Our 15-year-old had major surgery, out-of state, on January 9, exactly one week shy of one year since she woke up in such excruciating pain that she fainted within the first hour out of bed that day. She lived like that, never in anything lower than a 7 1/2 on the 0-10 pain scale, 24/7, for the next year. In and out of doctors offices, hospitals, tests, scans, on oxygen since August, pulled out of traditional high school. It's was a rough year!
I have a surgical picture I contemplated adding here, but I'll spare you the blood and gore of parts of four ribs removed from Ruth's left side.
Check out Slipping Rib Syndrome on Pinterest if you want details.
Physically, she is recovering quite well. Her strength and resilience blow me away! After living in such utter torture and the resulting stress, anxiety, and isolation, for so very long, it is going to take longer for the (metaphorical) heart to heal than the bodily skeletal system. As God puts her on your heart, please pray for Ruth and our entire family, as we make up lost school months and fight to restore normalcy in our home.
Part of bringing our home back to order and rhythm, is that our flood damage repairs, from 13 months ago, are finally nearing completion, at least inside. Since there are still a few finishing details yet to go, I won't share pictures of the final results quite yet. Above and below this paragraph, enjoy a couple teasers. Come spring, the outside repairs come next, but at least we aren't living with a huge plastic curtain down the destroyed third of our living room anymore!
One amazing change for our family has come in the form of a new church home. Medical needs initially forced the move, late last fall. While we love and miss friends from our prior congregation, it didn't take long to see exactly why God had moved us. We have never felt quite so much at home, the incredible sense of purpose and belonging, as we are finding at LifeChurch. We have jumped into the new church plant of this church's second location, in a densely populated and sorely under-churched part of town, and are in awe to watch all God is unfolding there.
The pastor and his wife were close neighbor about 13 years ago, until they moved out of state. To find them not only back in town, but shepherding our hearts in this campus launch, is added blessing! Joshua (18) is on the audio-visual team, and Ruth (15) and Jeremiah (12) are both feeling incredibly enthusiastic about their youth groups. Rick is helping with website needs. And I'm on the most exciting, dynamic, engaging prayer team I've ever encountered.
The single-most intense part of my past year, really of my entire life, has been coping with some deep-seated trauma from childhood that has negatively impacted my entire life. This finally came to bear a little over a year ago, in ways that required immediate and intensive help. Thanks to the ministry of Hope Preserved, I am a changed, free woman today. The abuses that transpired on the mission field in Asia, God has stepped in and dramatically healed. Every part of my life has been transformed, from how I relate to the ongoing limitations of my strokes (allowing God room to bring about several significant physical healing in 2018, added to all He had already done in 2017; and grace to live to the fullest in areas where limitations yet remain), to my views on of self and pleasing God, like headcovering (a practice I no longer observe).
If you have been a long-time StrokeOfGrace reader, you may recall, a little over three years back, I talked of my desire to migrate this blog over to the WordPress platform. I've been working toward that goal ever since, but stroke brain has provided unique challenges in this area. (Now do you see why writing a whole book is taking me so long?) I likely will not try to move all these past posts, but come this next weekend, my hope is to activate the JenniferSaake.com domain and have one centralized spot for posts from my five different active blogs. It is still a work in progress, but feel free to take a peek at InDarknessSing.wordpress.com as I tweak it in preparation for launch next week.