We are all ‘called!’

It’s easy to fall off our tracks. We lose sight of what’s essential and move away from our purpose. Whether you’re meant to have a career or be a full-time homemaker, you have a mission here. But it’s easy to feel hopeless. It’s easy to feel like, ‘What am I doing?’ I believe we are all called to do something. We don’t always adhere to it. What I mean is, we each have our unique heavenly purpose. There’s something we’ll do here that’ll make sense when we get to heaven. Some people are unsure of what their ‘purpose’ is, and this can cause feelings of sadness. Sometimes it is just existing and being a friend. Family member. Co-worker, or spouse. God doesn’t get upset with us when we fail, but he does want us to live to our full potential. Ask yourself, am I living out my true potential? Is there something more I could be doing to contribute or to help myself? Our intuition lets us know when something is wrong. When all is right, we may feel happy or peaceful. I feel the most peaceful when I write, so I know it’s what I’m supposed to be doing! What makes you feel the happiest? Whatever it is, it could be part of your purpose. Anything good, anything pure and true, is a gift from above. When it is meant from the Father, there will be no doubt or shadow of turning. It doesn’t mean the path will be easy. But in the end it will be worth it. Either way, God doesn’t love you because of what you do. He loves you because you are you, his child, the one he longs to be with! One day you will realize the importance of his profound existence!

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored “Not Without God: A Story of Survival.” Her stories have been featured in various guest articles, medical journals, magazines, newsletters, and over 200 of her blog posts. As an educator for more than twenty years, she’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. Her writing endeavors earned her an invitation to speak at the Harvard Faculty Club’s “Business Expert Forum.” Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity, and she strives to do what she longs to–help other people. She’s appeared in Christianity Today and the Southern Writers magazine more than once. Socializing with friends, taking business trips, listening to music, and meeting new people are among her hobbies. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, or Twitter.

Chapter 10 from my book, “Not Without God: Hope In the Storm.”

Some Tips on How I Overcome

We sometimes go through hardship; I’d like to offer you some advice in this chapter if you areI can now use an elliptical at the gym, and I don’t even recall envisioning this. I mean, I never dreamt I would be able to run on an elliptical. I imagined I was walking on a walker at sixteen after my accident and suffering paralysis, but using an elliptical and going three to four miles on it is a huge success.

My point is, God will take you even further than what you’ve dreamt. He has the capability. It’s is a far stretch from where I was while in the hospital! I imagined myself walking even when I couldn’t sit up for more than a minute. And now, all these years later, running on an elliptical? God has given me abundance. I would picture myself getting better. Although I am not functional with one cane, I still believe I can get there. With God, nothing is impossible.

Having faith has so much to do with what we envision. We don’t always realize that; sometimes, we think that having faith comes only through what we hear or learn. But faith comes through what we envision; imagination is a powerful tool, and what we dream becomes manifest.

But not listening to doctors and science is detrimental. You see, what you hear is essential. What you hear has a way of affecting you either negatively or positively. Faith does cometh by heareth. We must have faith in science; I’ve talked about science in this book.

I’ve been able to accomplish walking because I envisioned it twenty-five years ago (I had faith). I expected it. Our imagination is from God. I’ve heard from a famous pastor that imagining him is the closest we will ever get to seeing him while we’re here, and seeing God can be real if we stop rejecting our imagination.

We reject it every day because society teaches us that if we use it, we are silly. Sometimes images just come to me while praying. I see specs of light often, even rays of light I have seen many times. Things sometimes move on their own. I always saw this as God’s way of telling me his angels are near and protecting me. I have heard God’s voice from deep within instructing me and even scream and tell me what to do in life-saving moments.

I have studied physics for a year and a half now, and all of the theories I’ve learned further prove God and his excellent existence! The fact is that the greatest physicists now say we are moving here through our imagination. We are made up of billions and billions of atoms that can never die. All of this is true.

The Theory of entanglement holds across the universe. These are Biblical principles taught to us through physics, but you would never know it without studying the universe. The Bible teaches us we are ‘entangled with Christ,’ so there is this entanglement. Every human being has already ‘died’ because when One died, all died,’ the Bible tells us.

‘That we no longer live for ourselves but live for the one who died and rose again for us.’ Modern physicists are now teaching that everything is happening at the same time. Actually, ‘time’ is the only thing stopping everything from happening all at once; however, the past, present, and future are equally real. In space-time, there is no distinction.

Everyone should search and find. Scientists are now suggesting that there may be multiverses because of the Theory of entanglement. ‘When one electron is in any given space, there is a complete duplicate that will even move and act the same way in a different place. The two particles can be on opposite sides of the universe, but they will behave the same way.

I can also accept all of it because I know how amazing God is. It doesn’t challenge my faith. It strengthens it! The Theory of relativity teaches us the importance of light. There is light in everything. God created it. The first thing he created was light. Light makes up the entire universe. Our bodies are composed of billions of atoms, again, that absorb and emit light.

According to Einstein’s Theory, light’s speed is the only thing in the universe that is constant. I listen to some great physicists such as Dr. Briane Greene, Leonard Susskind, and Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. People who only listen to what their church teaches, who are afraid to ‘leave the pew,’ so to speak, and study science are missing out.

God has put all the puzzle pieces together for us. Because God is perfect, and so is his design. God cannot be anything but perfect, so all the answers have been revealed, and science is discovering more. Physicists are just adding to what they already know, and with every mind-blowing discovery, God’s magnificence is revealed!

***

I never stop giving thanks. When you have a grateful heart and thank God for everything, you receive blessings because a thankful heart will provide you with a graceful attitude. I know it can be challenging to feel that way all the time. But try to think of all that God has done for you! I’m sure you are unique, as we all are. By reflecting on the abundance, you will have a better disposition. Sometimes you look around and can’t see past all the blessings, which is a cheerful heart!

Never give up. You have to work at accomplishing goals continuously. If you give up, you will never know what could’ve been if you would’ve only kept ongoing. There will be people who tell you differently or that you cannot do something. If you believe them, you won’t! You have to work hard and realize that it can take years for your dreams to occur. You will never regret all the work you have put in.

I know I haven’t. It will be worth it! The worst that can happen, you can try but fail, and you will more than likely not fail. I have had to accept that I may never walk the way I did before the accident, meaning hands-free, but I have accepted it. It doesn’t mean I don’t strive to get better. I have learned NEVER to say NEVER.

Have you ever thought about being a writer, for example? Did you know that 80 percent of Americans believe they should write a book? Most of them will never do it. People get intimidated by the work. They don’t know how to find a publisher or even self-publish. They never try or give up. 

These days, writers can self-publish with tools online, and there are ways to get your book printed on-demand, or you can go the route of Indie publishing like I have.

I traveled a lot on business trips, I’ve been to New York twice, and even met celebrities like Ice-T, his wife, Coco, Martha Stewart, Jerry, from Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, and more!

But whether you publish independently, with a hybrid company, or with a traditional publisher–you are still responsible for marketing. Be aware. Authors are not only writers, but they are also marketers, “experts,” salespeople, speakers, and we wear many hats! 

I would not suggest for anyone to publish prematurely. Millions of people write books each year, but the majority of them are not any good. You don’t have to be born with the talent, but you do have to practice! 

You can’t just wave a magic wand and become an excellent writer. I have been working on my craft for years. Outstanding writers often ghostwrite. I hope to one day do that also. That is where you write books for others. Again, to do something like that, you have to be a fabulous writer. 

You can start by writing for fifteen minutes a day. You can then re-read what you wrote to reflect and recognize errors in your writing like punctuation, spelling, and grammar. You can add more or rewrite to help change any negative attitudes if you practice journaling. 

You can’t heal from what you don’t acknowledge, and writing can be therapeutic. I’ve practiced this technique since I was a teenager. Write somewhere where you can focus and edit. If you can’t find the time to write every day, write for a total of one to two hours per week if you can. 

Three hours or more of writing per week would be an ideal schedule, though, if you’d like to be a writer.

Find a Writer’s Community. What would you want to write? Who will be in your audience? Create a blog. You can start a free blog at WordPress.com. I use that platform. I recommend you search for video tutorials on how to use it, again, not something you will quickly pick up by ‘waving your magic wand.’ 

You can start a blog at WordPress.org, but you would have to purchase hosting. I’ve bought a domain at Godaddy.com (I am not an affiliate of any of these companies). But my domain is just at zinahermez.com and points to my blog (My blog acts as my complete website.). It is also listed under notwithoutgod.net

Connect with other writers: join a writers’ group, attend a writers’ conference (I have been to several out-of-state and had a great time!). Share your writing with your friends or family and ask for honest feedback, but ask them not to be too harsh. Compliments with constructive criticism are healthy. 

Find an accountability partner (That was a new piece of advice I heard at a conference!). I liked it—someone to keep you responsible. I don’t need that at this point. 

I have been writing for nearly ten years, actively meaning for the publishing world. I write for several hours per day. Reading others’ writing can help, and it is a great way to write better. The best writers are the best readers, and writing can help you be a better speaker–I have told many people. Read a lot of material, research, books, online magazines, and fact-checked and reliable resources! 

Relax, and enjoy it (if you have no interest in writing, disregard)! I’ve taken the fun out of writing by focusing on trying to make it “perfect.” Trying to type the right words word-for-word can be stressful. I used to do that a lot in the beginning. These high expectations can take the enjoyment out of it! Writing has to be fulfilling. 

I was listening to a live webinar in my Writers Guild (a membership group I used to be in), and I heard a man say he feels “parched” while he writes. He was asking our writing coach how to solve this problem. He shouldn’t feel parched; he should feel inspired. You cannot inspire someone else until you inspire yourself first. But this develops over time. 

Finding your “voice” can take a while, but writing can become easier and more comfortable once you find it. You won’t regret all the work you’ve put in!

***

You also cannot be weak. Keep your body moving! And get up and exercise so you can stay healthy. That is what I do daily. They say that for athletes, 10,000 steps per day is ideal. Since I am someone with a spinal cord injury, I know that is not required of me, so I try my best to fulfill a few thousand steps (or mile) per day.

There is a body and mind connection. You will ‘see’ the impossible happen while you’re exercising! Train your body. There are so many possibilities. But it is hard to see them when you’re sitting on the couch. Start now, lift weights, and start with bicep curls.

Don’t be stagnant.

My daily regimen consists of exercising and writing, for the most part. Writing can take some energy, too. As I mentioned before, I listen to the Bible through audio (I try to listen every night, but I tend to listen sporadically throughout the week or during different times of the day). I listen to the Psalms (usually the dramatized version through a Bible app).

My favorite Psalms now are 69, 71, 74, and 77. One of my favorite books is The Book of Acts. It’s powerful.

Below are some remedies for overcoming—the ones I mentioned at the beginning of this chapter. When I speak publicly, I often talk about these topics.

•Talk to God throughout the day. Make Him your closest friend. He is the most outstanding listener. He will never interrupt. I know I can always count on Him. He will never stop listening to you. God is omnipresent. He can be everywhere all at once. He will answer, but not necessarily on your timing, and things may not go your way–but he’ll answer you one way or the other. The answers often come to me immediately in my heart. 

But I have been practicing having a relationship with God for a long time, so our connection is substantial. Like I mentioned above, having a relationship with God is like exercising a muscle. The more you practice exercising it, the stronger it gets! If you are quiet, you will hear from him better.

The answers will come (typically through feelings in your heart or visions). You have to discern God’s voice, but it can be hard to hear his voice if you do not know him well and talk with him much at all, so start practicing. If you are having trouble understanding God and his ways, I recommend reading the Bible. Begin at the New Testament Gospels.

Try not to make hasty decisions. When the answer to your prayer comes from God–you will be sure of it. There will be no shadow of turning, as it says in the Bible. When something comes down from the Father of Lights, you will know it!

Please think about how you can implement some of the activities I mentioned. Can you go for a walk (before the kids wake up if you are a mother)? And can you share your thoughts with God (pray for yourself and others)? What would you ask him for? Can you be cordial with ‘everyone?’ Can you make time for extracurricular activities? What are your hobbies? Are you a member of any groups? 

Can you go to the gym before your eight-hour workday (if you have one)? How about setting up a regular weekly sports game like tennis or walking with friends to make exercise social (so long as your governor is allowing it)? How can you be creative? Reflect. Write your thoughts down. It will help you realize what you have been lacking and how you can make your life better! It will also help you to improve! 

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.

On Love & Relationships! ♥️♥️♥️

God is perfecting a work in you, and he is no way finished. The life of someone who follows Jesus is not an easy one, because he is continually molding and shaping us.

There will be hardships, at times you will face rejection and even feel all alone. Nonetheless, God will never leave you. He is the only One that will bring you through.

He doesn’t love you any less when you fail—he knows you will mess up! But the whole point is that you want to make it right with him.

I tend to retreat when I am angry because I can cool off and collect my thoughts. Retreating is not always the best option. Some situations are difficult and chronic no matter what.

Don’t get under the impression that you can live alone and that you do not need anyone, some people run, but this is only a temporary solution—we need each other.

You can release stress by talking about it. Make sure you are talking to a trusted friend. Someone you know really well.

Turning to your journal is a great reliever. It can help you figure things out. This is my number one way of dealing with issues. It’s effective because you can let it all out.

This way you are able to notice any unhealthy patterns in your thinking, or you can think of strategies on how to resolve the problem.

Of course praying is powerful. I see prayer as a way of talking in your journal out loud. When you pray you are talking to the Holy Spirit. He hears you even before you convey the message. God knows the thoughts of our hearts.

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He knows our fears, insecurities, and doubts. He knows when we are being fair and when we are not being treated well.

That is why prayer, or talking about it to Him is effective. It’s another way of sorting out your thoughts.

The fruits of the spirit are “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).” I hope to possess all of these more.

Life is a dance between you and God. All else is an illusion; it’s a manifestation of His love. So how you treat others is significant because you are truly having relations with the Lord. The Holy Spirit lives inside of us.

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. 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.

Hillsong UNITED Concert!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some Things I’ve Learned

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

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

We have a marvelous God who never gives up on us! I’ve always held onto what I know–God will get me through. After my accident at the age of sixteen years old, I didn’t know what the next day would bring.

I could not predict anything. But I knew that with God by my side, overcoming would become second nature. It did! Writing helps me process my thoughts. There are some things I’ve learned that I want to share.

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

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

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About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the best-selling book, “Not Without God: A Story of Survival.” Her stories have been featured in various guest articles, medical journals, magazines, newsletters, and over 200 of her very own blog posts. She works as an English teacher in the Detroit area. She’s had the privilege of working with thousands of students from different backgrounds and parts of the world. She’s taught at automotive corporations like General Motors, Nissan, Toyota, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz. Zina began her own teaching services incorporating math and other subjects. She currently homeschools at churches and teaches creative and structured writing as well as other Language arts courses. Zina’s goal is to help others overcome adversity. She strives to do what she longs to. You can connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

 

Your Promise Is the Reason I Don’t Fear Solitude

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Lord I feel your presence and I hear you whisper in my heart, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” I know that life will be hard. But your promise is the reason I can be alone when others can’t. It’s why I’m not afraid of solitude. When I’m riding my bike, gently, you whisper in my heart: “This road will not be easy, but you will get through it. In the end you will be with me…forever!” ~my thoughts as a teenager

Don’t let anyone throw you off your trajectory. No matter what happens stay focused and on your path. Don’t get off balance. It is easy to get distracted. Some situations will hinder you. But if you stay on your course, sooner or later you will be rewarded. I’m constructing a self-help book for others to learn how to handle grief and overcome negative thoughts. I want it to be a quality work.

One of the questions I ask is, “Can you remember a time when God was really there for you?” Were you ever in a desperate place? A moment to moment kind-of-place? We’re you just confident you would overcome? Sometimes we know that God will deliver us. Jesus says, “ I will ask the Father and He will give you an advocate to help you and be with you forever” (John 14:16). I am open to comments, and remember that writing your thoughts down can be a healthy pattern.

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