Out of the Storm!

15FDA52C-7FDE-4923-97CE-B92760292861.jpegI’m able to maintain a sense of inner peace even when there are storms all around me. I questioned myself the other day. Someone else in my situation may not feel this way. How could I be? Then I was reminded that happiness lies within us. The waters may be rising in anticipation of a flood, but you may be content. The flood waters will not “swallow you up.” I remembered, again, that happiness comes from deep within. It doesn’t lie in material things, nor does it lie in your status. It’s not in any labels you add. It comes from within. It’s a permanent happiness you can possess. It’s the one that is reborn every time the temporal happiness ceases to exist.

Whenever you start to feel unhappy, remember that eventually you will return to that place. Let go of worries, fears, selfish desires, pressure, disappointments, or the desire to win! Permanent happiness can only come from within. We are meant to be happy creatures, but culture often teaches us there is a void. We may feel we ‘need to have’ this or that, in order to be fulfilled. Just take a look at the world around us. It’s wonderful to be thankful, and no one would be happy about living in poverty, for example, but really count your blessings, and realize how much you have, you will think about what you are missing much less!

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.