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.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


When I saw the eye doctor on Monday, he repeated referred to the "paralysis" of my left hand. This had given me pause because I always defined paralysis as an inability to move at all. According to thefreedictonary.com, it is actually defined as, "Loss or impairment of the ability to move a body part, usually as a result of damage to its nerve supply." 

If functionality or impairment of the limb is also considered, my left hand/arm, as well as my left foot, well qualifies to be called "paralyzed" still, even if I can now get some movement from them both! To some extent, even my right hand "counts." I guess, even more mildly, maybe even my right leg/foot a bit too. :( 

There is no question, in anyone's mind, that even if you do not count the other three limbs, that the left hand that likes to clench into a tight fist, that won't willingly release anything I'm holding, refuses to hold more, and typically hangs limp at my side or pull up, sickly, against my chest, definitely falls under this definition. When I started getting a little movement out of my left fingers, I thought I past paralysis, but I guess technically not.*sigh* 

No word or change in definition impacts what is reality, but it feels as if it does, somehow. It should be just a word (and definition), but in my mind the though is so much more defeating that that!

The other word I've been considering this week is "righteous."If God is righteous in everything, moral and without fault, just and also kind, then these strokes are truly acts of grace, somehow. It may seem to me to be harsh grace at times, but grace none the less.  In reading through verses containing word righteous , I am so thankful that God does not repay me for my own (or rather my lack of) righteousness! (If I ever again question if a stroke is "punishment," it clearly is not!) I need to remember Job 37:23, " The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress."

The LORD is righteous in everything he does;
he is filled with kindness. The LORD is close to all who call on him,
yes, to all who call on him in truth. He grants the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cries for help and rescues them.
- Psalm 145: 17-19

 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
    for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk
    through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
- Psalm 23
As for the question I have repeatedly asked, why didn't God just allow me to die with the first strokes, "For your name’s sake, O LORD, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble" (Psalm 143:11). The preservation of my life is for the sake of God's name. Maybe that doesn't sound significant to you, but it is comforting to me, answering more of that "purpose" question I keep asking. If anyone can come into a right relationship with the Lord because they have heard how God is moving through these circumstances, praise God! In the meantime, I can depend on God's righteousness to bring me through this time of trouble.
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

- Hebrews 12:11
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:17
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!

- Galatians 2:20-21

P.S. This has nothing to do with any of the above, just a note I want to record for myself before I forget yet again. Since my earliest post-stroke memories in the hospital, my abdominal muscles involuntarily and rather dramatically clench and release several times as I am falling asleep. It is a nightly routine, and it concerned me for months, but now brings me a measure of "comfort" for I know the blackness of sleep is always soon to follow.
Last night, for the first time I remember, those muscle crunches started happening even as I was awake and typing, thus I finally remember to mention them. I have told few people of this occurrence and no doctors, mostly because I am typically so close to sleep that I don't remember what happens until it begins again the next night. I don't think it is anything significant, just another oddity.

I am feeling rather "down" and depressed again. A combination of issues come to mind. God knows and I know he will provide, but it is just where I am on my journey right now. I mention it only because of my desire for transparency. 

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