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.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

His Dealings

Fear not because you sometimes walk in darkness and have no light. Remember that you cannot understand the mind of the Lord, nor the meaning of His dealings. But when the clouds compass you about, believe in God as Daniel did; trust in the Lord Jesus at all times; sing to Him in the dungeon, as Paul and Silas; sing to Him even in the fire, as the three Hebrew children did; be very sure, he who believes shall never be ashamed. 
- J. C. Ryle, as quoted in the book Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story, by Ken and Joni Eareckson Tada with Larry Libby, as the opening quote to the chapter entitled Samurai.

Remember when I was contemplating "sing" as my "word of the year" for 2015. I'm sticking with that choice. Did you notice the two sing commands in the quote above?

"Hope is like a bird that senses the dawn and carefully starts to sing while it is still dark." - author unknown
Hope sings!
What a busy month , start to our year! We have both 9th and 12th birthdays coming to our house within the next week, then hosting spend-the-night parties here each of the next two consecutive weekends. I have to say, our 15-year-old's pizza hang-out with a few friends last month was much less stressful! But we only bless our kids with parties every three years, so it is rather special to enjoy their party years, we just hadn't counted on them being born 3 years apart, within a 5 1/2 week time span (with Christmas in the middle) when we set up this system! They are each given a modest budget and a few guidelines (an overnight can have half as many invited guests as the number of years they are celebrating or a 2-hour daylight party may have as many non-family guests as their age) and then the catalog and website searching and list making and figuring (and re-figuring and re-figuring) of costs and ordering begins.

Our oldest has been engrossed in preparing for a robotics competition on Wednesday. His team is currently ranked #2 in the region. He hopes to take one of the top two regional spots and get to go to Vegas early next month. Colleges are starting to send several envelops per week (he's a sophomore) and he has already received invitations to two difference elite summer programs (one back at Harvard with astronaut Bud Aldrich!) that we are waiting to see if God plans to send him to either by clearly opening doors and supplying the funding.

Our nearly-12-year-old has had a rough go lately. On the good news front, at the beginning of the new semester, she came to us and asked to see if the school would test her and allow her to move to the honors class for this second half of six grade. Even though she had never been introduced to some of the advanced material covered in honors, she passed the screening test with flying colors and was moved into the honors program the very next day. We are excited for her and very proud of her initiative.

 Not only all there all the "fun" mood and hormonal adjustments of pre-teen body changes to adjust to, there has also been a lot of medical investigation going on in her world, the most recent focus on a wrist that was broken last spring and still causing much pain and hand dysfunction, even now. After an agonizingly exhausting round of testing last week, including some missed school and some major anxiety for all involved, we remain without answers nor a clear plan of action. Your prayers for wisdom for Rick and I and all involved in her care is greatly appreciated!

After a really tough day on Wednesday, she came home and collapsed into bed. With the drugs the doctor have given, she was asleep (for the night) by 4pm and pretty much slept on through until 1 the next afternoon, back asleep by about 5 that night. I KNEW I was weary and stressed by the ordeal too, I just didn't know how much until Rick came home from work and exclaimed, "What did you do to your arm today?" It was only then that I realized I had contorted my primarily stroked arm up into a scary-looking contracture against my body. I was so exhausted, so physically impacted by stress, that I went to bed at 6:45 that evening! I had likely been holding my arm too tightly against my body  for hours as it was SORE by the time Rick found it and I tried to straighten it back out.

It was the next afternoon before I had re-established fairly good large-motor function and range of motion again. I'm doing better now, but the arm still is quick to contract if I'm not being very aware and careful to force it down to my side. Minor things (well, not so minor, in that they have only been possible the last year or so) like holding (not manipulating the pages to turn, just holding that side) a book, have become stressful and very painful once again. I am going to fight to keep the hard-won function I have in this arm, but the dramatic changes for the worse, in the past five days, have been startling and frustration. For both my daughter's unresolved, seemingly unanswerable pain, and for my own, I am continually reminding myself to trust in God who has this all figured out!

Our little man! What can I say about this amazing kid? Here's what I posted to Facebook last week: "Proud of our little Bear. Yesterday, he attended baptism class at church (you are going to HAVE to explain the Superman logo analogy to these two clueless parents, Pastor Matt!), today he got a 4.0 quarterly award at school, Sunday he will be baptized, Friday he will turn 9 years old, then next Saturday compete in a LEGO competition." It was so wonderful to see him in that baptismal with his dad by his side on Sunday morning! He has been asking for years, but we told him he had to wait until we felt he could really understand the public commitment and declaration he was making.

Today, Jan. 20, has been deemed International Day of Acceptance! Please visit the linked website to learn more about this movement.

In December I had the honor of filming about 2 1/2 hours of interviews and being shadowed at water therapy. This three-minute clip offers a tiny glimpse of my story. They didn't include any information I shared on stroke statistics, young stroke, only the briefest mention that my strokes happened at a chiropractic office (none of the chiropractic stroke information, concerns or stats), or about how the Lord is my source of strength, but what they did choose to compile, I think they presented beautifully.

I just received a really hard phone call with bad news. I'll share more when I am free to do so...

Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. - 1 Chronicles 16:9


  1. 1 your clip touched me!

    2- praying for whatever news you just got

  2. Thanks for the update Jenni! Praying for you.