What Do You Have to Give?

We are living in an age where hatred and violence have become common place; we wake up to bad news of shootings (in schools, churches, malls, at Walmart), and in the last episode there were two of them within 24 hours!

I will give you a little background story and try to demonstrate (in my own views) what I think God is searching for out of us, and I hope, maybe, it will help you—the general population (or whoever reads this)!

Going to church as a young child often felt like a scary experience—I knew that the priest was often telling us ‘not to do something,’ and that if we did, ‘we would go to hell’ and God would not let us into heaven.

Don’t get me wrong, though, I have many beautiful memories of attending mass, especially on holidays. But I distinctively remember being aware that I had to learn more than this, because I knew that just going to church would not give me the full experience.

I knew God was great, but I wanted to understand him better. God was not one of vengeance and retribution, God was not one eager to send people to the fire pit; I knew God loved me, and even more so, now, I’ve learned how much He loves the outcast, those who are difficult, and even unlikable.

As an adult who has read and done my own research, sought after truth, studied and prayed (a lot), I have some favorite authors and people that I follow, some of which I have never met. But they are on my Twitter (Thank God Twitter is about more than the tweets of Donald Trump)!

So much of our faith is about love. There is a place referred to as ‘Hades’ in the bible, but I’ll admit, I’m not sure exactly what the translation is, I believe it means some form of hell, though. I am no Greek scholar, I do not know Latin, and I am no expert on the bible. However, I have read many parts of it. In case you’re interested, the NIV is a favorite version because it is so clear.

But one thing I’ve learned throughout my studies are, God wants you to give: I believe that when we give, we receive. You reap what you sow.  But the whole point of giving is not to receive, it is just for the sake of giving! Jesus was a giver. Give to charities, give through your selfless actions, give through acts of kindness, give through a smile, give through advice, give through anything that would be pleasing to him.

God wants us to reconcile, also: we have to live in community with one another. Although we live in an individualistic culture, realize your reliance on each other. That is why we should forgive, forget, let go, and move forward. Of course, there should be boundaries after people have hurt us. But we are not meant to live alone, we are meant to live among each other.

Isn’t it nice when you know the names of your neighbors? When you can greet someone you know at the market with a smile, or when you run into an old friend? Doesn’t it feel good when someone comes to visit? We are meant to live together.

God wants us to be peacemakers. He says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Kingdom faith means living among one another; kingdom faith means being meek and humble; GIVING and knowing you will be comforted no matter what.

Give, love (the people that God would love, all people) and be a peacemaker!EA2EBDF5-6E39-413F-B1AE-B175F27E6E5D

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored “Not Without God: A Story of Survival” and her forthcoming book, “Hope After the Storm” will be the second in a II part series. Her stories have been featured in various guest articles, medical journals, magazines, newsletters, and over 200 of her very own articles. She works as an English teacher in the Detroit area and has been an educator for twenty years. She’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. She’s taught at automotive corporations like General Motors, Nissan, Toyota, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz. She’s worked with numerous children and accumulated many jobs throughout the years. Zina began her own teaching services incorporating math and other subjects. She currently home-schools at churches and teaches creative and structured writing as well as other Language arts courses. Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

Some Things I’ve Learned

These last few months have been particularly stressful, and I feel like my life has been flipped upside down. But I won’t get into all of that right now. What has happened will come up later. So stay tuned for more.

Nonetheless, I have not given up. In my book, there is no such thing as giving up! It is never too late to heal. But we cannot heal the things we don’t acknowledge. That’s right. We are able to heal ourselves.

We have a marvelous God who never gives up on us! I’ve always held onto what I know–God will get me through. After my accident at the age of sixteen years old, I didn’t know what the next day would bring.

I could not predict anything. But I knew that with God by my side, overcoming would become second nature. It did! Writing helps me process my thoughts. There are some things I’ve learned that I want to share.

There has been a lot of pain coming up in my mind. Solid truths that are undeniable and issues I avoid. But when you keep an open heart, you keep an open life! When you extend yourself it means a lot. People see your works and are inspired. They, too, may rise up and face challenges of their own.

Finally, let go of everything you think you are holding onto. Ultimately, you are not the one in control. So whenever fear tries to hold you back, remember to take risks. Fear tells us we have to hold tightly to our lives. But fear is a liar. Because God will see you through!

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About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the best-selling book, “Not Without God: A Story of Survival.” Her stories have been featured in various guest articles, medical journals, magazines, newsletters, and over 200 of her very own blog posts. She works as an English teacher in the Detroit area. She’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. She’s taught at automotive corporations like General Motors, Nissan, Toyota, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz. Zina began her own teaching services incorporating math and other subjects. She currently homeschools at churches and teaches creative and structured writing as well as other Language arts courses. Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity. She strives to do what she longs to. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

 

The Light Is Not at the End of the Tunnel!

There is a light, but it doesn’t have to be at the “end” of the tunnel. Remember that. We are supposed to work through pain in life not try to avoid it. Don’t complain about it. Life is not meant to be one of convenience, but one of FAITH and PERSISTENCE.

At sixteen, when I was finally home and out of the hospital—I still had no idea how I would make it. My identity was crushed, and I knew it would be difficult for others to relate to me because the accident transformed my life!

Those years were vital—to read and study Scripture, to listen to live prayer on the radio most nights, and to talk to GOD daily. I would not have come this far without doing those things! And I still remind myself to practice them. 

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—from “Not Without God: A Story of Survival”

What will YOU overcome?

I had to read a lot in college. I majored in english and minored in history. The books I read sometimes overlapped. Something I was learning about in a Literature class would show up on a History syllabus. One of my favorite passages is by the great abolitionist, Frederick Douglass. I was required to read his book, “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.” This popular quote out of his book still resonates with me, and many others:

“From my earliest recollection, I date the entertainment of a deep conviction that slavery would not always be able to hold me within its foul embrace; and in the darkest hours of my career in slavery, this living word of faith and spirit of hope departed not from me, but remained like ministering angels to cheer me through the gloom. This good spirit was from God, and to him I offer thanksgiving and praise.”

How does this relate to me? Well, it doesn’t – directly. But as a survivor, I can choose to take the “victim” mentality and not try to accomplish all I know I can! But like Douglas, who stood up for his rights, he even taught himself how to read and write, I have rights too. No one can put limits on my abilities because no one knows what God will do.

What Frederick Douglass wrote speaks to my soul, and it can speak to yours no matter what you’re going through. His confidence that he’d be freed from slavery, and his knowledge of God is parallel to my knowledge that God will set me free of any bondage in my body, thoughts, or predicament! Your challenge may be different from mine. How can you apply this passage by Frederick Douglass to your life? What are you confident about, and know you will overcome?

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! website. Zina works as an English as a Second Language Instructor and has been an educator for more than fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest posts, newsletters, medical journals and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com

 

 

Why We Celebrate Easter (special)

This is a video I uploaded on Good Friday to my “Faith Tips” series on YouTube. Instead of writing a post as I regularly do bi-weekly/on holidays, I decided to create a video blog!!! It’s cut a little short, but I hope you enjoy it.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Miracles are a Process

Found on pinterest.com

God knows me well. After all, He is my creator. My divine healer. God knows the secrets of my heart. He knows me better than anyone else, and better than I know myself. When we are going through something difficult it may be hard to acknowledge this. We may not believe in those situations. When in pain one may doubt. I’ve always felt His presence with me, though. As a child, I would go on bike rides. “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” He assured me often in the whispers of my heart. I knew it would be tough.

But the Bible reads, “For I am the Lord who [continuously] heals you.” I think this statement is powerful, and the word continuously means a lot. It proves that healing has to recur rather than be a onetime event. All of us have not felt good more than once. Healing may have to happen again and again in order for the ultimate healing to come. Have you experienced a situation in your life that has improved? Did your faith expand? God wants to stretch our faith! Strength is proven in moments of weakness.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

A quote from my book!

My life had changed dramatically, and only God could help me. I knew only God could get me out of this.” ~Not Without God

Me
Signing one of my books!

Have you ever felt this way? Was there a time when you knew that only God could help you? Maybe you suffered something, or encountered an experience that affected you tragically. If you’ve ever been in this place, you know, like I do that ONLY God can help you!

It can be a desperate place. A minute to minute, moment to moment, dependence-on-God-place. Maybe you weren’t religious or spiritual when you encountered it, or maybe you were a little but then felt like you needed Him more than EVER before!

It can be a tough place, an unpredictable place, a HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN place. I don’t wish for anyone to enter it because I’ve been there more than once! It can leave you feeling uncertain. Get to know Him. Before the phone call, the diagnosis, before the loved one dies, or before your heart breaks!

My accident happened at a young age. I had love for the Lord but it still turned my life around. I kept asking Him what to do, and all through my twenties continued. God seeks a relationship with you! Talk to Him like you would your closest friend.

We can never be prepared for an earthquake, but imagine if we had packed canned food and bottles of water, had an emergency hotline number that provided shelter, or found a charity. How much more prepared would we be?

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest blogs, newsletters, medical journals, and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com.

A Tribute for My Friend

I attended my friend Chris’s funeral the other day. He died at the tender age of thirty-five. Heart-breaking. Way too young. Sometimes I break out and cry, even when I think I am feeling fine. I can’t believe he’s not with us anymore.

He accepted me with my challenge. Although he lived in another state, he did his best to keep in touch by phone. He never denied his illness, and fought against it all his young life. He never denied being addicted.

With Chris at his sister, Heidi’s house a couple years ago!

Each time we spoke, I told him how proud of him I am for confronting his disease, for accepting his faults, and for trying to improve his life! In the end it got the best of him. Nonetheless, he was ahead of others in his situation.

He lost the battle though, and it hurts me so bad. I keep thinking – I should’ve tried harder. I should’ve been there for him more! I’m dwelling over what could’ve happened.

I’m listening to the Bible for comfort, it’s the only way to get me out of feelings of sorrow. I have faith he’s in a better place! The Pastor at his funeral was great. He kept saying how good our Lord is, and how He died for our sins and mistakes.

How this has everything to do with Jesus! He highlighted how Chris gave his life over to Christ. I love how he pointed out Chris even got baptized in the very same church we were at! “To be absent from the body is to be at home with the Lord” (2Cor. 5:8).

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest blogs, newsletters, medical journals, and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com.

 

Don’t Feel Defeated!

Life can be an uphill battle. The road can be rough. Don’t get down on YOU when it does. When you do you are not glorifying God because He is the One that made you! Ask Him for strength, and He will give it to you.

When I heard I would never walk after my accident at sixteen, I had a choice to make. I could’ve believed it. I could’ve just given up. I did the opposite, I didn’t accept it.

I fought for what I believed. I knew that if I only had enough faith and determination, I would. I never understood why someone would deliberately defeat you with their words.

Don’t let your hopes and dreams be shattered!

I understood Jesus’ love and I felt His healing presence. I saw it in everyone else. I felt it in the will He put in me to go forward. I was ready to face the challenge.

When your spirit is crushed. Remember life can be very tough. These times won’t last because they never do. After the storm comes the rainbow, and at the end of that is the pot of gold!

It’s important to remember He brought you through. It’s hard to forget when you’ve been through so much. You have to be strong, very strong.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, and the Breathe Christian Writers Conference blog. She’s written newsletters, and appeared in medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

Believe in what you don’t see!

Don’t look to the material, and rule out everything else. There is more to life then what we realize. Don’t get discouraged when things go wrong. There is more then our experiences. Heaven awaits us… It’s more then we think, and more then we could ask for. When we part from this earth, our possessions will not go with us. All we will have is our soul.

How is your soul? Do you feel hurt? So do I… Hear God’s words… “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal (Matthew 6:19-20).”

Do not hold onto anything too tight. For nothing in this life is truly yours. ~Zina Hermez

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, newsletters, and medical journals among many other publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Choices

I love this quote so much because it’s true. God repairs the broken road when we allow him to. Realize this. Nothing is wasted. Life is full of lessons, paths that are crooked, roads that are rocky, and not always smooth. Life is a learning experience. But in the end things will work out as they should if we only have faith. “I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight” (Isaiah 45:2).

“Sometimes we crave major change in the midst of pain because we’re desperate for something to give, but so often the choices we make from that place of hurt aren’t actually good for us” is a beautiful passage I read in a blog post of one of my most favorite authors in the world. His name is Benjamin L. Corey, and here is a link to his full article: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/5-things-wounded-christians-should-probably-avoid/

So try not to stress about what is happening now, about your past, something you said, or could have done different makes no difference anymore. Realize it’s never too late for a second chance. That is the beauty in all of this! We hope for many things. But God’s timing is better than our own. Trust is one of life’s great lessons. He’s the reason for our hope.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Experiencing peace in all of it

Have you ever healed from reading about your own life? As I read through trauma I overcame as a teen, I feel a sense of peace. How could this be? I can read my book and feel better while doing it. What once welled up my eyes with tears as I wrote, is now a source of healing for me. It gives me strength for whatever I am dealing with.

I cherish this free time because life as I know it has changed. Things will never be the same. I’m more of a caretaker for my parents now than ever before. For those of you that don’t know, English is not my mom and dad’s first language. If I’m not teaching the subject, I’m working because I’m helping them with their medicine, making appointments, talking to doctors, or explaining things.

The illnesses of others weighs heavily. This lingering feeling of loneliness has been there… Never had a circle where I belong. Although I’ve been blessed with some really good friends, I struggle to find acceptance. In my pursuit to gain it, I realize I am also in pursuit to accept myself. I am different. What I mean is…

God told me my path would not be easy. I knew this road would be hard. Whenever I got a chance, I was outside as a child riding my bike. On those nights I remember feeling God’s presence strongly. I was getting instructions on the steps of my life. There would be some trying times, but I would make it through. I knew the other kids were not like me. I used to feel weird for having these feelings and thoughts.

If I told you I’m going to call, and haven’t gotten around to it, or if I suggested we spend time and plans fell through–I apologize. Between teaching, taking care of my own stuff along with helping Mom and Dad—I’ve got a lot to do! If I have not been as responsive as I usual am on social media sites, I have not forgotten you. Thank you for caring and for reading my post!

 

Love that Surpasses Understanding

There is a love that surpasses all understanding: in it, there is no fear, no pain, and no anxiety. There’s only peace. When you know, when you know what you know, and when you experience this kind of love–you become free! It’s not easy to know it. It starts with a hint of grace, a touch of serenity. Words can’t describe it. You must feel blessed. You must be having a moment–a light bulb, moment. When that moment comes, hold onto it! It doesn’t stay around.

Pretty soon evil will try and resurface itself: the anger, the hurt, the confusion, and the anxieties. But you know what I’ve learned? Evil cannot last for very long. No matter how hard it tries to make its home! It diminishes itself because love is stronger. There is no comparison. It’s the power of humans connecting.

It occurs when someone comes in and saves your life. Okay, that may be extreme but it applies! It is in the simple gestures, a friendly hello, thoughtful words, the warmth of a hug, or the compassion in a smile. The fear vanishes, the pain goes away, and the anxieties leave.

You realize you took a giant leap, and you have no idea how you did it! It began with the friendliness of the smile, the encouraging words, and the compassion extended. Someone brought you closer to love. Someone you were meant to meet, destined to know, on this spectrum, this thing called life. You are changed. YOU are never the same.

This post is dedicated to my father, Yacoub Hermez.

Christmas–a poem.🌟👼

Christmas is for the poor… Christmas is for the weak… Christmas is for the refugee… It’s for the lonely…and the meek. It’s the magic of Christmas that captures us. Christmas movies often portray beautiful families and almost always have a happy ending.

Christmas is not only about gifts under the tree, though. It’s about something greater. It’s not about what you get, but what you’ve already got–a Savior. Christ entered, and as a man He changed the course of history. A human sacrifice.

He came for you and for me. Sent by God, the Holy Father, He performed miracles, signs, and wonders. Fully human and fully divine, He died and rose to redeem us. Christmas is about hope and peace.

It’s about a dark-skinned baby born among animals because no one would welcome him. How can we celebrate Christmas this season? Can we welcome Him into our hearts, or into our homes?

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created a Spinal Cord Injuries website. Zina has worked as an English as a Second Language Instructor and has been an educator for many years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Conference blog, the Southern Writers magazine, medical journals and various other publications. Her upcoming book, Hope After the Storm, will be the second in her II part Not Without God series and will be out sometime next year.

 

Accept Life’s Burdens

Etsy.com
Found on Etsy.com

Accept things as they are. Don’t complain and agonize. Although it is okay to vent sometimes. Move ahead with your life by doing all that you can and trust God. He will guide you to the people and experiences that will help you heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Faith and patience are fruits of the spirit.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

The holidays are approaching…

It is bitter sweet.

Thanksgiving. Christmas. New Years. My favorite holidays. But my heart will be heavy this season. I would like to ask all of you, my readers and supporters, for your prayers please. Things are not exactly the way they were before. Nor are they as good as they were last year. Not that they were the greatest then. I have watched my parents age. And they need my help now more than ever. My father’s health has declined this last month. I’ve watched his memory slip quite frequently in just a matter of weeks. Luckily, he still knows my name and is still aware of many things. I am thankful for that. He just has these periods of confusion, a little too often. The doctor says it is the early onset of Dementia. With his other health issues, I hate to see him hurting so much. We are trying to manage that. My mother is not getting any younger.

That’s life I guess. It has its ups and downs, and I am trying to accept all of this. I feel a sense of grief. Not only because my parents are growing older. But for other reasons as well, and this article would be too long if I listed all of the other reasons here. So I am asking for your prayers please. Please pray for my health, strength, and abilities. Please pray that I continue to be guided and led by the Lord.

He has guided me my whole life. Without Him I am lost. Without Him I am nothing. Without Him I can’t function. The older I get the more I realize it.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

 

 

 

We Have Overcome

overcome the worldThis quote brings me comfort. I have troubles right now. I’m sure we all do. Some troubles are larger than others, and there are all kinds. But if Christ has overcome, the size and scope of my troubles are irrelevant because He is my Lord. He has conquered the world, so I can surely overcome any trials I am going through. This is a nice reminder. He has all the power and all the glory! We have already overcome!

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

A Faith Test

faith test
Found on spiritualinspiration.tumblr.com

My faith is being tested. But giving up is not an option. I don’t know how to surrender. I had to be strong at a young age. Strength and determination are easy for me to possess. I have nothing to worry about. I will battle until the end.

I haven’t experienced what I’m experiencing now. But a fight is a fight. Faith doesn’t promise us there won’t be trials; and faith doesn’t promise there won’t be loss. Faith promises we will get through. My faith may be tested by fire. Still I can’t give up!

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

God Is Not Finished

Found on pinterest.com

God is in control. He is mighty.

Despite any trials. God still has His hand over our lives, and over our loved ones lives too. He is in charge. We may not understand why things happen as they do. Let this quote be a reminder for me and for you. No matter what, let’s see the blessings in everything!

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Peace In the Midst of a Storm

Found on bakeyourday.net
Found on bakeyourday.net

I’ve been experiencing many storms lately. There is a lot of noise. More than I ever expected, and almost more than I can even handle. But I have confidence that the God of Peace will keep my heart tranquil. He always has. Why should now be any different than before? Are you experiencing any “storms”? Let this quote be a reminder for you and for me, no matter what we are facing: raging waters, or high seas we can have peace in the midst of our storms.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

blog post
Found on indulgy.com

My heart is troubled, and I’m experiencing unrest in my soul. Things are not the way I expected them to be, and they definitely are not the way they should be. In this world, we’ve been experiencing so much pain lately. There is a rise in death and disease. I’m not trying to be negative. I’m just stating the facts. Things are not always what they seem. But I refuse to give up! I will fight! I have too much faith. I will do good for myself, and I will try hard! No matter what we’ve been through, God can restore our broken hearts. Do you agree?

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

bible verse
Found on youtube.com

Have you ever had multiple things go wrong at one time? It’s frustrating, isn’t it? Let this verse be a reminder, for you and for me. No matter how discouraged we may be – nothing can stop God’s will in our life. It’s a nice reminder. When challenges seem to be piling up, and I am feeling discouraged. I will look to this quote. It is helping me right now.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com

Where I Am

Amazing things are about to happen. I have new meaning in life. Being an author is fun, and I am very excited about all of the prospects. But how can it feel like the best of times, and the worst of times all at once? When my dad gets sick it really does.

I deal with regular problems. I have aging parents, and I’m working overtime. I feel guilty for the time I am not able to spend with them. I’m afraid those days may be few. I never felt like I had a normal life when I was young, whatever “normal” means.

Confused by my surroundings, I knew there was something greater than what I could see. I used to question my existence. I was a deep thinker. I also had premonitions. I knew the other children were not like me. I wanted to do something significant, and I had a desire to make a difference.

No matter what I am staying on this path that God has placed before me. Where I am now is where I always knew I would arrive.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

Prayer of Serenity

When we have no control over problems, and when we know that things are not the way they are supposed to be. When fixing the issue is beyond our capability, and when we have tried all that we can. Maybe it’s a loved one’s behavior that needs to be corrected, or a situation that needs a solution fast! We can easily become depressed.

Here is a short well-known prayer that helps me. I wanted to share it with you tonight, in hopes that it will bring you a little peace…

God grant me the serenity

To accept the things that I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.

Taking, as Jesus did,

This sinful world as it is,

Not as I would have it.

Trusting that You will make all things right,

If I surrender to Your will,

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,

And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Forgiveness

All love is conditional. The only unconditional love is the love which is from God. ~ Zina Hermez

Do you need to forgive? Have you ever struggled because you don’t know how? You are not alone. We can learn how to forgive. The more we practice it the better we get, and it is something we can work on every day. Forgiveness is a choice, and it is one that we can all make.

Some may think that forgiveness is something that happens to them. They wake up one morning feeling all better about something someone did. They believe that then they will be able to forgive. Forgiveness is natural, yes, it is.

But it is not usually something that happens to you! You choose to forgive, and that is when the healing begins. Forgiveness does not change things, or make them back to the way they were before. But more importantly, it changes you.

And this is not from my unique perspective. The Bible says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God (Matthew 5:8).” Forgiveness is about letting go. Praying for the person who wronged us. Forgiveness makes us healthier.

So I would like to ask if you are holding onto something by not forgiving. If you are, do your best to let it go. Pray about it. Release the burden.

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

God is Love

“Love is a force that is able to heal the worst of situations.” ~Zina Hermez

What does the quote above mean to you? When you read this, what comes to mind? Let me repeat it. “Love is a force…that is able to heal the worst of situations.” Love is what helped me heal in the worst time of my life – after my accident in October of 1994 so this passage carries a lot of weight. Feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments.

The love that came from the doctors and nurses at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital was incomparable. The love from friends and family, and the love from even the parents of the other children who were ill on that floor. There was this energy I can’t explain, but it translated into a lot of love. When I am feeling down or upset, I try to revisit that place.

I’m reminded that whatever I’m upset about is small because I am loved. When we know that, when we experience love it makes a difference. It provides confidence. We don’t feel so lonely. It’s a part of the mystery—the love of Christ that surpasses our understanding. When God’s love resides in us there’s an inner peace.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

Fear or Faith?

“Life sometimes happens whether we are prepared or not. I had one hope: my faith.” ~Zina Hermez

When you read this quote, what does it mean to you? Could you paraphrase this expression, or interpret it if I asked you to? It’s pretty self-explanatory. Faith means so much. Faith is what brought me through after my accident in October of 1994. This month will mark 20 years, and I don’t think I would be writing to you today if I did not have faith!

Have you ever had to search within your soul and pull out that faith? Did faith come easy for you? Was your survival dependent upon having faith? If you had a choice between “fight and flight,” which would you choose? I chose to fight, and I’m so glad I did because if I didn’t I would not be where I am today.

You may need a big miracle in your life, and it may be completely different from my own. But it’s something that requires a lot of faith. God wants to stretch your faith! Faith makes all things possible. Miracles don’t usually happen overnight. Not that they can’t. But sometimes your faith needs to grow.

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and has created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

“Love Conquers All”

“Love is a force that is able to heal the worst of situations.” ~Zina Hermez

It’s one of my favorite quotes from my forthcoming book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. Love helped me heal from my accident on Oct. 18, 1994. The love from friends and family, and the love at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital was incomparable. It emanated from the doctors, the nurses, even the families of children who were ill. There was this energy I can’t explain, but it translated into a lot of love.

The reason I wrote Not Without God, is to share my story and how I healed from a catastrophic accident that left me paralyzed as a teen. I hope that through reading my book, others will be inspired and overcome their own challenges of any kind. I pray that through my story, others will be able to get insight into how to heal.

Today I’m grateful for the abilities I have and the ability to walk at all, and I have not given up. I went from being a popular teen to alone and handicapped. I was on a breathing machine. I could not talk. I could not move. I could not eat solid food in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for nearly a month. The only way to communicate was to write.

People tell me “you’re so strong” all the time. Perhaps I am; but for me to be here is a part of God’s plan. He controls everything. We have to understand that everything happens by Him and for Him. I think sometimes people have this misconception that they are rewarded because of their effort or hard work and things they do. Good things happen to them, and they get surprised when bad things occur. But God allows suffering sometimes. No matter how much I’ve been through, it’s nothing compared to what Jesus went through.

Today is Palm Sunday: the first day of Holy Week. Easter is on Sunday, April 20. No matter what our burdens, let us carry them and follow after Him.

But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. —Isaiah 53:5

What If We Started A Prayer Chain?

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.” – Luke 11:9

I’ve thought about starting a Prayer Chain Facebook Page before. Sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? I never got around to it. I shied away telling myself the upkeep would be too much. I wouldn’t have enough time to post with my other responsibilities.

When it comes to asking for prayer the extent of my request is usually “Please pray for me,” or “Keep me in your prayers, please” before saying goodbye and hanging up the telephone after talking with a friend.

I’m really not good at asking for things. I don’t usually go into detail about exactly what I need. I realize I sometimes do that with God. Thankfully He knows the secrets of our hearts, as it states in Psalms 44:21. He knows what I need before I ask. It’s the same with you.

So this is my prayer chain post! I believe in the power of prayer. I believe in the power of community.

While I was trying to decide on the topic of this article, I thought this was the perfect opportunity for me to kindly request prayer from my readers. My birthday is this month. I will be thirty-six years old on Jan. 26. Since it is almost my birthday, I hoped this could be your birthday gift to me.

So I’m asking. Will you offer up a prayer for me? If you have any special intentions, please let me know. I would be happy to pray for you too. This time, I want to be more specific. I ask that you pray for my health.

I’m so thankful for the ability to walk, despite the injuries I had from my catastrophic accident at sixteen years of age. Please ask God to continue to heal me and bless my abilities.

I’ve heard a pastor say that whenever you’re in trouble, it’s good to pray for others to get the focus off yourself. The advice was, “Anytime you want to stop feeling sorry for yourself, start praying for someone else.” It has a healing effect on all of us.

Some prayer techniques that really help me:

Talking to God daily

Reading Bible verses and short prayers in the morning

Speaking to Him through prayer and worship songs

Lighting a candle

Thanking Him throughout the day via a powerful form of prayer-praise

The power of prayer is infinite. There are no limits to how much it can help us.

If you write your prayer requests in the comments, I promise I will pray for you. Who knows, maybe other readers will too! Don’t be shy. Share your thoughts. I love to hear from you!

 

A Tribute and A Prayer

It’s been quite a few weeks. I’ve been busy with work and the holidays are approaching. I’m looking forward to them. Sometimes it seems the closer we get to our dreams, the more challenges we face. I’ve been dealing with a lot lately. I found out I lost a good friend, Father Robert Dressman.

Has anyone ever touched your life? Have they helped you see things in a different way? There have been a few people who have done that for me. I like to think of them as my angels on earth that God sent. Father Dressman is one of them. Some others include nurses, teachers, and friends. I want to thank all of them.

Although I know Father Dressman is in heaven now and in a better place. It is hard to know I can’t have periodic visits with him at the large retreat house and conference center where he lived, http://colombiere.com. To go to church or simply sit and talk with him.

The last five or six times I saw him were rough. He kept having falls, he needed hip surgery, he couldn’t even remember my name. He was 91 and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.

My friend Shaun gave me a book, “Heaven is for Real” http://heavenisforreal.net as a gift earlier this year. I had already heard of the story before that, but I have been revisiting it. I’ve watched interviews of the family on the internet.

It’s a best-selling book about a boy, Colton Burpo, who made a trip to heaven and back at only four years old. An amazing story, it has brought me comfort and peace. I highly recommend you read the book or at least watch an interview, if you haven’t already.

The good news is…

I’m starting to feel better. I’ve been back to my normal routine of cardio workouts at the gym. Even though I’ve been able to read a book while using the treadmill and elliptical machines for a while now, it is still surprising for me. I could not do that for so long. I would have gotten too fatigued. These little signs of improvement encourage me.

When I stay focused on exercise and prayer, it really helps. With a teaching career and other projects, it is not always easy. Here is some of a morning prayer that Father Dressman designed that I want to share. Especially with those of you facing spinal-cord injury or any other health challenge.

Good morning, Lord. I give You worship and praise. You are my God and I love You. I thank You for all that I am and all that You give me. I thank You for the night and its moments of rest. I thank You for the gifts of this day and for the promise it has. Help me, Lord, to make the most of it.

I have a body that doesn’t always work right. I know it is your gift to me. So many others have so much less. Help me to use your gifts well, to care for them properly, not just for myself, but for You. Help me to remember that whatever I accomplish with them is Your doing.

And when I experience pain or disappointment or frustration or lack of what I think is success, I am being given opportunity to share more intimately with You and Your cross, and that accepting pain and frustration and discontent is the way I am being offered of walking with You.

Father Dressman asked me to “see this as a gift, if I can offer it for the needs of others.” The greatest lesson I learned from him, was his humility.