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.

God Is One of Restoration and Hope☀️

What is it you want out of life? For example, do you have the gift of giving? Psychologists say it is those who give that receive the most. If you say you want a Mercedes Benz or a bigger house than the one you’re in, ask yourself if what you want is practical. I mean, is it necessary? What you value means so much. How about more basic wants like health or a happy home? If you already have those things, be thankful.

Think about what you want. As it says in the Bible, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.” I want enough love to fill my life, and I have learned that I mainly need the Lord, first and foremost. I profess what I believe in, but I don’t speak to everyone’s heart. But what matters to me more than anything is the love I have from the Lord and my desire to do what I can while I’m here.

 It is also those that provide the most who others take for granted, though. Since I have experienced this, I couldn’t help but touch on it. How often, due to our selfless effort, is our effort taken for granted? I am sure if you take a look at your past, you will see he’s always been there for you. 

So I have a feeling that all that hurt me when I was young won’t hurt me at all one day anymore. 

God has this way of taking our brokenness and turning it into something beautiful, something we’ve never seen before. Maybe you prayed for something but haven’t got your answer; perhaps it’s been years. God has been working on it all along. 

God was working for you before you prayed about it. 

He knows what we need when we need it, and he wants us to have it. Again, I feel the Lord telling me to keep on believing and working hard. He will lead me to situations of acceptance where people are warm and friendly.

I used to blame that I got abandoned on the accident I had at sixteen years old. Sure, some would not want to hang around with someone different out of fear of not being accepted or out of not doing things they want—like going hiking, for example. Abandoned more for who I am, though; I’m glad certain people have left. As I got older, I have learned that my faith has often set me apart. I would not want anyone to be in a friendship with me out of obligation or pressure.


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 people are among her hobbies. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, or Twitter.

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.