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.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

27 months

2 years, 3 months. This post is a day late. Yesterday was just a bad day, plain and simple.

To give a little context here, I have been really working on my current book manuscript again. Satan doesn't like that. Bad days don't really take me by surprise at times like this. Just a reminder that I need to especially ask for your prayers right now, that God will sustain me (our whole family!) and that His will, in His timing, are fully accomplished here. I need a purpose God has me here, and in addition to my family, my books give me that drive to not let the devil keep me down, but James 5 tells me, "The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective," so I know when I'm too weak to fight alone and I'm rallying an army of prayer warriors and asking you to prayer on behalf of God's protection and strength for me and my family! This Means War!

Yesterday started out with a really rough night, dream-wise. This is an area where I haven't shared much here, but my dream world, always vivid and overly-realistic, before the strokes, is exhausting and often highly emotionally charged and so terribly frustrating now. I feel like I am living suspended between three realities of my sleep world without limitation, my prison-like wakeful world, and the beyond imagination Real Life of eternity which I cannot reach right now. I'm expected to live in the very hardest of these realities and if anyone else spent any time in either of the other two, you would understand how terribly painful this is!

An hour or so after I woke up, the realization that it was an anniversary date one again, punched me hard in the gut. The realization of all I still am slow and cumbersome in doing, the changes my family faces daily, just really washed over me anew. By 9am I was in tears, with Rick, for the first time. Rick took the littler kids to do school shopping (he admitted, in answer to my direct question, that going without me was faster and easier, and I well remember trying to accomplish errands with toddlers in toe, so I don't begrudge him this truth, it was just one more thing to make me sad and wistful for what life used to be like) and I stayed home and watched a movie with our oldest.


All afternoon I was moody and grumpy, so I wished our daughter a happy 11th birthday and put myself to bed. She came back to check on me, a half hour later, and I started crying (a first, to be able to cry with my daughter!) witch started her crying. I told her how very sorry I am that life isn't like it used to be and she replied, "Mom, you don't need to be sorry. The only one who needs to be sorry is that doctor who broke the artery in your neck!" *sigh* I didn't even know how to respond to that, so we just cried together and snuggled for a bit. I have now been able to cry with both my oldest son and our daughter, within the past few weeks, so this is progress!

When talking with Shelly, last week, about her upcoming shunt replacement, I said something to this effect, so she made it into a poster for me. <3
"When your anxiety is sky high, Just remember...so is God!" - Jennifer Saake
Pinned at http://www.pinterest.com/pin/266979084134182675/
Photo Credit: Paul Bica via photopin
Design Credit: Shelly Hendricks of RenewedDaily.com

R. left the room, I cried some more, I journaled for a bit and tried to sleep. I got up about 5:30 and made birthday dinner. In the evening Rick commented that I seemed to be feeling a little better, either that or I was just putting on a happy face. He knows me well. Yes, the tears were a pressure valve release, so from that aspect, I was feeling a little better, but it was just a long day!

"All Fears Washed Away" - (c) Jonnie

Today I'm home from church with the birthday girl on her first full day as an 11-year-old. She told me this morning, "At least it is better than being sick on my birthday!" It is our little guy's first Sunday at church as an 8-year-old. That is part of what I cried over yesterday too, that they are growing up so fast! Little J. really has no memories of his pre-stroked Mama. :( I usually do a pretty good job at looking at life as it is now and saying, "It is what it is." and not playing the comparison game with what was, but some days I just am sad and that too, is what it is.

Odd observation of the day, I often am used to smiling through pain, but this morning is the first time in a few months where it physically hurts to smile, The side of my face didn't even feel sore until I lifted my lips this morning. I am determined, with God's help, I will have a better attitude today, but this little discovery (along with my shoulder hurting more than it has in a while) wasn't a fun start to that plan.

I want to thank you for praying for my friends Jonnie and Shelly as they had brain surgeries this week. Jonnie's surgery went fabulously well and, I believe, she flies home today to start the long road of recovery. Shelly's surgery, upon reports, also seems to have been successful, but she is having a pretty hard go in recovery and has been detained in the hospital twice now for nausea and complications. I have not heard a report since her CT this morning, so please continue to keep both women in prayer. Praise God that no one stroked during surgery as this is my fear when anyone undergoes procedures of the brain!

Day 71 of 100 in jumping challenge
Day 6 in flute challenge
Psalm 89:2

I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.



  1. We all have "those days". I ended up not being able to even go to church because of how I felt after 2 hours of cleaning kids rooms from my wheelchair.