No, it doesn’t seem possible. Forty-two years ago this week, Sara and I were married and thus began an adventure that has exceeded both our expectations and in this season of our lives brings us great joy and support through the twists and turns of life.
Who would have thought? We’ve had many friends not make it this far, who have been deeply hurt as the life-long marriage they thought they were in came unraveled with pain and heartbreak. We’ve known those whose spouses have passed away at far younger ages. Our hearts go out to all of them. A long-term marriage is nothing to boast about; it is its own reward. We don’t think we’re anything special to get along this far and have been through some of the intense struggles that sometimes shipwrecks good relationships. I’m just grateful we’ve both had the strength to stay true to the promises we made to each other, that we keep finding our way to mutual love and respect even though we are built very differently and have differing tastes in so many things. In fact this longevity feels like a whole lot of grace. The joy has been in learning how to lay down our lives for the other and love more deeply at each unfolding season of our lives.
This week we are taking some time just to be together and to enjoy the fruits of Father’s work in our relationship. While I have amazing friends all over the world there is no one I’d rather be with than Sara. She is far and away my best friend. I love our laughter, conversations, and even though we know so much about the other we can still be surprised when something unexpected pops out. I always look forward to an extended time for just the two of us to be together and celebrate the love that continues to grow between us.
However, since this is a two-horse operation most of the time, that means we’ll close the office until Monday, May 21 and apologize for an inconvenience that may cause you with book orders or travel invitations. You see, none of this happens without Sara. She is truly the unsung hero of Lifestream, Kenya, the God Journey, and everything else that goes on around here. She is the office manager and detail person. Without her I couldn’t do what I do in writing, podcasting, or traveling. Every time I travel I leave with her blessing because of what she gives up in our time together so that others can be enriched in the world. I love it when people acknowledge the price Sara pays when I’m out of town. I couldn’t go out as often if she wasn’t so committed to the work we do in the world and so capable of handling all things Jacobsen while I’m gone and does it with such grace and joy. While that means some lonely nights for her, she is fully on board with any trip I take, or I don’t take it.
When people ask why Sara doesn’t travel with me all the time, the answer is it is not as much her calling as it is mine. She has traveled with me a lot, but being more introverted a day of conversation with new people completely wears her out and she will need a couple of days to recover. Me? Not so much. I can keep going for two weeks or so in conversations that span almost the entire day and with multiple groups. Though Sara is welcome to come with me any time she wants, I am able to give myself far more to the people I’m with if she’s home taking care of the rest of our lives. It’s not easy doing what I do and when she has the grace for it she comes. If not, I’d rather have her here at home with the family, dogs, and garden she loves. And when I get to be home, she is great at really being present with me. Also Sara has some health issues now and diet restrictions that make it very difficult to travel and she hates to inconvenience others who would need to accommodate those. I know most wouldn’t mind just to have Sara there, but it is hard on her. We’re still hopeful that some of this will improve in the months to come. That’s our prayer, anyway.
I always told Sara that my calling didn’t have to be hers. She’s my wife, and what we share together is incredibly special, and all the more because our absences really do make the heart grow fonder.
So if you can hold that correspondence you’re dying to have with me until next week, we’d appreciate it.