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.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Not Permitted

"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

This morning Facebook is kind enough to fill me in on some of the very earliest information my husband was receiving 5 years back. It seems laughable now to think someone communicated "a few small strokes" to him in those early hours, that 6 months without a driver's license was the big concern at that time!
Last night was pretty uneventful. Jenni was awake off and on through the night, and can still squeeze my hand and nod her head to yes/no questions. Unfortunately, she is really drugged up, and her eyes are not dialating.
She evn tried to do so sign language to communicate with me, but it took me 15 minutes to understand she wanted me to stay with her last night. (dummy me)
I got a couple of hours of total sleep, but am a little sleep deprived.
She is getting an EEG right now, and will be going in for a new MRI of the head and another for the neck. If all is ok, she will get to have her neck brace removed, and hopefully her breating tube will come out as well.
Hopefully the docs will be able to find something to help her out
Later in the day, full recovery and "a few days" hospitalization was the picture painted for him. Poor guy!:
It appears that she has had a few small strokes, but the neurologist is hopeful that she will ultimately recover from the issues that it will cause. She was able to get her neck brace off, and we hope her intibation tube will soon follow. She is breathing on her own, and has even given hugs to a few visitors. I am going to try going home this evening for a few hours of sleep, and Jenni's mom will be with her, while I am away. Please pray for a quick recover, as she needs to get out of ICU and then a regular room for a few days (hopefully) and then home to convalesce. Also pray, as she will lose her drivers license for 6 months minimum. Thanks for all your prayers, emails and calls!
I had only had initial sets of scans yet and two out of what would add up to become six strokes over the course of the month. As full damage would shake out, these first two strokes were both classified as massive, "catastrophic" strokes, but that first morning, when I had survived my initial hours of imminent coma and vomiting and pending death, pulled through that first night, things looked amazingly optimistic for much of Oct. 26, 2011. (I have no memories of this day whatsoever. I'm told my hands were strapped down to  the table to keep me from pulling out my own tubes. I'm told when the breathing tube was removed, I initially had to be coached, verbally reminded to take each breath.)

In the early verses of 2 Corinthians 12, Paul writes about "a man" (most scholars believe he was referencing his very own experiences) who saw Heaven. "And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell" (verses 3 and 4, NIV).

According to dictionary.com, the English word permitted is an adjective meaning words such as allowable, sanctioned, tolerated.

Curiously, I looked up verse 4 in Greek, to see how this text was originally penned. Paul (or "the man") heard unspeakable(above we see translated as inexpressible) [arrētos] things, which it is [exestinot lawful [once again, exesti] for man to utter [laleō], 

arrētos is an adjective translating "unsaid, i.e. (by implication) inexpressible:—unspeakable" and is closely related to an adverb that translates "out-spokenly, i.e. distinctly:—expressly".

exesti is a verb compounding the preposition ek [denotes origin, the point whence action or motion proceeds] and the verb eimi [to be, to exist, to happen, to be present], and generally translates along the lines of "It is lawful," or "be lawful," though "may" and "let" are equally valid usages.

laleō is an obsolete verb that indicates any articulate utterance or emission of sound, to talk, utter, tell, speak, use words to declare one's mind or disclose one's thoughts.

This verse could be read that people are not allowed to share glimpses of Glory, but something I had already been much pondering is validated in some alternate uses of the Greek terms here. I believe Paul was saying such visions were too great for a person to be capable of justly expressing. Human language simply does not contain descriptives vivid enough to adequately express such wonders. I don't think this verse speaks to the allowable as much as it does to the possible. Our finite minds are incapable of sufficiently disclosing what we have witnessed! I think, that like Moses in Exodus 6:12, our very best attempts are still spoken with faltering lips!
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. - Psalm 139:6, emphasis added
I'm pondering all this after sharing my story yesterday. It's not at all that I am unwilling to tell more, it is that I truly feel incapable of putting my experience into any deeper words than those I have already shared and the pondering that have grown out of this experience. If you have specific questions, I am more than happy to give you my best attempt in sharing what I can, but I feel so very hampered by the confines of language limitations.
I've tried to capture a fraction of the experience through art in my Homesick for Heaven Pinterest board, and perhaps have done a slightly better job visually than through written word, but my descriptives remain far lacking. The phrase "There is no squinting in Heaven!" frequents my thoughts. The Light is brighter than looking directly into the sun, and yet it is warm and nurturing and there is no need to shield your eyes from the Healing that engulf without shadow! Your eyes are fully capable, hungry for, created to, take it all in!

I spent the first few years begging God to put a damper on my memories, not that I did not feel blessed to have tasted such wonder, but because I felt I would literally loose my mind at being confined to the limits of earth after tasting such pure and profound goodness! I am so very thankful that just enough of the freshness of what I know has rubbed away that I can tolerate, even embrace the here and now where God has assigned me for a season. It has not been an easy transition.

Last call on this month's Lilla Rose Boutique. Stylists (consultants) are only able to host a party for themselves once, so while I may do some Mystery Hostess (where YOU might win all my hostess rewards) shows in the future, but this will be the only time I can be pestering you to come visit my own show! Things have not gone well for my grand re-opening. I needed to make $200 minimum in sales to earn my free items I was hoping for and I've only made three sales, adding up to around $70, so about a third of my minimum goal. I was going to close the show yesterday, but it is still open for a couple more days if you want to help me earn my way to Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference yet this week. If you would be willing to host a Facebook party, this would be very helpful to me as well.
You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. - Job 42:3, emphasis added


1 comment:

  1. Rick's memories triggered my memories. That was a horrific week, month, two months. I love you and am glad you have recovered so much.