Starting October 25 of 2011, "InfertilityMom," 39-year-old Jennifer Saake (founder of Hannah's Prayer Ministries), experienced 6 strokes, all due to vertebral dissection at a chiropractic office. The largest two strokes were brain stem and cerebellum bleeds. Jenni remained hospitalized until nearly Christmas 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 (please read more and watch short video). Jenni is now walking (with a cane or wheeled walker), has recovered much eye-sight, some hearing, partial use of her hands, cares for most of her own personal/toiletry needs, and is currently writing three books, maintains multiple blogs, and stays active on both Facebook and Pinterest. Near the five-year recovery mark, Jenni has renewed her pre-stroke excitement about the unique Lilla Rose hair Flexi eight jewelry she sells and has finally regained enough hand/arm function to regularly use! (The biggest ongoing losses at the 4 1/2-year point of recovery are left-side nerve pain, inability to drive, loss of homeschool teaching capability, significant sound processing issues (often triggering nausea), and some profound physical ability limitations such as a limp, balance challenges, clumsy use of right hand and only large motor function in left hand.) Here is her resume.

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 equipts you to send any monetary assistance as well, this is a significant added blessing.

Jenni is clinging to God's grace through the entire experience. Here is her unfolding story, documented in her own words (typing with only her right hand), as she perceives it happening in real time, messy, honest and to the glory of God...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Crosswalk

I shared the details of my story on my two year stroke-a-versary, but since that posy was SO long, here's the seventh section (out of 8 sections) of the main body of the post, for your easier reference. If anything here confuses you or you want more information, please remember to visit the original post for full context! http://strokeofgrace.blogspot.com/2013/10/2-years-rest-of-story.html

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7. In The Crosswalk

As my husband summed it up, what the doctor did was really no different than if one of our children were in a crosswalk (expectation of safety, like I had when entrusting myself to a medical professional), were hit by a car, the uninsured driver expressed "feeling bad" at the scene of the accident, but then fled his responsibilities and left the country. I feel like, if I were to meet the doctor face-to-face today, I would likely crumble (unless the typical inability to express any emotion were to kick in and I would simply act like a robot, as I would guess my emotional incontinence (PBA) would likely play a big part in my outward reaction now too!), for I still can't even talk with my husband about him or the event without totally loosing control of my emotions. My entire family's lives are so upended by his actions. Things that aren't directly stroke related, like our kitchen floor or van repairs/replacement, or college saving, don't happen because the funds we would have used to care for those things are already way more than spoken for, medically now. I still get angry at times and so very, very frustrated! The emotional (and physical) baggage of our new reality has been, and continues to be, so terribly, indescribably weighty!


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But I would also want my doctor to know that, regardless of what I express on the outside, in my heart I truly believe that I forgive him. (I guess there is no way to REALLY know without facing him, like the story Corie Ten Boon told about how she felt forgiveness in her heart until the day she once again came into direct contact with one of her guards at the concentration camp where she had been imprisoned and watched her sister die, then had to reevaluate forgiveness all over again.) God has forgiven me more than I could ever repay.

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The Bible says that when I was still his enemy, Christ loved me enough to die for me! (When I was uninsured and hit and ran from him in that crosswalk, He loved me anyway!) The most important positive thing that I could possibly imagine coming from all this is that I desperately want my doctor to know the forgiveness and grace of knowing Jesus as his personal savior. If anyone is spared an eternity in hell because of my story, it will make every moment of this broken life I lead totally "worth it." If it were to be my doctor, who I know to be a religious man but I fear does not understand a true relationship with the Lord, this would be so personally gratifying and fulfilling to me.
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Thoughts Since Original Post:

I said before, "When I was uninsured and hit and ran from him in that crosswalk, He loved me anyway!" That was taking the analogy of an accidental car-involved collision. The better example would be Jesus in a crosswalk and me intentionally targeting him, ramming Him, then running off, a hit and run driver resulting in fatality! That's who I was to Jesus when He loved me enough to lay down His physical life in exchange for me getting to know the joy of His adoration, fellowship, love, for all eternity!

Lisa, from Rest Ministries, asked me to answer this: "You have chosen to forgive, but that doesn't mean the feelings follow the choice. How would you encourage someone to recognize what forgiveness means even when you don't yet feel it?"

How very true! Maybe you have heard the marriage advice that "love is a decision" rather than always romantic emotions and actions. A feeling is easy to fall "in" and "out" of. A decision grounds you during the times the emotions don't follow. Typically the emotions do tend to follow again (in waves and level of feeling that rise and wane cyclically) when you grit your teeth through the hard times long enough. This is what I believe will prove true with forgiveness as well.

I think forgiveness means I have asked God to examine my heart, to show me anything He needs to clean up there, and when I have done what work He shows me, to accept the fact that I've done all I can and can/should not try to carry the guilt and responsibility of the other person's actions any longer! It isn't condoning the other person's action, it is making the decision that, God helping me, I'm not going to be eaten alive by their choices any longer. It is about looking at what's been done to me and saying, no matter how terrible and heinous and destructive and ruinous their intent or actions may have been to my finite time on this earth, I really can't except the gilt of wishing them an ETERINTY in hell, separation for God! It doesn't mean I have to become their best buddy or even hope to live next door (here or in Heaven), it just means that Christ has forgiven me so much that I want my attitudes to reflect a measure of that same grace to the person who has wronged me.

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If you would like to read more of my story, please select from Basics and Why I've Not Shared Before and Story Details, Medical Expectations, Manipulation Mechanics, GoalsLegalor My Victory Declaration. Thank you for walking a little piece of this journey with me.

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