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 at 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.

Its God’s Timing

I think sometimes we expect too much in too little of a time. We don’t like to wait. We get frustrated if we’re in a long line. Through the power of the Internet we have a lot of information right at our fingertips! A student once told me that in her country, you could wait on the cable guy for a couple of days before he comes to resolve the issue with your television. I’m usually able fix any technical problem over the phone.

But we have to understand that in the spiritual realm things work differently. We can’t get what we want quickly, or simply have our dream come true! Success is a process, and so are things like healing and promotion. We have to work hard, and we have to learn to get better and earn what we have. There are no short cuts.

Have you ever heard its “God’s timing” before? God’s timing means you work towards your hopes, dreams, and goals but know that ultimately—you are not the one in control. He wants to promote you. But you have to trust Him. I would rather have God’s timing, it’s better than my own!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for 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 challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

Merry Christmas!

Dear friends,

This is a letter I shared with close contacts today: http://eepurl.com/bKWiPj. I want to share it with you because you’ve supported me too. Thank YOU!

You can read about my recent adventure!

May you have a very blessed and Merry Christmas with your families!

Sincerely,

-Zina Hermez

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for 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 challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

My trip to HARVARD last weekend!

I attended the Business Expert Forum at the Harvard Faculty Club for a speaking event with people who are so successful. I was one of 60 speakers on December 5. Surreal. At times I couldn’t believe it. Sitting there looking at lights, cameras, and action! It was exciting, we gave TV-like-appearances that provided live streaming. I’ve never experienced anything like it!

One presenter was an engineer from Germany who’s worked closely with BMW, Audi, and Porsche. He was the youngest speaker there, I was the second. 😉 I watched the president of the Entrepreneurship Students Club at Harvard Business School give his talk. Another presenter was a coach originally from Australia (He said my speech inspired him : ). There was a doctor developing solutions for the blind, oh, and a billionaire!harvardblogpost

There was a famous actor, Jonathan Goldsmith, best-selling-authors, people who have been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. There was a guy who’s worked with the president! I met a motivational speaker to Mel Gibson! She was so humble. The speakers were professional. I watched them all in awe and amusement. I was surrounded by talent.

Everyone was sharing their message, promoting their brand, or just socializing with others. At night there were hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. I love meeting people and networking. I really enjoyed it! Clint Arthur hosted it. He’s the founder and organizer of the Business Expert Forum. He made it possible for all of us!

My older brother, Joe, got me to the airport on time at 6am on Friday. In preparation for the big day on Saturday, I arrived early and stayed in Cambridge for a total of two nights. I took pictures of Harvard Square and MIT—a famous engineering college. My sister and her husband picked me up from the airport on Sunday. I really appreciated my family’s help!

I work very hard so this was a bonus! I felt exhausted when I returned home, but it was worth every moment! I had to find four substitutes to cover my classes, but now I can say I’ve been to Harvard. I’ve even SPOKEN there. I’ll never forget it!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for 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 challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

My next Speaking engagement is on Dec. 5!

Dear friends,

This is a letter I shared with close contacts earlier:  http://eepurl.com/bImqHT. I want to share it with you, my readers, because you have supported me too. Thank YOU!

You can read about my upcoming adventure! And you can also watch me on livestreaming if you’d like! Click here: http://signupforthelivestream.gr8.com.

I hope you’ll join me!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for 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 challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

A Moment of Thanks – An Excerpt from My Book

“All you need to know is that someone cares. A small detail, but it’s enough to turn your life around. Love changes things.” ~Zina

While in the hospital at sixteen I kept a journal, and each night at midnight—under my covers, with a flashlight in one hand and a pencil and pad in the other with music playing in the background—I would write. Here is one journal entry:

Dear God,

I believe You are with me—listening and answering my prayers. I feel lucky to have You. I’ve opened my heart, and I’m trying to more. I don’t know how I got so lucky because before the accident, I didn’t know how You worked. But now I have found myself, I know who I am, what I want, and where I’m going.

I was thankful God saved me, and because of the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, hospital staff, and even families of the other children– I felt worthy. I think love has the power to do that, take a broken teenager, and make them feel whole.

In moments of despair I can revisit this place, it will make anything I’m upset about small. Can you be thankful for a time in your life when things could’ve been worse? Focus on how God’s saving grace helped you. It is an act of THANKSGIVING!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for 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 challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest blogs, newsletters, medical journals, and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com.

A quote from my book!

My life had changed dramatically, and only God could help me. I knew only God could get me out of this.” ~Not Without God

Me
Signing one of my books!

Have you ever felt this way? Was there a time when you knew that only God could help you? Maybe you suffered something, or encountered an experience that affected you tragically. If you’ve ever been in this place, you know, like I do that ONLY God can help you!

It can be a desperate place. A minute to minute, moment to moment, dependence-on-God-place. Maybe you weren’t religious or spiritual when you encountered it, or maybe you were a little but then felt like you needed Him more than EVER before!

It can be a tough place, an unpredictable place, a HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN place. I don’t wish for anyone to enter it because I’ve been there more than once! It can leave you feeling uncertain. Get to know Him. Before the phone call, the diagnosis, before the loved one dies, or before your heart breaks!

My accident happened at a young age. I had love for the Lord but it still turned my life around. I kept asking Him what to do, and all through my twenties continued. God seeks a relationship with you! Talk to Him like you would your closest friend.

We can never be prepared for an earthquake, but imagine if we had packed canned food and bottles of water, had an emergency hotline number that provided shelter, or found a charity. How much more prepared would we be?

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for 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 challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest blogs, newsletters, medical journals, and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com.

Faith as a Mustard Seed

Faith is the ability to see something good in your life with no evidence of it being true. You create the experience. ~Zina

I would like to share a quote from my book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival because I believe it can be helpful. “Life sometimes happens whether we are prepared or not. I had one hope: my faith.” What does this mean to you? When you read this passage, what comes to mind? Let me repeat it: “Life sometimes happens whether we are prepared or not. I had one hope: my faith.”

Could you paraphrase this expression, or interpret it if I asked you to? Feel free to share your thoughts with me. Faith means so much. I would not have come this far without it. “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1).”

If I didn’t believe this passage, I would not have healed after my accident. I could see myself getting better in the beginning even when I could not move! But it took a lot of faith. Faith is not something you see, you can use it to imagine, to believe that something will happen even when it seems like it won’t!

Faith can be likened to a mustard seed. The Lord said that if you have “faith as small as a mustard seed” nothing will be impossible. So I want to challenge you. How can you have more faith? The kind of faith that can help you overcome. Are you practicing it? Jot down any ideas on how you can expand it. How can you water the mustard seed so that your faith will continue to grow?

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! online website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for 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 challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, guest blogs, newsletters, medical journals, and other publications. To learn more about Zina visit: http://zinahermez.com.

My Life

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 Book Signing at Barnes & Noble Booksellers!

Tonight I would like to share some photos. These are just a few pictures from my Book Signing at Barnes & Noble last Sunday! Many friends showed up, and some brought their families too! I’m grateful to have such kind and caring friends. Some people that I had never met came just to hear me speak. After my speaking engagement, I gave a short Q and A at the end. Some stayed around and chatted and socialized. People got copies of my latest (my first!) book, Not Without God signed! I’ll never forget it! I had so much fun!

I remember going to Borders and Barnes & Noble book stores through college. Remember, Borders? Yeah. They went out of business. Thankfully, Barnes & Noble book stores have not! I’d meet friends and study there, or go alone to browse at the books in the aisles. I’d grab a cup of coffee or favorite drink at the time, and plant myself in the café reading and writing for hours. I still enjoy doing this. It’s great to have everything you want at the stroke of your fingertips: Amazon, eBay, and the wealth of knowledge we have on the Internet.

But there is something special about going to the book store–holding a book, flipping through the pages, sipping on hot chocolate, learning new things, and meeting friends! I had a feeling I would be here. What do I mean? I knew my words would be mixed in with all the others, pages, chapters, and books. Here I am. It’s what I knew I would do! It’s fascinating! I look forward to more speaking engagements, more signings, and more friends!

“How a Teenager Overcame Traumatic Injuries”

My story was shared on the Salonpas blog earlier today, and I wanted to post it! I answered questions from a reporter in New York about myself and my book. Here is the link: http://www.salonpas.us/blog/teenager-overcame-traumatic-injuries/

I was asked how I felt when I first heard I would not walk again from doctors after my accident, and what my first major step in recovery was. Other questions were about what role my faith has played, and what made me decide to write a book, along with more! I am pleased with the article!

Hope you enjoy it!

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.

Merry Christmas Eve!

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.

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.

 

In Love with Life

From pinterest.com

Not all the time. But usually. I try to not complain – even when things aren’t going right. This has not been the easiest year. I have had some added stress. I’m teaching English, writing thoughts down, and trying to stay in contact with those who care. It’s a busy time.

I do love life! I wouldn’t trade places with anyone else. Not because mine is the best; not even close. But things always fall into place even when they seem to be falling apart. Does that make any sense?

It’s true! Life improves.

How we respond to situations makes a difference when times are tough. We can worry, we can stress. But it doesn’t profit us. I’m looking forward to a Not Without God book signing in January, and another one scheduled in early April.

Everything will be okay. It always is. And, it’s almost Christmas!

“The Lord helps His people in their times of despair.” ~Zina Hermez

Can you remember a time when your difficulties brought you closer to God? Did things eventually come together? Feel free to share your thoughts.

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.

 

A Book Signing!

What a wonderful memory! This pic was taken on Apr. 30 at my speaking event “How to Live Your Vision and Overcome Your Challenges with Zina Hermez.” Dan won our book prize! book raffle

I had the opportunity to speak to all of the A2 LEAP entrepreneurs, thanks to my good friend, Millie Chu. A2 LEAP is her non profit organization. A2 LEAP stands for: Authentically Awesome (A2), Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Achievers, and Professionals (LEAP)! Isn’t that cool? She’s pictured with me below. On November 21, 2014 at 6pm. I will have another Book event. If you are in the Michigan area, we would love to have you! If you would like to travel, we’d love for you to join us! Please sign up here to receive updates about my book events! http://eepurl.com/19Hl1.wpapr30wm

 

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 – A Poem

Tonight I would like to share a poem that I wrote from my book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. Regina, my nurse had put this in a plaque for me as a gift and she gave it to me on my birthday – a few months after my accident in 1994.

Regina was not only a nurse for many years in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. She was also an ordained Baptist minister, and woman of faith. She was the first medical professional to tell me I would walk again after my all of my injuries.

GOD

GOD I am crying, crying out to you.

Will you help me, help me get through.

Through the hard times with faith, strength and wisdom.

And be able to face whatever the outcome.

I will give my hardest to do what I think is best for me.

With everything I got, heart, mind, ability will you hold my hand through this PLEASE?

But if in the end I will be upset, I’ll be thankful, thankful for being here with family and friends.

And thank you God we finally met.

I wrote this poem after I found out some of the hospital staff were saying I would never walk again. I’ll never forget how I felt when my sister and Regina broke that news to me. In this poem, I was asking God to get me through the crisis while believing, and accepting.

My nurse found this poem so special that she framed it. It still sits on a mantle in my living room. I still read it, and to this day I am thankful. In awe of God’s mercies and all He has done for me. This 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.

Not Without God Book Launch

Hello friends,

Not Without God: A Story of Survival will be available in bookstores across the country tomorrow, October 7. It is already being shipped out. Will you be a part of my team? I NEED your help. I am asking you–my friends, and family.

A few ways you can help:

Have you bought my book? If not this would be a good time because I’m giving away a free Not Without God bracelet with each purchase now through Friday, October 10. I’m offering this promotion to celebrate! Just visit: http://www.zinahermez.com.

Facebook Share: I’m hoping to see Facebook shares with a link to my website where others can purchase the book over the next few days at http://zinahermez.com. These shares today and tomorrow would be great!

Twitter Update: Are you a Tweeter? I’ll need your help. If you follow me on Twitter please Retweet any book posts or links you see, or feel free to tweet my link on your own: http://zinahermez.com.

I hope you’re in! I would be so grateful, I would never have come to this point without all of your help!

Yours truly,

 

Zina Hermez

Author, Not Without God

 

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.

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.

How I Found Peace

Have you ever felt a sense of peace while turning the pages of a story about your life? This is what I’ve experienced. As I review my book, and the suffering I’ve encountered from a life-changing accident that left me paralyzed as a teen. I begin to feel a sense of peace.

I didn’t always feel this way.

Something that once welled up my eyes with tears. Tears that often hit the keyboard as I typed and recapped thoughts and memories—is now a source of healing for me. I can read over the story of my life, and feel good while doing it.

It’s amazing how God works.

To be cured is to be freed from a condition or disease. To be healed is to be made whole. Although I’m still dealing with present circumstances from my accident. I cannot walk without a cane or crutches. Yet, I still feel whole; complete.

How could this be?

I’ve been given a gift. I don’t mean the gift to teach, nor do I mean the gift to write. A gift that has brought me pain, rejection, and even loss that most people will never experience. But more importantly, a gift that has brought me closer to God. With every failure and with every defeat, I have come to know the Lord.

It still feels like a dream that I have finished my book, Not without God. It still feels dream-like that it will be available in bookstores on October 7. It is now available online and at http://zinahermez.com. I always had a desire to leave my mark, so to speak.

A desire to make a difference in the world. I never knew that desire would be fulfilled through a tragedy. The odds have been stacked up against me. The Bible says, “…for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again” (Prov. 24:16). I am not perfect, but with each failure and with each lesson. I have gotten up!

 

 

Not Without God book event!

My first book-signing party took place earlier this month on September 5. Sponsored by Beztak Homes and held right in my hometown, I had a wonderful time. Many supportive friends came out on a stormy night. I gave a talk that was centered on a speaking engagement I’ve given called, “How to Live Your Vision and Overcome Your Challenges!”

friends
With my friend Samara!

Not Without God: A Story of Survival books were displayed as well as bracelets that I designed. I made the bracelets to match the colors of my book. Copies of my book are available now on my website at http://zinahermez.com. People were purchasing both, and I signed and personalized the books. There were appetizers, networking, friendship, and fun! It was very nice.

I was able to share my story and offer simple methods on how I healed after my accident with tips like prayer, exercise, keeping a journal, and more… I read a few excerpts from my book.

I opened with a quote that is one of my favorites, “Love is a force that is able to heal the worst of situations.” I explained to my audience how love saved my life after my accident in 1994 through the care of doctors, nurses, family, and friends. I then challenged my audience to ask themselves how they could give or invite more of this love into their life. The kind of love that has the power to heal and the power to save. The kind of love that I experienced.

Our prize drawing was a copy of my book, Not Without God. The winner, Elizabeth, was excited and that really meant a lot. She assured me the book could not have come at a better time since she is going through a divorce. She also said she really needed to hear my talk that night. I appreciated the feedback. It’s always a blessing to receive responses like this after I’m done speaking, or after someone has read my writing.

I’m rapidly approaching the launch of my book, Not Without God! It will be released in October and available online or at your favorite bookstore! It is available in bookstores and online right now for pre-order. I will attend a Writer’s conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan next month. I really look forward to meeting a few writers there that I have only met on line, and I also look forward to making new friends. I’m grateful for all of the love and support I have received. It is a busy, but exciting time!

 

My latest article on Spinal Cord Injury Zone!

People sometimes write to me from other countries. I recently got an email out of India, and it was a plea for help. The writer has a family member that was injured in an accident, and the family member now has a spinal-cord-injury (SCI). I believe that in countries such as India, medical insurance (especially for those with spinal injuries) can be harder to afford than it is in the U.S.

He wrote: “Dear Zina, my brother in law had an accident 2 weeks back and is now a paraplegic even after 2 spinal surgeries. He has a T11-12 fracture. The Dr. says he won’t be able to walk again it’s too depressing. We live in India and we don’t have enough money for survival. My sister and brother in law are so depressed as they are having a 2 year old son. Can you guide us in what we can do to get recovery. Please guide us for recovery. Kind regards, Ruchi.”

These kinds of posts are always sad. I have already responded, but I would like to address Ruchi’s request and answer here for him as well as for the others that have written to me with similar requests on my blog. I have posted this advice several times. After a spinal-cord-injury, health insurance could very well not be affordable. However, you may be able to find a personal-trainer that is willing to help you at a reasonable cost. He or she can design a safe but challenging exercise program designed specifically for the patient’s needs.

Of course the physical therapist or trainer would determine when it would be safe to start exercise/physical therapy after spinal-cord damage. A family member also may be able to help if hiring a personal trainer or physical therapist is not an option. But safety must come first! You don’t want the person with SCI to become worse by risking further injuries.

I am not a doctor or psychologist. I don’t have a non-profit. I‘m a teacher and a writer and I started my blog in 2012. I have separated articles into categories and have given free tips, inspiration, and medical information. I also wrote a book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival and it describes how I healed from near-fatal injuries as a result of an accident that left me paralyzed at sixteen. While crossing the street to get to my friend’s bus stop, I was hit by a car. It’s a miracle from the Lord that I’m alive and able to walk.

In my book, I explain simple things I do such as getting daily exercise and taking fifteen minutes a day for prayer. It may be helpful to keep a food diary to know your body as spinal-cord-injury can also affect your digestive system. Another tip is to know how to listen carefully to your doctor without neglecting “your own doctor” within. Trust your intuitions–they can really help you! My book is more than just a personal story because it focuses on recovery.

Chapter five is called Some Quick Tips on How I Heal, and I suggest simple methods to recover such as prayer and exercise. I offer a short homework assignment at the end of the chapter where the reader is the student as well as the teacher. I encourage you to assess yourself! Please read my latest update, news, and article about my book on Spinal Cord Injury Zone:

http://www.spinalcordinjuryzone.com/info/12978/book-without-god-story-survival-published

Last but definitely not least—don’t forget to pray! Pray Always!

“Prayer will always change things! …you can’t talk to God and not have it change things!” –Bishop T.D. Jakes

 

The Benefits of Being in Groups

My friend Millie invited me to speak to her non-profit organization, A2 LEAP last Wednesday in Michigan. A2 LEAP stands for: Authentically Awesome (A2), Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Achievers, and Professionals (LEAP)! Isn’t that cool? I’m a member of this dynamic and thriving group. I was able to share my story with them, and offer some tips on how I healed after my accident with a little bit of my writing. It was such a wonderful experience.mespeak

One of our prize drawings was a copy of my book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. The winner was excited, and it was really neat to witness that. The event was called, “How to Live Your Vision and Overcome Your Challenges! by Zina Hermez.” I knew some of the people there and had already become friends with them at previous events. Some of the faces were new, but everyone was friendly and warm welcomed me. I started off my speech by thanking them. After I was finished, I got some really great feedback. I can’t remember the last time I went to sleep so happy!

Almost two weeks ago, I launched my new website: http://zinahermez.com Please take a look, and let me know what you think. I will be adding a “Speaking” tab to it very soon. I’m blessed because I get to do what I love—write and speak. I feel a sense of peace. I’m grateful for the new friendships I’ve made. In general, I’m grateful for all of the love and support I have received. It feels so good to be here. Despite everything I went through, I am embarking upon a new journey. I am thrilled.

I had a nice time in church on Sunday. I was invited to attend a class as part of a Learning Labs series. One of our topics was God’s place in logic and reason. The class is taught by a physicist and expert in Biblical apologetics. It’s refreshing to see someone in medicine take on this approach. I look forward to upcoming classes, because apologetics is an area I would like to learn more about.

I’ve always enjoyed being a part of groups. How about you? Have you joined any groups lately? Tell me about them. I think being in groups can be very healthy. You are welcome to share your thoughts with me in the comments.

I’m grateful for these kinds of opportunities and I welcome them. I love to learn, meet new people, inspire, and be inspired whenever I can!

 

“Love Conquers All”

“Love is a force that is able to heal the worst of situations.” ~Zina Hermez

It’s one of my favorite quotes from my forthcoming book, Not Without God: A Story of Survival. Love helped me heal from my accident on Oct. 18, 1994. The love from friends and family, and the love at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital was incomparable. It emanated from the doctors, the nurses, even the families of children who were ill. There was this energy I can’t explain, but it translated into a lot of love.

The reason I wrote Not Without God, is to share my story and how I healed from a catastrophic accident that left me paralyzed as a teen. I hope that through reading my book, others will be inspired and overcome their own challenges of any kind. I pray that through my story, others will be able to get insight into how to heal.

Today I’m grateful for the abilities I have and the ability to walk at all, and I have not given up. I went from being a popular teen to alone and handicapped. I was on a breathing machine. I could not talk. I could not move. I could not eat solid food in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for nearly a month. The only way to communicate was to write.

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. We have to understand that everything happens by Him and for Him. I think sometimes people have this misconception that they are rewarded because of their effort or hard work and things they do. Good things happen to them, and they get surprised when bad things occur. But God allows suffering sometimes. No matter how much I’ve been through, it’s nothing compared to what Jesus went through.

Today is Palm Sunday: the first day of Holy Week. Easter is on Sunday, April 20. No matter what our burdens, let us carry them and follow after Him.

But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. —Isaiah 53:5