Update: Stroke of Grace has become In Darkness Sing and has moved to JenniferSaake.com.

Thirty-nine-year-old Jennifer Saake (founder, Hannah's Prayer Ministries), experienced 6 strokes via vertebral dissection at a chiropractic office, including brain stem and cerebellum bleeds, in Oct. 2011. Jenni remained hospitalized for nearly 2 months and was not expected to live (near death experience) nor recover, but if she even survived, she was slated to live out her days in a nursing home or, best case, to maybe come home but wheelchair-bound and needing 24-hour care. At 5 years, 7 months God showed how He was writing her story from the beginning.

Jenni is currently writing more books and stays active on both Facebook and Pinterest. Stroke of Grace became In Darkness Sing in early 2018 and has moved, along with all five of Jennifer's active blogs, to one location at JenniferSaake.com.

Since Jenni's chiropractor carried no insurance and moved out of the country soon after the accident (thus avoiding any legal or financial consequences), if you would like to help contribute to the Saake (pronounced like the two small words, say and key) family's massive financial needs (medical expenses alone are estimated to cost between $1- and $1.5- Million in Jenni's lifetime), please visit Jennifer Saake's Stroke Survivor GoFundMe Page. (This support information has been added in direct response to several reader requests.) The Saakes sincerely thank you for your prayers and if God prompts and equips you to send any monetary assistance as well, this is a significant added blessing.

Monday, June 25, 2012

8 Months

Today marks eight months since the first strokes.

Depression angrily reared its ugly head again yesterday, very suddenly.

I am just so exhausted. Slept most of the past 14 hours and still didn't want to get out of bed. Knowing my kids needed me was the only motivation to eventually drag myself from under the covers. I'm so glad they are home! I hear the voice of the Accuser telling me they don't really need me, and so far, I can call it for the lie it is.

I haven't been able to bring myself to touch food since lunch yesterday. I will try to eat a little breakfast (based on the clock, should I say "lunch"?) here in a bit. Just the though makes my stomach want to revolt.

They say stroke recovery is a life-time endeavor. Can I be honest and say I'm ready to quit and give up now? A lifetime is so indefinite and seem like such a very long time right now. I need closure, a finish line. I can't do this indefinitely. Yuck!

There's been quite a bit of drama over the cutting of my Facebook list, dozens of PMs and I'm just getting started. :( I had no idea this process would be so painful and terribly stressful. Let me reiterate that I'm not literally "unfriending" anyone, just taking you off a list, but that doesn't change your status in my mind! Out of nearly 1,000 names, only around 50 will be "easy" cuts, meaning I can't identify the person at all. The rest are rather agonizing, folks I have been in their weddings or they have been in mine, ladies I have walked with through the intimacy of infertility or pregnancy/infant death and sometimes the joy of long-awaited new birth or adoption with, people in the fellowship of illness together. I have several great author friends who wouldn;t recognize me if we passed each other on the street too!

I have created pages for each of these topics, hoping to stay in touch with as many distance friends, from as many different walks as possible, but apparently this isn't adequate enough for most people. I ache, and shed many tears, over the hurt feelings, but I simply am stretched too thin, have invested my heart deeply in so may people, and I just can't keep giving on that level, especially with the deficits my brain now must cope with. Any one friendship and I would not be making this step, but multiply the level of deep relationships hundreds of times over and you might begin to understand why this move toward a buffer of a little more privacy is necessary.

My FB profile will now primarily be limited to extended family and local, in-person friends (how I coordinate ride, childcare, stay informed of local news, etc. - selfish on my part, perhaps). If you fall outside these descriptions, you will probably be removed from my profile list, not out of personal spite, but simply because this will not be the usage of my profile anymore. I'm trying to keep friendships, but in a more manageable and organized fashion. I am not set out to hurt anyone, and I am sorry if you feel I should not have gone about this change or should have handled it in a different fashion. Honestly, the process is not undertaken lightly on my end and I'm doing the best I know how to do. Please feel free to join as many of my pages (linked in the previous post) as you would like, and I look forward to staying in touch that way!

As for progress reports, I am seeing more double vision again, not nearly as badly as before, but hard work to bring two images into focus mostly as one, much of the time (I am chalking this up to stress?), have been in non-stop pretty severe heads pain for over two weeks, my left arm is hurting more as it continues to clamp itself down into a fist, pulled up to my chest, and I've reverted from the cane trials to a full-time walker again. I was pretty sore all day yesterday. just from trying to sit still on that hard bench at church yesterday morning. Yes, I am more than a little discouraged at the moment. :( I go back to have my ear checked again tomorrow. (There is still no word on insurance and the hearing aids.)

I am doing the shutter-sighs several times a day, again. I still feel "two brains" quite profoundly, where I can know something in my head, but that does nothing for how it impacts my heart. Until this past weekend, I seemed to be doing better emotionally, but that has crumbled away in this latest wave of fear and insecurity. I need to be re-assured of truth over and over because my head and heart are feeding me so much falsity. A friend told me yesterday, that physically I am doing so much better, walking, talking and more and improved memory. I have to take her word for it at this point!

- Our kids are still home!
- My husband is striving to lead our family, through some very dark waters, with love and grace.
- I at least have the help of a brain-chemical-balancing anti-depressant to take a little of the edge off.
- Our church family and so many other friends are continuing to walk the journey with us, so many months into the process.
- Extended families are striving to fill in the gap where I fall so terribly short.
- God promises to  never leave me or forsake me.
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. - Ephesian 6:11-18


  1. Jenni,
    You continue to be in my prayers sweet sister. You amaze me. I pray the Lord will sustain your energy to keep fighting. Hugs!
    Heather Hester

  2. Jenni, I wanted you to be assured that I understand the need for you to lesson your FB friendslist. I see this more as "decluttering" but now, I am weeping as I read your blog....just thinking about all you have been through and these other young ladies that have suffered strokes. My brother has been brought to mind(after his small stroke earlier this year) and my heart pains for all of you young people going through what seems like an elderly person's disability...I am weeping as I type this :( My prayers and thoughts are with you...with all of you...(and my lovely young brother)...prayers for your bodies and minds to continual healing....you are loved <3