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, March 24, 2016

I Perceive It

It will take me weeks to trickle out some significant stories that will begin to do justice to my week at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. The experience was unlike anything my 14 years of praying for this opportunity had prepared me for. Thank you for every prayer breathed on my behalf, every cent spent to send me.

The opening verse shared this week was Isaiah 43:19, "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland" (NIV).

I truly feel a "new thing" happened in my heart that has now burst forth into a new season. [Insert butterfly trying new wings here.] Edited to add: Kendra, you will love my friend Jeanette Hanscome's post about butterflies and Mount Hermon - reminds me of us!

I learned I was capable, through God's strength. I absolutely could not keep up this pace on a daily basis nor for longer than a week (I've slept constantly since coming home), but for this limited time, God flooded me with profoundly uncommon ability. I had some challenges, like pushing my walker up steep hills, but I keep up with a week of 16-hour days (or longer, 1AM wasn't an uncommon bedtime for me, only to be up at 6:30 or 7 to do it all again), often getting from appointment to appointment, back-to-back, in 15-minute segments stacked one immediately upon another. 

My brain wouldn't shut down, so Debbie got hours more sleep than I did and we both had to skip various teaching sessions to go nap just to survive the week. What a blessing to share a room with someone who understood what it was like to fall asleep in class by early afternoon and need to go sleep simply to have the ability to walk to dinner! The morning I told Deb I had to choose between a shower or facing the day ahead, that there "weren't enough spoons" to do both, she didn't even blink. She got me. She faced the same need to skip a shower in trade for more sleep a couple night later.

Meals alone "should" have been beyond me, as hundreds of writers filled a huge room, 8 to a table, and spent lunches and dinners "interviewing" with the agent or publisher hosting each table. The noise level was profound. (Twice since coming home, family members have told me I was shouting, while I was only using the voice I had to use to be heard at meals all week.)  For someone who normally needs to sleep at least 14 hours a day and can't schedule more than one or two energy expenses per day without overtaxing my physical limits, ability to keep pace with this conference was truly God's doing! An energy expense can be as simple as being in a crowded room and processing noise and movement around me. For example, church attendance on Sunday morning typically demands 2-4 hours of sleep on Sunday afternoon in order to recover.  I plan to mostly sleep for a few days now that I am home, but I did not expect so many days of such supernatural ability there!!!

I learned a lot about presenting myself, sharing my stories. It's been a long, dark many years, but this week brought about several Divine Appointments, many occasions to see ways God specifically put and kept ME here on this earth to fulfill pieces of His plan. This was so incredibly affirming and healing to my battered soul!

Many things I went to the conference hoping, praying, expecting God might do, were dead ends. There were writing projects I came home seeing how badly in need of rework they are before they can even become marketable, the need for a huge "platform" before mainstream publishers will even consider my books, etc. (If you would please go to my sidebar and friend me, subscribe to this blog, that would really help me in having numbers to show potential publishers! Also, please introduce your friends to this blog and ask them to subscribe as well.)

Ideas that had not even been developed yet, prayers prayed but seeming far-fetched and long-away, these are the things that, career-wise, might be born of this conference. It was fascinating to watch God putting the things I believed to be most immediately urgent to the side for now, while springing others that were not even an immediate focus into the spotlight.

The very most healing, encouraging part of the whole experience (and this is saying a lot since there were so many profound fingerprints of God over the entire trip) was spending a whole week rooming with my dear sister-in-Christ, sister-of-my-heart, Debbie. Her book, that came into print due to her attendance of a Mount Hermon Writers Conference, more than 20 years ago, was life-changing, life-saving, life-giving when I flailed through my darkest days of infertility all those years ago.

God has allowed Debbie and I to work closely together in various seasons of the distant past, but our lives have not closely been intertwined for a good decade, until 22 days ago when her email started this journey. We laughed until we gasped for breath, every single day. We each felt fully loved, accepted, understood, not in spite of, but often because of many shared areas of deep brokenness. God's grace is amazing!



  1. I'm so thankful that you got to attend Mount Hermon! We both experienced so much healing and love. What a gift! I love you.

  2. When God shows up and the Holy Spirit moves, as we saw so many times last week, we just stand (or sit, or lay down as the case may be) in awe.

  3. So happy for you, Jenni - truly God is doing a new thing and YOU are the faithful one to whom He brings the "new"!!

  4. The thrill that enters my heart when I realize MY daughter is writing these things and recovering her perspective in God given.