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. 

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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.

“Angels Among Us”

God has sent angels to help me along the way. This road has been rocky, I’ve needed them. There are a few who stand out, and will be forever in my heart. Regina, my nurse in the Intensive Care Unit is one of them. I didn’t know what the next day would bring, if I would wake up, or how many more breaths I would take. She was my anchor, and I clung onto her for dear life. I nicknamed her “Regu” for short. That’s just me, in the midst of pain and unpredictability; I found a way to joke. My personality grew on her.

She was the first to tell me I would walk. She said the Lord told her so in a dream. I was running to her in it. “Regina, Regina, thank you!” in the dream I said. I’m not running yet Regina, but I still believe in your dream. The Lord has brought me far. I’m still holding onto that faith.

Dennis came to visit. I worked with him briefly at a fruit market just before my accident, for about a few months in the summer/fall of 1994. This man was amazing. He always had a smile on his face. He was always singing hymns to God. I thought this was strange. I never knew anyone that way. Each time he saw me in the isle, he made me smile. “Zina, smile, let me see that beautiful smile, come on smile,” he would say. I’ll never forget it. I couldn’t walk past him until I smiled! He responded after my accident. I didn’t know him very long, but he brought flowers and came to visit on the weekends. He brought prayer booklets, and talked to me about God and faith.

My left arm was stuck at a 90 degree angle from the crash. The orthopedic therapists could not get it straight. It was a team of two women trying for about a month. One day, Dennis got up and stood next to my bed. He held my left arm gently at my elbow and began to intently pray. He was talking to God. After several minutes, my arm began to get warm, and was starting to stretch. I wasn’t afraid, I trusted him. I knew what he was doing was okay. After around fifteen minutes, finally he got my arm straight! God straightened my arm that day through Dennis. I’ll never forget it.

If God didn’t heal my arm through Dennis, I would’ve never gotten up on parallel bars. I would’ve never been able to use crutches as I do now. Imagine trying to get up on bars or walk with walking devices with an arm stuck at 90 degrees? It’s not possible. Dennis performed a healing work on me. I thank God for the angels he’s sent along the way.