Some would say Jamie Estrada is superwoman, she would say she is nothing without God. She chooses to pray a big, bold and brave prayer; Jamie tells God to break her heart for what breaks His. She prays this with invitation, and she is prepared for action. And action is exactly what she got. Jamie is a therapist, military wife and mother of three beautiful girls. Her busy and fulfilling life was divinely interrupted when her three nephews needed a safe place to stay for a few months. Immediately, she welcomed them with open arms and her family of five became a family of eight, with her husband deployed on duty. Jamie is a superwoman, one with a mighty Creator who knows her exact needs, even when she was scared to accept it.
When Jamie showed up to South Tampa Fellowship one Sunday with her hands a little fuller, people couldn’t help but notice. One friend asked if she could share her story, and soon Jamie had a Care Team wrapped tightly around her. A team she barely knew of people who wanted to love on her children, people who wanted to check in on her, people who wanted to be the hands and feet of Jesus alongside her. Accepting the help did not come naturally. “I didn’t hear it as help, I heard it as needy. It was difficult to accept the help at first. I was stubborn to let anyone in. I said I was going to take care of them, and I felt like it was my responsibility. I later realized they just wanted to help me,” Estrada explains.
So many times, throughout this journey we can feel scared to let others in for fear of judgement and pride. We so desperately want to prove to the world how well we can handle the hard moments. We enter protection mode and isolate everyone so they can only see the little we present, however; the truth is WE ARE BETTER TOGETHER. It is okay to accept the help you deserve. It does not make you less of a parent to surround yourself with support. It doesn’t make you a bad caregiver if someone else is providing meals for your family. It makes you stronger to walk this journey with people who prayer for you, hold your heart when you are hurting, and love on the children unexpectedly. Your family is worthy of warriors who do this with you. “I had to be vulnerable and put myself in a position to allow myself and others to help. It’s not just the leading role that makes a movie, it is all the supporting actors that play such a vital role in the movie coming together, that is how a care community is,” she states. Get your family some supporting actors (community care team) and start preparing for your winning speech at the Oscars.
“The meals were the greatest gift. It gave me a day to recharge. Being in a military family, everything is very structured, including finances. The church stepped in and got them beds, mattresses, they got all the kids blankets with their favorite characters…” Estrada says with a smile, “The structured (weekly) calls meant a lot too. It was really nice to have someone ask how I was doing. I grew to be so grateful for their concern.” What started out as fear turned to gratitude.
Though her nephews recently reunified with their biological parents, Jamie Estrada is looking into other ways to impact the foster and adoptive community. When God is ready to send her more beautiful children, she will answer that call. For now, she wants to help on the therapeutic side of things and put her passions into action. She is now a seed planter, an encourager and a resource sharer. Jamie Estrada is still praying that big, bold and brave prayer. She is still a superwoman with a Creator she trusts.
Tip from Jamie: Give each child 15-minutes of uninterrupted time with them daily. Be present, make it individualized., get intentional. 15-minutes a day of that can cultivate connection, confidence and trust.
Verse Jamie stands on: “The joy of the Lord is my strength” Nehemiah 8:10
- This article was written by Shelbi Hales. Read more about her and her work at her blog: Love Into Freedom