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...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Living Scary Brave

This post is actually a direct continuation of this morning's post on Five Years Ago.

I ended my recollections of that morning by recounting my feelings of physical disconnect and spiritual connection on an indescribable level.

The music that spilled out [from Heaven] and encompassed me is unlike anything I had ever heard, heard with the ear, yet experienced with the whole being, tasted, touched, smelled, pure joy!

How disappointing to find I was still earth-bound...

I am now home from my appointment and ready to share more thoughts.

At 23andMe research study, in partnership with Renown, today,

Front of the hat I'm wearing, since I was trying to juggle the camera at a weird angle for a selfie:
I have been feeling rather ambiguous about my future. Year Six???

Mom and I are two of the 10,000 volunteer participants in this patient research programon the genetic health history of northern Nevada residents. I chose today as my participation date to give back to the hospital God used to save my life!
There isn't supposed to be a year six! There wasn't to be a year five either...

Yes, Kathy, I know. NONE of us know what our futures hold. 

This just feels different. I struggled with it last year. I've struggled again with this landmark too. When you are living days that medically "shouldn't be," it's just bizarre!

This morning, God comforted me with the reminder that all the days ordained for me were written in His book before even one of them came to be (see Psalm 139). My days, those blank, unscripted times that seemed so overwhelmingly uncharted, peninsular, this "borrowed time," really isn't borrowed after all.

I entitled this post Living Scary Brave, because I was thinking this morning about how some days just are plain scary. It almost aches (not physically, I'm talking heartache here) simply to keep breathing. I felt that way this morning.

People often tell me I'm "so brave." I'm not. What choice do I have but to keep living this life?

This morning the phrase "Scary Brave" resounded with me. To make the choice to "be brave" even on the scariest of days. October 25 will likely always be a scary day for me. By God's grace, I pray it can also be an equally brave season.

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