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...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Impressions

I have received several questions about my thoughts and impressions on Heaven and dying. I am not an expert and not trying to offer an authoritive voice on the matter, just want to welcome you into my personal speculations, as if you were sitting on my living room couch and we were chatting. Since I always wished I could hear about death first hand, and the only way to really know about it typically meant someone was no longer around to share their experiences, I wanted to answer a few of those questions about what I now believe, here. If you aren't sure what I'm talking about, you will want to read about my near death experience first.
we are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. - 2 Corinthians 5:8 (AKJV)
My impression is that Heaven is just right beyond our reality, not long and windingly out of reach, but I do think this is a beautiful picture (and song). Also, I wouldn't represent the entrance of Heaven as any kind of obstacle, because in my human frailties I could not climb those stairs that don't even have a handrail! I believe when God brings us into His presence, it is not by any works or effort on our parts, simply by His grace we are suddenly and gently just THERE! (Picture originally found on Pinterest. Referring link is from youtube.)
Picture from Pinterest
Something I wanted other infertile women or fellow bereaved moms to know is: "For those of us who have lost babies (or did without even knowing we were pregnant), my children, living or dead, didn't even cross my mind, so in awe was I by God's goodness. And for those facing unfulfilled longings, such as infertility, all worldly care are so distant and all longing fulfilled by Christ alone. The experience REALLY makes me profoundly aware of the brevity of human life and that our real focus for this earthly life should be bringing as many folks to Heaven as we can!

"As for the pregnancy/infant loss factor, I can't help but feel even a little "jealous" of my babies who got to Heaven before me. I don't spend nearly as much time thinking about them as I used to, or as I would think I would now, but when I do, I can't help but think of their joy and peace."

Picture from Pinterest

When I shared my story with a select group of friends last year, one friend, whose daughter only lived a few days after birth, then died of kidney failure after a very painful heart surgery and struggle in ICU, told me, "I remember, Jenni, that you had briefly shared your experience with me after A. died. It helped me so much to think that my precious child is in such a wonderful place. It hurts me so deeply when I think of how much she physically suffered in her short life (just after surgery). I was just talking to dh last night about how I still feel like I "gave up on her" and he simply said, "Honey, she is in Heaven now. It doesn't matter anymore." so this post is just what I needed to be reminded this morning.
"I know that some people probably looked at me and thought I was crazy when I shared publicly that I knew there were two angels who had come to her beside right before she died. I don't know how I knew. I didn't see them, but I felt them and I had the immediate thought, "There are angels here." "

I replied: I'm glad you remember that. I don't. I had intentionally tried NOT to say anything to you along these lines, because I'm so bursting with awe, I wasn't sure how to address what I wanted to say, while still being tender toward your hurting heart and very real grief. I pray I didn't fumble and cause more pain in whatever I did say. :wub: :hug: I guess I was just too bursting to keep quiet all together. I pray I choose balanced words????

"I can say that as much as she suffered in this lifetime, the memory has faded for her, possibly all the way. The memory is MUCH more bitter for you than her! All she knows, and will forever know for all eternity, is beauty and glory and joy and peace.

"I think you were aware of the angels with you daughter because God gave you spiritual "eyes to see" (even if you didn't physically see, but just KNOW) just a sliver of what's happening all around us. <3 I think that is super cool, and a comfort to us all to realize God's typically unseen working at all times."

Picture from Facebook

My friend, Susan, writes, "I was thinking about heaven today. No pain, no tears, incredible beauty. God told me that while all of that is true, it's not what heaven's about. It's about being able to worship Him with purity and completeness which I can't do on earth. Heaven's not about me at all." [Edited to add my own thoughts along these lines, April, 2015.]


M. asked, "Jenni, maybe you could help me with something that I was learning about. I heard a speaker talk about music and how rock type music, or music with a strong beat, was not Godly. He had a lot of interesting reasons and I kind of was left thinking that while he had interesting reasons, I was not sure whether he was correct or not. So I've been thinking a lot about it recently and want to honor God with my music...  Do you recall, or can you put your finger on if the music you heard had a prominent beat to it?"

My answer was: If I had to pick a human genera, it was something similar to what we would call "classical," but my personal description of what I experienced is so different from some others I have read (all ages and races and cultures) that my personal theory is that God doesn't "jolt" us from one life to the next, but tailor customizes the introduction to meet the needs and experiences and basis of understanding of each life. (Jesus said, I go and prepare a place for you...).

In those moments, I never "felt dead," just a smooth transfer from life to more life, greater life, deeper life. God knows that for me, personally, a "classical music-type" welcome would make me feel most at Home. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if someone saved by the testimony of a Christian rock band was welcomed into Glory by a rockier beat. ;)
Your place in Heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for it—made for it stitch by stitch as a glove is made for a hand.
~ The Problem of Pain
In follow up she sent a second message saying, "I  want to honor God with my music. (I don't typically listen to non-Christian music except for Classical but he was talking about Christian music with a rock beat)."

I replied: This is not an area where I have much insight, but my personal perspective would be that if God is honored and a certain form of worship is not forbidden by Scripture or causing my brother to stumble (or causing war within my own spirit that I might feel to be prompting from the Holy Spirit) that it is like Peter and the unclean food, quite permissible.

If a tribe of Indians or group in Africa is used to praying to their "god" with drum beat, does God expect them to abandon all culture, or can the heart attitude of worship to the One True Deity still be expressed as they are accustomed to worship? A Christian rock band can meet and minister to people God will never allow me to reach. As long as He is glorified and hearts are changed, who am I to question the tool God chooses? We are all fashioned by the Potter for His usage!

Picture from Pinterest

S. wrote, "I actually have a fear of dying. I know, I am a Christian and should not. Glad to read your experience and know that it won't be so scary (for lack do a better way to explain how your story helps me). I can't wait until the music in heaven. Everything must be so much more wonderful than we can imagine!"

My reply: I totally relate to these feeling. It might help even more to know that I never "felt dead." Just life to more life, deeper life, certain life. :wub: Somehow, I expected pain, a chasm to cross, some sort of awareness of the death process. Instead it was just one continual, constant flow. This life to the next with nothing but peace and overwhelming joy in the transition.

Picture from Pinterest

My mom writes, "I laugh at myself because when I compare beautiful clouds and light to what I think about Heaven, you assure me it is so much, much more! I love you!"


Picture from Pinterest

After being challenged to find and fulfill God's purpose for my days on earth, it became evident to me that as wonderful as Heaven is (and I already got a sneak peak, that was so wonderful that I am ever-so anxious to find out more!) that Hell must be just as awesome in terror. I promised God that I would spend the days assigned to me to help anyone who would listen to avoid such fate, for I cannot even imagine the horror...

Picture from Pinterest
If you aren't SURE about your eternal destiny, please read why I am so passionate to share this message, how you can KNOW about your future, without any more fear nor doubt!

Picture from Pinterest

I believe that there is only one God, Jesus Christ. That to believe Him, I must abide by what He says, namely that He alone is God and there is no other, that He is the only way to the Father and that many paths are inviting, but only one leads to eternal life.

I believe that we are all born as sinners, separated from God, and the only remedy to clear us of our guilt, is acceptance of the death and resurrection of Jesus, the only sinless man ever to live.


It is not through doing enough (or any) right or good things, but by simple
faith that God is who He says He is and did what He said He did. It isn't just about believing the facts, but taking them to heart. If I tell you a chair can hold my weight, I can tell you that all day, but it really means nothing until I exercise that belief by taking my body and actually sitting in that chair to show us both that I believe what I say, that I am willing to act upon what I say is true. It is like that with God too. I can say He exists and maybe even say I'm willing to see the work of His hand in my life, but until the "good works" I do are because of my love for Him, an expression of my adoration and acknowledgement of all He has already given for me, not in effort to earn forgiveness or grace, they mean nothing. As Scripture says, such works are as useless as filthy rags!

Picture from Pinterest

1-5 For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.
6-8 That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.
9-10 But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad.
11-14 That keeps us vigilant, you can be sure. It’s no light thing to know that we’ll all one day stand in that place of Judgment. That’s why we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God. God alone knows how well we do this, but I hope you realize how much and deeply we care. We’re not saying this to make ourselves look good to you. We just thought it would make you feel good, proud even, that we’re on your side and not just nice to your face as so many people are. If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.
14-15 Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.

-  2 Corinthians 5, The Message


Quote - "All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before." - C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle Beautiful description.


It seems a recurrent theme in my life is "waiting." I asked God why this recurrent theme and what I still have no grasped. He answered that He has been preparing me for the ultimate joyful wait for Heaven fellowship with Him.


"The modern view of the death of Jesus is that He died for our sins out of sympathy for us. Yet the New Testament view is that He took our sin on Himself not because of sympathy, but because of His identification with us. He was “made. . . to be sin. . . .” Our sins are removed because of the death of Jesus, and the only explanation for His death is His obedience to His Father, not His sympathy for us. We are acceptable to God not because we have obeyed, nor because we have promised to give up things, but because of the death of Christ, and for no other reason.


"We say that Jesus Christ came to reveal the fatherhood and the lovingkindness of God, but the New Testament says that He came to take “away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). And the revealing of the fatherhood of God is only to those to whom Jesus has been introduced as Savior. In speaking to the world, Jesus Christ never referred to Himself as One who revealed the Father, but He spoke instead of being a stumbling block (see John 15:22-24). John 14:9 , where Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father,” was spoken to His disciples." ~ Oswald Chambers 




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