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Every Bitter Thing is Sweet

Tasting the Goodness of God in All Things

Sara Hagerty was born in Toledo, Ohio, one of three kids from Gerald and Karen Welter, their loving, involved parents. It was when Sara was 15 years old that she experienced a spiritual awakening through the ministry of Young Life: “I stood underneath the canopied expanse of Michigan sky, and the very big God who created it came near.” That first personal encounter with God radically changed Sara’s life. “I knew at that moment I wanted something new. I know now that we are made for newness.”

She attended Miami University of Ohio, studying Communications, all the while communicating with teens about the joy she found in Jesus. Graduation meant diving into full time ministry with Young Life.

Sara met Nate, her future husband, while they were both working for Young Life, and they married in 2001. Sara believes marriage was part of God’s plan to shape her: “Marriage would both undo me and rebuild me. Another circumstance might have yielded the same results, but God chose marriage, as the first of many events in my life, to spark my end and new beginning. Nate and I would find death and life in those rings and those vows, which were too big for us then and now.”

Nate and Sara didn’t anticipate that a failed business and financial uncertainty would also be a part of their undoing, and God’s rebuilding.

Sara expected her 20s to be filled with diapers and nursing, but she instead met the harsh reality of infertility. A few years later, she and Nate were finally ushered into parenthood through a side door – adoption. “We had a dream that we might adopt, birthed when we were young and had eyes full of great expectations for our life, but it happened in a way we didn’t quite anticipate. Yet like any move of God, it was better than we ever imagined.”

Sara is now the mother of five. The first children in their family were former-orphans Ethiopians Meskerem and Asnake, who became Eden and Caleb. And then, sooner than expected, from Uganda: Hope and Lily. “The Hagerty line now includes Africans who are my living, breathing reminders of the faithfulness of Jesus.” After 12 years of asking, Nate and Sara welcomed one more boy, a biological son named Bo in 2013.

Sara started her blog, Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet, seven years ago in the midst of change and sorrow, as a place to process and encourage others, honoring her story and theirs. But Sara never dreamt where it would lead. “I’ve always been a voracious reader but had no ambitions to be a writer, not even when I started the blog. The Lord sneaked up on me with this one.” Her first book, Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet: Tasting the Goodness of God in All Things, releases from Zondervan in October 2014. Says Sara, “God met me and moved me when life stopped working for me. And out of the overflow, came my writing.”

When not writing, spending time with Nate, or chasing after 5 constantly moving children, Sara is an avid reader and early morning runner. And she relishes any opportunity to see a sunset from a beach. Sara, Nate, Lily (10), Hope (8), Eden (8), Caleb (6) and baby Boaz make their home in Missouri.