"The oncologist suggested I write a letter as my husband was dying," Sarah scribbled across the bottom of her poem. Some thirty-three years after they married, Sarah Jacks was having to say goodbye to her husband and best friend, Dial Jacks, all too soon.
It was back in 1984 when Sarah lost her husband, whom she describes as "the greatest man she ever knew." Most of their marriage had been spent in ministry — working alongside each other as they raised their four children. Sarah taught school for seventeen years after Dial's death. Without the income, she wouldn't have had enough to pay for their home and keep up with all of the expenses of living in a house over 100 years old.
In the years after he passed, Sarah saw her children marry and begin to raise their own children. She saw the world change in the blink of an eye as history took wings around her.
When she reached retirement age and began drawing on Dial's small annuity with GuideStone, the Mission:Dignity ministry reached out to find out if she needed any help. Sarah filled out an application and received her first check in September 1996.
Glad to continue service to God in any capacity, Sarah enjoys sending cards to shut-ins. With three lists to rotate through, someone is always receiving a note or card from her. She also ministers to others by praying for those who send her requests. "Prayer is one of my greatest ministries," she says. "Every day God gives me new reasons to sing His praise."
Sarah has continued to write poetry and shared several of her poems. One of the most touching was the Farewell, My Love poem that she wrote to her husband as he lay in a hospital bed near the end of his life. Written down the side of the aged paper, Sarah had noted, "Not the greatest poetry, but look closely — my heart is inside."
"I wish I could share with you all the joys with which God has blessed me," Sarah exclaimed. "Thank you so much, donors, for your gracious giving. You've no idea how you have blessed my life. It has enabled me to enjoy living and serving our Lord as otherwise I would never be able to do."
Now, she watches as her grandchildren marry and have children as well. One son is a minister and four of her 15 grandchildren live on the street where she lives. Her great grandson loves to stop by after school and visit with his grandmother.
Sarah still writes poems about the life she lives. At age 86 and living in a small house on the property of one of her sons, Sarah says, "There's never a day I don't realize God has given me friends like you."
"How grateful I am for the assistance and encouragement I've received through the years from all of you. Your generosity and prayers have enabled me to "bloom where I am planted," She noted. Yes, Sarah is still blooming — and flourishing — right where she is.