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.

I’m someone who wants to maintain a relationship with the Lord!

After the catastrophic accident I was in, I went in a state of denial. I thought my life would go back to the way it was before, ‘normal.’ I thought I would walk again, freely. 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 learned to accept my differences.

I have overcome some grave challenges. Learning how to walk again, when some doctors predicted I wouldn’t has been a huge miracle. I learned how to drive again by nineteen years old. By twenty, I was back to work. 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.

Life began to bloom through a different lens. I prayed and 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. Giving thanks is like a weapon. When you thank God for all you’ve got, it not only heals you but gives you more strength. Praise is not something I have to work at. God has brought me through so much. I am 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; 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. Friendships happened again. 

* * *

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

But I give all the glory to God. I have learned that even when we are in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, like I was, it doesn’t have to be the end. Everything is in God’s hands. Sometimes we suffer and there is no way to avoid it. But as it says in the Bible, the greater the sorrow, the more joy you will experience. “Truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy” (John 16:20).

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. She’s appeared in Christianity Today and the Southern Writers magazine more than once. 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 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.

Have your dreams been met?🙏✨🌟

Have you found what you’ve been searching for? Do you know what it is? Have you accomplished what you’ve been dreaming about? If not, how can you get to it? There is no limit to what God can do. But we are the miracle workers, too. Without Him we can do nothing, but we have to do something to start! We can be co-workers with God!

When you are praying for your wishes to come true, you are RECEIVING, too. Whether you realize it or not, God is giving. You open the gateway. The Holy Spirit gives you guidance. You may not hear directly from the Lord. However, once you ask or make prayer requests, there is an unfolding of events that take place and you eventually get your answers.

The essence of faith is the ability to see something good in your life with no evidence.

Although everything does not turn out the way we want it to. There is God’s will, and there is our will—they don’t always coincide. The sooner you accept that the happier you will be. Take heart, though, God knows what is best for you, when something doesn’t work out the way you want it to—remember, God could’ve been shielding you, or teaching you a life-lesson.

There will be new experiences, you will plan, hope, and believe!

When I got out of the hospital after my accident at sixteen, I got settled at home, I pondered upon how I would go back to school. I was active before it. It took me a long time to adjust and even think of myself as beautiful. I knew that life would be difficult. I wondered what it would be like. I wondered if I would make new friends, or have a career like I always wanted.

I wondered about my future, a lot.

I hoped that I would one day walk again, and indeed, I am, but not the way I expected to. I use crutches (the kind with the rings around the arms) because of weakness, pain and tightness. Considering the fact that there were a few physicians who predicted I would not walk at all, I have made huge progress.

I held onto what I knew–God would get me through, because that is his promise!

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!

I’m someone who wants to maintain a relationship with the Lord. Even when friendships 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.

Making God your best friend can prepare you for any life event. Throughout my life, I’ve asked God what to do. Jesus says “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever” (John 14:16).

The advocate is the Holy Spirit, and He will lead and guide you. Get to know God as soon as you can. Talk to God like you would your best friend.  Was there a time when you knew that only he could help? Were you ever in a desperate place? A minute to minute, moment to moment, dependence-on-God-kind-of-place?

Maybe you weren’t too spiritual when you encountered it, or maybe you were but then needed Him more than ever before!!!💫

About Zina

5A1B90A4-7231-46E9-A9FD-907EC16171A5Zina Hermez authored the best-selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Southern Writers Magazine, various guest blogs, medical journals, newsletters, and she’s written over 200 of her very own 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 worked with students of all ages. She began her own teaching services incorporating math and other subjects. Her writing endeavors have 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 trips, listening to music, and networking are among her hobbies.  You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter.

 

 

True Love Came To Visit

I sought after God at a young age. It wasn’t until after I had my accident that I REALLY experienced His love. I felt it through others. What I mean is, I found it in the three short months I spent in the hospital. As strange as it may seem, for the first time—my life had meaning. I had all these injuries and had become paralyzed, but I was still searching.

I lived in a good neighborhood and went to a good school. But I would ask God questions about life, and about what it all means. I knew there was more beyond what I could see. Then I got my answers. True love came to visit me in that hospital room.

Through compassion from doctors, nurses, and loved ones – I experienced a PEACE like none I had known. Life is so precious! When you are well, you may not necessarily feel like you “need the Lord.” But when you are sick, and hanging onto life by a string – you know it. And the way he comes in to rescue you is remarkable!

You can be in a desperate place, a minute to minute, moment to moment kind of place. I urge you to seek after him before the accident and before the diagnosis. It’s like not being prepared for a flood – if there were an “extreme” weather event, you probably would’ve wished you would’ve bought insurance. And luckily, most do. Buy insurance!

Invest in the One who can bring you security. Believe, read, pray, and seek! You will be better prepared in case there is an “emergency.” “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock (Matthew 7:24-25).”

God is love because He sent his only son, and he died and rose again for us! We have proof of it. His promise to redeem us from agony is proven to be true in the resurrection. There are reasons we go through what we do. We may not understand why. But if you pray and have faith through the pain, true love will reveal itself. Good things will happen to you again.

He will be the one listening while you’re in bed when you need to talk to a friend. He will be with you when you have anxiety. He will be with you when you have to go to the hospital to visit a loved one. He will be there. Every. Step. Every. Time. God truly is a fortress in our lives

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She works as an English as a second language Instructor, and has been an educator for almost twenty years. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest posts, newsletters, and medical journals as well as nearly 200 of her very own blog posts. To learn more about Zina visit: zinahermez.com.

A Moment of Thanks – An Excerpt from My Book

“All you need to know is that someone cares. A small detail, but it’s enough to turn your life around. Love changes things.” ~Zina

While in the hospital at sixteen I kept a journal, and each night at midnight—under my covers, with a flashlight in one hand and a pencil and pad in the other with music playing in the background—I would write. Here is one journal entry:

Dear God,

I believe You are with me—listening and answering my prayers. I feel lucky to have You. I’ve opened my heart, and I’m trying to more. I don’t know how I got so lucky because before the accident, I didn’t know how You worked. But now I have found myself, I know who I am, what I want, and where I’m going.

I was thankful God saved me, and because of the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, hospital staff, and even families of the other children– I felt worthy. I think love has the power to do that, take a broken teenager, and make them feel whole.

In moments of despair I can revisit this place, it will make anything I’m upset about small. Can you be thankful for a time in your life when things could’ve been worse? Focus on how God’s saving grace helped you. It is an act of THANKSGIVING!

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.

God is Love

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

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

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

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

 

About Zina

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

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

 

“Love Conquers All”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s hospital

The University of Michigan, C.S. Mott Children’s hospital is consistently ranked one of the top ten hospitals in the U.S., according to the U.S. News and World Report for 2012.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that injuries are the leading cause of death for children and adults ages one to forty-four. Motor accidents, falls, and assaults are the leading causes of trauma.

U of M is a level one trauma hospital. Higher levels of trauma centers such as U of M have trauma surgeons on call, trained in Neurosurgery and Orthopedics. U of M is prepared to deal with traumatic situations. They were prepared to deal with me!

I was flown to U of M via helicopter, and hospitalized there for nearly three months after my accident in Oct. 1994. Daily I had help, around the clock from amazing doctors, nurses, and staff who provided the best care! When my discharge date drew nearer, I was deeply saddened. I never wanted to leave. Who is ever sad to leave a hospital?

U of M became my home. I was safe there. Being in a wheelchair was okay. Being damaged was accepted. It took two to three nurses to turn me in bed from one side to the other, and a lift to put me in a wheelchair. I was paralyzed.

I developed a system. I learned how to deal with a catastrophic situation–Spinal Cord Injury. I was getting comfortable, but it was time to go home. I prayed to God during the day, and wrote letters to him at night. I took calls, socialized, visited with family and friends, and was being homeschooled. I attended all of my physical therapies.

How would my life be in a wheelchair? What was to become of me? How would I go back to school? What would my friends think? Would I have any? I was scared. Life sometimes happens whether or not we are prepared. Life happened to me.

I’ll always go back..

I saw my surgeons that operated on me in the first hours after my accident last week. I have x-rays of my spine every four to five years. I still see my Pediatric Orthopedic surgeon. It was a team who saved me!

I walked into the new Mott, which is beautiful by the way with vibrant colors. It’s good because it keeps the kids distracted. I was surrounded by children with differences, some like mine, some different. They were all accompanied by their parents. We all shared one common goal–to achieve hope and healing there. I was the only adult waiting to be seen.

My pediatric doctor has followed up with me from day one. After all these years it is nice she has stayed with me. I was in Pediatrics when my accident happened. I’m now 34. The x-rays of my spine looked good; she said there is no deterioration of my spine due to aging. A Nurse practitioner came in who remembered me, and a Physician’s assistant came in to meet me.

I went to see the other Orthopedic surgeon who operated on me. He works with adults but my Pediatric surgeon called him in at the time because she needed “help.” I was hurt so badly. He came in to shake my hand. I hugged him, and thanked him for saving my life.

It’s interesting, usually a doctor sits and examines you and starts asking questions. This doctor just sat–I didn’t shut up. Telling him how awesome I’m doing. How I do everything by myself, take out garbage, grocery shop, live alone, pay my own bills. He was amazed. I showed him and the nurse practitioner my walking. He said my walking with the crutches looked like a “normal gate.” That made me happy.

U of M is a leader in research to improve life for individuals with SCI. I’ll be happy to participate in upcoming studies, to improve the quality of life for people with SCI.

C.S. Mott Children’s at the University of Michigan, YOU are forever written on my heart…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pLlOl2wCh8