gives me joy and hope. God has led us back home. My kids have never been happier and they talk about my Dad, their Papa, all the time. I am even closer with my Mom, who is my best friend. I am surrounded by my Dad's memories and friends. I never wanted to fully come back to my hometown, I was determined not to. God had different plans, and my Dad had his touch too. God has left his fingerprint on every move in my life, especially during these moments. It's still hard to process, but God continues to give me guidance and understanding with everything that happened. I could not have gotten through this without Him!
#3. What would you tell to those who don’t have much confidence in the power of prayer?
Prayer. The key to who I am. I am not as consistent as I would like to be. I forget to pray before some meals, sometimes I am "too tired," and honestly, at times, I forget. Prayer is powerful, though. You may not understand it at first, but it is so amazing. I always feel so much better when I talk to God. I like to start my days with him, my quiet time. This consists of reading the Bible, worship songs, and prayer. God can calm any fear, guide you when you are willing to listen, and even listen as you cry or yell in anger. You do not have to use any fancy words to talk to God. The best advice I have ever received, and pass on, is talk to God as you would a friend. After all, he is our very best friend that knows the deepest parts about us. Whatever we say to him, he is not surprised. He designed us. Trust him. Talk to him. Listen to him. Prayer creates a relationship with him that you can only dream of. He waits for us to seek him each day.
4. How did you transition from staying home with your children to going back to work?
Transitioning from being a stay at home mom to a working mom has been exhausting. I struggle finding balance between everything and everyone that is pulling for my attention. I began working during the summer, which I hated because I had so many plans for the summer with my kids. I felt like my time would be best with my kid's, but I had to work and I hoped they would understand. To my surprise, they did. They thoroughly enjoyed their babysitters watching them at our house, playing in the sprinklers, being outside, and technology every now and then. I, on the other hand, missed them. My boss and I discussed options to work better. I now work after my husband gets home from work. I now take my kids to school, get work done around the house, play with my two still at home, pick the kids up from the bus stop, homework, chores, make dinner, then walk out the door as my husband gets home. I don't get to see him often and only get about 5 hours of sleep a night, but I get more time with my kids, and that is what is important to me. My husband and I are making the necessary sacrifices that will benefit our kids the most. I miss him so much!
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