Happy New Year!!🎉🎈🎊

I’ll admit this year has not been the easiest. There have been some grave challenges. At the same time, I have overcome them and have come out on top. I have also lost all the weight I needed to. It feels great now that some of my clothes are baggier. I worked really hard and started at the beginning of November by limiting myself to a 1,200-1,300 calorie per day restriction. I also followed a Mediterranean Plan. At times I was hungry and it was difficult. It took some self discipline. I specifically picked out healthy snacks that allowed me to get in all my major food groups. They were also low calorie ones. One thing I’ve learned about dieting is that so much of it is about portion control.

I recieved my second vaccine and am now fully vaccinated as of November also. I didn’t feel good with the second shot, but I was only feeling a little under the weather for a day or so. I definitely don’t regret getting it!

I’ve maintained teaching students online all year, and I also accomplished finishing my second book, “Not Without God: Hope In the Storm.” It was a work in progress for years. This morning I started to give it a final proofread right in Kindle, and it is up for pre-order. It will be released on Jan 24, 2022! https://www.amazon.com/Not-Without-God-Hope-Storm-ebook/dp/B09P9T2DLT/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3K2PQ4PYPUQ58&keywords=not+without+god+hope+in+the+storm&qid=1640981382&sprefix=not+without+god+hope+in+the+storm%2Caps%2C450&sr=8-1

I’ve been blogging once a day since April (on Easter), and I have only skipped a day of writing once in a while. I am almost up to 100k views on here! I plan to continue blogging and taking care of my health by watching what I eat and getting in enough exercise. I have always loved to cook and bake, and now I am cooking the way I should be. A lot of lean meat, fish, vegetables, (brown) rice and wheat or whole grain bread. I overall feel better!

I look foward to what 2022 brings and hope for more success. I hope for lots of positive feedback on my book, Hope In the Storm. I hope to plan more vacations/adventures associated with it. I have been lucky to have had some nice business trips around the time and even after I had published my first book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival.

I will leave you with this thought: Life does not always turn out how we would like. But when we keep the faith in God we can still experience many blessings. He will restore us to health and replace what we’ve lost. The Lord continually heals us. Healing is not a one time thing or event. God knew we would need to be healed more than once.

My point is, no matter how bad it gets–keep the faith in the Lord. Continue to ask him for direction. God does not want you to “give it all to him” and be idle. What is he asking you to do today? Reach out. Succeeed. Live through the pain. At the end there is a rainbow. I have called my latest book, “Not Without God: Hope In the Storm” for a reason.

Happy New Year to you and yours!! #mayGodbless #you #in #2022

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the best-selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She’s been featured in numerous articles, guest posts, podcasts, websites, newsletters, and magazines. Recently she was featured on ESPN’s ‘Solutions from the Huddle’ broadcast and on Grace and Truth Radio World. Zina’s written hundreds of articles and has taught thousands of students from all over the world spanning many different backgrounds and cultures. She’s appeared in Christianity Today, the Suite T blog, and Southern Writers magazine among other places. She writes on faith, science, and overcoming adversity. She is also a major foodie and loves to help others. Her latest book, Not Without God: Hope In the Storm will soon be released on Jan 24!

P.S. Below are a few dishes I had made this year!

These are beef potato chops (and of course I made them before I started dieting :-).

Pictured above here are Southwestern Chicken and Cheese Egg rolls with black beans, spices, and a few vegetables! The Mediterranean Diet encourages you to avoid carbs and potatoes (needless to say, I cooked these before I started the diet also!). I mean, it’s not keto so you can have carbs and potatoes but within limits.

Finally, here is a pic of a New Year’s cake (vanilla w/chocolate frosting)!🎂Baking has been a long time love. Well, I just wanted to show off some of my dishes and hope I didn’t make anyone too hungry.

My book is available for pre-order!🎉😀🎊

I have some great news! My latest book, ‘Not Without God: Hope In the Storm’ is now available for pre-order on Kindle! You can order today and it will be delivered to your inbox on January 24! I’m still adding to it and making a few changes. But here is the link in case you want to order:

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the best selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She’s been featured in numerous articles, guest posts, podcasts, websites, newsletters, and magazines. Recently she was featured on ESPN’s ‘Solutions from the Huddle’ broadcast and on Grace and Truth Radio World. Zina’s written hundreds of articles and has taught thousands of students from all over the world spanning many different backgrounds and cultures. She’s appeared in Christianity Today, the Suite T blog and Southern Writers magazine among other places. She writes on faith, science, and overcoming adversity. She is also a major foodie and loves to help others. You can connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

Chapter Three from “Not Without God: Hope In the Storm” w/questions for Reflection!

Refined by the Fire

But he knows the way that I take, when he has tested me I shall come forth as gold.

Paul writes in a letter to the Romans in Chapter 10: “If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead–you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified. And it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” (Romans 10:9-10).

I remind you of this verse because some have a misconception about how to come to the Lord. They may think you need to have had a sin-free life or that he would not accept you into the Kingdom if you’ve messed up! The opposite is true. Paul said if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart, you will be saved.

Grace is a gift. Our works don’t consistently demonstrate that we should earn it. God loves us, still. Whether you are a ‘Noah’ or fall short (at times we all do) he longs to be with you, and you will one day understand the importance of his existence! All we have is now so let’s make the most of it and live in his presence!

God can pull you out of your past so you can live fully in the present. The path will not be an easy one. God may call you to put away selfish desires, arrogance, or any sense of entitlement.

It isn’t a live-your-best-life kind of path; at times, it will be difficult. There are hardships and rejection. It isn’t always pleasurable. But following Jesus is not a one-time event—he is continually molding and shaping us. It will be worth it in the end! When you know where the grace in your life comes from, it makes it that much more special! If you ask the Lord to direct you, he will guide your steps. 

***

I walk with the kind of crutches that you can slip your arm into; not the kind that someone would use if they had a broken leg, for example. They are called forearm crutches. The next step for me would be to walk well with one cane, and I hope to get to that. But I’ve come to accept that even if I don’t, it’ll be okay. God grants our wishes but sometimes with limits for his own purposes or for the purpose of the Kingdom (heaven).

In due time it will all make sense. Remember that every successful endeavor takes careful ‘watering.’ Increase can be a gradual process. Everything is in God’s hands. Again, we can be co-workers with God, but we have to do our part. By having faith and taking action! We cannot just be stagnant. We have to work hard. He can help us through anything. We have to talk with him and make him our best friend. He wants to see our dreams happen.

God will get you through anything. Rest assured. You may not know where to turn or what steps you should even take, but he will lead you and guide you if you ask him to. Seek after his wise council. You do not need to worry, but only be still and ask him to help you. There have been times where I had no idea what my life was doing or how I would end up. God brought me through in those times and gave me step by step instruction. He is a problem solver. A friend. A refuge. An ever-present help in our time of trouble.

The beautiful thing is he’s omnipresent. He can be everywhere all at once. He is a God who does not sleep. You have access to him 24 hours a day. The world will tell you there is no way out. The world will tell you you’re doomed. The world will tell you there’s no hope. With God, there is always hope! There is restoration. The laws of physics prove to us that anything is possible. But nothing can be possible if you throw your hands up. With God ALL things are possible. He can lead and guide you through the worst of times. Just call out to him and he will be there for you.

We are told through the Bible that God is all around us. The Holy Spirit is our present help. This means we cannot escape his presence no matter how hard we try. To say we’ve never heard from God is to tell a lie. We can tune out his voice or pretend he is not there, but it’s difficult to do that because he is everywhere. God is altruistic and kind. God is loving and he requires the same of us.

He’s not just an old guy with a white beard sitting in the sky waiting to scold us! People who are so focused on the judgement and ‘warning’ everyone have never experienced the real Jesus. They are portraying some man made image of a God who won’t love you if you mess up. God’s love cannot change. He is the same. Yesterday. Today. And forever. It is us who turn our backs or walk away.

He had loved us at our darkest and at times when we did not deserve his love. God is not partial. He doesn’t only love us when we are doing ‘good.’ He loves us when we fail. He loves us when we’re not pretty. The beautiful thing is we have a chance to turn our lives around and seek after him once again. He loves us eternally. The sooner people realize that God does not change (like we do), the better. He’s not a fair-weather friend. He’s not here for a ‘season’ or because there is some benefit. He doesn’t behave the way humans do.

He is our Holy Father. He loves us when we’re not ‘winning,’ and when we know we could be better. God can’t not love us because God is love. He is the epitome of it. Some may paint the picture in your mind of a God who punishes. But, again, those images are not of the Jesus I know. His arms are open wide, lovingly, and he is waiting for his children to come home.

All the blessings he’s given to me that I am going to continue to describe, I do not believe I gained because I am privileged. It may be because I’ve sought after him. Maybe I can hear better. But I haven’t received blessings because I’m privileged or better. I do believe that God gives different children special missions, and I may be one of them. That is not to say it has been easy to carry. Friends have turned their backs. I’ve been abandoned.

As I mentioned earlier, a life of trying to follow Christ (and really doing it) is not always an easy one. There is rejection and people don’t always understand. They also expect you to never mess up and to not have any flaws. They don’t understand that part of the human condition is to fail. Some may not understand why you’re so devoted. Or they may resent you for trying to do something worthwhile. Either way God didn’t put us here to please each other, we have to please him first. Part of pleasing him is fulfilling our mission. It’s not a desire I can choose to have. It is from within. I can’t help but write books.

***

When I began driving again at nineteen years old, I wore tall braces that came up to my knees. I kept my walker in the back seat of my car. I’ve had my braces cut down throughout the years. When I was still a patient at Mott Children’s, the braces were exceptionally high! They reached up to my pelvis. I also had a bulky back brace that was attached. I’ve improved a lot since then. The braces I wear now are called AFOs, which stands for “ankle to foot orthosis,” they mainly give support to my ankles.

I had to be my advocate! A patient has to request for their strength to be examined. He or she could be ready to walk with lower braces or without any walking devices, but without asking, they may never know it. Physical therapists perform strength tests, but these are done only at evaluations.

I often see people walking with Exoskeletons in physical therapy (a robotic machine that helps wheelchair users stand up). But the user is mostly just shifting their body weight from one side to the other, and the device helps lift the patient’s leg. It’s used as more of an exercise tool and not outdoors. The Exoskeleton was made for soldiers carrying heavy cargo while going uphill to prevent injury to their lower extremities, and the device weighs fifty pounds! Adding all that weight to your body does not make it easier to walk. 

It is crucial to call on the name of the Lord. I have put a lot into this, but it would’ve never happened without God’s guidance. God loves us, so when we call out to him, grace is freely given. 

There is no limit to what God can do. We are the miracle workers, too. Without Him, we can do nothing, but we have to do something to start. I got to a point where I exercised until I got soaked: dripping sweat and having to change clothes. When I could not move at all, I used to try hard to move my legs. Even when I couldn’t see it happening, I imagined it, and, eventually, they did. The power of the mind is incredible.

I want to add that there’s something that happens when tragedy strikes. I mean, there is gain in loss. That may sound strange. But loss humbles us in a way and reminds uswe are human. It happens for a reason, and I believe it is to enhance our personal growth.

Asking God questions, sharing my thoughts with him, worries, and concerns helps, and I get better while doing it. I like to talk to God and pray. I pray for myself and for my health and for God to bless me in mind, body, and spirit. I pray that he blesses my mom and (late) dad.

I talk to God while on the walking machines. I talk to Him while at the grocery store and shopping. I talk to Him as I’m getting ready for my classes and when I’m getting ready to teach. I hear from him too while I’m teaching because it is helpful. He gives me direction. I’ve been told that my instruction is very clear and concise. I give immediate feedback after every class. It is God assisting me.

I sometimes read Bible verses and short prayers. I try to commit to fifteen minutes a day of doing it, and I sometimes count prayer as being done while I’m writing, since my main focus is always on God. I speak to him through worship and prayer songs. I express my love by singing out loud and feeling his love. I especially talk with him when it’s quiet, because that is when I can hear from him best.

Prayer helps feed my soul. It helps give clarity to my mind. When I am praying, I am sorting thoughts out. I am prioritizing and giving them to God. I often get messages within or even visions right away. I know what he wants me to do. Maybe it’s because I’ve been talking with him so long. At certain times, the message are stronger than others. But I know he’s always there and listening, no matter what.

We can talk with God about anything. Our good days, bad days, our feelings toward our family or friends. We can tell him where we want to be five years from now or what we’re feeling in our hearts. We can tell him how we feel because he already knows. We can treat him like he’s a friend. He is the only one who will never leave and always stay. When God is in our corner nothing can stop us!

We can read the Psalms and study the Bible. We can say the Lord’s prayer and light a candle. We can talk to him in the car on our way to work. We can never run out of things to talk about. When God is involved, life will be much better. You’ll hear from him. You’ll have strength to make it through the day. He will handle it all and give you steps and instruction.

He is not a do nothing being. People tend to think that trust means inaction. Like, ‘oh, if I trust in God, he will do everything.’ This frustrates me when people believe the Lord has to act on their behalf. Trust does not mean do nothing. Often we don’t know how to hear from God or care to, for that matter. Our egos may tell us that we have enough. We don’t have ‘time’ for God.

You mean, the huge white-bearded man in the sky? Why cater to him or ask for his input one may think. But we need God. He is more than an outside force who created everything. His voice comes from within. When we listen to God, we accomplish a lot more for ourselves, for our family–for humankind.

The more you focus on him, the easier it will get. Go into a quiet place. Get away from the noise. Meditate on his word. Ask. And then wait to hear back. The answer often comes from your intuition and can even come from others. But please be careful with the ‘hearing from others.’ They can steer you their way, and when their voices outweigh your own and God’s than you are in the danger zone. Listen: ‘anything pure, anything whole, anything that is beautiful and good comes from God.’

***

You can spend time with God wherever you are. When you are praying, you are receiving. Whether you realize it or not, God is giving. The Holy Spirit guides you. But once you ask, there is an unfolding of events. You eventually get your answers.

Let me also just say that fitness in your body creates fitness in your mind also. It helps me write better. I have more energy during the day. Exercise enables you to deal with situations better. 

I reached my goal of getting up to one hour of straight cardio. It’s an achievement I set out to complete. Let me let you in on a little secret: you have to get into “the zone.” Once you get into that zone where fatigue cannot affect you any longer and where you keep going no matter what–it becomes a mental game. Sure, you’ll be tired, but you will persist. You know you will succeed no matter what. After exercising, you will feel motivated. It’s the most excellent feeling. 

You may not see your miracle or dream occurring, but something is happening behind the scenes—this is what the essence of faith is: The ability to see something good in your life with no evidence of it. You create the experience! An outstanding doctor of mind once said, “The body takes time to catch up to the mind.” If you decide to do something in your mind, your body will eventually follow. If you are achieving it in your brain, you will achieve it in your body, also.

When and where do you pray? Are you able to take prayer outside of church or a religious institution? I’ve told others that just talking to God is the best form. You can share your thoughts, give him prayer requests, and give him thanks for the blessings he’s bestowed. God wants to hear about all your worries, hopes, and concerns. God wants to be there! God wants to be a part of your everyday. He loves you more than you know. Start talking with him today!

Sooner or later, the inspiration (or answer) to your prayer will come. It is hard to discern God’s voice sometimes, but the Holy Spirit lives within us. And good thoughts about yourself and others come from above. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). 

If your thoughts are pure, kind, and not adverse, this inspiration comes from the Lord. The fruit of the spirit is love. He will give you wisdom in how to overcome challenges. But he will not inspire you to think evil about yourself or anyone. I have made a point to try and listen to Bible verses every day, but sometimes I fail and just read some online instead.  Sometimes I listen and it lasts for a few hours; this helps to strengthen my faith and defeat any forms of depression. 

What strategies do you use? Do you read the Bible? If so, which parts are your favorite? Why do you like those verses? How often do you study the Word? If you have not read it, when can you start? I like the NIV version. The ESV is good also because it is more modern and precise than the New King James. Maybe you can write out a study plan. My favorite Psalms are 69, 71, 74, and 77. Do you have any favorite ones? Another book I like is the Book of Acts, and it is in the Bible. You can also focus on reading the Bible for a minimum of fifteen minutes here (instead of writing in this section) or meditate on your favorite Bible verses. 

You can even copy passages onto paper. I have done that. That way, you can repeat them over. It is a great way to strengthen your faith. If you are not familiar with the Bible and don’t know where to start, I recommend that you start at the New Testament’s gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. 

What is one thing that stands in the way of you accomplishing your goals? Is it a lack of faith, fear of failure, business with other tasks, or a time issue? I have learned you have to make time for the extra things. No one is going to do it for you. For example, I like to write. I have a full online teaching schedule, and I could add more students if I wanted to. But here is the thing, when you focus on your dreams, you feel a release. Not that your ‘day job’ does not matter. I love to help people overcome academic obstacles. It is rewarding, but when you focus on that one extra thing you love to do: it makes your heart happier. 

My ‘extra thing’ is to write. What is yours? I have always written. I used to win contests in grade school. One of my worst memories was losing my first storybook from construction paper in the second grade. I searched the whole house and could not find it. It was such a significant loss. The first big one I ever had. If writing is not a passion, what makes you feel happier? I have done a lot of it, and I don’t regret all the hours I put into it. It has made me write better!

God has put us here to help one another and see each other through, but we each have a creative side or something we are naturally ‘good at’ or attracted to. For some, it is to paint or make music. I like to cook and bake also. Since I started doing the Mediterranean, I am not doing as much. What is one thing you would like to improve or get better at? Would you like to follow a diet plan? Try your best to keep your calories under 1,500 per day if you’re a woman and under 2,000 if you are a man. That way, you could potentially lose atleast one pound per week. What are your goals, dreams, or what is it you want to accomplish? Feel free to answer all the questions above that I’ve asked (or again, simply meditate on the bible) in your journal!

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the Best-selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She’s been featured in numerous articles, guest posts, podcasts, websites, newsletters, and magazines. She’s been featured on ESPN’s ‘Solutions from the Huddle’ broadcast and on Grace and Truth Radio World. Zina’s written hundreds of articles and has taught thousands of students. Additionally she’s appeared in Christianity Today, the Suite T blog, and Southern Writers magazine among other places. She writes on faith, science, and overcoming adversity. She is also a major foodie and loves to help others. You can connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Linked In, or Twitter.

Chapter 1 of My Book Read by Author R D Trimble!📖🎙🔈

This is so cool! Author R D Trimble reading Chapter 1 of my latest book, ‘Not Without God: Hope In the Storm.’ Thank you so much, Author R D Trimble (I love the Star Wars jacket, scarf, and the Indiana Jones hat)!😄💕

https://www.facebook.com/RustyMeister/videos/1301480830304182/

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the Best-selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She’s been featured in numerous articles, guest posts, podcasts, websites, newsletters, and magazines. She’s been featured on ESPN’s ‘Solutions from the Huddle’ broadcast and on Grace and Truth Radio World. Zina’s written hundreds of articles and has taught thousands of students. Additionally she’s appeared in Christianity Today, the Suite T blog, and Southern Writers magazine among other places. She writes on faith, science, and overcoming adversity. She is also a major foodie and loves to help others. You can connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Linked In, or Twitter.

Chapter 1 from my book, Not Without God: Hope In the Storm

Zina Hermez

Chapter 1

Rain Will Come

Life as I knew it had changed. I was embarking upon a new life, and I knew things would never be the same. I found what I was searching for. Some say God works in mysterious ways. I can attest to it and discovered him through a bad vehicular accident. Through compassion from doctors, nurses, and others who were fighting for my life, I witnessed the love of Christ! I became so grateful that he saved my life.In my first book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival, I explained what happened. While trying to cross the street on my way to school on a dark rainy morning, I was hit by a car.

The bus that came to pick me up had already passed. Whenever I missed it, I would walk down to my best friend’s house. His bus came a little later, buying me more time. The pain from the windshield that cut into my abdomen was excruciating. “God, please help!” I cried. Then I was in and out of consciousness, mumbling and not making sense. 

“I’m Mary Kay,” said the nurse on the Survival Life Flight; she pleaded for me to hold on for my life and told me they were taking me to the University of Michigan Hospital. “They will take excellent care of you there, Zina!”

When I finally woke up and was alert enough, I realized the setting was unfamiliar. I had never been hospitalized. Where am I? I thought. I had devastating injuries; my tibias and fibulas shattered. I sustained a spinal cord injury at the mid-thoracic level, and my spine shifted and broke. I needed rods and screws to hold together my broken leg bones. I had internal bleeding and needed to have a blood transfusion. I had a cervical fracture and wore a neck brace. A doctor told me I have a mild head injury, not from evidence of it on any report, but she said I must’ve sustained one from the fact that my body flew like that. 

How will I go back to school? I pondered. I was active before this. I used to pick friends up and take them out! I was on the student council and a representative on my high school’s Multi-racial Multi-cultural diversity council. A large assembly was to be held in our gym. Teachers, students, and family members were all going to attend. The administrators were always proud of me because of my wise comments during our preparation meetings. But I could no longer attend school right after the accident. However, I heard that the people in the gym stood up in honor of me and applauded at the assembly. They recognized my contributions to the council. 

I was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital (Michigan Medicine) for a month. I was on a ventilator for a few weeks and could not eat solid food. I was on a feeding tube. The only way to communicate was by writing, and I would do so on the back of cutout paper from the hospital. After I was discharged from the PICU, I was transferred to 6 east. It was upstairs at the time. It’s where the Pediatric Medicine and Rehabilitation Unit (PMRU) was, and I stayed there for a little while. I was in the hospital for just over three months. I used to write letters addressed to God at night with a flashlight in one hand and a pencil and pad in the other. Here is a poem I wrote at the time:

Life can change,

 take it from me.

A young, healthy girl,

 I never thought like this I would be.

Life was fun and carefree,

 I went from school day to social gathering.

How did this happen to me?

 There are doctors and nurses in my face.

As I awoke in a flash of five seconds,

 a new life I hate.

I feel that I’m strong,

 and hang in there.

But somethings I’ve lost,

 I wouldn’t spare.

I’ll try very hard to get everything back,

 the young life I want to live,

 I didn’t want to lose that.

I appreciate everything from family to the sun.

 I have a new life and state of mind.

I left just before my birthday, and my nurses came into the room to see me with big smiles, ‘Aren’t you happy to be going home soon?’ they’d say. They planned for me to leave before my birthday to ease my pain and make my situation better. I would reluctantly smile back, but what they didn’t know is that I was terrified inside. I didn’t want to go back into the ‘real world.’ I was handicapped, and I knew life would be difficult. I knew it would be hard for my family to take care of me.

I didn’t know what was to become of me or if I would even have friends. I didn’t know if I would have the career I always wanted. My friends left just like I predicted. Fortunately, I have the career I dreamt of. I don’t know that I necessarily dreamt of it. I just had a feeling I would write and that my name would one day appear in bookstores. 

But the accident was only the beginning of my sorrow. Rejection and loss were to follow. I’ve woken up out of my sleep screaming from pain and cried out to Jesus numerous times just to be able to rest. I’ve repeated individual Psalms and searched the bible to find the right answers. Depression has knocked on my door many times. I’ve called out to God in every dark hour. 

My friends went about their own lives. I returned to school my senior year and had to use a wheelchair. They went off to spring break. As I’ve gotten older, it hasn’t helped the distance. I still talk about God a lot. I have a personal relationship with him, and I think that has a lot to do with why so many others have left. I don’t think people are used to that. At first, I thought people left because of my injuries. I didn’t think they wanted me to be a burden on them. Now that I’m older, I realize they have left because of who I am. My spiritual differences have set me apart.

Not Without God: Hope In the Storm describes how I’ve learned how to cope. It’s a teaching book and a narrative because I offer questions at the end of various chapters to help you write and reflect upon a time when God was there for you, for example. The questions are there to help you reflect and learn about yourself. You will need a journal. I would like for this book to be a self-help guide, but answering the questions is optional.

***

Suffering is not something we can avoid. It’s something we have to go through sometimes. Miracles don’t happen overnight. There is a light, but it doesn’t have to be at the end of the tunnel. We can be coworkers with God, but we have to do our part. By calling on the name of the Lord, we are invited in on a journey of healing, restoration, and hope. We can’t just sit there and sulk. It’s OK to get down once in a while, but we can’t stay there. We have to be resilient.

Grief can be an interesting thing. You may be grieving and not even know it. Life can take you through rough places, and sometimes it takes a while to adjust to the fact that life will never be the same. After my accident, I didn’t know what to expect. I battled a lot with self-acceptance. I didn’t know if I would be able to adjust to my new circumstances.

I was in a state of denial. I thought my life would go back to how it was before the accident, ‘normal.’ I thought I would walk again. 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 overcome some grave challenges. When some doctors predicted I wouldn’t, learning how to walk again has been a huge miracle. I learned how to drive again by nineteen years old. By twenty, I was back to work. At twenty-one, 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. I was an English major and a History minor. 

Life began to bloom through a different lens. I 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. Praise is like a weapon. When you thank God for all you’ve got, it not only heals you but gives you strength. God has brought me through so much. I can’t help but be 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 after my accident; 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. New friendships happened. 

* * *

When I finally got out of the hospital and settled at home, I pondered upon how I would go back to school. I was active before this.I knew that life would not be easy. I wondered what it would be like since I could no longer just get up and walk freely. Everything took effort. I had to learn how to do wheelchair transfers, eventually walk up steps, and even exercise muscles that would not move. I had to become a problem solver.

I hoped I would one day walk the way I did before, and indeed, I am, but not the way I used to. I am not walking hands-free. I use forearm crutches (the kind with the rings around the arms) or a walker. Taking steps without holding onto anything is taxing. Many of my issues attribute to some weakness from my level of injury. I am considered a T-10/T-11 and that means the break happened in my mid to upper back. Having an injury that high can make it difficult to ambulate without assistive devices. 

After my accident, I held onto what I knew though. God would bring me through because he promised. I am very grateful that I can walk. After I got out of the PICU at the University Hospital, where I was for a little over a month, I went upstairs to PMRU, and that was just after they finally took me off the feeding tube and started me on a clear liquid diet. 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.

I’m someone who wants to maintain a relationship with the Lord. Whenever a connection failed, I knew Jesus would be there. Every time someone rejected me, I became closer to him. I want you to remember that in your trials. His love is sufficient. Don’t try to alter what someone doesn’t like about you or what you have no control over. If someone doesn’t accept you for who you are, it is their problem. Count on him. He is the only one that can bring you through. Your loved ones can help you, too. But first and foremost, depend upon the Lord. 

Immediately after the crash, I could only mumble and fade in and out, not making much sense, but I remember how strongly I felt the Lord’s presence. On the helicopter ride, I kept thinking, hold on, Zina, hold on. There was this peaceful feeling I can’t explain. It was peace from God. The bible teaches that God will provide us with peace that surpasses all understanding. Amid the chaos, pain, and uncertainty, I felt the peace—leading and guiding. 

A Prophesying Pastor

I finally got the courage to return to school my senior year. It took the help of a generous teacher and principal, Mr. Rande Horn, to help me graduate on time with the rest of my class. At commencements, I received a standing ovation. I used a walker on the platform. Everyone applauded. My assistant principal got teary-eyed when he handed me my diploma! My dad cried. My mom was proud. Many cheered and clapped.

They knew this day was a stepping-stone that would continue to point to my future success! I had lost a lot, and losing my best friends affected me badly. I didn’t understand why they didn’t want to hang out anymore. I would listen to a Christian radio program that came on every night except for on the weekends, and there was a pastor I liked. People called in for live prayer. Listening helped me get my mind off myself. The best way to take the focus off yourself is to start praying for someone else! 

One night I was awoken out of my sleep by an angel or celestial spirit. The pastor’s program was on and often ran a little late, so I would usually fall asleep while listening. I had been particularly frustrated that day. I got my answers through this pastor’s prophesying.

When I looked to see who woke me, there was no one there. I thought it might be one of my sisters, who I lived with at the time, but they were both sound asleep. I knew a divine being had awoken me. So, the pastor was prophesying as he would often do. And he said: “Someone is listening. You have a problem with your back. There is some sort of problem…of…I’m not sure what happened or how, but something is wrong with your back is all I keep feeling. God wants you to know—he’s going to build a bridge for you. God is just going to build a bridge! He is going to take you above and beyond what anyone could ever think would happen for you!” he kept saying. 

God wanted me to hear this. I knew that message was for me. Right away, I called the broadcast before he finished. Surprisingly, I got through the telephone line and told him my situation. I explained I was upset I could not walk. In my young mind, I thought ‘walking’ again would bring my friends back. He explained the message was for me and reiterated that God was just going to build a bridge, again, and take me above and beyond what anyone could ever think or imagine for me. He confirmed the message. His exact words were, “The Lord is just going to build a bridge. He will take you above and beyond what anyone ever thought could happen for you!” 

***

As an adult, I no longer believe that I will walk without a walker or forearm crutches. The Laws of Physics won’t allow for it. I had too many injuries. I haven’t given up on trying, though, because I know that God is one of miracles, and you just never know what can happen. Recently I have found out that the wonderful Elon Musk has invented a “brain chip” through his fairly new company, Neuralink, it will address people’s issues that are similar to mine. But either way, I have made so much progress throughout the years, I am happy with how far I have come even if I never walk the way I did before the accident. First and foremost, I’m blessed to have a direct connection with the Lord.

There are different ways you can heal. Healing is more than external. Recovery does not have to only be on the outside. I have recovered on the inside. The most significant transformation that can happen is when you’ve changed on the inside, and then it reflects on the outside too. Many people get surprised at others, like me, who may accept and even rejoice in the Lord in what seems to be ‘dire’ circumstances. 

But what people don’t understand is that healing comes to its peak after you realize you healed from within. Being healed is not a one-time thing or event. The Bible reads, ‘I am the Lord who continuously heals you.’ A walk with God is a lifetime experience. And it isn’t always easy. There may be hardship, rejection, or even abandonment. But God never promised us an easy life. He did promise we would get through it.

I know that there will be no pain, sadness, or rejection in heaven. The bible teaches, “For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him” (1Thessalonians 4:14).

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the Best-selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She’s been featured in numerous articles, guest posts, podcasts, websites, newsletters, and magazines. She’s been featured on ESPN’s ‘Solutions from the Huddle’ broadcast and on Grace and Truth Radio World. Zina’s written hundreds of articles and has taught thousands of students. Additionally she’s appeared in Christianity Today, the Suite T blog, and Southern Writers magazine among other places. She writes on faith, science, and overcoming adversity. She is also a major foodie and loves to help others. You can connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Linked In, or Twitter.

He Always Is…💞

About Zina

Zina Hermez has authored the Best-selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She’s been featured in numerous articles, guest posts, podcasts, websites, newsletters, and magazines. She’s been featured on ESPN’s ‘Solutions from the Huddle’ broadcast and on Grace and Truth Radio World. Zina’s written hundreds of articles and has taught thousands of students. Additionally she’s appeared in Christianity Today, the Suite T blog, and Southern Writers magazine among other places. She writes on faith, science, and overcoming adversity. She is also a major foodie and loves to help others. You can connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, Linked In, or Twitter.

Not Without God: A Story of Survival and what it’s about!

I wrote a book about a catastrophic accident I was in at sixteen years old that left me paralyzed. While trying to cross the street on my way to school, I was hit by a car. I had to be taken via ambulance to the local hospital, Botsford, but the hospital didn’t have the technology or scope to save me. So they sent me to a level one trauma hospital. I was flown via helicopter to Mott Children’s Hospital via Survival Life Flight at the University of Michigan.

That was where I went into 12 hours of emergency surgery. The doctors were able to save my life. The Lord was working through them. I had severe injuries. My spine had shifted and broke at the thoracic level. I had a fracture in my C1 vertebrae and had to wear a neck brace while in the hospital. I had internal bleeding, and my ribs were broken. My tibias and fibias were both shattered. I had to learn how to walk through an extensive amount of physical therapy, thousands of hours.

It’s a huge miracle I’m alive let alone able to walk. I use AFOs (an ankle to foot orthosis) and forearm crutches. Although I’m not walking as well as I would like, I am grateful for how far I’ve come. Some medical professionals predicted I’d never walk at all. The nurses in the hospital were happy for me because they thought I wanted to go home soon. I had to stay at the hospital for a little over three months. They made sure to send me home just before my birthday, and my nurses would come in and say, “Aren’t you happy to be going home?”

What they didn’t know is I was terrified. I didn’t want to go back into the real world. I knew it would be difficult for my family to take care of me. I didn’t know how best friends would receive me. I was the one who used to drive and pick them up. I was active before the accident. I was even on the Multicultural & Multiracial Diversity council at school that year. The teachers and administrators would always be pleased with my wise comments.

***

There have been many blessings since the book has come out. My book proposal was accepted by Morgan James Publishing in New York, New York. I got to meet my publishers at Author 101 University in Las Vegas, and then I went to Author 101 in Las Vegas. I’ve had book signings and even got to have one at a local Barnes & Nobles. I got to Speak at Harvard University about my book to a group of 59 other entrepreneurs and the whole thing was live streamed!

I’ve gotten to meet celebrities at an event, “Living Legends of Entrepreneurial Marketing,” at Carnegie Hall. It’s been an amazing experience. Now I’m working on my second, “Not Without God: Hope In the Storm.” It will be a narrative as well but a teaching book also. This will be where people can write in various chapters that offer journaling sections. I ask questions like, “When was the last time God was really there for you, for example?” I do that so people can write and reflect upon their own lives. I’d like it to be a self help guide. But writing is optional.

I’m looking forward to the blessings that will come from my second book and most of all, it will be nice to reach out to more people. Tomorrow I will be featured on ESPN’s “Solutions from the Huddle” and interviewed on a podcast show. I’ll talk about my book, experiences, business, and life. I’m looking forward to it, and I hope that I am able to touch more lives and help more people!

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 300 of her own blog articles. As an educator for more than twenty years, she’s had the privilege of working with tens of thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. Her upcoming book, “Not Without God: Hope In the Storm” will be out later this year. 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, the Southern Writers magazine, and Suite T blog, among other places. Socializing with friends, taking business trips, listening to music, and meeting new people are among her hobbies. She was recently featured on Color Speak (a Grace and Truth Radio World! podcast). You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, or Twitter.

My latest interview!

Please listen to my latest podcast interview on my story, God, faith, and even science! We discuss the accident I was in as a teenager, how I overcame, the theory of relativity, entanglement, more physics, and much more! It will also be on Grace and Truth Radio World! I hope you enjoy it! ~Zina🖤🎤🙏

https://www.buzzsprout.com/1213343/8606536

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 250 of her own blog articles. 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 upcoming book, “Not Without God: Hope In the Storm” will be out later this year. 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, the Southern Writers magazine, and Suite T blog among other places. 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, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

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.

Merry Christmas!🎄🌠🌝

Dear friends,

I would like to share a Christmas note that I shared with contacts earlier. I have big plans for 2021 and hope that it is as fruitful as other years have been in the past! I plan on publishing my next book, “Not Without God: Hope In the Storm.” It would be nice to go on some relaxed vacations, and I am potentially planning one to Washington D.C. for February or March. Of course, I would love to go somewhere to see the Northern Lights, but I have to go to a reasonable place!:-) Another destination I would like to go to some time is Disney World. I have never been there either. I have a long history of teaching children, and I think it would be fun!

Well, Happy Sunday evening (before CHRISTmas!). Here is the link to my note:

https://mailchi.mp/d0608d865156/zina-hermez-newsletter

Enjoy!

Yours truly,

Zina Hermez

‘Keeping Up With the Chaldeans’ (Not the Kardashians!) Interview

Check it out, everyone! This is my latest candid interview that I did before the stay-at-home orders (over two months ago) with my generous hosts, Anthony Toma, and Junior Binno. Here is the link to the YouTube show: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=keeping+up+with+the+chaldeans Please LIKE and subscribe! It is a MUST watch!

In case you don’t know who the Chaldeans are, they’ve been around since B.C. days and have developed a reputation for learning and knowledge of math, writing, and astronomy. Their greatest king was Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler of the Babylonian empire (from 605-562B.C.), and he was also the creator of one of the Seven Wonders of the World: The Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Babylonia is also referred to as ‘the land of the Chaldeans’ time and time again in the Bible. We originated in southern Mesopotamia, one of the cradles of civilization (along with India, Egypt, and China). I can speak the language, although, I was born in the U.S. I’m second generation.

I talk about my book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival, and recall my accident and other events including a healing work that was performed on my left arm! There is no greater time than now to watch! This should encourage, inspire, and help. I hope you enjoy it!

About Zina

💕🌇💗

Zina Hermez is the author of the best-selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Southern Writers Magazine, guest blogs, medical journals, and newsletters, among many other places. She’s written a few hundred articles. 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 has worked with people of all ages. Zina began her own teaching services incorporating math and other subjects. Her writing endeavors earned her an invitation to speak at the Harvard Faculty Club’s “Business Expert Forum.” Her goal is to help others overcome adversity. Socializing with friends, taking trips, baking, listening to music, trying new hairstyles, and networking are among her hobbies.  You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Come to God (Now is a better time than ever)!🙏🏻😇🧚

I sought after God at a young age. It wasn’t until my accident happened that I really understood him. I saw Jesus in everyone. I experienced God in the three months I spent in the hospital. As strange as it may seem, for the first time—my life had some meaning.

I was broken, a teenager, I couldn’t predict the future ahead or if I would even survive–I had all these injuries and had become paralyzed. But I understood God on a different level. I was searching for purpose before it.

I had friends, family, lived in a good neighborhood and went to a good school, but I would ask God what life is really about. I knew he was there, but my surroundings had me confused. I felt his presence on a daily basis, but I wanted to understand him better.

As a child, I knew my path would be difficult. He would whisper it to me through secrets in my heart. He also told me that he would never leave me nor forsake me, and that in the end I would be with him forever!

I felt his love as though it were a security blanket while outside on my childhood bike rides. Perhaps I deliberately went outside so much to spend time alone with him. I have always needed him since I was a child.

My time alone with God has always been my peace. It gives me peace☮️, and it is crucial for me. I need to talk with him and pray to figure things out. I am not independent of God. In good times and in bad, I need him. God never leaves us no matter what.

He will be the one listening to us when we need a shoulder to cry on. He will be the one with us when something goes wrong! He will celebrate. He will cry. His love is eternal. He is always there. He cannot change.

God is light.✨ Einstein realized that the speed of light is the only thing that is constant. As a matter of fact, space and time🌌 adjust to light.⚡️ God is light, and he created it. It’s in the Book of Genesis. God cannot change. We have to.🥰

First and foremost, we have to allow him into our hearts. We have free will, so God will not impose his influence. We have to choose him. We are still his children; nonetheless, he won’t impose himself on us.

He is in control, always, and he shines his light on all of us whether or not we are ‘believers.’ But I urge you to choose God. Take a look at what I went through, and he brought me through. Choose God, even in the bad times. He has a plan for you.

The bible says, ‘I am the Lord who continuously heals you.’ That means healing is not a one time thing, it is not a one time event. God heals us continuously. I have never fully recovered since my accident, but God continuously heals me, and I am healthy!

God created science. God created medicine. My doctors saved my life!👨‍🔬 We have to listen to them and take their wise instruction! I hope for everyone to have this kind of knowledge. God is a fortress and a healer. He truly is our friend.

You never know how your life will turn out. I never expected to grow up with a physical challenge, but I am blessed to have this knowledge. He will come in when everyone else has gone out. He will come in when your life is too much to bear. He will pick you up, and save you! His love cannot fail.

About Zina

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In New York City getting ready to attend a three-day-conference last September!💕🌇💗

Zina Hermez is the author of the best-selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Southern Writers Magazine, guest blogs, medical journals, and newsletters, among many other places. She’s written a few hundred articles. 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 has worked with people of all ages. Zina began her own teaching services incorporating math and other subjects. Her writing endeavors earned her an invitation to speak at the Harvard Faculty Club’s “Business Expert Forum.” Her goal is to help others overcome adversity. Socializing with friends, taking trips, baking, listening to music, trying new hairstyles, and networking are among her hobbies.  You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter.

 

‘Not Without God’–a Passage

Today I would like to share a little bit of writing from my book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival:

Here is a passage:

‘As a child, I knew my path would not be easy. The Lord told me. Not in words but in feelings and in thoughts. I would ride my bicycle up and down our street, we lived in a cul-de-sac, and I would climb to the top of the tree. I was active. I’d play sports. I was kind of a tom boy, and I heard from God on my daily bike rides–I felt his presence strongly and he would say, “This road will not be easy, Zina, but I will never leave you nor forsake you.” I knew it would be difficult. These were more of ‘whispers in my heart.’ God was introducing me to what was to come, but letting me know that I would get through it.

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At seventeen years of age, practicing how to walk!

After my accident at just sixteen, I had severe injuries, my spine not only broke but shifted at the (mid) thoracic level. My tibias and fibias were shattered in both legs as well as in my left femur bone. I needed rods and screws to hold my broken bones in place. I had a C1 fracture, and I’m lucky it wasn’t worse. That kind of injury can leave someone a quadriplegic (a quadriplegic typically loses usage of their legs and their arms, they may even have breathing trouble and need a trach).

I was told by a select few doctors that I would never walk, and today I am able to ambulate with forearm crutches or a walker. Unless it is icy and snowy out, or unless I am not feeling good. I especially use a wheelchair on ‘icy’ days because I have had a few falls!

It’s ironic because the street I grew up on was called “Gramercy Ct.,” and archaically, the word “Gramercy” is used to express gratitude, the word ‘mercy’ can mean, forgiveness or ‘many thanks.’ I am thankful to be alive so I don’t think that the name of my childhood street was a coincidence.

I am able to walk with AFOs (an ankle-foot orthosis) now, because my braces have been cut down through the years since I’ve gotten stronger, but it was something I had to ask about. A physical therapist will rarely ask if you want less of a walking brace, I mean, they evaluate you at periodic evaluations but as with all recoveries, one needs to be proactive.

The reason I am telling this story is because my life is a miracle, and so is the ability to walk. I don’t take it for granted, and I thank God every day! I want you to know that whatever it is you are going through–you can make it, too! As long as you persist, work hard, and have faith!

May God bless you all…

About Zina

73840719-0BFE-4A74-979C-DE7D4B67C89AZina Hermez authored the best-selling book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Southern Writers Magazine, various guest blogs, medical journals, newsletters, and she’s written over 200 of her very own articles. 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 worked with students of all ages. 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.

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,

-Zina

XoXo

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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.

 

 

My Upcoming Trip to New York!

Dear friends and followers,

This is a letter I shared with close contacts earlier today. I want to share it with you, too. I will be going to New York for this first-EVER event very soon!  I look forward to sharing lots of stories and pictures with you! Click here to read my newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/3bca0d5108f1/zina-hermez-newsletter

Happy fall!

~Zina

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 & history courses. Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

Is Writing A Desire or A Calling?

Are you a writer? Have you found your niche? What do you write about? Right now the popular trends are diversity, culture, and social issues. It’s important to write about topics that people care about. But keep in mind that your writing is not for everyone. Who is in your target market? I’m sure your ideas have been explored. Someone may have wanted to encourage others through their personal struggle, or they may have had a similar idea for a novel. With 1.5 million books out each year, make sure your writing is really good! We are not all meant to be writers. We can practice the skill, and I recommend it if you want to grow in your business.

But be aware that you will work long hours. The more you write the more confident you will become, though. It will become easier to convey your messages. If family or work obligations don’t allow time for it, ask yourself if writing is really your calling. It’s normal to feel fear. You may have a fear of failure or a fear of not fitting in. You may have a fear of going too far! I believe there are endless possibilities for all of us to be successful in some endeavor. But if you are meant to be a writer, your words will not only change the reader, they will change you, also!

Recently I was approached by a company that asked me to take the pay-to-publish method. I was told that If I do business with them, my book may be “picked up” by one of their larger (recognizable) parent companies because they would take note of it. There are all kinds strategies and gimmicks that people use to get you to buy their products—but before you dive deep into your pocket, learn how to write better. Learn how to write a book proposal or a pitch. Start with a one liner!

Writing takes determination and persistence. You can’t give up. If you are serious, you won’t be able to stop no matter what. You will keep on going despite any criticism or rejection.  I’ve joined writers groups. Most publishers may not pay attention to you until you are established online, so start building your platform. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are important. This is where you can connect with your potential audience.

Create your own blog, or try to write a magazine article. Begin a monthly newsletter. I started by writing Ezine articles. Those short essays can eventually turn into chapters. Maybe one day you can compile an organized manuscript. The exposure will help you seal any potential deals. I’m still working on my craft. It can take years to develop your voice, but once you do it will be worth it because writing is an art and a fascinating field!

(This article will appear in the Southern Writers Magazine – Suite T blog).

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored “Not Without God: A Story of Survival” and her forthcoming book, “Hope After the Storm” will be the second in a II part series. Her stories have been featured in various guest articles, medical journals, magazines, newsletters, and over 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 throughout the years. 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, or Twitter.

 

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.

 

I Try to Walk on a “Faith path”

I try my best to walk a faith path. A path of faith requires patience because when you walk by it, you cannot be impulsive. A faith path will not allow you to make rash decisions. You think things through. You pray about them. When you are on a faith path, you ask God to help you so you are able to discern.

When I react quickly or strictly out of emotions things seem to fall apart. But when God leads or guides you into a decision it is fruitful, and your blessings multiply! When you think things through, you are able to maintain your position until God has instructed you further.

It’s not easy. But if you stay on the path and keep asking God to lead – you’ll be much happier. Believe He has the power and let the “powers” that you think you have go because ultimately, He is the one in control.

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Seasons Greetings! Update On Me!🎄🎅

Dear friends,

As you may know, I opted to have an elective surgery on October 2 that left me in the hospital for a full week. When I was finally discharged, I had to go back for almost an additional week due to an infection that could’ve been prevented if the problem were detected early enough. I am happy to say I am at home now and doing much better!

I’m extremely grateful for everyday of health and healing I am able to experience. I hadn’t spent that much time in the hospital since my accident that happened when I was sixteen years old. Since the surgery, my condition has improved and I no longer have an ailment I suffered from for way too long.

I am reminded of the quote shared by the great abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, an American Slave that dates back to his book published back in 1845. The popular passage still resonates. He writes: “I date the entertainment of a deep conviction that slavery would not always hold me within its foul embrace, and in the darkest hours of my career this living word of faith and spirit of hope departed not from me but remained like ministering angels to cheer me through the gloom.”

He continues, “This good spirit was from God and to Him I offer thanksgiving and praise!” How does this timeless verse relate to me?  Well, it doesn’t–directly. As a survivor, I can choose to take the victim mentality though and not try to accomplish all I know I can. But Douglass stood up for his rights and even taught himself how to read and write, and I have rights, too. I am not limited in my abilities because no one knows what God can do.

What Douglass wrote speaks to my soul and it can speak to yours, also. His knowledge of God and the fact that He would set him free is parallel with my knowledge that God will set me free of any bondage in my predicament, thoughts, or attitude. Your challenge may be different from my own, but how can you apply this passage by Frederick Douglass to your own life?

What are you confident about and know you will overcome? Have you ever felt caught up in a situation you didn’t know you could get out of? Did you just know you’d be freed from it? Sometimes we just know that God will deliver us! Was there a time when you knew that only He could help you? Feel free to openly share with me in the comments. I’d love to read your thoughts and get back to you.

May you have a very Merry Christmas and may the Lord Jesus be with you this holiday season and all the days of your lives,

~Zina Hermez

P.S. I was wondering if you were able to catch my Facebook Live interview this past August with Patricia Durgin, the Christian Message coach, from Marketers on A Mission? I recount details of my book Not Without God : A Story of Survival and talk about the accident I was in as a teenager, how I overcame through my faith in the Lord, hard work, and determination.

I also get in depth about my upcoming one, Hope After the Storm. It will be the second in my II part, Not Without God series. In the video, I explain the structure and how it is designed. It’s a narrative like my first, but it gives readers an opportunity to also reflect and write in journal sections at the end of chapters. I also give tips on how to market or pre-launch your own book material or message.

It will help even if you have a desire to write but don’t know how to get started! Click the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DHHYE3QDJE

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.

True Love Came To Visit

I sought after God at a young age. It wasn’t until after I had my accident that I REALLY experienced His love. I felt it through others. What I mean is, I found it in the three short months I spent in the hospital. As strange as it may seem, for the first time—my life had meaning. I had all these injuries and had become paralyzed, but I was still searching.

I lived in a good neighborhood and went to a good school. But I would ask God questions about life, and about what it all means. I knew there was more beyond what I could see. Then I got my answers. True love came to visit me in that hospital room.

Through compassion from doctors, nurses, and loved ones – I experienced a PEACE like none I had known. Life is so precious! When you are well, you may not necessarily feel like you “need the Lord.” But when you are sick, and hanging onto life by a string – you know it. And the way he comes in to rescue you is remarkable!

You can be in a desperate place, a minute to minute, moment to moment kind of place. I urge you to seek after him before the accident and before the diagnosis. It’s like not being prepared for a flood – if there were an “extreme” weather event, you probably would’ve wished you would’ve bought insurance. And luckily, most do. Buy insurance!

Invest in the One who can bring you security. Believe, read, pray, and seek! You will be better prepared in case there is an “emergency.” “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock (Matthew 7:24-25).”

God is love because He sent his only son, and he died and rose again for us! We have proof of it. His promise to redeem us from agony is proven to be true in the resurrection. There are reasons we go through what we do. We may not understand why. But if you pray and have faith through the pain, true love will reveal itself. Good things will happen to you again.

He will be the one listening while you’re in bed when you need to talk to a friend. He will be with you when you have anxiety. He will be with you when you have to go to the hospital to visit a loved one. He will be there. Every. Step. Every. Time. God truly is a fortress in our lives

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival. She works as an English as a second language Instructor, and has been an educator for almost twenty years. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest posts, newsletters, and medical journals as well as nearly 200 of her very own blog posts. To learn more about Zina visit: zinahermez.com.

Happy Easter!

Dear friends,

Happy Easter to you! I want to share my most recent news, and also let you know about an Easter promotion we are running on “Not Without God.” The e-version of my book is practically FREE right now. There are only a few hours left! I would love for you to read it! Please take advantage of this special opportunity.

Click on this link to read my update: http://eepurl.com/bi1CAL.

May the joy, hope, and promise of Easter fill our hearts today and every day!

Sincerely,

~Zina Hermez

In ONLY 3 Days…

3 daysThe e-book version of Not Without God: A Story of Survival will be on sale for ONLY $0.99 from March 29 to April 5 on all platforms! It’s an Easter sale! So excited to give it away! It’s almost FREE. Please take advantage of this special opportunity!

Accept Life’s Challenges

“Seeds of faith are within us; sometimes it takes a crisis to nourish and encourage their growth.” –Susan Taylor

We want good things, and we become disappointed when life doesn’t go as planned. We can try to see our obstacles as experiences that bring us closer to our purpose, and that may relieve some of the pain. I think everything in my life is the way it supposed to be, but that doesn’t mean I like the way everything is. I complete the tasks set before me. I press on, in faith. From strength to strength, I am being shaped. When you’ve gone through something tragic, you can feel a deeper sense of appreciation for life.

People tell me “you’re so strong” all the time. Perhaps I am; but for me to be here is a part of God’s plan. He controls everything. I think sometimes people have this misconception that they are rewarded because of their effort and everything they do. Good things happen to them, and they get surprised when bad things occur. We can’t get angry when things go wrong in our lives. God wants to bless us. He wants to be there for us and be our best friend. But we have to trust Him. In time, He makes all things right.

Experiencing peace in all of it

Have you ever healed from reading about your own life? As I read through trauma I overcame as a teen, I feel a sense of peace. How could this be? I can read my book and feel better while doing it. What once welled up my eyes with tears as I wrote, is now a source of healing for me. It gives me strength for whatever I am dealing with.

I cherish this free time because life as I know it has changed. Things will never be the same. I’m more of a caretaker for my parents now than ever before. For those of you that don’t know, English is not my mom and dad’s first language. If I’m not teaching the subject, I’m working because I’m helping them with their medicine, making appointments, talking to doctors, or explaining things.

The illnesses of others weighs heavily. This lingering feeling of loneliness has been there… Never had a circle where I belong. Although I’ve been blessed with some really good friends, I struggle to find acceptance. In my pursuit to gain it, I realize I am also in pursuit to accept myself. I am different. What I mean is…

God told me my path would not be easy. I knew this road would be hard. Whenever I got a chance, I was outside as a child riding my bike. On those nights I remember feeling God’s presence strongly. I was getting instructions on the steps of my life. There would be some trying times, but I would make it through. I knew the other kids were not like me. I used to feel weird for having these feelings and thoughts.

If I told you I’m going to call, and haven’t gotten around to it, or if I suggested we spend time and plans fell through–I apologize. Between teaching, taking care of my own stuff along with helping Mom and Dad—I’ve got a lot to do! If I have not been as responsive as I usual am on social media sites, I have not forgotten you. Thank you for caring and for reading my post!

 

Be Originally You

All my life I’ve had to fight. I’ve been told I’m too independent, and too strong. I’ve heard, “don’t you need help?” And how can I live, “by myself.” What people don’t understand is you do your best to compensate when you’ve lost so much. Strength is my survival skill. I wouldn’t give it back for the world! I DON’T KNOW HOW TO GIVE UP.

From a young age, I had to be tough. I had to make my own decisions. Our life experiences shape us into who we become. I can’t alter or change myself to appease others. We tend to shun what we don’t understand. I can’t feel guilty for being me. We’re all different. I march to the beat of my own drum. In a culture like this one, I am not the norm. Thanks for listening to my rant!

I did not know for sure I would become a writer. Though I had a feeling I would write a book. Watching it come to fruition has been fabulous. There is so much more I want to write. Writing about yourself can be closely monitored. There’s something about telling your own story. It’s different from writing a fiction book where you can hide behind characters.

As a child, I knew my path would not be easy. God assured me I would make it through. He communicated that to me in feelings and in thoughts. God doesn’t need words to communicate with us. We can hear from him, if we only try. ~Zina Hermez

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!

Christmas–a poem.🌟👼

Christmas is for the poor… Christmas is for the weak… Christmas is for the refugee… It’s for the lonely…and the meek. It’s the magic of Christmas that captures us. Christmas movies often portray beautiful families and almost always have a happy ending.

Christmas is not only about gifts under the tree, though. It’s about something greater. It’s not about what you get, but what you’ve already got–a Savior. Christ entered, and as a man He changed the course of history. A human sacrifice.

He came for you and for me. Sent by God, the Holy Father, He performed miracles, signs, and wonders. Fully human and fully divine, He died and rose to redeem us. Christmas is about hope and peace.

It’s about a dark-skinned baby born among animals because no one would welcome him. How can we celebrate Christmas this season? Can we welcome Him into our hearts, or into our homes?

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created a Spinal Cord Injuries website. Zina has worked as an English as a Second Language Instructor and has been an educator for many 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 challenges. Her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Conference blog, the Southern Writers magazine, medical journals and various other publications. Her upcoming book, Hope After the Storm, will be the second in her II part Not Without God series and will be out sometime next year.

 

Book-signing party!

Not Without God cake!I had an incredible time last night! I really appreciated everyone coming out on a very cold day. Being an author is so enjoyable! It’s amazing that God keeps opening doors. I feel blessed, and grateful for this purpose. To be able to reach others through my writing is a gift.

I signed and personalized books. I gave a short talk called A Few Ways to Overcome Adversity. It’s a spin-off from a podcast I am going to post. I got positive feedback from the guests. It was a great night! As you can see in the photo, my sister-in-law created this wonderful cake! It was perfect.

Not Without God: A Story of Survival books were sold as well as Not Without God: A Story of Survival bracelets. Copies of my book and bracelets are both available online. Visit my website: http://zinahermez.com. I gave a free copy of Not Without God to our book raffle winner, Jeff! It was a night filled with laughter, love, friendship, and fun!

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.

Not Without God – an Excerpt

Today I’d like to share a passage from my book Not Without God: A Story of Survival. As you may already know my life is a miracle, and so is the ability to walk after an accident that left me paralyzed as a teen. In the hospital I kept a journal, and each night at midnight—under my covers, with my flashlight in one hand and a pencil and pad in the other, with 10,000 Maniacs playing “These Are The Days” and “Garden of Eden” in the background—I would write.

Here is a journal entry I wrote.

“Dear God, I believe You are with me—listening to me and answering my prayers. I feel lucky. I have You here. That’s because I’ve opened my heart, and I’m trying to more and more every day. I don’t know how I got so lucky. Because before this accident I didn’t know exactly how You worked. I was insecure because I didn’t know who I was.”

I would ask God to make me a better person. I was confused. I knew there was a God and that He was mighty, but I couldn’t grasp everything. I believed my prayers were answered through my tragedy. I was thankful, and I felt lucky that God saved me from the accident. The outpouring of love and support made me feel even more fortunate.

The passage continues.

“But now it’s like I have found myself, I know who I am, what I want, where I am going. And I’m sure of myself. I don’t know. But no matter what, I’m thankful. How did I get so lucky for you to help me and save me from the accident? And help me see clearly. I know it came from You.”

Every time I feel upset or down I try to revisit this place. A place where I was simply thankful (for breath and life). It makes all the other stuff seem not so important. I return to thankfulness and gratitude. This was a turning point, and it is from Chapter 2 of my book.

 

About Zina

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

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