Jacob and Jennifer Interview

  • Feb. 13, 2014
  • #8294

Listen to the story of Jacob and Jennifer, both have disabilities and are in love. It’s a sweet story that will encourage you.

Jacob and Jennifer Interview

Joni: Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and tomorrow is Valentine’s Day! It’s appropriate to be sharing a love story with you and often these love stories begin at a Joni and Friends Family Retreat. Well, I have a couple of people here that I interviewed at retreat. I think you’ll be blessed by their love for each other. Just listen to Jacob and Jennifer. Jacob you have been coming to the Joni and Friends Family Retreat for a long time, but even before Family Retreat, you met a beautiful young quadriplegic woman and she has kind of changed your life. Her name is Jennifer. Tell me the background on that.

Jacob: It all began actually with a prayer and the prayer was that God would bring somebody into my life that I could be an encouragement to and that I could be a help to. Jennifer came into the back of my mind and I knew only a little bit about Jennifer and her accident because it was made public in our town. And the very next day (I was a senior in high school and she was a freshman) the principal of our high school came to me and she said, “I have a proposition for you. The mother of a disabled student came in my office today on her knees crying, begging for help to try to get her daughter acclimated to high school and try to get her some academic support as a disabled student.” She said, “I know you have been there. Would you mind being of help?” So I went ahead and said yes and they wanted me to tutor her through certain subjects. And as we were going through tutoring, I started to really have feelings for her. I stopped and I prayed a very simple prayer and I said, ‘Lord, why, why can’t I befriend her?’: Because you are looking at the external of her situation; you are looking at the facts that her life is sustained by machines and the hectic chaos of nurses coming in and out constantly and that’s all you are seeing. You are seeing the external of this situation. Look to the internal of who she is; look to the infectiously positive attitude that she has. At this point, it has been about nine and a half years and hopefully at some point we will get married within the near future.

Joni: Jacob, thank you so much and out of the corner of my eye I was looking at Jennifer Simpson because she was sitting in her wheelchair just beaming, listening to Jacob describe his love for her. Jennifer, give me your thoughts on that.

Jennifer: I loved him and had a crush on him ever since we started tutoring, so it was kind of mutual—the love. He sees me for me, which is what I love, not just everything around me but for me.

Joni: There is a Bible verse in the Old Testament 1 Samuel 16:7, which say, “Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.” How would you describe your heart for your best friend Jacob, but also for the Lord Jesus?

Jennifer: I’m full of love and trust and there is pretty much no other person that I trust more than Jesus and Jacob.

Joni: If you were to give any woman with a disability listening a little bit of advice what would you tell them?

Jennifer: Don’t let anything stop you for what you want to do. I call them life obstacles. If there is an obstacle in your way, just go around them and keep on going.

Joni: Sounds like good advice to me. Well, our friends listening can’t see you they are listening to your voice, but you do have a beautiful smile and beautiful eyes despite the ventilator and big wheel chair and the quadriplegia, which I know something about. You are truly a beautiful saint for the Lord Jesus and it’s nice to have your perspective, Jennifer.

Jennifer: Thank you.

Joni: Well, I hope you enjoyed that interview and don’t forget to stop by my radio page today at joniandfriends.org and ask for a copy of the booklet “Singled Out for Good.” Jacob would be happy that you did.

© Joni and Friends


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