By: Kendra Housel
Sarah Forgrave is a 2002 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University and left with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Forgrave says that she looks back upon her time as a student very fondly, remembering how much she enjoyed the spiritual atmosphere on campus. One thing she really valued was the opportunities she had to know her professors on such a personal level. The ability to know them vulnerably, hearing about their home lives and spiritual walks was a rare gift that she feels you do not find on most college campuses.
She was initially drawn to the campus because of the distance it was from her hometown. As a high school senior, on her own for the first time, Forgrave desired a school that was not too far, but far enough that she could learn how to be an independent adult. At IWU, she found the perfect distance, even allowing her the ability to travel home on the weekends when she had the time. Another thing that initially drew her was the campus itself. Forgrave remembers being impressed by the facilities and the quality of the buildings on campus. As stated above, she deeply prioritized finding a campus with a strong spiritual atmosphere, and she found that immediately at IWU.
Currently, Forgrave is a published author and a wellness coach. After spending eight years working for a public accounting firm, she suffered through severe health complications after the birth of her first child. This caused her to spend a prolonged amount of time off of work and on long-term disability. This time led to her reevaluating her dreams and in a way, reorient her life. As she worked to make a full recovery from her illnesses, Forgrave discovered a deep passion for writing, both fiction works, and eventually nonfiction devotional literature. Her latest work, Prayers for Hope and Healing: Seeking God’s Strength as You Face Health Challenges is currently available. Forgrave says that she is still using her degree, just not in the way that she always expected she would. Her jobs both call for her to use her entrepreneurial skills, and she also keeps the books for her husband’s business.
Her time spent at IWU helped prepare her for where she is now in many different ways. The things she learned about business of course serve her as she runs multiple businesses. Further than that though, Forgrave says that IWU is where she really built her foundation of faith. She was exposed to what it meant to be open to God’s leading and to hear His voice. Without her experiences at IWU, she may not have been so responsive when God called her into a new season of life. Her career shift was unexpected and very difficult, but she knows that she is exactly where God wants her to be. IWU helped to teach her that when you feel as if you have finally settled into God’s will for your life, it does not necessarily mean that is the end of the road.
A big influence during her time at school, in terms of the growing of her faith, was found in the worship group she got involved in. She and about one hundred other students would gather weekly to spend time in fellowship, worshiping and praying. This group was primarily a global-minded group, and each week they would typically focus on a different country or situation. It was within this group that Forgrave began to discover how deep and powerful prayer really is. The book she just released is also a book of prayers, and she reflects on this time in the global prayer group as a main influence in spurring her to write this book.
As a health and wellness coach, Forgrave says that she always uses her her spiritual life. She approaches wellness from a biblical perspective, emphasizing that God created all of us uniquely and that there is no such thing as a one size fits all plan to wellness. Her main goal in coaching is to “help people understand who they are and that they don’t have to fit a certain mold to live out His will in the area of wellness.” The most important thing in health is that you approach it in a way that makes it a partnership between you and God. The process of finding clients has been varied and consistent. She teaches some fitness classes and many of her clients come as people who have taken her classes and want to build a more consistent relationship in the development of their health. A significant portion of her clientele comes from her large church where she teaches where she teaches a six week intensive.
Written by Kendra Housel, a writer for the Alumni Center. Kendra is a sophomore Education and Honors Humanities double major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. She is also a member of the University Chorale. She is passionate about serving Christ through writing, singing and caring for others.