More Than a Teacher, My Latest Role

My dad got out of a nursing home last week (people don’t typically leave those places), and given his age and condition, he could use around the clock help and supervision. So I am wearing the hat of full time caregiver along with my mother and his aide, and I am thankful I can handle all of this!

This new position has required me to practically move back in with my parents (I have not given up my home, though :-), but this is after being on my own since I was 23 years old! My mom doesn’t have the frequent memory lapses, or ask repetitive questions or make repetitive statements like my dad does, but I do administer her medication because she has had more than one slip up, but I will save that for another article.

I am not only an extra set of hands and feet, but an extra pair of eyes, also. I distribute all their medicine, as I already mentioned. I don’t know if this will be a long term thing, but I know I am where I need to be now. One thing I have learned, is that whenever the universe has called you to do something that requires MORE of yourself, do it because if you don’t, you are passing up a chance to make a difference. When you don’t take the opportunity to help, you are the one losing.95CC7B90-376C-48E7-A3AD-7B36DD1AF0F6.png

My dad has general weakness (due to his heart disease) and he’s on oxygen. Interestingly enough, when I watch him and my mom socialize (more like, hear them from my bedroom where I spend most of my time there), it seems like he never left! You can tell they are happy he is finally home, and I am also!

Sometimes in life we have to make sacrifices, and it may not seem right or even comfortable to make the choice to give up so much of our free time, or to change our regular pattern and lifestyle, but keep in mind that Jesus did not come to teach us to be independent, but to depend and rely on one another! 

I have been on my own for so long and have always had an adventurous spirit. I have sought out to get what I can out of life and have tired myself just to make my dreams come alive! I am all about opportunity and freedom. I believe that all too often we put ourselves first, though, and not attend to others. We live in what seems to be a “me me me” culture.

Living with my parents takes me back to my past, and it was imperfect, I didn’t have the best of childhoods. I searched for God a lot before my accident, meaning, I knew he was there, and I strongly felt his presence. But I wanted to understand him better. I knew he was greater than what I was experiencing.

Through my accident, I got to know him, and really saw his love through others. The people who were fighting for my life (my doctors and nurses), family, and friends (who visited) were the ones that helped me during those difficult times! You see, we need each other.

And now is the greatest time to reach out, take yourself outside of your comfort zone, and attend to someone even through a simple phone call or visit. Make a difference!

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 articles. She works as an English teacher in the Detroit area and has been an educator for twenty years. 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, Nissan, Toyota, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz. She’s worked with numerous children and accumulated many jobs. Zina began her own teaching services incorporating math and other subjects. She currently home-schools at churches and teaches creative and structured writing as well as other Language arts courses. Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

 

Democratic Presidential Debates!

I went downtown for the Democratic Presidential Debates in Detroit on July 30 and July 31. What an experience! I’ve been to a few political events, but this was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It was surreal, but I wasn’t able to get into the beautiful Fox Theatre (I was told I needed a pass from CNN), however, I still met some wonderful people!

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Amy and Kristin (on the left) travel the country and go to these types of events. They are both from Detroit, but Amy currently lives in Chicago. They told me they are big “donors.” Totally sweet and kind ladies!

Then, something I dreamt of happened, I met Chris Cuomo and got a photo with him!!! He’s my favorite journalist, and I watch him every night! His show is on at 9pm EST, and it’s called “Cuomo Prime Time.” He is brilliant and someone I greatly admire! I keep on smiling.😊 I’ve also added some more pics.

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CNN set-up!
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Christin Powers is running for president and was only four people away from getting a chance to debate!
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Parked right outside of CNN!
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Luv my city!❤️

Failure Is a Stepping Stone

The fact that you are in control of nothing can be a scary one, but trust the outcome will be good no matter what, you are NOT alone, you can live in peace! Know that every step is directed when you walk by faith, and in that, there is no opportunity for failure.

803c3f5c-602a-41c7-9b8f-e80f0029dbb6-e1564069014420.jpegSometimes miracles happen in a way you least expect. Nonetheless, they will happen to you if you PERSIST. You may be praying for a financial solution, or for restoration of a relationship. Sacrifice is a part of love, though; you may not get everything you want in life, and sometimes we give up what we want for others—I know this all too well, I’m a caregiver.

Culture teaches that we should not settle for less, and that we should not be uncomfortable. But sometimes love calls us to put others before us, and the beautiful thing is you can hear from the Spirit through other people, for me this is a big one, I feel it working through so many—I will call the people that God sends “advocates,” or friends.

It is easy to distinguish who may not be here to help us, but believe it or not, they play a role, also. When others hurt you, they provide you with a life lesson, there is something you needed to learn or gain out of that relationship.

I know it sounds crazy, but even those that hurt you are part of the plan. There is a reason you went through that, often times God will replace it with new friendships, it is in the hurt that you almost always thrive, grow, and become better!

So much of life is about your attitude, and how you deal with loss, pain, or rejection. I’m resilient. I have my moments, but I always bounce back. You have to, you cannot stay down because of any one instance. If you do, you will never know what the future holds. Happy energy draws good experiences!

So stop looking to hurts or failures you may have had in the past. Stop thinking about what you would like to do and make it happen! Stop trying to control the outcome of what you have no control over, because all you can control is how you react. Learn to find peace in everything!

About Zina

Zina Hermez is the author of the best-selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. Her various stories have been featured in magazines, newsletters, guest blogs and other places around the web. She has written more than 200 articles. She works as an English teacher and has had thousands of students. She’s taught at automotive corporations and began her own teaching services, and she currently teaches classrooms at churches. Her goal is to help others. When Zina is not writing or teaching, she enjoys talking on the phone, going out and socializing with friends, or trying something a little adventurous! You can find her on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram.

Hillsong UNITED Concert!!!

457541C5-9D8B-49BC-9BA4-A209A39B97D7I’ve been to many concerts, but I was particularly excited about the one last night! I went to the EMU Convocation Center in Ypsilanti, MI to see a performance by Hillsong UNITED!!! It was everything I expected and more more more!!! I was in tears half the time and so deeply moved by them. I love to watch their videos and listen to their music, but there is nothing like seeing them live!

I have seen many performers. I’ve seen Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Rascal Flatts, Jewel and many many others! I am definitely a concert girl. Listening to music is one of my hobbies, and I often do it at home while I write. Seeing Hillsong was soo special, though! This is a little church out of Australia that has become global. And now they have churches all over the world!!!

The first Hillsong college is in Pheonix. I screamed so loud and sang their songs along with them. I really hope I didn’t annoy the people sitting next to me. Although I did get a compliment from one of the girls. She said my voice was beautiful😉. I had to park 10,000 feet away but it reminded me that I am still in shape. There were so many people!

One of my favorite lyrics from their song “So Will I” sticks out in my mind. They are referring to God and say, “You don’t speak in vain, no syllable empty or void.” I love this line so much because I love words, and it demonstrates the profound power of the Lord. The bible says the tongue can be an unruly evil.

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“He’s a personal God not some distant far off deity, he came in here with you tonight.” ~Joel Houston♥️

There are times when I have spoken, maybe even argued a little 😉 and it was unnecessary or “in vain.” This lyric helps remind me to talk less and listen better. Their music is about more than religion. Its about having a personal relationship with God. Pure. Dependence. Jesus is a common topic in their songs, and their music is poetic while paraphrasing bible verses. It is beyond beautiful!!!

As I was listening and singing (out loud) and praying with them at various times, I heard the Lord whisper in my heart. “Zina, these are my disciples.” I said, Lord, I want to be your disciple, too. I know I’ve messed up, but I want to come home to you. Their faith is remarkable. And Joel said they were going to shut down the venue. I can tell they don’t sleep much. They are always coming out with new songs, and I left with a t-shirt and their new CD!!!!

Some Things I’ve Learned

These last few months have been particularly stressful, and I feel like my life has been flipped upside down. But I won’t get into all of that right now. What has happened will come up later. So stay tuned for more.

Nonetheless, I have not given up. In my book, there is no such thing as giving up! It is never too late to heal. But we cannot heal the things we don’t acknowledge. That’s right. We are able to heal ourselves.

We have a marvelous God who never gives up on us! I’ve always held onto what I know–God will get me through. After my accident at the age of sixteen years old, 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. It did! Writing helps me process my thoughts. There are some things I’ve learned that I want to share.

There has been a lot of pain coming up in my mind. Solid truths that are undeniable and issues I avoid. But when you keep an open heart, you keep an open life! When you extend yourself it means a lot. People see your works and are inspired. They, too, may rise up and face challenges of their own.

Finally, let go of everything you think you are holding onto. Ultimately, you are not the one in control. So whenever fear tries to hold you back, remember to take risks. Fear tells us we have to hold tightly to our lives. But fear is a liar. Because God will see you through!

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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 200 of her very own blog posts. She works as an English teacher in the Detroit area. 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, Nissan, Toyota, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz. Zina began her own teaching services incorporating math and other subjects. She currently homeschools at churches and teaches creative and structured writing as well as other Language arts courses. Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity. She strives to do what she longs to. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

 

Are You Grieving?

Grief can be an interesting thing. You may be grieving and not even know it. Life can take you through phases, and sometimes it takes a while to adjust to the fact that things aren’t going to be the same. But you will eventually accept them and even see life through a different lens.

Never believe you’ve hit a dead end. Life has a myriad of opportunities that await us. Keep a good attitude. You may think you cannot accomplish something, or that it is too late. But life is full of new beginnings!

It can take a long time to accept your circumstances. Denial is the first stage. But you will be happy. You will smile and believe. You will hope. You will plan. You will open your heart to new experiences again!

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We are Being Renewed Every Day!

Life can be difficult. But the beauty of it is we always get a second chance. Even when we mess up we can make things right again. The verse below speaks to my soul because I am reminded daily of how we are vulnerable. It is challenging to not lose heart when so much is not in our hands. But if our “inner selves” are being renewed we must not give up! The Holy Spirit can instruct us. You can even have a direct connection with Him. When we ask to be led, he will be able to guide us and we can overcome anything. Whenever you fail, know that Jesus is there. Become closer to the Lord and remember that in your trials His love is enough! 7EF579E3-5086-4CCD-9804-6123BAF92EA7

The Little Things in Life Really ARE the Big Things!

As my birthday approaches on Monday, I’m grateful for my life. In the back of my mind, I feared I would not make it past thirty when I was younger. I thought that way because of my accident. Here I am, it’s been twenty years since that fateful day. I’m still here.

I had a strong feeling I would influence others through all that happened. I wanted to help the sick, the hurting, and those who are helpless. My book, Not Without God is only the beginning. I’ve been blogging to reach out to others with or without spinal-cord-injury for two and a half years.

But there is more I want to accomplish. I try to offer hope in as many ways as I can in my book and on my blog. I have been there so I can relate. I understand what a lot of people are experiencing. In some aspects, I had to grow up fast.

When I’m asked how I walked again when I’m out in public, or how I survived my accident—I talk freely of my faith and of how God saved me! I’ve been doing that for years. I want to give hope. I want to tell about Christ.

It must be my energy, but strangers are often not shy to ask me questions. Very early while still in the hospital at Mott Children’s, I felt I would help others in some way. It’s no wonder I wrote a book about my life. It’s surreal, and exciting!

I would not have made it this far without the love and support of many. One of my dreams was to finish college, and have a career despite all my injuries. I graduated high-school on time, and walked on a walker to receive my diploma. I fulfilled the promise I made to myself—to walk on graduation day.

I worked so hard through college. I put a wheelchair in and out of the car several times a day. I began working in the classroom when an instructor asked me if I would like to be a tutor in Composition classes at twenty-two years of age.

When others see me and sometimes express that they feel sorry I need to walk with assistance. I explain that each crutch weighs less than two pounds. They are much lighter than a wheelchair, and much easier to put in and out of a car!

Some people don’t realize how good they have it until something bad happens, or until they meet someone like me and then their faith is challenged. Unless you’ve gone from paralyzed to walking, you really can’t understand how freeing walking can be!

It’s one of the reasons I’m thankful for every day, and it’s why I appreciate EVERYTHING!

My life is a miracle, and so is the ability to walk.

Happy Birthday to me!

Work on Yourself

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Have you ever tried to clean up other people’s mess while neglecting your own? God can heal us when we focus on ourselves. We have to understand. Why do we act like He can’t? Some don’t want to get better. It’s their decision. Don’t get used to that place of discomfort, and that place of unhappiness. Stop trying to improve someone else’s life when you have to work on yours. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care. We have all been there. It means that you realize before you can help someone else, you have to help yourself, and that is very healthy! There is only one person you can change, and that is YOU. Everything else will fall into place. Pray for others. Be your own best friend!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! online 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.