My book is available for pre-order!🎉😀🎊

I have some great news! My latest book, ‘Not Without God: Hope In the Storm’ is now available for pre-order on Kindle! You can order today and it will be delivered to your inbox on January 24! I’m still adding to it and making a few changes. But here is the link in case you want to order:

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the best selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She’s been featured in numerous articles, guest posts, podcasts, websites, newsletters, and magazines. Recently she was featured on ESPN’s ‘Solutions from the Huddle’ broadcast and on Grace and Truth Radio World. Zina’s written hundreds of articles and has taught thousands of students from all over the world spanning many different backgrounds and cultures. She’s appeared in Christianity Today, the Suite T blog and Southern Writers magazine among other places. She writes on faith, science, and overcoming adversity. She is also a major foodie and loves to help others. You can connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

Chapter Three from “Not Without God: Hope In the Storm” w/questions for Reflection!

Refined by the Fire

But he knows the way that I take, when he has tested me I shall come forth as gold.

Paul writes in a letter to the Romans in Chapter 10: “If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead–you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified. And it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10).

I remind you of this verse because some have a misconception about how to come to the Lord. They may think you need to have had a sin-free life or that he would not accept you into the Kingdom if you’ve messed up! The opposite is true. Paul said if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart, you will be saved.

Grace is a gift. Our works don’t consistently demonstrate that we should earn it. God loves us, still. Whether you are a ‘Noah’ or fall short (at times we all do) he longs to be with you, and you will one day understand the importance of his existence! All we have is now so let’s make the most of it and live in his presence!

God can pull you out of your past so you can live fully in the present. The path will not be an easy one. God may call you to put away selfish desires, arrogance, or any sense of entitlement.

It isn’t a live-your-best-life kind of path; at times, it will be difficult. There are hardships and rejection. It isn’t always pleasurable. But following Jesus is not a one-time event—he is continually molding and shaping us. It will be worth it in the end! When you know where the grace in your life comes from, it makes it that much more special! If you ask the Lord to direct you, he will guide your steps. 

***

I walk with the kind of crutches that you can slip your arm into; not the kind that someone would use if they had a broken leg, for example. They are called forearm crutches. The next step for me would be to walk well with one cane, and I hope to get to that. But I’ve come to accept that even if I don’t, it’ll be okay. God grants our wishes but sometimes with limits for his own purposes or for the purpose of the Kingdom (heaven).

In due time it will all make sense. Remember that every successful endeavor takes careful ‘watering.’ Increase can be a gradual process. Everything is in God’s hands. Again, we can be co-workers with God, but we have to do our part. By having faith and taking action! We cannot just be stagnant. We have to work hard. He can help us through anything. We have to talk with him and make him our best friend. He wants to see our dreams happen.

God will get you through anything. Rest assured. You may not know where to turn or what steps you should even take, but he will lead you and guide you if you ask him to. Seek after his wise council. You do not need to worry, but only be still and ask him to help you. There have been times where I had no idea what my life was doing or how I would end up. God brought me through in those times and gave me step by step instruction. He is a problem solver. A friend. A refuge. An ever-present help in our time of trouble.

The beautiful thing is he’s omnipresent. He can be everywhere all at once. He is a God who does not sleep. You have access to him 24 hours a day. The world will tell you there is no way out. The world will tell you you’re doomed. The world will tell you there’s no hope. With God, there is always hope! There is restoration. The laws of physics prove to us that anything is possible. But nothing can be possible if you throw your hands up. With God ALL things are possible. He can lead and guide you through the worst of times. Just call out to him and he will be there for you.

We are told through the Bible that God is all around us. The Holy Spirit is our present help. This means we cannot escape his presence no matter how hard we try. To say we’ve never heard from God is to tell a lie. We can tune out his voice or pretend he is not there, but it’s difficult to do that because he is everywhere. God is altruistic and kind. God is loving and he requires the same of us.

He’s not just an old guy with a white beard sitting in the sky waiting to scold us! People who are so focused on the judgement and ‘warning’ everyone have never experienced the real Jesus. They are portraying some man made image of a God who won’t love you if you mess up. God’s love cannot change. He is the same. Yesterday. Today. And forever. It is us who turn our backs or walk away.

He had loved us at our darkest and at times when we did not deserve his love. God is not partial. He doesn’t only love us when we are doing ‘good.’ He loves us when we fail. He loves us when we’re not pretty. The beautiful thing is we have a chance to turn our lives around and seek after him once again. He loves us eternally. The sooner people realize that God does not change (like we do), the better. He’s not a fair-weather friend. He’s not here for a ‘season’ or because there is some benefit. He doesn’t behave the way humans do.

He is our Holy Father. He loves us when we’re not ‘winning,’ and when we know we could be better. God can’t not love us because God is love. He is the epitome of it. Some may paint the picture in your mind of a God who punishes. But, again, those images are not of the Jesus I know. His arms are open wide, lovingly, and he is waiting for his children to come home.

All the blessings he’s given to me that I am going to continue to describe, I do not believe I gained because I am privileged. It may be because I’ve sought after him. Maybe I can hear better. But I haven’t received blessings because I’m privileged or better. I do believe that God gives different children special missions, and I may be one of them. That is not to say it has been easy to carry. Friends have turned their backs. I’ve been abandoned.

As I mentioned earlier, a life of trying to follow Christ (and really doing it) is not always an easy one. There is rejection and people don’t always understand. They also expect you to never mess up and to not have any flaws. They don’t understand that part of the human condition is to fail. Some may not understand why you’re so devoted. Or they may resent you for trying to do something worthwhile. Either way God didn’t put us here to please each other, we have to please him first. Part of pleasing him is fulfilling our mission. It’s not a desire I can choose to have. It is from within. I can’t help but write books.

***

When I began driving again at nineteen years old, I wore tall braces that came up to my knees. I kept my walker in the back seat of my car. I’ve had my braces cut down throughout the years. When I was still a patient at Mott Children’s, the braces were exceptionally high! They reached up to my pelvis. I also had a bulky back brace that was attached. I’ve improved a lot since then. The braces I wear now are called AFOs, which stands for “ankle to foot orthosis,” they mainly give support to my ankles.

I had to be my advocate! A patient has to request for their strength to be examined. He or she could be ready to walk with lower braces or without any walking devices, but without asking, they may never know it. Physical therapists perform strength tests, but these are done only at evaluations.

I often see people walking with Exoskeletons in physical therapy (a robotic machine that helps wheelchair users stand up). But the user is mostly just shifting their body weight from one side to the other, and the device helps lift the patient’s leg. It’s used as more of an exercise tool and not outdoors. The Exoskeleton was made for soldiers carrying heavy cargo while going uphill to prevent injury to their lower extremities, and the device weighs fifty pounds! Adding all that weight to your body does not make it easier to walk. 

It is crucial to call on the name of the Lord. I have put a lot into this, but it would’ve never happened without God’s guidance. God loves us, so when we call out to him, grace is freely given. 

There is no limit to what God can do. We are the miracle workers, too. Without Him, we can do nothing, but we have to do something to start. I got to a point where I exercised until I got soaked: dripping sweat and having to change clothes. When I could not move at all, I used to try hard to move my legs. Even when I couldn’t see it happening, I imagined it, and, eventually, they did. The power of the mind is incredible.

I want to add that there’s something that happens when tragedy strikes. I mean, there is gain in loss. That may sound strange. But loss humbles us in a way and reminds uswe are human. It happens for a reason, and I believe it is to enhance our personal growth.

Asking God questions, sharing my thoughts with him, worries, and concerns helps, and I get better while doing it. I like to talk to God and pray. I pray for myself and for my health and for God to bless me in mind, body, and spirit. I pray that he blesses my mom and (late) dad.

I talk to God while on the walking machines. I talk to Him while at the grocery store and shopping. I talk to Him as I’m getting ready for my classes and when I’m getting ready to teach. I hear from him too while I’m teaching because it is helpful. He gives me direction. I’ve been told that my instruction is very clear and concise. I give immediate feedback after every class. It is God assisting me.

I sometimes read Bible verses and short prayers. I try to commit to fifteen minutes a day of doing it, and I sometimes count prayer as being done while I’m writing, since my main focus is always on God. I speak to him through worship and prayer songs. I express my love by singing out loud and feeling his love. I especially talk with him when it’s quiet, because that is when I can hear from him best.

Prayer helps feed my soul. It helps give clarity to my mind. When I am praying, I am sorting thoughts out. I am prioritizing and giving them to God. I often get messages within or even visions right away. I know what he wants me to do. Maybe it’s because I’ve been talking with him so long. At certain times, the message are stronger than others. But I know he’s always there and listening, no matter what.

We can talk with God about anything. Our good days, bad days, our feelings toward our family or friends. We can tell him where we want to be five years from now or what we’re feeling in our hearts. We can tell him how we feel because he already knows. We can treat him like he’s a friend. He is the only one who will never leave and always stay. When God is in our corner nothing can stop us!

We can read the Psalms and study the Bible. We can say the Lord’s prayer and light a candle. We can talk to him in the car on our way to work. We can never run out of things to talk about. When God is involved, life will be much better. You’ll hear from him. You’ll have strength to make it through the day. He will handle it all and give you steps and instruction.

He is not a do nothing being. People tend to think that trust means inaction. Like, ‘oh, if I trust in God, he will do everything.’ This frustrates me when people believe the Lord has to act on their behalf. Trust does not mean do nothing. Often we don’t know how to hear from God or care to, for that matter. Our egos may tell us that we have enough. We don’t have ‘time’ for God.

You mean, the huge white-bearded man in the sky? Why cater to him or ask for his input one may think. But we need God. He is more than an outside force who created everything. His voice comes from within. When we listen to God, we accomplish a lot more for ourselves, for our family–for humankind.

The more you focus on him, the easier it will get. Go into a quiet place. Get away from the noise. Meditate on his word. Ask. And then wait to hear back. The answer often comes from your intuition and can even come from others. But please be careful with the ‘hearing from others.’ They can steer you their way, and when their voices outweigh your own and God’s than you are in the danger zone. Listen: ‘anything pure, anything whole, anything that is beautiful and good comes from God.’

***

You can spend time with God wherever you are. When you are praying, you are receiving. Whether you realize it or not, God is giving. The Holy Spirit guides you. But once you ask, there is an unfolding of events. You eventually get your answers.

Let me also just say that fitness in your body creates fitness in your mind also. It helps me write better. I have more energy during the day. Exercise enables you to deal with situations better. 

I reached my goal of getting up to one hour of straight cardio. It’s an achievement I set out to complete. Let me let you in on a little secret: you have to get into “the zone.” Once you get into that zone where fatigue cannot affect you any longer and where you keep going no matter what–it becomes a mental game. Sure, you’ll be tired, but you will persist. You know you will succeed no matter what. After exercising, you will feel motivated. It’s the most excellent feeling. 

You may not see your miracle or dream occurring, but something is happening behind the scenes—this is what the essence of faith is: The ability to see something good in your life with no evidence of it. You create the experience! An outstanding doctor of mind once said, “The body takes time to catch up to the mind.” If you decide to do something in your mind, your body will eventually follow. If you are achieving it in your brain, you will achieve it in your body, also.

When and where do you pray? Are you able to take prayer outside of church or a religious institution? I’ve told others that just talking to God is the best form. You can share your thoughts, give him prayer requests, and give him thanks for the blessings he’s bestowed. God wants to hear about all your worries, hopes, and concerns. God wants to be there! God wants to be a part of your everyday. He loves you more than you know. Start talking with him today!

Sooner or later, the inspiration (or answer) to your prayer will come. It is hard to discern God’s voice sometimes, but the Holy Spirit lives within us. And good thoughts about yourself and others come from above. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). 

If your thoughts are pure, kind, and not adverse, this inspiration comes from the Lord. The fruit of the spirit is love. He will give you wisdom in how to overcome challenges. But he will not inspire you to think evil about yourself or anyone. I have made a point to try and listen to Bible verses every day, but sometimes I fail and just read some online instead.  Sometimes I listen and it lasts for a few hours; this helps to strengthen my faith and defeat any forms of depression. 

What strategies do you use? Do you read the Bible? If so, which parts are your favorite? Why do you like those verses? How often do you study the Word? If you have not read it, when can you start? I like the NIV version. The ESV is good also because it is more modern and precise than the New King James. Maybe you can write out a study plan. My favorite Psalms are 69, 71, 74, and 77. Do you have any favorite ones? Another book I like is the Book of Acts, and it is in the Bible. You can also focus on reading the Bible for a minimum of fifteen minutes here (instead of writing in this section) or meditate on your favorite Bible verses. 

You can even copy passages onto paper. I have done that. That way, you can repeat them over. It is a great way to strengthen your faith. If you are not familiar with the Bible and don’t know where to start, I recommend that you start at the New Testament’s gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. 

What is one thing that stands in the way of you accomplishing your goals? Is it a lack of faith, fear of failure, business with other tasks, or a time issue? I have learned you have to make time for the extra things. No one is going to do it for you. For example, I like to write. I have a full online teaching schedule, and I could add more students if I wanted to. But here is the thing, when you focus on your dreams, you feel a release. Not that your ‘day job’ does not matter. I love to help people overcome academic obstacles. It is rewarding, but when you focus on that one extra thing you love to do: it makes your heart happier. 

My ‘extra thing’ is to write. What is yours? I have always written. I used to win contests in grade school. One of my worst memories was losing my first storybook from construction paper in the second grade. I searched the whole house and could not find it. It was such a significant loss. The first big one I ever had. If writing is not a passion, what makes you feel happier? I have done a lot of it, and I don’t regret all the hours I put into it. It has made me write better!

God has put us here to help one another and see each other through, but we each have a creative side or something we are naturally ‘good at’ or attracted to. For some, it is to paint or make music. I like to cook and bake also. Since I started doing the Mediterranean, I am not doing as much. What is one thing you would like to improve or get better at? Would you like to follow a diet plan? Try your best to keep your calories under 1,500 per day if you’re a woman and under 2,000 if you are a man. That way, you could potentially lose atleast one pound per week. What are your goals, dreams, or what is it you want to accomplish? Feel free to answer all the questions above that I’ve asked (or again, simply meditate on the bible) in your journal!

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the Best-selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She’s been featured in numerous articles, guest posts, podcasts, websites, newsletters, and magazines. She’s been featured on ESPN’s ‘Solutions from the Huddle’ broadcast and on Grace and Truth Radio World. Zina’s written hundreds of articles and has taught thousands of students. Additionally she’s appeared in Christianity Today, the Suite T blog, and Southern Writers magazine among other places. She writes on faith, science, and overcoming adversity. She is also a major foodie and loves to help others. You can connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Linked In, or Twitter.

Chapter 1 of My Book Read by Author R D Trimble!📖🎙🔈

This is so cool! Author R D Trimble reading Chapter 1 of my latest book, ‘Not Without God: Hope In the Storm.’ Thank you so much, Author R D Trimble (I love the Star Wars jacket, scarf, and the Indiana Jones hat)!😄💕

https://www.facebook.com/RustyMeister/videos/1301480830304182/

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the Best-selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She’s been featured in numerous articles, guest posts, podcasts, websites, newsletters, and magazines. She’s been featured on ESPN’s ‘Solutions from the Huddle’ broadcast and on Grace and Truth Radio World. Zina’s written hundreds of articles and has taught thousands of students. Additionally she’s appeared in Christianity Today, the Suite T blog, and Southern Writers magazine among other places. She writes on faith, science, and overcoming adversity. She is also a major foodie and loves to help others. You can connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Linked In, or Twitter.

Chapter 1 from my book, Not Without God: Hope In the Storm

Zina Hermez

Chapter 1

Rain Will Come

Life as I knew it had changed. I was embarking upon a new life, and I knew things would never be the same. I found what I was searching for. Some say God works in mysterious ways. I can attest to it and discovered him through a bad vehicular accident. Through compassion from doctors, nurses, and others who were fighting for my life, I witnessed the love of Christ! I became so grateful that he saved my life.In my first book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival, I explained what happened. While trying to cross the street on my way to school on a dark rainy morning, I was hit by a car.

The bus that came to pick me up had already passed. Whenever I missed it, I would walk down to my best friend’s house. His bus came a little later, buying me more time. The pain from the windshield that cut into my abdomen was excruciating. “God, please help!” I cried. Then I was in and out of consciousness, mumbling and not making sense. 

“I’m Mary Kay,” said the nurse on the Survival Life Flight; she pleaded for me to hold on for my life and told me they were taking me to the University of Michigan Hospital. “They will take excellent care of you there, Zina!”

When I finally woke up and was alert enough, I realized the setting was unfamiliar. I had never been hospitalized. Where am I? I thought. I had devastating injuries; my tibias and fibulas shattered. I sustained a spinal cord injury at the mid-thoracic level, and my spine shifted and broke. I needed rods and screws to hold together my broken leg bones. I had internal bleeding and needed to have a blood transfusion. I had a cervical fracture and wore a neck brace. A doctor told me I have a mild head injury, not from evidence of it on any report, but she said I must’ve sustained one from the fact that my body flew like that. 

How will I go back to school? I pondered. I was active before this. I used to pick friends up and take them out! I was on the student council and a representative on my high school’s Multi-racial Multi-cultural diversity council. A large assembly was to be held in our gym. Teachers, students, and family members were all going to attend. The administrators were always proud of me because of my wise comments during our preparation meetings. But I could no longer attend school right after the accident. However, I heard that the people in the gym stood up in honor of me and applauded at the assembly. They recognized my contributions to the council. 

I was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital (Michigan Medicine) for a month. I was on a ventilator for a few weeks and could not eat solid food. I was on a feeding tube. The only way to communicate was by writing, and I would do so on the back of cutout paper from the hospital. After I was discharged from the PICU, I was transferred to 6 east. It was upstairs at the time. It’s where the Pediatric Medicine and Rehabilitation Unit (PMRU) was, and I stayed there for a little while. I was in the hospital for just over three months. I used to write letters addressed to God at night with a flashlight in one hand and a pencil and pad in the other. Here is a poem I wrote at the time:

Life can change,

 take it from me.

A young, healthy girl,

 I never thought like this I would be.

Life was fun and carefree,

 I went from school day to social gathering.

How did this happen to me?

 There are doctors and nurses in my face.

As I awoke in a flash of five seconds,

 a new life I hate.

I feel that I’m strong,

 and hang in there.

But somethings I’ve lost,

 I wouldn’t spare.

I’ll try very hard to get everything back,

 the young life I want to live,

 I didn’t want to lose that.

I appreciate everything from family to the sun.

 I have a new life and state of mind.

I left just before my birthday, and my nurses came into the room to see me with big smiles, ‘Aren’t you happy to be going home soon?’ they’d say. They planned for me to leave before my birthday to ease my pain and make my situation better. I would reluctantly smile back, but what they didn’t know is that I was terrified inside. I didn’t want to go back into the ‘real world.’ I was handicapped, and I knew life would be difficult. I knew it would be hard for my family to take care of me.

I didn’t know what was to become of me or if I would even have friends. I didn’t know if I would have the career I always wanted. My friends left just like I predicted. Fortunately, I have the career I dreamt of. I don’t know that I necessarily dreamt of it. I just had a feeling I would write and that my name would one day appear in bookstores. 

But the accident was only the beginning of my sorrow. Rejection and loss were to follow. I’ve woken up out of my sleep screaming from pain and cried out to Jesus numerous times just to be able to rest. I’ve repeated individual Psalms and searched the bible to find the right answers. Depression has knocked on my door many times. I’ve called out to God in every dark hour. 

My friends went about their own lives. I returned to school my senior year and had to use a wheelchair. They went off to spring break. As I’ve gotten older, it hasn’t helped the distance. I still talk about God a lot. I have a personal relationship with him, and I think that has a lot to do with why so many others have left. I don’t think people are used to that. At first, I thought people left because of my injuries. I didn’t think they wanted me to be a burden on them. Now that I’m older, I realize they have left because of who I am. My spiritual differences have set me apart.

Not Without God: Hope In the Storm describes how I’ve learned how to cope. It’s a teaching book and a narrative because I offer questions at the end of various chapters to help you write and reflect upon a time when God was there for you, for example. The questions are there to help you reflect and learn about yourself. You will need a journal. I would like for this book to be a self-help guide, but answering the questions is optional.

***

Suffering is not something we can avoid. It’s something we have to go through sometimes. Miracles don’t happen overnight. There is a light, but it doesn’t have to be at the end of the tunnel. We can be coworkers with God, but we have to do our part. By calling on the name of the Lord, we are invited in on a journey of healing, restoration, and hope. We can’t just sit there and sulk. It’s OK to get down once in a while, but we can’t stay there. We have to be resilient.

Grief can be an interesting thing. You may be grieving and not even know it. Life can take you through rough places, and sometimes it takes a while to adjust to the fact that life will never be the same. After my accident, I didn’t know what to expect. I battled a lot with self-acceptance. I didn’t know if I would be able to adjust to my new circumstances.

I was in a state of denial. I thought my life would go back to how it was before the accident, ‘normal.’ I thought I would walk again. I thought I would not have to deal with all the pain. My pain has decreased, but my physical challenge has not gone away. 

I have overcome some grave challenges. When some doctors predicted I wouldn’t, learning how to walk again has been a huge miracle. I learned how to drive again by nineteen years old. By twenty, I was back to work. At twenty-one, I received an Associate in Liberal Arts Degree from the local community college and then received my Bachelor of Arts in English from Oakland University. I was an English major and a History minor. 

Life began to bloom through a different lens. I prayed, eventually hoped, planned, and had good experiences again. So, I would like to suggest that you never believe you’ve hit a dead end. Life has a myriad of opportunities that await us. It’s full of new beginnings!

Through this, I have experienced God’s love on a deeper level and gained a more intimate relationship. I have always called out to him, not only in my darkest hours. I like to praise him. Praise is like a weapon. When you thank God for all you’ve got, it not only heals you but gives you strength. God has brought me through so much. I can’t help but be grateful. 

He is a fortress. It should not have to take a tragedy for you to know that. God is there all the time. He will be the only one we can depend on when everyone else has left. I lost a lot after my accident; not only did I have to learn how to adjust, heal, and walk, I also had to learn how to make new friends. God led me through it. New friendships happened. 

* * *

When I finally got out of the hospital and settled at home, I pondered upon how I would go back to school. I was active before this.I knew that life would not be easy. I wondered what it would be like since I could no longer just get up and walk freely. Everything took effort. I had to learn how to do wheelchair transfers, eventually walk up steps, and even exercise muscles that would not move. I had to become a problem solver.

I hoped I would one day walk the way I did before, and indeed, I am, but not the way I used to. I am not walking hands-free. I use forearm crutches (the kind with the rings around the arms) or a walker. Taking steps without holding onto anything is taxing. Many of my issues attribute to some weakness from my level of injury. I am considered a T-10/T-11 and that means the break happened in my mid to upper back. Having an injury that high can make it difficult to ambulate without assistive devices. 

After my accident, I held onto what I knew though. God would bring me through because he promised. I am very grateful that I can walk. After I got out of the PICU at the University Hospital, where I was for a little over a month, I went upstairs to PMRU, and that was just after they finally took me off the feeding tube and started me on a clear liquid diet. 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.

I’m someone who wants to maintain a relationship with the Lord. Whenever a connection failed, I knew Jesus would be there. Every time someone rejected me, I became closer to him. I want you to remember that in your trials. His love is sufficient. Don’t try to alter what someone doesn’t like about you or what you have no control over. If someone doesn’t accept you for who you are, it is their problem. Count on him. He is the only one that can bring you through. Your loved ones can help you, too. But first and foremost, depend upon the Lord. 

Immediately after the crash, I could only mumble and fade in and out, not making much sense, but I remember how strongly I felt the Lord’s presence. On the helicopter ride, I kept thinking, hold on, Zina, hold on. There was this peaceful feeling I can’t explain. It was peace from God. The bible teaches that God will provide us with peace that surpasses all understanding. Amid the chaos, pain, and uncertainty, I felt the peace—leading and guiding. 

A Prophesying Pastor

I finally got the courage to return to school my senior year. It took the help of a generous teacher and principal, Mr. Rande Horn, to help me graduate on time with the rest of my class. At commencements, I received a standing ovation. I used a walker on the platform. Everyone applauded. My assistant principal got teary-eyed when he handed me my diploma! My dad cried. My mom was proud. Many cheered and clapped.

They knew this day was a stepping-stone that would continue to point to my future success! I had lost a lot, and losing my best friends affected me badly. I didn’t understand why they didn’t want to hang out anymore. I would listen to a Christian radio program that came on every night except for on the weekends, and there was a pastor I liked. People called in for live prayer. Listening helped me get my mind off myself. The best way to take the focus off yourself is to start praying for someone else! 

One night I was awoken out of my sleep by an angel or celestial spirit. The pastor’s program was on and often ran a little late, so I would usually fall asleep while listening. I had been particularly frustrated that day. I got my answers through this pastor’s prophesying.

When I looked to see who woke me, there was no one there. I thought it might be one of my sisters, who I lived with at the time, but they were both sound asleep. I knew a divine being had awoken me. So, the pastor was prophesying as he would often do. And he said: “Someone is listening. You have a problem with your back. There is some sort of problem…of…I’m not sure what happened or how, but something is wrong with your back is all I keep feeling. God wants you to know—he’s going to build a bridge for you. God is just going to build a bridge! He is going to take you above and beyond what anyone could ever think would happen for you!” he kept saying. 

God wanted me to hear this. I knew that message was for me. Right away, I called the broadcast before he finished. Surprisingly, I got through the telephone line and told him my situation. I explained I was upset I could not walk. In my young mind, I thought ‘walking’ again would bring my friends back. He explained the message was for me and reiterated that God was just going to build a bridge, again, and take me above and beyond what anyone could ever think or imagine for me. He confirmed the message. His exact words were, “The Lord is just going to build a bridge. He will take you above and beyond what anyone ever thought could happen for you!” 

***

As an adult, I no longer believe that I will walk without a walker or forearm crutches. The Laws of Physics won’t allow for it. I had too many injuries. I haven’t given up on trying, though, because I know that God is one of miracles, and you just never know what can happen. Recently I have found out that the wonderful Elon Musk has invented a “brain chip” through his fairly new company, Neuralink, it will address people’s issues that are similar to mine. But either way, I have made so much progress throughout the years, I am happy with how far I have come even if I never walk the way I did before the accident. First and foremost, I’m blessed to have a direct connection with the Lord.

There are different ways you can heal. Healing is more than external. Recovery does not have to only be on the outside. I have recovered on the inside. The most significant transformation that can happen is when you’ve changed on the inside, and then it reflects on the outside too. Many people get surprised at others, like me, who may accept and even rejoice in the Lord in what seems to be ‘dire’ circumstances. 

But what people don’t understand is that healing comes to its peak after you realize you healed from within. Being healed is not a one-time thing or event. The Bible reads, ‘I am the Lord who continuously heals you.’ A walk with God is a lifetime experience. And it isn’t always easy. There may be hardship, rejection, or even abandonment. But God never promised us an easy life. He did promise we would get through it.

I know that there will be no pain, sadness, or rejection in heaven. The bible teaches, “For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him” (1Thessalonians 4:14).

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the Best-selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She’s been featured in numerous articles, guest posts, podcasts, websites, newsletters, and magazines. She’s been featured on ESPN’s ‘Solutions from the Huddle’ broadcast and on Grace and Truth Radio World. Zina’s written hundreds of articles and has taught thousands of students. Additionally she’s appeared in Christianity Today, the Suite T blog, and Southern Writers magazine among other places. She writes on faith, science, and overcoming adversity. She is also a major foodie and loves to help others. You can connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Linked In, or Twitter.

‘Solutions from the Huddle’ podcast interview!🏉🏀⚾️

Hey! I’m really excited to be sharing this link with you today. It’s from my interview with Titus Bartollota of Creative Solutions Group! He is the founder, president, and lead consultant for Collaborative Solutions Group. CSG has been something Titus has been passionate about for a very long time. Originally from New York City, Titus has spent the majority of his life in North Carolina.

If you are accomplished, successful, and in a similar industry as Titus. You might want to contact him! He is a person of value who wants to add value to others! He’s a professional coach focusing on both life and business matters. He’s a published author, certified speaker, entrepreneur, and someone passionate about helping those seeking to level up in business and life!

He’s also would love to be featured on your show or podcast! Here is Titus’s speaker reel: https://vimeo.com/467198835

You might learn more at: http://www.Team-CSG.com.

Oops, and I almost forgot to add the link! I was so excited to tell you about my friend, Titus! My interview was recorded right out of Charlotte, North Carolina, at the home of ESPN!!! I am SO excited to share it with you all! Here we talk about my book, “Not Without God: A Story of Survival,” my author experiences, how I’ve overcome my injuries, and the Lord! I hope you enjoy it!

Lastly, I have to add that through this blessed experience, I may be writing once per month for CSG’s magazine, “Flame,” with 100,000 monthly viewers!!! God is good!♥️

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 300 of her own blog articles. As an educator for more than twenty years, she’s had the privilege of working with tens of thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. Her upcoming book, “Not Without God: Hope In the Storm” will be out later this year. Her writing endeavors earned her an invitation to speak at the Harvard Faculty Club’s “Business Expert Forum.” Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity, and she strives to do what she longs to–help other people. She’s appeared in Christianity Today, the Southern Writers magazine, and Suite T blog, among other places. Socializing with friends, taking business trips, listening to music, and meeting new people are among her hobbies. She was recently featured on Color Speak (a Grace and Truth Radio World! podcast). You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, or Twitter.

Not Without God: A Story of Survival and what it’s about!

I wrote a book about a catastrophic accident I was in at sixteen years old that left me paralyzed. While trying to cross the street on my way to school, I was hit by a car. I had to be taken via ambulance to the local hospital, Botsford, but the hospital didn’t have the technology or scope to save me. So they sent me to a level one trauma hospital. I was flown via helicopter to Mott Children’s Hospital via Survival Life Flight at the University of Michigan.

That was where I went into 12 hours of emergency surgery. The doctors were able to save my life. The Lord was working through them. I had severe injuries. My spine had shifted and broke at the thoracic level. I had a fracture in my C1 vertebrae and had to wear a neck brace while in the hospital. I had internal bleeding, and my ribs were broken. My tibias and fibias were both shattered. I had to learn how to walk through an extensive amount of physical therapy, thousands of hours.

It’s a huge miracle I’m alive let alone able to walk. I use AFOs (an ankle to foot orthosis) and forearm crutches. Although I’m not walking as well as I would like, I am grateful for how far I’ve come. Some medical professionals predicted I’d never walk at all. The nurses in the hospital were happy for me because they thought I wanted to go home soon. I had to stay at the hospital for a little over three months. They made sure to send me home just before my birthday, and my nurses would come in and say, “Aren’t you happy to be going home?”

What they didn’t know is I was terrified. I didn’t want to go back into the real world. I knew it would be difficult for my family to take care of me. I didn’t know how best friends would receive me. I was the one who used to drive and pick them up. I was active before the accident. I was even on the Multicultural & Multiracial Diversity council at school that year. The teachers and administrators would always be pleased with my wise comments.

***

There have been many blessings since the book has come out. My book proposal was accepted by Morgan James Publishing in New York, New York. I got to meet my publishers at Author 101 University in Las Vegas, and then I went to Author 101 in Las Vegas. I’ve had book signings and even got to have one at a local Barnes & Nobles. I got to Speak at Harvard University about my book to a group of 59 other entrepreneurs and the whole thing was live streamed!

I’ve gotten to meet celebrities at an event, “Living Legends of Entrepreneurial Marketing,” at Carnegie Hall. It’s been an amazing experience. Now I’m working on my second, “Not Without God: Hope In the Storm.” It will be a narrative as well but a teaching book also. This will be where people can write in various chapters that offer journaling sections. I ask questions like, “When was the last time God was really there for you, for example?” I do that so people can write and reflect upon their own lives. I’d like it to be a self help guide. But writing is optional.

I’m looking forward to the blessings that will come from my second book and most of all, it will be nice to reach out to more people. Tomorrow I will be featured on ESPN’s “Solutions from the Huddle” and interviewed on a podcast show. I’ll talk about my book, experiences, business, and life. I’m looking forward to it, and I hope that I am able to touch more lives and help more people!

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 300 of her own blog articles. As an educator for more than twenty years, she’s had the privilege of working with tens of thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. Her upcoming book, “Not Without God: Hope In the Storm” will be out later this year. Her writing endeavors earned her an invitation to speak at the Harvard Faculty Club’s “Business Expert Forum.” Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity, and she strives to do what she longs to–help other people. She’s appeared in Christianity Today, the Southern Writers magazine, and Suite T blog, among other places. Socializing with friends, taking business trips, listening to music, and meeting new people are among her hobbies. She was recently featured on Color Speak (a Grace and Truth Radio World! podcast). You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, or Twitter.

My latest interview!

Please listen to my latest podcast interview on my story, God, faith, and even science! We discuss the accident I was in as a teenager, how I overcame, the theory of relativity, entanglement, more physics, and much more! It will also be on Grace and Truth Radio World! I hope you enjoy it! ~Zina🖤🎤🙏

https://www.buzzsprout.com/1213343/8606536

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 250 of her own blog articles. As an educator for more than twenty years, she’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. Her upcoming book, “Not Without God: Hope In the Storm” will be out later this year. Her writing endeavors earned her an invitation to speak at the Harvard Faculty Club’s “Business Expert Forum.” Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity, and she strives to do what she longs to–help other people. She’s appeared in Christianity Today, the Southern Writers magazine, and Suite T blog among other places. Socializing with friends, taking business trips, listening to music, and meeting new people are among her hobbies. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

Chapter 10 from my book, “Not Without God: Hope In the Storm.”

Some Tips on How I Overcome

We sometimes go through hardship; I’d like to offer you some advice in this chapter if you areI can now use an elliptical at the gym, and I don’t even recall envisioning this. I mean, I never dreamt I would be able to run on an elliptical. I imagined I was walking on a walker at sixteen after my accident and suffering paralysis, but using an elliptical and going three to four miles on it is a huge success.

My point is, God will take you even further than what you’ve dreamt. He has the capability. It’s is a far stretch from where I was while in the hospital! I imagined myself walking even when I couldn’t sit up for more than a minute. And now, all these years later, running on an elliptical? God has given me abundance. I would picture myself getting better. Although I am not functional with one cane, I still believe I can get there. With God, nothing is impossible.

Having faith has so much to do with what we envision. We don’t always realize that; sometimes, we think that having faith comes only through what we hear or learn. But faith comes through what we envision; imagination is a powerful tool, and what we dream becomes manifest.

But not listening to doctors and science is detrimental. You see, what you hear is essential. What you hear has a way of affecting you either negatively or positively. Faith does cometh by heareth. We must have faith in science; I’ve talked about science in this book.

I’ve been able to accomplish walking because I envisioned it twenty-five years ago (I had faith). I expected it. Our imagination is from God. I’ve heard from a famous pastor that imagining him is the closest we will ever get to seeing him while we’re here, and seeing God can be real if we stop rejecting our imagination.

We reject it every day because society teaches us that if we use it, we are silly. Sometimes images just come to me while praying. I see specs of light often, even rays of light I have seen many times. Things sometimes move on their own. I always saw this as God’s way of telling me his angels are near and protecting me. I have heard God’s voice from deep within instructing me and even scream and tell me what to do in life-saving moments.

I have studied physics for a year and a half now, and all of the theories I’ve learned further prove God and his excellent existence! The fact is that the greatest physicists now say we are moving here through our imagination. We are made up of billions and billions of atoms that can never die. All of this is true.

The Theory of entanglement holds across the universe. These are Biblical principles taught to us through physics, but you would never know it without studying the universe. The Bible teaches us we are ‘entangled with Christ,’ so there is this entanglement. Every human being has already ‘died’ because when One died, all died,’ the Bible tells us.

‘That we no longer live for ourselves but live for the one who died and rose again for us.’ Modern physicists are now teaching that everything is happening at the same time. Actually, ‘time’ is the only thing stopping everything from happening all at once; however, the past, present, and future are equally real. In space-time, there is no distinction.

Everyone should search and find. Scientists are now suggesting that there may be multiverses because of the Theory of entanglement. ‘When one electron is in any given space, there is a complete duplicate that will even move and act the same way in a different place. The two particles can be on opposite sides of the universe, but they will behave the same way.

I can also accept all of it because I know how amazing God is. It doesn’t challenge my faith. It strengthens it! The Theory of relativity teaches us the importance of light. There is light in everything. God created it. The first thing he created was light. Light makes up the entire universe. Our bodies are composed of billions of atoms, again, that absorb and emit light.

According to Einstein’s Theory, light’s speed is the only thing in the universe that is constant. I listen to some great physicists such as Dr. Briane Greene, Leonard Susskind, and Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. People who only listen to what their church teaches, who are afraid to ‘leave the pew,’ so to speak, and study science are missing out.

God has put all the puzzle pieces together for us. Because God is perfect, and so is his design. God cannot be anything but perfect, so all the answers have been revealed, and science is discovering more. Physicists are just adding to what they already know, and with every mind-blowing discovery, God’s magnificence is revealed!

***

I never stop giving thanks. When you have a grateful heart and thank God for everything, you receive blessings because a thankful heart will provide you with a graceful attitude. I know it can be challenging to feel that way all the time. But try to think of all that God has done for you! I’m sure you are unique, as we all are. By reflecting on the abundance, you will have a better disposition. Sometimes you look around and can’t see past all the blessings, which is a cheerful heart!

Never give up. You have to work at accomplishing goals continuously. If you give up, you will never know what could’ve been if you would’ve only kept ongoing. There will be people who tell you differently or that you cannot do something. If you believe them, you won’t! You have to work hard and realize that it can take years for your dreams to occur. You will never regret all the work you have put in.

I know I haven’t. It will be worth it! The worst that can happen, you can try but fail, and you will more than likely not fail. I have had to accept that I may never walk the way I did before the accident, meaning hands-free, but I have accepted it. It doesn’t mean I don’t strive to get better. I have learned NEVER to say NEVER.

Have you ever thought about being a writer, for example? Did you know that 80 percent of Americans believe they should write a book? Most of them will never do it. People get intimidated by the work. They don’t know how to find a publisher or even self-publish. They never try or give up. 

These days, writers can self-publish with tools online, and there are ways to get your book printed on-demand, or you can go the route of Indie publishing like I have.

I traveled a lot on business trips, I’ve been to New York twice, and even met celebrities like Ice-T, his wife, Coco, Martha Stewart, Jerry, from Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, and more!

But whether you publish independently, with a hybrid company, or with a traditional publisher–you are still responsible for marketing. Be aware. Authors are not only writers, but they are also marketers, “experts,” salespeople, speakers, and we wear many hats! 

I would not suggest for anyone to publish prematurely. Millions of people write books each year, but the majority of them are not any good. You don’t have to be born with the talent, but you do have to practice! 

You can’t just wave a magic wand and become an excellent writer. I have been working on my craft for years. Outstanding writers often ghostwrite. I hope to one day do that also. That is where you write books for others. Again, to do something like that, you have to be a fabulous writer. 

You can start by writing for fifteen minutes a day. You can then re-read what you wrote to reflect and recognize errors in your writing like punctuation, spelling, and grammar. You can add more or rewrite to help change any negative attitudes if you practice journaling. 

You can’t heal from what you don’t acknowledge, and writing can be therapeutic. I’ve practiced this technique since I was a teenager. Write somewhere where you can focus and edit. If you can’t find the time to write every day, write for a total of one to two hours per week if you can. 

Three hours or more of writing per week would be an ideal schedule, though, if you’d like to be a writer.

Find a Writer’s Community. What would you want to write? Who will be in your audience? Create a blog. You can start a free blog at WordPress.com. I use that platform. I recommend you search for video tutorials on how to use it, again, not something you will quickly pick up by ‘waving your magic wand.’ 

You can start a blog at WordPress.org, but you would have to purchase hosting. I’ve bought a domain at Godaddy.com (I am not an affiliate of any of these companies). But my domain is just at zinahermez.com and points to my blog (My blog acts as my complete website.). It is also listed under notwithoutgod.net

Connect with other writers: join a writers’ group, attend a writers’ conference (I have been to several out-of-state and had a great time!). Share your writing with your friends or family and ask for honest feedback, but ask them not to be too harsh. Compliments with constructive criticism are healthy. 

Find an accountability partner (That was a new piece of advice I heard at a conference!). I liked it—someone to keep you responsible. I don’t need that at this point. 

I have been writing for nearly ten years, actively meaning for the publishing world. I write for several hours per day. Reading others’ writing can help, and it is a great way to write better. The best writers are the best readers, and writing can help you be a better speaker–I have told many people. Read a lot of material, research, books, online magazines, and fact-checked and reliable resources! 

Relax, and enjoy it (if you have no interest in writing, disregard)! I’ve taken the fun out of writing by focusing on trying to make it “perfect.” Trying to type the right words word-for-word can be stressful. I used to do that a lot in the beginning. These high expectations can take the enjoyment out of it! Writing has to be fulfilling. 

I was listening to a live webinar in my Writers Guild (a membership group I used to be in), and I heard a man say he feels “parched” while he writes. He was asking our writing coach how to solve this problem. He shouldn’t feel parched; he should feel inspired. You cannot inspire someone else until you inspire yourself first. But this develops over time. 

Finding your “voice” can take a while, but writing can become easier and more comfortable once you find it. You won’t regret all the work you’ve put in!

***

You also cannot be weak. Keep your body moving! And get up and exercise so you can stay healthy. That is what I do daily. They say that for athletes, 10,000 steps per day is ideal. Since I am someone with a spinal cord injury, I know that is not required of me, so I try my best to fulfill a few thousand steps (or mile) per day.

There is a body and mind connection. You will ‘see’ the impossible happen while you’re exercising! Train your body. There are so many possibilities. But it is hard to see them when you’re sitting on the couch. Start now, lift weights, and start with bicep curls.

Don’t be stagnant.

My daily regimen consists of exercising and writing, for the most part. Writing can take some energy, too. As I mentioned before, I listen to the Bible through audio (I try to listen every night, but I tend to listen sporadically throughout the week or during different times of the day). I listen to the Psalms (usually the dramatized version through a Bible app).

My favorite Psalms now are 69, 71, 74, and 77. One of my favorite books is The Book of Acts. It’s powerful.

Below are some remedies for overcoming—the ones I mentioned at the beginning of this chapter. When I speak publicly, I often talk about these topics.

•Talk to God throughout the day. Make Him your closest friend. He is the most outstanding listener. He will never interrupt. I know I can always count on Him. He will never stop listening to you. God is omnipresent. He can be everywhere all at once. He will answer, but not necessarily on your timing, and things may not go your way–but he’ll answer you one way or the other. The answers often come to me immediately in my heart. 

But I have been practicing having a relationship with God for a long time, so our connection is substantial. Like I mentioned above, having a relationship with God is like exercising a muscle. The more you practice exercising it, the stronger it gets! If you are quiet, you will hear from him better.

The answers will come (typically through feelings in your heart or visions). You have to discern God’s voice, but it can be hard to hear his voice if you do not know him well and talk with him much at all, so start practicing. If you are having trouble understanding God and his ways, I recommend reading the Bible. Begin at the New Testament Gospels.

Try not to make hasty decisions. When the answer to your prayer comes from God–you will be sure of it. There will be no shadow of turning, as it says in the Bible. When something comes down from the Father of Lights, you will know it!

Please think about how you can implement some of the activities I mentioned. Can you go for a walk (before the kids wake up if you are a mother)? And can you share your thoughts with God (pray for yourself and others)? What would you ask him for? Can you be cordial with ‘everyone?’ Can you make time for extracurricular activities? What are your hobbies? Are you a member of any groups? 

Can you go to the gym before your eight-hour workday (if you have one)? How about setting up a regular weekly sports game like tennis or walking with friends to make exercise social (so long as your governor is allowing it)? How can you be creative? Reflect. Write your thoughts down. It will help you realize what you have been lacking and how you can make your life better! It will also help you to improve! 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored “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 blog posts. As an educator for more than twenty years, she’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. Her writing endeavors earned her an invitation to speak at the Harvard Faculty Club’s “Business Expert Forum.” Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity, and she strives to do what she longs to–help other people. Socializing with friends, taking business trips, listening to music, and meeting new people are among her hobbies. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, or Twitter.

Chapter 9 of my book, “Hope In the Storm!”☔⛈️🌈

My Story Comes Full Circle

I sought after God at a young age. It wasn’t until I had my accident that I truly experienced his peace. I saw Christ in everyone. I experienced God in the almost three and a half months I spent in the hospital. I had all these injuries and had become paralyzed, but I understood God on a different level. I was searching for something I could not find.

I had friends, lived in a good neighborhood, and went to the right school, but I would ask God what life meant. I knew God was real, but I was confused. I felt His presence daily, but I wanted to understand him better. I knew he was there. I felt his company and even his love and security while on my evening bike rides.

Perhaps I deliberately went out to spend time alone with him. I have always needed him since I was a young child. My time alone with God gives me peace, and it is crucial for me. I need to talk with him and pray. I am not independent of God and never will be. 

God never leaves us, no matter what. He will be the one listening when we need to cry on his shoulder and when something goes wrong! He will be with us forever and celebrate us also. His love is eternal. He’s always there. Hopefully, we will change for the better and learn to depend on him or first and foremost.

God is in control, anyway, and he shines his light on us. God’s love for us cannot change. God’s love does not discriminate. I urge you to look at what I went through and how he brought me through it. Choose God even in the hard times, and no matter what you’ve suffered. He has a plan for you.

Talking with God is one of my favorite things, even when I don’t understand what is going on in my life. But the older I get, the more I feel a direct connection. I’m able to discern his voice better. When I talk to God, ask, pray, make requests, and spend time with him, I feel safer.

I love to be in his presence. I mean, it’s like exercising a muscle. The more you strengthen your relationship with him, the easier it is to hear and understand. The stronger it gets. It is the same way with God. When you practice having that relationship, you will feel closer and more secure.

The bible says, ‘I am the Lord who continuously heals you.’ That means healing is not a one-time thing or event. I have already talked to him about this. God continuously heals us. God continues to heal me in various ways. He renews me every morning and gives me strength every day.

God loves me so much he’s given me the right doctors. You see, God created medicine. He speaks to us and helps us through our doctors and medical staff. I mean, it’s fair to get a second opinion when you don’t agree with one, but if you keep getting more views, you may be the overly skeptical one. 

I hope for everyone to have this knowledge. He is our hero. He truly is our friend. You never know how your life will turn out. I never expected to grow up with a physical challenge. I am blessed to have this knowledge of the Lord. Nothing can compare to the simple truth. You will have Christ no matter what. 

The more profound the sorrow, the greater the joy! I am not asking you to rejoice in suffering; I am asking you to rejoice in the one who stands before you. He will not leave you unless you ask him to, and even then, he will be standing in your corner, guarding, leading, and guiding you with all his angels.

I don’t have any secrets on how to overcome. I am not different from anyone. Jesus heals me every time. He is the ultimate example. When love is not true, it fades. God’s love never fades. He’s always there. It is you who leaves and turns away.

He cannot. Because God is love, and that is what he does. He comes in when everyone else has gone out. He comes in when your life is too much to bear, picks you up, and saves you. Love cannot fail and endures all things. It gives freely of itself. It will provide even when you are not winning. When God comes in to rescue you, it will be the greatest gift ever.

Trust God

Would your father scold you if you did something wrong, like take something that does not belong to you? Of course, he would because he would not want you to go to jail! God is not a punishing one; we suffer because of our own decisions and, at times, create our own bad experiences.

Lean on God, though. Your happiness will not be short-lived or temporal and fade. I’ve tried to control situations in my life because I think I know what is best. I have an image in my mind of how my life should’ve been. But God wants me to put my faith in Him.

I had the most fantastic experience one time. I woke up with the warmest feelings I’ve ever felt. It’s as if angels were hugging me, and it was during a hospital procedure. I was under anesthetics. I have had other divine experiences, but I will refrain from documenting them right now. I will say this, though; I woke up with this profound sense of love and reassurance. I realized, indeed, there is no need to worry.

Even when you are frustrated, try to embrace an attitude of acceptance. That way, your expectations will not be high, and you will not be disappointed. We are each fighting our own battle of some kind. Wait on God – your blessings will flow bountifully. Learn to trust in him by prayer. You will see that He will be there.

Glorify God through your Job

But you have to be patient with God, just like you have to be patient with your job. I already wrote about how you can compare patience to work in a previous chapter. You don’t complain at work. Then don’t complain to God. Imagine if you treated God the way you treat your supervisor or director. You won’t get promoted at work if all you do is complain.

God wants to promote you. I mean, I take that back; you can complain to God, of course. But always be respectful towards him. God is way higher than your CEO. He is the creator of all things.

Good thing he doesn’t keep a record of our complaints! I would’ve been fired, or have never moved up the ladder, so to speak, if I ever whined, cried out loud, or screamed at my director in my past job. Count your blessings! God has been good to you.

You see, God has given me a blueprint, a plan on how to get to where I need to. But that is because I am in constant contact with him. We have a direct connection. When I’ve been discharged from physical therapy too early, God has instructed me on how to exercise – some doors have shut. But there are always new beginnings. God loves us and does not give up on us. No one can motivate you like you can. You have to help yourself.

You are giving glory to God when you are doing your job. When you complain, bicker with others, and act as if you are not blessed–you are taking your blessings for granted. If I were overly sensitive or the kind of person who took my work home with me, so to speak, I would not be successful.

I never saw any bullying behavior or mistreatment as being my problem. I knew it was the problem of the person who tried to do it. As a teacher, I want to empower. I’ve been fortunate to have had lots of lovely students. But I have run into conflict with others.

Some people are threatened by how bold I am or don’t understand the extent of my independence. It used to bother me a little. But I could care less if others approve of me or not. I am not working for them; I am working for the Lord.

I have learned a lot just by working with so many different people. I have become more patient. I have learned that there are all kinds of souls, and if I succumb to a soul that wants to ruin my career, then that soul has won. I won’t have it, so instead, I prove them wrong. I stay the course and get promoted.

You can prove others wrong by your actions. Teaching takes faith and patience because you are constantly dealing with others. You have to be a manager and make quick decisions. I play fair. I have my rules and policies, but if a good student who shows effort and care slipped up, I would help them out.

My job has taught me so much, and it’s mostly been through the challenging parts. We need to look at obstacles as promoters. A challenge is an opportunity. If we view challenges that way, we have taken control. They won’t have power over us. 

Being a teacher is a gift—an immeasurable one. And I’ve tried not to wear the ‘teacher hat’ during all my years of teaching. I often left questions that were open for discussion. I didn’t just lecture or continually talk and be the ‘know it all.’ I have never worked as a lecturer, anyway. But of course, I’ve offered a lot of knowledge, always stuck to the topic, benchmarks, and protocol, and did my best to educate.

I give students articulate and challenging assignments and always push them for more. I am traditional in that way. It’s a lot of responsibilities to juggle. I liked to be a resource and give them information. I like to listen and answer questions. I have taught for over 20 years and some of the most wonderful experiences I’ve ever experienced were while teaching.

Think about how you can serve God by doing your job. Are you employed? What do you do for a living? Do you enjoy it? If you are not, would you like to be? What would be your “dream” career? Think about how you can keep God in the workplace (or at home if you’re a homemaker).

Do you think you are serving the Lord? You sure are by doing your job. You can make your manager happy, but you are serving God when you do your job. It is not about your director (even if you are upset with him or her). By doing your job—you are leading by example. Do it well, and you will get noticed. If you are not working, how can you serve your community or family better? 

About Zina


Zina Hermez authored “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 blog posts. As an educator for more than twenty years, she’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. Her writing endeavors earned her an invitation to speak at the Harvard Faculty Club’s “Business Expert Forum.” Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity, and she strives to do what she longs to–help other people. Socializing with friends, taking business trips, listening to music, and meeting new people are among her hobbies. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, or Twitter.

Happy Easter!☀️☦️💐

I would like to share an Easter note that I shared with contacts earlier. I have big plans for 2021 and hope that my experiences are as fruitful as they have been in the past! It would be nice to go on some business trips, and I hope that my upcoming book takes me on some exciting journeys again! I’ve always enjoyed traveling and networking at writer’s conferences and speaking events. I would love to go somewhere to see the Northern Lights, but I guess that will have to stay on my bucket list!:-) Another destination I would like to go to some time is Washington D. C. I have never been there. I am grateful for the travel I have had so far and know that with God there are new beginnings! I look forward to the friends I have not met and the book experiences I have not had yet. Click on the link below to read my note.

I hope you enjoy it!

https://mailchi.mp/86648de51c8b/happy-easter

Sincerely,

Zina Hermez

‘Keeping Up With the Chaldeans’ (Not the Kardashians!) Interview

Check it out, everyone! This is my latest candid interview that I did before the stay-at-home orders (over two months ago) with my generous hosts, Anthony Toma, and Junior Binno. Here is the link to the YouTube show: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=keeping+up+with+the+chaldeans Please LIKE and subscribe! It is a MUST watch!

In case you don’t know who the Chaldeans are, they’ve been around since B.C. days and have developed a reputation for learning and knowledge of math, writing, and astronomy. Their greatest king was Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler of the Babylonian empire (from 605-562B.C.), and he was also the creator of one of the Seven Wonders of the World: The Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Babylonia is also referred to as ‘the land of the Chaldeans’ time and time again in the Bible. We originated in southern Mesopotamia, one of the cradles of civilization (along with India, Egypt, and China). I can speak the language, although, I was born in the U.S. I’m second generation.

I talk about my book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival, and recall my accident and other events including a healing work that was performed on my left arm! There is no greater time than now to watch! This should encourage, inspire, and help. I hope you enjoy it!

About Zina

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Zina Hermez is the author of the best-selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Southern Writers Magazine, guest blogs, medical journals, and newsletters, among many other places. She’s written a few hundred articles. 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, Ford, Nissan, Bosch, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, and has worked with people of all ages. Zina began her own teaching services incorporating math and other subjects. Her writing endeavors earned her an invitation to speak at the Harvard Faculty Club’s “Business Expert Forum.” Her goal is to help others overcome adversity. Socializing with friends, taking trips, baking, listening to music, trying new hairstyles, and networking are among her hobbies.  You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Clint Arthur’s “Living Legends of Entrepreneurial Marketing” Part 2 🎉🍾

I’ve been back from the “Living Legends of Entrepreneurial Marketing” for nearly a week, and I can’t stop thinking about it! I want to go back! As a matter of fact, this time last week I was sitting on a boat, the beautiful “Bateaux,” it was a gorgeous night, and I got to see the New York skyline!🌇

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At Zankel Hall in Carnegie Hall getting ready to watch the show!

And what a view it was, I got to see celebrities like Ice-T and his wife, Coco, Martha Stewart, Dylan Howard (the Chief content officer of American media, who shared exclusive stories about Charlie Sheen!), Hal Elrod (author of 2 million copies sold), Micheal Gerber (of the E-myth, multiple #1 New York Times best-seller), Alex Mandossian, Steve Larsen (#1 funnel hacker for ClickFunnels, and part of the two-comma club—an elite group of online entrepreneurs that have reached one million dollars, or ‘two commas’).🤑😆

I can’t leave out Jerry Greenfield (of Ben & Jerry’s🍧) who even served me ice cream, and told the story of how him and Ben split the money for a $5 course! He said their ice cream was becoming a hit, but Haagen Dazs was bigger, so Pillsbury stopped selling Ben & Jerry’s on their trucks! That was illegal, so they started a campaign called, “What is the dough boy afraid of?” 😂 And they put a stop to it!

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With Martha Stewart! At 79, she’s beautiful and still knows everything!💕

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W/Jerry of Ben & Jerry’s, Ice-T, Coco, & Steve Larsen!!!🤩

Some takeaways I got:

“You can’t just be on TV, you have to do something exceptional!” ~Martha Stewart

“Success is to be emotionally, financially, and mentally stable!” ~Walter O’Brien

“The greatest gift you can give to people you LOVE and LEAD is your full potential! ~Michael Gerber

“The most POWERFUL element of marketing is CURIOSITY (‘How did this person do this, get this, and be this…?’)” ~Clint Arthur

“There is a new creature inside of you, waiting to be ‘born.’” ~Michael Gerber

I’ll admit going on this trip was not easy for me; my dad has had a significant amount of Alzheimer’s, and it is worsening. I distribute his medicine daily, and do the same for my mom, too. I had to schedule for caregivers and call substitutes to teach my courses.

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BUT, it was SO worth it!!! I loved every minute!!!

Below I am with Michael Gerber of the E-Myth, published in 1992, millions of copies have been sold! He says that he didn’t do everything that happened to him, he says “it did it!”😄 And Rick Warren “built his church” on Gerber (not on the Bible). lol Rick Warren, best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life (the most popular book next to the Bible!).

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Michael Gerber has been Rick’s mentor and credits Rick and says, “He is a Living Legend!”❤️💚🧡

And here are some more pics with fabulous people!

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Below was on the second day after I arrived. It was beautiful and sunny with a crisp wind, and I didn’t know what to expect. I knew I would be exposed to some ‘elite’ people! Tim, the second from the left is from Michigan, also, so we talked about that a little bit, and it was a good icebreaker! Linda and I hit it off, with her being a caregiver (like I am), and having a daughter with some challenges.

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By the way, the food at the Red Eye Grill was pure deliciousness!🍹🥗🥖

Clint gave out ‘Film Fest awards’ and there were actors and writers, adding a little more Hollywood!🎬

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These people were so honored! ✨🎤

I also posted Clint’s live webinar on my social media a few times! It was a post-Carnegie Hall one where he gave me a special shout-out and pointed to my blog!❤️ He says I am AWESOME & QUALIFIED! I’m still smiling!😄

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He used my article as a model and said it is ‘wonderful.’❤️🎈

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored Not Without God: A Story of Survival. Her stories have been featured in various guest articles, medical journals, magazines, newsletters, and 200+ of her very own blog posts. As a long-time educator, 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, Ford, Nissan, Bosch, Toyota, and Mercedes-Benz. She began her own teaching services incorporating math and other subjects. Her writing endeavors earned her an invitation to speak at the Harvard Faculty Club’s “Business Expert Forum.” Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity. Socializing with friends, taking road-trips, listening to music, and networking are among her hobbies.  You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Clint Arthur’s “Living Legends of Entrepreneurial Marketing”🎉🎈🌇

I had the greatest time at “Living Legends of Entrepreneurial Marketing” at Carnegie Hall in New York this past weekend! No words can describe it. It was a three day conference, but like none I have ever been to before! It went beyond my expectations.

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Me with Ice-T & Coco!!!!😁

Ice-T & his wife, Coco, Martha Stewart, and other speakers were there! Steve Larsen (the funnel hacker, whose built 500 funnels for Russell Brunson), Walter O’Brien (Scorpion, the ‘smartest man in the world’), Dylan Howard (Chief editor of the National Enquirer, Chief content officer of American media), Hal Elrod (best-selling author), Micheal Gerber, Alex Mandossian, and Jerry Greenfield (of Ben & Jerry’s), who served me with a scoop of butter pecan ice cream, were all there!

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With Jerry of Ben & Jerry’s!🍦😁

I was a VIP at the event, and more TV and radio personalities attended along with actors and writers, there were even ‘Film Fest’ awards! By the way, I got a director’s contact number.😉

THEN, there was a BOAT cruise that was soo much fun!!!! I had to pinch myself. A deluxe dinner cruise up the Hudson River on the beautiful Bateaux New York, we saw the Statue of Liberty up close!

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On the Bateaux New York

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I got to see some other great sights in New York, also, and made new friends!

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The food was delicious and the weekend was so special! There were drinks, networking, dancing and music. Everyone was really nice and enjoying themselves! It was a once in a lifetime experience!

People came in from Australia, Denmark, Norway, and Canada! It was a growth experience I will never forget it.

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… pictures and stories cannot even do it justice! You had to be there! But that’s just the thing, not EVERYONE could be so I want to share some more pics.

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One World Trade Center (rebuilt World Trade Center)🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

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Madison Square Park!

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In my room getting ready for the show!

I even got to go to a little Italian restaurant and eat “mezze” and enjoy a glass of wine (or two😉), near Times Square right in the heart of New York! It’s underground, the kind of restaurant you would find in the movie “Godfather!”

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Aren’t we cute?

There was a lot more I don’t have time to include right now, but finally, I wanted to add some popular quotes. I took A LOT of notes, and these were the ones that I picked out to share!

• “As an entrepreneur, you are going to fail! Do not give up!” ~Ice-T

• “Be PRESENT. Find what the “secret” is for you!” ~Michael Gerber

• “Story is what people buy, they never buy the product!” ~Steve Larsen

• “It doesn’t matter what you sell, the product is YOU!!!” ~Clint Arthur

• “It is WHO you are and WHO you are perceived to be, that is the game!” ~Clint Arthur

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With Clint Arthur, my favorite mentor, speaker, coach!❤️

• “By the time you’re clients come to you, they should ALREADY have come to you, IF they can get to you!!!!” ~Clint Arthur

• “The marketing of what you do, IS more important than what you do!” ~Clint Arthur

• “ You are able to position your brand or cause by the POWER of celebrity.” ~Dylan Howard

• “The PROCESS is critical, NOT the product!” ~Michael Gerber

I was surrounded by beautiful and accomplished people: doctors, innovators, people who create solar energy, manage cyber security, one of them talked about developing medicine dispensers, and there were leaders in construction.

I thought, how did I get here, and how am I sitting among these people with SO much wealth and talent, it was a miracle!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored, “Not Without God: A Story of Survival.” Her stories have been featured in various guest articles, medical journals, magazines, newsletters, and 200+ of her very own blog 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, Ford, Nissan, Bosch, and Mercedes-Benz. She began her own teaching services incorporating math and other subjects. Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity and you can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

 

My Upcoming Trip to New York!

Dear friends and followers,

This is a letter I shared with close contacts earlier today. I want to share it with you, too. I will be going to New York for this first-EVER event very soon!  I look forward to sharing lots of stories and pictures with you! Click here to read my newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/3bca0d5108f1/zina-hermez-newsletter

Happy fall!

~Zina

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored Not Without God: A Story of Survival. Her stories have been featured in various guest articles, medical journals, magazines, newsletters, and 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. 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 & history courses. Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

Democratic Presidential Debates!

I went downtown for the Democratic Presidential Debates in Detroit on July 30 and July 31. What an experience! I’ve been to a few political events, but this was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It was surreal, but I wasn’t able to get into the beautiful Fox Theatre (I was told I needed a pass from CNN), however, I still met some wonderful people!

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Amy and Kristin (on the left) travel the country and go to these types of events. They are both from Detroit, but Amy currently lives in Chicago. They told me they are big “donors.” Totally sweet and kind ladies!

Then, something I dreamt of happened, I met Chris Cuomo and got a photo with him!!! He’s my favorite journalist, and I watch him every night! His show is on at 9pm EST, and it’s called “Cuomo Prime Time.” He is brilliant and someone I greatly admire! I keep on smiling.😊 I’ve also added some more pics.

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CNN set-up!

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Christin Powers is running for president and was only four people away from getting a chance to debate!

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Parked right outside of CNN!

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Luv my city!❤️

Is Writing A Desire or A Calling?

Are you a writer? Have you found your niche? What do you write about? Right now the popular trends are diversity, culture, and social issues. It’s important to write about topics that people care about. But keep in mind that your writing is not for everyone. Who is in your target market? I’m sure your ideas have been explored. Someone may have wanted to encourage others through their personal struggle, or they may have had a similar idea for a novel. With 1.5 million books out each year, make sure your writing is really good! We are not all meant to be writers. We can practice the skill, and I recommend it if you want to grow in your business.

But be aware that you will work long hours. The more you write the more confident you will become, though. It will become easier to convey your messages. If family or work obligations don’t allow time for it, ask yourself if writing is really your calling. It’s normal to feel fear. You may have a fear of failure or a fear of not fitting in. You may have a fear of going too far! I believe there are endless possibilities for all of us to be successful in some endeavor. But if you are meant to be a writer, your words will not only change the reader, they will change you, also!

Recently I was approached by a company that asked me to take the pay-to-publish method. I was told that If I do business with them, my book may be “picked up” by one of their larger (recognizable) parent companies because they would take note of it. There are all kinds strategies and gimmicks that people use to get you to buy their products—but before you dive deep into your pocket, learn how to write better. Learn how to write a book proposal or a pitch. Start with a one liner!

Writing takes determination and persistence. You can’t give up. If you are serious, you won’t be able to stop no matter what. You will keep on going despite any criticism or rejection.  I’ve joined writers groups. Most publishers may not pay attention to you until you are established online, so start building your platform. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are important. This is where you can connect with your potential audience.

Create your own blog, or try to write a magazine article. Begin a monthly newsletter. I started by writing Ezine articles. Those short essays can eventually turn into chapters. Maybe one day you can compile an organized manuscript. The exposure will help you seal any potential deals. I’m still working on my craft. It can take years to develop your voice, but once you do it will be worth it because writing is an art and a fascinating field!

(This article will appear in the Southern Writers Magazine – Suite T blog).

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, or Twitter.

 

Ever think about giving up? Don’t.

If you don’t try you will never know what God has in store. Stay the course.  We have the capability of improving our lives. Small steps are motivators!

I achieved my goal of walking a mile yesterday! I’m sore, but it’s worth it. I have to keep on going. As I think back, I’m disappointed—this time last year—I was up to one hour straight on the elliptical (doing more than 3 miles). I am not far from that, so I am going to shoot for 10,000 feet.

In the last several months, I have become a full time caregiver, not only distributing medicine, but making frequent visits, and sometimes staying in hospitals with loved ones for several hours. I’m an emergency contact. I’m an advocate and a “scheduler.”

I’m working on endurance when it comes to walking, though, and it’s really coming along. I keep track of my steps on a counter, and I’m increasing them. I’m so grateful for my life experiences, and for the friends I have made!

ed6547f2-71e6-4625-b8c8-0e6d8776c65f-e1562953387204.pngI’m excited about an upcoming trip to New York in the fall. I will be going to an event at Carnegie Hall! I will get to watch and learn from world-changers, speakers, experts, and authority figures who have made a difference. I will get to meet celebrities, also!

Being in NY will give me the greatest feeling, and I am really looking forward to it! My hard work has brought me here, the late nights, the lack of sleep, and the pain in my body from just sitting up and writing for so long has paid off.

I hope that my writing will one day have a big impact, and in some ways I believe it already has. I never gave up on my hope of walking after my accident; I was determined to have the career I always wanted, and it is very exciting to see that come to fruition.

We have an amazing God who always keeps his promises so long as we call on him! We all have burdens, to each his own, and they are not here to hinder us—but to make us better—to teach us patience, to be kind, and to love one another. God wants to perfect a great work in us!

About Zina

Zina Hermez is the author of the best-selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. Her various stories have been featured in magazines, newsletters, guest blogs and other places around the web. She has written more than 200 articles. She works as an English teacher in Detroit, and she’s had thousands of students. She’s taught at automotive corporations and began her own teaching services. She currently home-schools at churches and teaches writing. Her goal is to help others, and when Zina is not writing or teaching, she enjoys talking on the phone, going out and socializing with friends, or trying something a little adventurous! You can connect with her on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram.

Three Ways to Begin Your (DREAM) Writing!

Did you know that 80 percent of Americans think they should write a book? Most of them will never do it. People get intimidated by the work. They don’t know how to find a publisher or even self-publish. They never try or give up because it seems too difficult, or they don’t know how to get started. These days, writers can self-publish with tools on-line, and there are ways to get your book printed by on-demand or you can go the route of Indie publishing if you’re feeling especially productive. Whether you publish independently, with a hybrid company, or with a traditional publisher–you are still responsible for marketing. Be aware. Authors are not only writers, they are marketers, “experts,” salespeople, speakers, and we wear many hats!

Keep a Diary or Journal

I would not suggest for you to publish simply because you want to. Millions of people write books each year, but the majority of them are not necessary or good. You don’t have to be born with the talent, but you have to practice! You can start by writing for fifteen minutes a day. You can then reread what you wrote as a way to reflect and recognize any thought patterns. You can add more or rewrite to help change any negative attitudes. You can’t heal from what you don’t acknowledge. Writing can be therapeutic. I’ve practiced this technique since I was a teenager. Write somewhere where you can focus and edit. If you can’t find the time to write every day, write for one to two hours a week. Three hours or more of writing per week would be an ideal schedule to begin.

Find a Writer’s Community

What do you want to write about? Who will be in your audience? Will you create a blog? You can start a free blog at WordPress.com or Blogger.com. You can start a blog at WordPress.org, but you would have to purchase hosting. I’ve bought a domain at Godaddy.com (I am not an affiliate of any of these companies). Connect with other writers: join a writers’ group, attend a writers’ conference, share your writing with your friends or family and ask for honest feedback but ask them not to be too harsh. Compliments with constructive criticism are healthy. You have to be willing to learn from others. Find an accountability partner (That was a new piece of advice I heard at a conference!). I liked it. Reading others writing can help also, and it is a great way to write better. The best writers are the best readers, and writing can help you be a better speaker–I have told many people.

Relax, and enjoy it!

I’ve taken the fun out of writing by focusing on trying to make it “perfect.” Trying to type the right words, word-for-word can be stressful. These high expectations can take the enjoyment out of it! Writing has to be fulfilling. I was listening to a live webinar in my Writers Guild, and I heard a man say he feels “parched” while he writes. He was asking our writing coach how to solve this problem. He shouldn’t feel parched; he should feel inspired. You cannot inspire someone else until you inspire you first. But this develops over time. Finding your “voice” can take a while, but once you find it, writing can become easier and more comfortable. You won’t regret all the work you’ve put into it!

(This article will appear in the Southern Writers Magazine – Suite T blog).

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 almost 200 of her very own blog posts. As an educator for nearly twenty years, she’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. Her writing endeavors earned her an invitation to speak at the Harvard Faculty Club’s “Business Expert Forum.” Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity, and she strives to do what she longs to – help others. Socializing with friends, taking road-trips, listening to music, and networking are among her hobbies.  You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

The Writers that Changed My Life

I’m excited to be an author now. But I began writing a long time ago. I won my first story contest in the second grade! I’ll never forget it. I won many. My teacher was so happy for me. She comprised a nice booklet with all my stories made of colorful construction paper. It was such an accomplishment!

At sixteen in the hospital I wrote after a bad vehicular accident. Hooked up to machines with a breathing tube down my throat, the first few weeks I had to write. It was the only way to communicate; I couldn’t talk. I still have all my notes of black marker scribbles on white and yellow cutouts.

I kept thick bible-sized journals while I was in college (they’ve since been shredded), and wrote just about every night. Some nights I wrote more than others depending upon what was going on in my life. Several years ago, I sent an email to a writer in west Michigan and asked him for advice.

He directed me to a few conferences, and one of them was the Breathe Conference (https://breatheconference.com/home/)! He also told me I should get involved with an on-line group called Fellowship of Christian Writers. I went through their application process and received a letter of acceptance!

I wrote a heartfelt email to all (800) members, and was promptly responded to by a famous editor! I closely followed his emails and promotional material and learned how to write a book proposal. If you’re interested, there are different formats. I used “Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript” by Chuck Sambuchino and the Editors of Writer’s Digest Books.

I also took a creative writing course by another one of the on-line group members. Last year, I was a part of a Writer’s Guild and it really helped. I watched live webinars with people like Donald Miller and DiAnn Mills. I had a chance to really study the craft with a wonderful writing coach and other speakers.

The authors who’ve mentored me have really blessed my life! You have to go after your dreams! Life is not meant for you to be complacent. Reach for the unattainable. Achieve what you never thought was possible! I’ve had the honor of sharing my stories with thousands, and I hope to reach millions!

(This article will be featured on the Breathe Writers Conference blog).

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored “Not Without God: A Story of Survival.” Her forthcoming book, “Hope After the Storm” will be a teaching book with a study guide–the second in her II part series. Zina’s stories have been featured in various magazines, guest articles, medical journals, newsletters, and almost 200 of her very own blog posts. As an educator for nearly twenty years, she’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. Zina’s goal is to overcome adversity while helping others. Socializing with friends, taking road-trips, listening to music, and networking are among her hobbies. You can follow her on her website at http://www.zinahermez.com for updated posts, or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Happy Holidays!

Dear friends,

This is a letter I shared with contacts today. I want to share it with you, too. I hope you find some inspiration from reading it!  I look forward to offering more tips on topics such as health and grief for those who are going through it.

Click on the link to read my note! https://tinyurl.com/ybdoh77o

May you have a very blessed and happy new year, and enjoy the remainder of 2017!

Stay warm,

~Zina

About Zina
Zina Hermez authored the book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She works as an English Instructor and has been an educator for more than fifteen years. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest posts, newsletters, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com

How to Become a Writer (if you’re interested)

Did you know that 80 percent of people want to write a book? It’s true, but most of them will never do it. People get intimidated by the work. They don’t know how to find a publisher or even self-publish. They never try, or give up because it seems “too hard.” Anyone can self-publish with tools on-line, and there are ways to get your books printed by paying for it. Whether you self-publish or publish with a traditional publisher (where they pay you an advance), you are still responsible for marketing. Don’t be fooled. Authors are not only writers, they are marketers, “experts,” salespeople, speakers, and we wear many hats!

I would not suggest for you to write a book simply because you want to. You have to practice writing. Millions of people write books, but the majority of them are not any good. You don’t have to be born with the talent, but you do have to practice! You can start by writing for fifteen minutes a day. Keep a diary, journal, or notebook. Write somewhere where you can focus and edit. If you don’t want to write every day, write for one to two hours a week. Three hours of writing per week or more would be an ideal schedule.

You also have to determine your topic. What do you want to write about? Who will be in your audience? Will you write in a blog? You can start a free blog at WordPress.com or Blogger.com. You could also start a blog at WordPress.org but you would have to buy hosting. I purchased a domain at GoDaddy.com for my website. I’m not an affiliate. I’m just giving you ideas for how to get started.

Your writing is not for “everyone.” People who think their blog or book is for everyone are mistaken. I’m sure the topic you choose to write about has been written before. Someone, somewhere may have wanted to encourage others through their personal struggle, or someone may have had a similar idea for a novel.

Don’t let that discourage you. You have to write about something fulfilling. In my Writer’s Guild, I heard a man say he feels “parched” while he writes. I was listening to a live webinar. He was asking our writing coach how to solve this problem. He shouldn’t feel parched, he should feel inspired. You cannot inspire someone else until you inspire you first. My writing is therapeutic for me. I realize things because I write about my own personal life.

Image found on Pinterest

You have to meet with other writers. Book events, conferences, and Writers’ groups are all good places to go to. If you cannot find one nearby, you can have a friend or family member help you. Ask for honest feedback, but also ask they that are not too harsh. Complements with constructive criticism are healthy for you. You have to be willing to learn from others, but you don’t have to get hurt. I’ve had that experience before!

Sometimes we don’t follow our dreams out of fear. You may have a fear of failure, or a fear of not “fitting in” anymore. You may have a fear of going too far! I believe there are endless possibilities for all of us to distribute good in the world, be prominent in business, or successful in some endeavor.

It’s hard work, I’ve stayed up many nights trying to type the right words and the right messages. The high expectations I put on myself are not from the Lord, though. What I mean is, He may have put the idea to write in my heart. But He does not expect perfectionism. In all my articles, I strive to do what I long to–help someone else!

About Zina
Zina Hermez authored the book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She works as an English Instructor and has been an educator for more than fifteen years. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest posts, newsletters, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com

How to Celebrate HIS Story

I was sent these questions as a writing prompt from a Writer’s blog: As Christians who write, one aim is to give honor and glory to God. How has God used your story? How has the Holy Spirit inspired and encouraged you? Have you seen the fruit of God’s glory as a result?

When I began my writing journey about five years ago, I had no idea the amount of people it would help. I’ve written since I was a child, and as a teen my audience was myself. I wrote behind closed doors, but with the surge in technology and media we are capable of reaching A LOT more people! I’m sure you’re familiar with the term “platform” if you are a writer. According to Google.com, a platform is a raised level surface on which people can stand. If you are on a raised surface and speaking from a podium more people can see you than if you are at eye level with everyone else.

As a writer, artist, musician, CEO, or salesman you need a platform. Many writers fear they won’t get noticed if they don’t have one. But your platform does not have to be huge. Publishers are still looking for REALLY good writers, that’s why I’m involved in a Writer’s guild and Writer’s group. I work on my writing skills. So…back to my prompt, how has God used my story and encouraged me?! Many of us want to write for God, speak his name, speak of his glories, and the ways he has blessed us.

But God is not concerned with my popularity as much as he is concerned with my friendship. God is not concerned with how many followers I have on Facebook or Twitter. Before I got into this business, I prayed to remain humble no matter what, and to never seek fame in a way that’s destructive. I simply write to help others and share my experiences. I write to motivate, and in turn I am motivated when my writing touches someone’s heart. I celebrate HIS story daily by carrying my cross. And sometimes, it happens to be evident in my stories…

(This post is inspired by an article I submitted to the Breathe Writer’s Conference blog.)

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

 

The Breathe conference posted my article!

One of the many benefits of writing is meeting others and making friends. I have met some wonderful people! Today my friends at the Breathe Writer’s conference published another one of my articles. They have been so kind since I began this journey a few years ago. Writing can be a lonely experience, but it’s a bonus when your writing is shared on different platforms. I have learned so much from them. I’ve attended two of their annual conferences in October. The knowledge gained from authors, marketing advice and overall help is invaluable!

Thank you Breathe conference!

http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/writing-is-a-way-of-life-by-zina-hermez.html

 

 

 

Writing Is a Way of Life

I write to process pain. It’s a channel to express my feelings—a way to self-evaluate. I examine my thoughts. The pen is my friend. Writing in journals and diaries helps me, and provides healing. Through ups and downs, I write.

I write for joy and for release. It truly is a spiritual practice when I share what’s inside my heart. I’m led by faith. Words will stick. Words will resonate, if they are meant to. Words will remain…in books, magazines, e-books, and the Amazon-book-seller page. But it’s about more than a platform – it’s a way to peace.

We live in a competitive world. Exposure holds a lot of weight. But number one, it’s about words. Don’t focus on the fame. Don’t focus on the pay. If you write a book or other publication, be encouraged; you are spreading your message. Your words will not only change the reader, but they will also change you!

For me it has to be about reaching people through my faith.

(This post is inspired by an article I submitted to the Breathe Christian Writer’s Conference blog.)

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 fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world. She writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and 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.

 

 

 

My Speaking event last Sunday!

This is a small piece on prayer from the talk I shared at church.

As I began to recover after my accident, I knew I had a long road ahead. I contemplated my future with God. I would ask, “What are we going to do, Lord?” and “How will my life be?” I didn’t know for sure but I knew one thing, I had Him – and I knew He would never leave. I didn’t like what happened to me, but I liked being in the silence and experiencing the peace.

Talking with God, asking for his help, his guidance, and presenting my problems before him has always helped me! And in the hospital, He spoke to me each day – through the love of others, the nurses, my mom, and the doctors. He explained every step of the way, what we would do, and how we would get through. I knew everything would be okay — in my feelings and in my heart.

Spending time with God has saved me all my life. Prayer is one way I do this, and I like to speak to Him when it is quiet because that is when I can hear from Him most — in feelings and in thoughts. When I am away from the noise. I listen to Bible verses throughout the day or before I go to bed, usually.

I’ve been doing this almost every day for the last few months. If I can commit to at least fifteen minutes a day, it helps me! I feel more peace since I have started. Things that would bother me before seem petty. I have noticed improvements in different areas. So I would recommend for anyone going through a challenge, or hardship to start doing it.

I have downloaded the Bible Gateway app on my cell phone, and I sometimes listen on a laptop. I click on the audio selection, and listening is convenient. I have listened while cleaning, or even writing. Technology is great! You can study while completing tasks. We don’t have to only read anymore! Two Psalms that really speak to my heart now are Psalm 69 and Psalm 71.

 

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.

I’m Speaking to a Congregation!

Dear friends,

I’m happy to share a letter and invitation I sent to close contacts earlier: http://eepurl.com/bRAlR5. I want to share it with you too, because you have supported me also. Let me know if you are interested in attending my upcoming event.

Thank YOU!

~Zina

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.

New Year’s Resolution

My New Year’s Resolution was to always have peace with everyone including myself. I strive to get better, and better how I relate with others each day. I believe part of the peace I am seeking comes from self-reflection. The only way to realize my mistakes is to boldly look at myself “in the mirror,” so to speak. It’s not easy to do. It takes courage, but it is SO worth it once you become aware of patterns of behavior. When you are friends with everyone including YOU. You realize that even those that seem to be in opposition may be helping you. Getting back up only makes you stronger! But you have to like YOU first.

One of the ways I perform self-reflection is through writing my thoughts down. I began the practice of journaling years ago as a teen when I had no audience. Writing for myself comes easy. If you are not much of a writer, remember that no one else has to see your writing. You don’t have to share your inner-most-thoughts. Writing helps me, and I believe it can help you too. Complete happiness requires self-reflection, many people are afraid of it. It’s a lot of work. Writing is more than a need for me it’s a necessity!

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.

 

Merry Christmas!

Dear friends,

This is a letter I shared with close contacts today: http://eepurl.com/bKWiPj. I want to share it with you because you’ve supported me too. Thank YOU!

You can read about my recent adventure!

May you have a very blessed and Merry Christmas with your families!

Sincerely,

-Zina Hermez

 

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.

My trip to HARVARD last weekend!

I attended the Business Expert Forum at the Harvard Faculty Club for a speaking event with people who are so successful. I was one of 60 speakers on December 5. Surreal. At times I couldn’t believe it. Sitting there looking at lights, cameras, and action! It was exciting, we gave TV-like-appearances that provided live streaming. I’ve never experienced anything like it!

One presenter was an engineer from Germany who’s worked closely with BMW, Audi, and Porsche. He was the youngest speaker there, I was the second. 😉 I watched the president of the Entrepreneurship Students Club at Harvard Business School give his talk. Another presenter was a coach originally from Australia (He said my speech inspired him : ). There was a doctor developing solutions for the blind, oh, and a billionaire!harvardblogpost

There was a famous actor, Jonathan Goldsmith, best-selling-authors, people who have been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. There was a guy who’s worked with the president! I met a motivational speaker to Mel Gibson! She was so humble. The speakers were professional. I watched them all in awe and amusement. I was surrounded by talent.

Everyone was sharing their message, promoting their brand, or just socializing with others. At night there were hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. I love meeting people and networking. I really enjoyed it! Clint Arthur hosted it. He’s the founder and organizer of the Business Expert Forum. He made it possible for all of us!

My older brother, Joe, got me to the airport on time at 6am on Friday. In preparation for the big day on Saturday, I arrived early and stayed in Cambridge for a total of two nights. I took pictures of Harvard Square and MIT—a famous engineering college. My sister and her husband picked me up from the airport on Sunday. I really appreciated my family’s help!

I work very hard so this was a bonus! I felt exhausted when I returned home, but it was worth every moment! I had to find four substitutes to cover my classes, but now I can say I’ve been to Harvard. I’ve even SPOKEN there. I’ll never forget 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.

My next Speaking engagement is on Dec. 5!

Dear friends,

This is a letter I shared with close contacts earlier:  http://eepurl.com/bImqHT. I want to share it with you, my readers, because you have supported me too. Thank YOU!

You can read about my upcoming adventure! And you can also watch me on livestreaming if you’d like! Click here: http://signupforthelivestream.gr8.com.

I hope you’ll join me!

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.

Your Writing Has to Do Something!

It’s been over a week since I attended the Breathe Christian Writers Conference, but I won’t forget the quote that spoke to my heart the most. It came from Mike Wittmer, a professor during his Breakout Session titled, “The Hard Work of Writing Simply.”

Don’t get me wrong, there were many beautiful sayings there. Short tid-bits of inspiration. Thoughts on how to keep your writing fresh, and how to keep it eloquent. But Mike was urging us to “tell a story” in our writing because it can have more of an impact than facts!

He compared writing our story to the greatest one ever told – Jesus Christ’s. It is a story. Without the cross there would be no action, thus, there would be no story. Your writing has to do something! “Love came down and DID something!” he said. That is what we are drawn to. The action. The story.

Love came down and made the ultimate sacrifice!

(this post is inspired by an article I submitted to the Breathe conference blog)

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.

Google – the most popular search engine in the world!

Have you ever heard how Google got started? The story is similar to Facebook’s. Two Stanford PhD grads, Sergey Brin and Larry Page created it in 1998 while they were going to the university. Facebook began because of Mark Zuckerberg and his roommates in 2004 while they were attending Harvard.

But unlike Facebook, Google serves as more than a social network. Google’s mission statement from the beginning was “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” That sounds about right! What began as a private company is now the world’s most popular search engine!

Google has morphed into a massive technology company even selling on line advertising through a service that places YOU near the list of search results! Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Especially if you want your personal message, brand, or business to be found!

Rapid growth has triggered a chain of items. Google offers email (Gmail), a cloud storage service (Google Drive), an office suite (Google Docs), web browsing (Google Chrome), and their social networking service (Google+) just to name some of their products.

A Google Plus account is just as important to have as a Facebook profile. I’ll tell you why! Google is the world’s #1 search engine. Next in line is Bing. Third is Yahoo search. Can you imagine Google’s influence over the internet?! It’s HUGE. Google even bought YouTube!

The more YouTube interaction, the more Google interaction! Simply upload songs. I started adding videos and playlists to my account in December of 2009. These are mostly Contemporary Christian songs that have helped with my recovery from spinal cord injury in the last few years. I would like to share them: http://tinyurl.com/qx46t7y

I’m a little excited because since I started my account, I’ve reached over 12,000 views just by uploading songs and copying my posts from WordPress! Google Plus has a wide influence. If you don’t already have a profile, why not start one?

“Google Plus helps with our S.E.O. strategy because our posts on Google Plus actually show up in our search engine results,” said Chandra Magee, senior director of audience development at Starbucks. If you want your business, brand, or personal message to be found, Google + is the way to do it!

(This article is inspired by a guest post I’m working on called “Why Google Plus?” for a friend’s business. Take a look at their website: http://getlocalclout.com.)

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.

Breathe Writers Conference

The Breathe Christian Writers Conference is coming up in a few weeks and I’m SO excited to be going! It’s in Grand Rapids, and close enough for me to drive. I enjoy road trips and it’s such a great event. I attended for the first time last year, and I learned so much there! It helped me grow as a writer, and Breathe has shared some of my guest posts since then. Here are the links if you haven’t read any of them:

http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/writing-is-remedy.html

http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/2322.html

http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/2330.html

http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/words.html

I hope you enjoy reading my articles! I look forward to attending, making friends, and enriching my career. My happiest moments are when I’m able to speak to others about what motivated me to write, and about how God saved my life! When I read passages from my book in front of a crowd, or teach from it I have the greatest feeling by far. Nothing compares. I hope to do more of this!

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 Conference blog, newsletters, and medical journals among other publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

A Letter To My Friends

Dear friends,

This is a letter I shared with close contacts earlier. I want to share it with you, my readers because you have really supported me in my writing too. Thank YOU so much! Click on this link: http://eepurl.com/byiwwP

If you would like to receive updates, or news about future book events please subscribe to my newsletters: http://eepurl.com/1spwH

Have a Happy Labor Day weekend with family and friends!

Sincerely,

 

~Zina Hermez

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 has written newsletters, and appeared in medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

 

Dare to Dream

Do not be afraid to fail. Be afraid to never try. Fear of failure is the most tragic. ~Zina Hermez

There are moments in life we will never forget. Having book signings- meeting strangers who are touched by my story, and traveling to distance cities are some things I have encountered. These moments are precious to me. The friendships I’ve made, and the help I’ve gotten with writing my story is priceless! I can never forget it.

Without writing, and without self-expression I feel empty.

At times I want to spend hours on my love of writing, and not do anything else like attend to daily chores, and complete other tasks. I’ve thought about going on a writer’s retreat before. I’ve found pictures on line of places you can go to next to lakes or even oceans where you can stay in beautiful cabins. Where you go to write, and do nothing else for days.

I want to express myself through writing more than anything else.

When your book is published, it is only the beginning. And you have to begin writing long before that. Starting a blog, joining a writer’s group, or attending a writer’s conference are only a few steps you can take. Writing is an art. Like any other career, it takes time to develop. It’s a craft that you have to work at.

I want to write another book one day. I like to write quotes, and I think a book of inspirational messages would be nice. Please pray for me as I try to figure out how to undertake this new journey. We don’t always understand our direction and why we are being led. There are reasons we cannot understand until we have fulfilled our mission. ~Zina Hermez

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, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, newsletters, and medical journals among many other publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

For Writers (or anyone thinking of becoming one)!

“Thoughts” ~by Zina Hermez

Write for the joy of it, and for the release. Give your writing away for free!

It truly is a spiritual practice when you share your feelings, and when you share what’s inside your heart. Be led by faith.

Your words will stick. Your words will resonate, if they are meant to. Your words will not only change the reader, but they will also change you!

We live in a competitive world. Exposure holds a lot of weight. But number one, it’s about your words. Don’t focus on the fame.

Don’t focus on the pay. If you want to write a book, or for magazines or other publications, be encouraged you are spreading your message!

Your words will remain…in books, magazines, e-books, the Amazon book seller page, and many other places.

Writing is about your message.

For me it has to be about reaching people through my words, and through my faith.

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.

How Writing Can Help (YOU)

Do you dream of becoming a writer? Do you want to write better for work? School? Or for yourself? I dreamt of becoming an author, and my dream came true! For any dream job to occur, you must put in endless hours of dedication and effort. I can’t tell you the exact amount of hours I’ve spent at my computer writing and reading others articles and books. I’ve learned about many different techniques and styles. My craft still needs work!

Can we ever perfect our writing? I don’t think it is possible. Writing is one of those careers where there is ALWAYS room for improvement. It’s like an art piece that can never be complete! There’s more to learn. Today, I would like to encourage you to write more. I don’t think everyone has to become an author but if that’s your goal, it is attainable.

You can simply write for the health benefits. It’s been medically proven that writing improves the neural pathways of the brain. Keeping a journal can greatly help. It’s a form of therapy. Through writing your thoughts down, or by putting them on a screen by clicking on a keyboard–you can learn about yourself, and even break harmful patterns.

Writing can change your behavior once you realize your actions you can change them for the better. No one has to even see what you wrote! You don’t have to publish your innermost feelings. “Write without fear, edit without mercy” is a quote I came across on Pinterest. I like that one!

Here is the link to a recent guest post of mine on the Breathe Writers conference blog to further give you tips on writing:  http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/2330.html Check it out! Feel free to share your thoughts on writing with me…

“When we write we heal.” ~Zina

 

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.

Happy Easter!

Dear friends,

Happy Easter to you! I want to share my most recent news, and also let you know about an Easter promotion we are running on “Not Without God.” The e-version of my book is practically FREE right now. There are only a few hours left! I would love for you to read it! Please take advantage of this special opportunity.

Click on this link to read my update: http://eepurl.com/bi1CAL.

May the joy, hope, and promise of Easter fill our hearts today and every day!

Sincerely,

~Zina Hermez

My Unique Experiences!

There are many things I love about being an author! One of my favorites is the opportunity to meet people from various places in the country, and even various places in the world! They write to me on my blog sometimes. It’s like teaching English in a way, and I like that. But it’s different because I have met so many people online! Good thing that meeting people is one of my hobbies!

I’ve been to about four, maybe five Writer’s conferences. I will make it a point to attend at least one, hopefully more than that each year. It’s nice to be surrounded by others that have the same interests, and it never hurts to see so many smiling faces! I don’t plan to stop writing so conferences can be a nice place for me to be.

The last one I went to was the Breathe Christian Writers Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I met some really nice people. I like that Breathe is within driving distance from my home. I don’t have to fly out anywhere, and I can still get all the same benefits. By the way, I love road trips!

My friends at Breathe have been so kind! They published a few of my articles on their blog. This is the latest: http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/2322.html Oh, and here are a few sights from previous conferences. And please read my article on Breathe!

Award-winning-mosaic! The "Crucifixion." Breathe Christian Writer's Conference  in Michigan (There's no place like home!), October 2014.
Award-winning-mosaic! The “Crucifixion.” Breathe Christian Writer’s Conference, Oct. 2014.

Rodeo Drive--California Writer's Conference, Mar. 2014.
Sunset Blvd.–California Writer’s Conference, March 2014.

Hollywood!--California Writers Conference, March 2014.
Hollywood–California Writer’s Conference, March 2014.

The view from my hotel room.:) Las Vegas Writer's Conference, October 2013.
The view from my hotel room.:) Las Vegas Writer’s Conference, October 2013.

Words.

I search for them. They’re not always easy to find. It’s easier to find them when I’m writing to myself. Sometimes they come pouring out. When I write to others, I edit many times. Why? I have so much to say, but I fear that others won’t like my…words. I fear that others won’t be able to relate.

So. I go over words. Again, and again. Until I’m tired, and until it’s late. Until my bed is shouting out my name! Finally, I execute in hopes that my words are good. Positive feedback means the world! When you write–words. When you write–thoughts. Especially when they come from that innermost place.

I sometimes try to imagine I’m having a cup of coffee with a friend while I write. It helps. It reminds me that the world is more compassionate than I think. I don’t have to be afraid of anything. Words are more powerful than you know. Don’t underestimate them.

It’s worth it to write! It’s worth taking the time! Not only to practice the art, but to explore who you are. Who you are meant to touch and who you are meant to meet. In turn, you are also touched! All because someone read your…words. All because someone read your…heart. It’s a beautiful thing.

Not Without God Book Signing at Barnes & Noble Booksellers!

Tonight I would like to share some photos. These are just a few pictures from my Book Signing at Barnes & Noble last Sunday! Many friends showed up, and some brought their families too! I’m grateful to have such kind and caring friends. Some people that I had never met came just to hear me speak. After my speaking engagement, I gave a short Q and A at the end. Some stayed around and chatted and socialized. People got copies of my latest (my first!) book, Not Without God signed! I’ll never forget it! I had so much fun!

I remember going to Borders and Barnes & Noble book stores through college. Remember, Borders? Yeah. They went out of business. Thankfully, Barnes & Noble book stores have not! I’d meet friends and study there, or go alone to browse at the books in the aisles. I’d grab a cup of coffee or favorite drink at the time, and plant myself in the café reading and writing for hours. I still enjoy doing this. It’s great to have everything you want at the stroke of your fingertips: Amazon, eBay, and the wealth of knowledge we have on the Internet.

But there is something special about going to the book store–holding a book, flipping through the pages, sipping on hot chocolate, learning new things, and meeting friends! I had a feeling I would be here. What do I mean? I knew my words would be mixed in with all the others, pages, chapters, and books. Here I am. It’s what I knew I would do! It’s fascinating! I look forward to more speaking engagements, more signings, and more friends!

Happy New Year!

Today I would like to share some photos with you. The pictures are from book signings, writer’s conferences, and speaking events. I thought this would be a nice way to recap, and prepare for the New Year! These pics may give you a glimpse into my life, and what it is like to be a writer. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed the moments they were taken.

The gorgeous view from the balcony of my hotel room at a writer’s conference in Las Vegas! When I got to the hotel, it felt surreal.

In CALIFORNIA after another writer’s conference last year in March, enjoying the beautiful scenery!

 

What an exhilarating time! I shared with my friend Millie’s non-profit group at a speaking engagement in April.

 

Reading an excerpt from my book, Not Without God at a book-signing sponsored by Beztak Homes last September! So fun!

 

A special moment with Linda and her daughter, Sara!

The “Not Without God” cake at my book party in November. My sister-in-law shocked me when she walked into the room with this! So awesome!

Happy 2015! Thank you to everyone, I had a great year! I wont forget it. I look forward to our friendship for many years to come.

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.

Writing is an Art

“Thoughts” ~ by 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 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 Writer’s Soul

From theexaminer.com

I first learned of Virginia Woolf in a class I took in college years ago. I loved my English classes; I got to read literature, often times historical literature, and a lot of it was about different writers or people who have made an impact. I learned about American classic writers such as Henry David Thoreau, Edgar Allen Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederick Douglas, Sylvia Plath, and others.

It’s striking to me that both Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf committed suicide. I tried to make the connection, and found it interesting that they were both writers. I mean I’ve heard before that artists can be more inclined to things such as depression and mental illness. I find it so sad that these talented women died by taking their own lives.

I came across this quote and it spoke to my heart so I wanted to share it. Whenever I’m done writing I feel a sense of relief. But many thoughts I have remain. There is so much more I want to say. Sometimes I hold back. Writers can be good at doing that. I would love for my works to reflect ALL the secrets of my soul, experiences of my life, and qualities of my mind!

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.

 

My Christmas Note

Dear friends,

This is a Christmas letter I shared with close contacts earlier today. I wanted to share it with you, my readers because you have really supported me in my writing too. Thank YOU! Please click on this link: http://eepurl.com/baae45.

If you would like to receive news such as book-signings, speaking events, or periodical updates please click on this link here: http://eepurl.com/19Hl1. to subscribe to occasional newsletters.

Merry Christmas to you and your families!

May the joy, peace, and light of Christmas be with you now and through the new year!

Sincerely,

 

~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 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.

Writing is Remedy

My article was shared on the Breathe Christian Writers Conference blog earlier today, and I wanted to share it! Here is the link http://breatheconference.com/home/featured-articles/writing-is-remedy.html it describes how writing helped me in the most difficult time in my life, after my accident. It also explains how writing is a hobby of mine, and how I’ve been drawn to it all my life.

Writing is a remedy. Writing helps me heal. Writing helps me grow.

I went to the conference for the first time in October of this year. I made new friends, and it was nice to connect with other writers in my home state of Michigan. I plan on going to Breathe again. I was honored to write this article, and have it shared on their website. I look forward to learning more about the art of writing there!

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.

My Writing Life

Found on pinterest.com

This is how I feel about my writing. There is so much I want to say. Many thoughts I have remain, and they keep piling up. Little by little, I get them out. Each time I express myself, I feel relieved. Still it’s not enough. It’s never enough. I hold back at times. I don’t want to say too much. So I write again and again. Writers can get good at holding back. I have so much to say. So much I want to share. Not enough time. Sometimes not enough guts.

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.

Book-signing party!

Not Without God cake!I had an incredible time last night! I really appreciated everyone coming out on a very cold day. Being an author is so enjoyable! It’s amazing that God keeps opening doors. I feel blessed, and grateful for this purpose. To be able to reach others through my writing is a gift.

I signed and personalized books. I gave a short talk called A Few Ways to Overcome Adversity. It’s a spin-off from a podcast I am going to post. I got positive feedback from the guests. It was a great night! As you can see in the photo, my sister-in-law created this wonderful cake! It was perfect.

Not Without God: A Story of Survival books were sold as well as Not Without God: A Story of Survival bracelets. Copies of my book and bracelets are both available online. Visit my website: http://zinahermez.com. I gave a free copy of Not Without God to our book raffle winner, Jeff! It was a night filled with laughter, love, friendship, and fun!

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.

Why I Write

From the examiner.com

 

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 Book Signing!

What a wonderful memory! This pic was taken on Apr. 30 at my speaking event “How to Live Your Vision and Overcome Your Challenges with Zina Hermez.” Dan won our book prize! book raffle

I had the opportunity to speak to all of the A2 LEAP entrepreneurs, thanks to my good friend, Millie Chu. A2 LEAP is her non profit organization. A2 LEAP stands for: Authentically Awesome (A2), Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Achievers, and Professionals (LEAP)! Isn’t that cool? She’s pictured with me below. On November 21, 2014 at 6pm. I will have another Book event. If you are in the Michigan area, we would love to have you! If you would like to travel, we’d love for you to join us! Please sign up here to receive updates about my book events! http://eepurl.com/19Hl1.wpapr30wm

 

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.

How Writing Helps

Do you have any hobbies? What are they? Writing has been a hobby for me. I’ve been drawn to it, and I’ve always written. I wrote when I was in the second grade. I’ll never forget winning my first story contest in elementary school. I won a few. My teacher was so proud that she designed a nice booklet for me with all of my stories.

The first loss I ever experienced was losing that book. When I couldn’t find it, I remember searching the basement tirelessly for at least a couple of hours. I could’ve misplaced it, but it was my first heartbreak. I was so sad. My first award, and here, I lost it.

I wrote letters addressed to God each night at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital after my accident as a teen. I poured out the sorrows, hopes, and prayers of my heart in the most difficult time in my life.

I wrote through college–successes, heart breaks, frustrations, and accomplishments. I kept thick journals, and wrote often when I felt the urge. I had to get out my emotions and thoughts.

I wrote as a child. I wrote as a teen. I wrote in college. I’m still writing… I believe writing is a great release. I know it has a healing effect on me. I believe it can help all of us.

 

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.

 

 

Three Basic Tips on How to Become a Writer

I went to the Breathe Conference yesterday, and I got back earlier today. I always like going to Writers conferences because they are a nice short getaway. You also get to meet other writers, and spend a little time bonding with others who have the same interests that you do. Writing can be a lonely experience. Instead of being at a desk behind your computer, you can get out there and share!

You can pick and choose which workshops you would like to go to. Breathe had four or five seminars going at one time so there were options. Some of the workshops I went to were on how to start and maintain a writing career, how to create good dialogue in your writing, and how to add cool graphics to your website/blogs.

All of them had great information, and were very interesting. One of my favorites was the one about adding graphics to your blog. I gained a lot of new information. Some of the tips and suggestions in the other workshops I’d already heard before, although I did learn some new things.

Have you ever thought about becoming a writer?

Here are a few simple things you can do:

Connect with other writers: join a writers’ group, attend a writers’ conference, share your writing with your friends or family, find an accountability partner (that was a new piece of advice I learned at the conference). I really like that one!

Start a blog. I know it sounds intimidating. If you’re really worried about your grammar and spelling, or unsure about what to write. Let me know maybe I can help you. Your blog should have a focus. Who would be your ideal audience?

Reading others writing can really help, and it is a great way to write well. Reading and writing go hand in hand. The best writers are the best readers. I have shared this with my students before. Make reading a priority.

I’m looking into starting a writers group. Let me know if you’re interested! I would like to meet at least once a month…

 

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.

 

“The Crucifixion” ~ by Mia Tavonatti

photo
“The Crucifixion” ~ by Mia Tavonatti

This huge stained glass mosaic took my breath away at the Writers conference today. It is located in the Grand Rapids Theological Seminary in the Matthews Performing Arts Center. As soon as I saw it I fell in love so I wanted to share. It was an art prize winner for all of Grand Rapids, and you can see it takes up much of the wall. The colors are vibrant and beautiful, and even brighter than in this photo. I had never been to Cornerstone University or Grand Rapids Theological Seminary before today. But I went to a few great workshops, and met some really nice people so I’m looking forward to the workshops that will be held tomorrow as well!

 

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.

Breathe Christian Writers Conference

Hi everyone,

I’m excited to go to Breathe Christian Writers conference this weekend! I haven’t been to Breathe yet, and I’ve heard great things about it. I love to meet new people, and I will be able meet writers in my home state of Michigan. It will be nice to get some questions answered and exchange information.

I’ve met many writers, but both of the conferences I’ve been to so far were outside of my state. I went to a conference in Las Vegas last year in October, then I went to another conference in Las Angeles earlier this year in March. I will stay closer to home.

I love this time of year – the fall! I look forward to the drive, relaxing, and staying in a nice hotel. It will be a short getaway, only for one night but it should be fun. I’m thinking of it as a gift to myself after a lot of hard work, and I want to celebrate the release of “Not Without God,” my book!

I also registered for a poetry workshop called “Perspectives on Writing and the Poet’s Life” with Matthew Landrum. I’ve been really interested in poetry lately, and I’ve added a poetry section to my blog so I’m looking forward to the workshop.

Have you ever been to a Writers conference before? Did I peak your interest? You can learn a lot about writing, marketing, and speaking there. Let me know if you have any questions about what happens at a Writer’s conference, and I will be happy to answer in the comments.

 

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.

 

Not Without God Book Launch

Hello friends,

Not Without God: A Story of Survival will be available in bookstores across the country tomorrow, October 7. It is already being shipped out. Will you be a part of my team? I NEED your help. I am asking you–my friends, and family.

A few ways you can help:

Have you bought my book? If not this would be a good time because I’m giving away a free Not Without God bracelet with each purchase now through Friday, October 10. I’m offering this promotion to celebrate! Just visit: http://www.zinahermez.com.

Facebook Share: I’m hoping to see Facebook shares with a link to my website where others can purchase the book over the next few days at http://zinahermez.com. These shares today and tomorrow would be great!

Twitter Update: Are you a Tweeter? I’ll need your help. If you follow me on Twitter please Retweet any book posts or links you see, or feel free to tweet my link on your own: http://zinahermez.com.

I hope you’re in! I would be so grateful, I would never have come to this point without all of your help!

Yours truly,

 

Zina Hermez

Author, Not Without God

 

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.

Not Without God – an Excerpt

Today I’d like to share a passage from my book Not Without God: A Story of Survival. As you may already know my life is a miracle, and so is the ability to walk after an accident that left me paralyzed as a teen. In the hospital I kept a journal, and each night at midnight—under my covers, with my flashlight in one hand and a pencil and pad in the other, with 10,000 Maniacs playing “These Are The Days” and “Garden of Eden” in the background—I would write.

Here is a journal entry I wrote.

“Dear God, I believe You are with me—listening to me and answering my prayers. I feel lucky. I have You here. That’s because I’ve opened my heart, and I’m trying to more and more every day. I don’t know how I got so lucky. Because before this accident I didn’t know exactly how You worked. I was insecure because I didn’t know who I was.”

I would ask God to make me a better person. I was confused. I knew there was a God and that He was mighty, but I couldn’t grasp everything. I believed my prayers were answered through my tragedy. I was thankful, and I felt lucky that God saved me from the accident. The outpouring of love and support made me feel even more fortunate.

The passage continues.

“But now it’s like I have found myself, I know who I am, what I want, where I am going. And I’m sure of myself. I don’t know. But no matter what, I’m thankful. How did I get so lucky for you to help me and save me from the accident? And help me see clearly. I know it came from You.”

Every time I feel upset or down I try to revisit this place. A place where I was simply thankful (for breath and life). It makes all the other stuff seem not so important. I return to thankfulness and gratitude. This was a turning point, and it is from Chapter 2 of my book.

 

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.

Not Without God book event!

My first book-signing party took place earlier this month on September 5. Sponsored by Beztak Homes and held right in my hometown, I had a wonderful time. Many supportive friends came out on a stormy night. I gave a talk that was centered on a speaking engagement I’ve given called, “How to Live Your Vision and Overcome Your Challenges!”

friends
With my friend Samara!

Not Without God: A Story of Survival books were displayed as well as bracelets that I designed. I made the bracelets to match the colors of my book. Copies of my book are available now on my website at http://zinahermez.com. People were purchasing both, and I signed and personalized the books. There were appetizers, networking, friendship, and fun! It was very nice.

I was able to share my story and offer simple methods on how I healed after my accident with tips like prayer, exercise, keeping a journal, and more… I read a few excerpts from my book.

I opened with a quote that is one of my favorites, “Love is a force that is able to heal the worst of situations.” I explained to my audience how love saved my life after my accident in 1994 through the care of doctors, nurses, family, and friends. I then challenged my audience to ask themselves how they could give or invite more of this love into their life. The kind of love that has the power to heal and the power to save. The kind of love that I experienced.

Our prize drawing was a copy of my book, Not Without God. The winner, Elizabeth, was excited and that really meant a lot. She assured me the book could not have come at a better time since she is going through a divorce. She also said she really needed to hear my talk that night. I appreciated the feedback. It’s always a blessing to receive responses like this after I’m done speaking, or after someone has read my writing.

I’m rapidly approaching the launch of my book, Not Without God! It will be released in October and available online or at your favorite bookstore! It is available in bookstores and online right now for pre-order. I will attend a Writer’s conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan next month. I really look forward to meeting a few writers there that I have only met on line, and I also look forward to making new friends. I’m grateful for all of the love and support I have received. It is a busy, but exciting time!

 

The Benefits of Being in Groups

My friend Millie invited me to speak to her non-profit organization, A2 LEAP last Wednesday in Michigan. A2 LEAP stands for: Authentically Awesome (A2), Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Achievers, and Professionals (LEAP)! Isn’t that cool? I’m a member of this dynamic and thriving group. I was able to share my story with them, and offer some tips on how I healed after my accident with a little bit of my writing. It was such a wonderful experience.mespeak

One of our prize drawings was a copy of my book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. The winner was excited, and it was really neat to witness that. The event was called, “How to Live Your Vision and Overcome Your Challenges! by Zina Hermez.” I knew some of the people there and had already become friends with them at previous events. Some of the faces were new, but everyone was friendly and warm welcomed me. I started off my speech by thanking them. After I was finished, I got some really great feedback. I can’t remember the last time I went to sleep so happy!

Almost two weeks ago, I launched my new website: http://zinahermez.com Please take a look, and let me know what you think. I will be adding a “Speaking” tab to it very soon. I’m blessed because I get to do what I love—write and speak. I feel a sense of peace. I’m grateful for the new friendships I’ve made. In general, I’m grateful for all of the love and support I have received. It feels so good to be here. Despite everything I went through, I am embarking upon a new journey. I am thrilled.

I had a nice time in church on Sunday. I was invited to attend a class as part of a Learning Labs series. One of our topics was God’s place in logic and reason. The class is taught by a physicist and expert in Biblical apologetics. It’s refreshing to see someone in medicine take on this approach. I look forward to upcoming classes, because apologetics is an area I would like to learn more about.

I’ve always enjoyed being a part of groups. How about you? Have you joined any groups lately? Tell me about them. I think being in groups can be very healthy. You are welcome to share your thoughts with me in the comments.

I’m grateful for these kinds of opportunities and I welcome them. I love to learn, meet new people, inspire, and be inspired whenever I can!

 

Author 101 University – Los Angeles

I attended Author 101 University last weekend in Los Angeles, California. It was a nice event and I had a lot of fun. My publishers at Morgan James Publishing were there, and it was nice to see them and watch them speak at the event. Rick Frishman puts on and hosts the conference two times a year. He is one of my publishers at Morgan James, and he is also the founder of Media Connect.

A few presenters that I really liked were John Assaraf, Wendy Lipton-Dibner, and Barbara De Angelis. They had some interesting things to say about life and writing. I also got to see my nieces, Megan and Fayth. Both of them live in California, and they came to the hotel to visit. I stayed at The Westin Los Angeles Airport, which was where the event took place.

I enjoyed it. Fayth goes to school in Santa Barbara, and she had a two-hour drive to the hotel. It was nice of her to pick me up from the airport on Friday, and drop me off on Monday morning. I really appreciated that and the time I got to spend with hePic14Sunsetblvdr and Megan.

The event ended at 2pm on Sunday, and then my nieces and I went to Hollywood in the evening. I wanted to do some sight-seeing, since I’d traveled all the way to California from Michigan. I had never been to Hollywood so we went to Hard Rock Café on Hollywood Boulevard for dinner. Then we took a nice drive through West Hollywood at night. I was able to see Sunset Boulevard and Beverly Hills. It was really pretty with the palm trees and lights.

Of course the weather was just perfect there all weekend!

A Holiday Letter

Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.” –Oren Arnold

Dear friends,

I have some exciting news to share with all of you. I’m happy to announce that my first book, “Not Without God: A Story of Survival” will be released in the spring/summer of 2014 by Morgan James Publishing, http://publishing.morgan-james.com/.

It chronicles how I dealt with and overcame debilitating injuries that left me paralyzed after my accident. It’s about how I walked again through my faith, hard work, and determination.

How I was able to get through college and earn two degrees. How I became a successful teacher. How I’m independent and able to take care of myself.

It offers hope, insight, and ways to heal not just for people with disabilities but for anyone facing adversity in their life. My prayer is that it inspires anyone dealing with any kind of challenge.

I couldn’t ask for a greater Christmas present!

I would like to thank you, my readers who have supported me on my writing journey since I started this blog in June of 2012. It feels surreal. I can’t wait to hold my published book in my hands!

My life has changed so much these last two years. I’ve been active in writer’s groups both off-line and on-line. The blogging and writing courses I’ve taken have helped me strengthen and develop my craft.

I’ve always enjoyed teaching and I have been an educator for over ten years. I have taught multiple subjects to hundreds of students of all ages, from many different backgrounds and cultures.

But the reason I majored in English was not primarily to teach, it was to write. I feel so blessed now that I’m doing what I’ve always dreamed.

Merry Christmas to all!

My First Writer’s Conference

“We cannot discover new oceans until we have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”–Gide

I attended Author 101 University this past weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. I really enjoyed it. There were many authors and publishers at the event. It was nice to meet and talk with those who have really supported my writing, and thank them.

The schedule was packed with speakers, and each of them freely shared their knowledge and expertise on writing and marketing. I received a lot of good information. One of my favorite presenters was Cynthia Kersey, http://cynthiakersey.com She talked about her non-profit organization, “The Unstoppable Foundation,” http://unstoppablefoundation.org.

Her mission is to make sure that every child on the planet receives the gift of education. She builds schools in Africa. This is where forty-three percent of all of the children in the world not receiving education, live.

Many of us were exchanging business cards and information, and I made some good connections. I met people who have the same ambitions as mine – to reach others with their message. I became friends with Veronica Brooks http://veronicabrooks.com, who also attended the conference. She writes to empower women and help them succeed by taking care of their finances.

I stayed at the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa, which sits on 54 acres. This is also where the meetings took place. I couldn’t see the entire hotel in one short weekend. With several restaurants, a pool, spa, and casino, to name just a few of the amenities. The hotel was filled with so much beauty; I wanted to stay another week. But I had to come back. Back to reality. Back to my day-to-day life. Back to Michigan.

It was a great experience.

I hope to one day go back there again.

Dear friends on WordPress,

Whether I know you personally or not, at some point you stumbled upon my website or found me for some reason. Thanks for your support! I hope that through my challenge, you’ve seen an example of faith and persistence. And maybe your challenges have seemed a little less–that is my hope.

Thank you for reading my story and my notes. It gives me a reason to write. Writing is a great release.

I’ve explained what has happened in my blogs and I’ve been documenting my story. Since June of 2012, I’ve been writing about my hopes for recovery while at the same time, attempting to reach out to readers like yourselves.

I’ve gotten some positive feedback. One of my favorites was an email I received from a man named Fouad out of Berkeley, California. He stumbled upon my article on Spinalcordinjuryzone.com and said he was moved by it. I want to share some of his email:

He wrote: “Your attitude has strengthened my faith in God and my hope that one day my daughter will walk again. She was in a car accident three years ago, at eighteen years old while on her way to a friend’s house.”

Her situation is similar to mine in that I was also in high school at the time of my accident. Her level is a C6 Spinal Cord Injury.

He continued: “She has been a fighter like you; with her faith in Jesus and her hope, the injury never stopped her from pursuing her goals. She will be graduating from U of C Berkeley. Doctors say it is a complete injury, but we’ve witnessed some indications that it is not.”

I’m posting the link to the article he read below in case you want to read it:

http://www.spinalcordinjuryzone.com/info/11368/a-few-quick-tips-on-how-i-heal

People with spinal-cord injuries are not always given enough hope. Sometimes they are released from physical therapy too early, or they don’t have enough insurance to cover the high costs. I want to tell people they don’t have to give up on hope for recovery, that is why Fouad’s email is touching for me.

If you could offer any ideas or suggestions, maybe links or resources where I could write more on this topic please let me know. I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you for your support!

P.S. I met with my new rehab. doctor today who is very hopeful about me learning how to walk with only one cane. I’m starting PT two times a week in his new facility this week and I’m excited about it. Will keep you posted on further updates!

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 11,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 18 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

How it has helped me to write

Have you ever had a hobby? Anything you’ve always liked to do? Maybe you didn’t love doing it, but you were somehow drawn to it? For me it has been to write. Walking was the hard part. Writing about it is easier. I’ve always written. I wrote when I was in the second grade. I’ll never forget winning my first story contest in elementary school. I won a few. My teacher was so proud; she designed a nice booklet for me comprised of all my stories made out of colorful construction paper. I’ll never forget it. It was such an accomplishment.

The first loss I ever experienced was losing that book. When I couldn’t find it, I remember searching the basement tirelessly for a couple of hours. My mom could’ve misplaced it, but it was my first heartbreak. I was so sad.

At sixteen in the hospital I wrote, after my accident. Hooked up to machines with a breathing tube stuck down my throat, the first few weeks I had to write. It was the only way to communicate, I couldn’t talk. I still have all my notes of black marker scribbles on white and yellow cut outs from hospital flyer sheets. They are saved in my closet, in a big bag with every word on every card that every person ever wrote to me. They are treasures.

In the Rehab. floor after the ICU I wrote. I wrote letters to God each night. I poured out the sorrows, hopes, and dreams of my heart in what was the most difficult time in my life.

I wrote through college, successes, heartbreaks, frustrations or accomplishments. I kept thick journals writing each night, or when I felt the urge. I jotted down my emotions and thoughts. The reason I majored in English was not to teach, it was to write. Finally, I’m trying to achieve my heart’s dream. I can’t help but feel fear. But C.S. Lewis said, “Failures are the finger posts on the road to achievement.” I need to remember that.

I wrote as a child. I wrote as a teen. I wrote in college. I’m writing as an adult. Writing is a great release. “Writing has helped me heal. Writing has changed my life.” – Louise Desalvo I couldn’t agree more, I believe writing in some way can help save our lives.

Tomorrow morning I’m giving my first on line presentation to other teachers for Global LT, the company I work for. I would appreciate your prayers and thoughts. I remind myself it’s no different from teaching a classroom, but I can’t help but feel a little nervous. My topic is “How to Include Writing in Your Lessons,” of course. It just seems appropriate : ) It’s time to share what I’ve learned, in the classroom and outside.

How about you? Do you have any hobbies you like? Anything you ever feel compelled to do? Feel free to share in the notes.

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