Heaven Is For Real!

“Life has a myriad of opportunities that await us!”

As I read this line, I almost can’t believe I wrote it. All of the positive things I’ve written, make so much sense, but none of them feel as powerful as they once did—since I lost my father a month ago. Dad departed this earth and went to heaven on November 23, 2019, and my life will never be the same again. My dad and I were close. While I know he is in a better place, and I don’t mean that to sound cliché, I still miss him so very much!

My mind swirls with things I could’ve done different, more time I could’ve spent, I am filled with sadness, and the pain of knowing I won’t get to see him on a daily basis anymore really hurts. I visited him every chance I got and was his caregiver for many years. I really watched over him as best I could! Apparently, that wasn’t enough. The disease still got him in the end. It’s hard for me to even write this post.

I don’t want to work anymore. I wonder why I aspired to do so much before this, my dad was more important to me than anyone. If only I hadn’t traveled, if only I hadn’t extended myself and been so busy, if only I would’ve stayed at home more.

While I know it was REALLY hard for him here, I am still sad that he is not with me anymore. I keep thinking, if only I had more time… At the same time I know there is hope, I feel a peace and warmth of love that I have never quite felt before. It is coming from my dad and Jesus. With that said, I’d like to leave you with this video—this miraculous story that I believe to be true!

It was a book that became a New York Times bestseller that sold over 13,000,000 copies and even became a movie! This is a one-of-a-kind interview with Pastor Todd and Colton Burpo! I have had some correspondence with them by email and they are genuine people. I am sure you will be able to spot that from watching the video.

Heaven is for real, yes, and we will be there. Heaven is a journey, also, not only a destination. Our journey to heaven has already begun. With that said, one piece of scripture I want to leave you with is this one: “So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything (John 16:22-23).” ~Jesus

And I hope you enjoy the video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmNrQ7Smung

With much love & respect,




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, Mercedes-Benz, and she’s worked with students of all ages, K-adult. 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.



A Tribute and A Prayer

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

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

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

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

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

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

The good news is…

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

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

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

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

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

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