“Fiat” or “let it be done to me according to your will” (Luke 1:38) is my life verse and inspiration for my work as the Executive Director of Guiding Star Cedar Valley, a Creighton Model Fertility Care Practitioner for Fiat FertilityCare Center, and as a speaker. I am a wife and mother of three, and I earned my Master’s degree in Community Health Education where I studied the effectiveness of fertility awareness methods and their exclusion from most medical settings. My experiences have led me to believe in the power of fertility awareness to transform women, families, and our culture.
In the Fall of 2018, I went to a speaking event on “Humanae Vitae”. Soon after I got there, I saw a lady with short blonde hair and a bubbly personality standing at a table explaining her organization to people who passed by. I approached the table and asked, “What is this organization?” That question soon opened the gateway to, what I believe, the path that God had been leading me down all this time. The path to investing myself in the mission of Guiding Star Cedar Valley. This path has taught me what it means to value and respect the creations that God has made us to be. My understanding of women’s healthcare and the trials and joys that women and families go through in our society has exponentially increased through meeting with clients during care consults, GSCV community classes, engaging with volunteers, and connecting with our partners. I don’t believe God could have picked a more life-changing decision to help me understand His mission for me here on Earth. I am very excited and eager to continue this journey here at GSCV!
I became involved in GSCV this past spring after developing a dear friendship with Jamie Rathjen, Director of Guiding Star. I am now the board president and am so blessed to be a part of this amazing nonprofit organization. I believe firmly in everything that Guiding Star stands for. They promote a new feminism by empowering women, embracing children and enriching families. Everyone involved with Guiding Star has a deep faith, loving heart and truly cares for women and their families.
Board Vice President
When I first learned about the Guiding Star Project, I was drawn to it because of the messages it sends women: that they are strong, made for community, and that their bodies are beautifully, wonderfully made. These are messages that I had not heard from any other healthcare provider before, and I knew that I wanted to get involved. I serve on the board for my children so that they can live in a culture that supports women and God’s design for their bodies.
I was first introduced to the concept of Guiding Star when my wife, Lisa, and I were receiving Natural Family Planning coaching from our Executive Director Jamie Rathjen. We had practiced NFP for several years, but the birth of our fourth child was causing us some confusion in charting. Thus, we found Jamie. Through the Creighton Method and with the help of Jamie and Dr. Pranger, we discovered some things that needed to be addressed with Lisa’s health–things that would not have been noticed otherwise. We love the fact that Guiding Star supports us in our NFP decisions and doesn’t push artificial alternatives on us. I have served on the board since 2018 and have been a supporter from the beginning.
I am a Freshman at the University of Northern Iowa, which is where I got involved with Guiding Star through talking to Jamie Rathjen at a volunteer fair. Since then, it has completely changed my life and my view on the world. Finally, I am not having to compromise my femininity when standing for my religious and political beliefs. As a young woman in a changing world, I am blessed to be involved in an organization that educates women about their bodies and the truth about the choices they make. The time I spend working with Guiding Star is time that I am able to feel loved and empowered as a woman, knowing that my body was designed for a beautiful purpose and helping other young women feel the same way.
I’ve been on the board since 2016 and am extremely grateful we have a Guiding Star Center in the Cedar Valley! At Guiding Star, my body and my womanhood is celebrated and not suppressed – I am truly empowered by that! I am so grateful for the support and sisterhood that Guiding Star Cedar Valley provides to the women, children and families in our area!
Sheryl Hansel, MD
I am a family physician, and absolutely love what Guiding Star stands for! When taking care of families through the years, I have witnessed the harm to body, mind and spirit that artificial contraception creates. I have had a conversion of heart. I am gaining certification in NaPro Technology, and because of that I want to teach women to learn about their bodies and cooperate with them through normal functioning. Women should not shut off their biology, but learn to appreciate and not harm it.
I serve Guiding Star Cedar Valley in many different ways. I partner with GSCV as a Postpartum Doula and provide services for women after they bring their baby into this world. Along with that, I facilitate Mother’s Circle which meets once a month and we gather as moms to encourage one another in this journey of parenthood. I also serve on the board.
I became involved with GSCV because my husband and I were cared for and supported as we walked a journey of infertility. We learned that there were natural means to conceiving a child and after years of struggle, we were blessed with our son. I love the mission of empowering women and enriching families to change generations to come. We strive to serve and love one another and welcome everyone to come through the doors of GSCV and share your story with us.