Update: The In Darkness Sing blog at JenniferSaake is experiencing prolonged technical issues, so I'm temporarily posting back here on my old Stroke of Grace blog.

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.

Jennifer 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. (Please see above temporary update note above!)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

What About Me?

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. - Galatians 2:20 (NIV, emphasis added)

A friend posted to Facebook about how she had taken a literal "step of faith" on a broken foot, and God healed it. The break was no more, pain gone, foot strong.

God, what about me?
Is my faith lacking? My husband said I was being reckless when I tried the same. Did my step ever hurt! Why wasn't I healed too?

I heard a testimony of a strokie (stroke survivor) who was introduced to Jesus, and got up (from not walking, like I was after my strokes) and RAN several laps without so much as a limp.

God, what about me?
Does already knowing You, living in a country where Your power is well-know, preclude me from miracles You preform for new believers in spiritually dark countries where Your power seems more readily evidenced?

I posted last week about my own miracle healing of my ears. A reply on my Facebook page has made my heart ache ever since...

"Maybe someday God will bring me. physical and emotional healing also."

I could be reading my own experiences into this, but to me this sounds like the same What about me? longing I've felt so often.

My original title for this post was, "Weary of Asking, Loosing Heart." I am experiencing great emotional healing right now, my hearing is being restored, there are several other physical and emotional issues God seems to be rapidly resolving (blood sugars, hormones, greater spurts of energy, ability to have proper emotional responses of tears and shutting them on and off on command occasionally now, possibly even my trigeminal neuralgia (TN is not totally gone, but seems SIGNIFICANTLY improved along with my hearing) and some latex allergy issues, though I have not yet really tried to test out any possible resolution to this life threatening condition...), YET, I am not fully well on any of these issues, 100%.

I have some pain, like a specific tendon in my right (less stroked) foot that has been hurting since March and is actually getting worse rather than better - each time I pray and ask God if I am to pursue further medical consultation, I wake up with more pain there than I went to bed with. I've had a gal bladder issue that totally stopped  moments before leaving the house for the emergency room (and both pain and poop issues have stayed gone a few months now!) and I've had several recent and severe colds, including 2 that have required antibiotics this spring. Central Pain Syndrome and the vascular/circulatory pain that turn my left foot blue/purple, give me wonky blood pressure and pulse reading anywhere on my left side, and require me to keep that left leg elevated whenever I sit, are yet unresolved in the least.

My point is that is totally up to God when, where, why, and how (much) He sends physical healing. Just because you are in a what about me? season today, if God has not given you a miracle, it doesn't mean your day will never come! And if/when God does send healing in one area, He is not obligated to fix it all, nor act on our timetable.

In some cases, Jesus heals INSTANTLY (see Matthew 20:34), sometimes He heals slowly and in stages (Mark 8:22-25). Often healing is a sign of spiritual relief (Matthew 12:22; Luke 8:35; John 5). Sometimes God heals all (Matthew 8:16) and other times He only heals some (Luke 7:21). Often, His healing looks quite different than we were expecting (2 Kings 5:11). Healing is tied to faith often in Scripture (sometimes to the faith of friends or family, rather than of the person healed, such as in Mark 2!), but God is the only One who can measure that - we cannot judge others for "lack of faith" if they aren't healed, in our way and on our timeline, because God can (and often does - no one was more stunned about my ears than me!) heal even when our faith is lacking (Mark 6:5-6)! When we trust Jesus for eternal life, we will ALL be 100% healed and made whole in Heaven!

For our seasons of living the wait, I offer my favorite poem as encouragement:
Wait (c) copyright 1995, Russell Kelfer 
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried.
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, He replied.
I pleaded, and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait."

 "Wait? You say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers. I need to know why.
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

"My future, and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me 'wait'?
I'm needing a 'yes,' a go-ahead sign.
Or even a 'no,' to which I can resign.

"And Lord, you have promised that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking: I need a reply!"

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, "You must wait."
So I slumped in my chair; defeated and taut
And grumbled to God; "So I'm waiting, for what?"

He seemed then to kneel and His eyes met with mine
And He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, darken the sun,
Raise the dead, cause the mountains to run.

"All you see I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

"You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust, just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me,
When darkness and silence was all you could see.

"You would never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

"The glow of My comfort late in the night.
The faith that I give when you walk without sight;
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

"And you never would know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that 'My grace is sufficient for thee.'
Yes, your dreams for that loved one o'ernight could come true,
But the loss! if you lost what I'm doing in you.

"So be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft' may My answer seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all...is still...wait."

"Wait" taken from Follow Me! by Russell Kelfer, copyright 1995. Published by Discipleship Tape Ministries, Inc., and Into His Likeness Publications. Used by permission on pages 176-178 of Hannah's Hope: Seeking God's Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage, and Adoption Loss by Jennifer Saake, NavPress, 2005.

For a decade I've planned to write a future book called Given Me a Thorn, focused on living life when God says no. I'm rethinking that book. I've shut down both the blog and the Facebook page I had set up on the topic. [Sept. '17 update: Blog Back Up and Why.] While I may still someday write on living fully during the wait, I now see that I've spent YEARS focused on when God says no, rather than understanding, truly grasping, that the primary point of Scriptures like 2 Corinthians 12 or the parable of the widow and unjust judge in Luke 18, are that God wants us to keep asking, over and over. His heart is to pursue relationship with us. His delays are that we may know Him, not that we give up in defeat when we ask three times and He hasn't yet given the answer we desire.

If you are dealing with barrenness, infertility, or sterility, I'v written additional thoughts especially for you, in supplement of this article. May Why Can She Have A Baby and I Can't? be a blessing to you.

Please come visit me on my new official author page on Facebook. I'm gearing up to publish my next book and would love your support at www.facebook.com/HarvestingHope/. Please help me show potential publishers I'm serious about this book writing thing. They need to see numbers of likes well into the thousands while I'm only in the low hundreds, so far.
A recent post by Lysa TerKeurst is so powerful! In very small part, Lysa's I'm Scared To Pray Boldly words include gems like, 
"...my hesitation isn’t rooted in any kind of doubt about God. It’s more rooted in doubts about myself and my ability to absolutely discern the will of God. The reality is sometimes God chooses not to do things. And if His will is “No,” while I am boldly praying for a “Yes,” it makes me feel out of step with God..
"I so desperately want to stay in the will of God that I find myself praying with clauses like: God please heal my friend, but if it’s Your will to take her, I will trust You.
"I wonder why I don’t just boldly pray: God, please heal my friend. And then stand confidently knowing my prayers were not in vain — no matter what the outcome...
"...So, prayer does make a difference — a life-changing, mind-blowing, earth-rattling difference. We don’t need to know how. We don’t need to know when. We just need to kneel confidently and know the tremors of a simple Jesus girl’s prayers extend far-wide and far-high and far-deep.
"...Not bold as in bossy and demanding. But bold as in, I love my Jesus with all my heart, so why would I offer anything less than an ignited prayer life?"