Guest post by Helo Matzelle
Hi, it’s Helo (pronounced Halo) Matzelle, award winning author of Halo Found Hope.
I’m a cherished wife and blessed mother who never took life for granted or so I thought. Have you ever felt hopeless? I have. Have you ever wondered why God allows certain afflictions? Been there — done that. God has and will walk alongside us during trials — if we let Him. When discouraged, remember, that at the exact moment you find hope in God — it’s the only time when searching for it stops. Time to be honest. I haven’t always felt this way.
Halo Found Hope is the first book I’ve ever written. It started out as a diary hidden in a drawer. I scribbled private moments between God and I onto a yellow pad. I asked Him to turn my frustration into determination and my fear into courage. I never thought I’d have a riveting reason to write, however God had something else in mind.
God gives us many firsts. Our first step, first puzzle, first crush, first attempt at spreading our wings, first love, first home, first child, first graduation to attend, first loss… and the “firsts” keep coming.
Some firsts bring us joy—others hurt. I’ve journeyed through my share of both. God blessed me with a good life: an amazing husband, three incredible children, a beautiful home, and two cute dogs. But I’ve also known my share of pain. God has walked with me through four miscarriages, the passing of my father-in-law, and my husband’s job loss, among other trials.
Then He pulled me through a “first” I never imagined facing. It was a rainy Friday afternoon when I first went to see my ENT about ringing in my ear. Tests revealed that I’d lost most of the hearing in my right ear. The doctor ordered an MRI to find the cause of my hearing loss.
After the MRI, I sat in the waiting room planning my weekend. It was stacking up to be fun, busy, and completely hectic.
A nurse called out, “Helo, it’s time for you to come back.”
I picked up my to-do list and hurried to the room, planning that evening’s dinner in my head. I walked into the exam room to find that there were two doctors instead of one. Now, I was puzzled, “What’s the backup for?”
My doctor compassionately said, “Helo, sit down. This has nothing to do with your ear. You have a tumor the size of a golfball resting over the main artery in your brain. You have to go see a neurosurgeon on Monday.”
Time froze. My to-do list dropped to the floor.
Shock fertilizes fear. This “first” turned my world upside down and shattered me. I had no idea what to do, and then I heard God’s voice. He said, “Helo, I loved you first, love Me back. Trust Me.”
“God, I promise to love You first. I’m scared. Please wash away my doubt. Hold on tight, and don’t let go.” I’ve cried tears of joy and sorrow before, but this time was different. I’ve never sobbed so hard. That’s what shock does. My parents came. We hugged—and they brought me home.
My husband, Rich, bolted out of work to come pray with me. In my shock and disbelief, I whispered, “God, please make something beautiful out of this.”
Within a week, I was looking back at the faces of my loved ones, as the surgical team wheeled me into the operating room. I stared back until I couldn’t see my family anymore. When I closed my eyes I was on an operating table.
Weeks went by. Prayers were lifted up as I lay motionless on life support. My family held onto the hope of firsts they wanted to see.
Finally, while intubated in the ICU, I motioned that I wanted to write something. A yellow pad was held for me and a pen was placed in my fragile hands. It took me five minutes to write: “God is amazing.” Those words would become the future theme message of Halo Found Hope’s Chapter Seven — although it would be several months before I would write again.
God helped me endure eight weeks of hospitalization and twenty weeks of intensive rehabilitation. I learned how to walk, talk, eat, think, and function again. Relearning “firsts” isn’t easy — but I am grateful to be alive. Every day is a cherished gift.
People often ask me if I had a near death experience. I call it a near Heaven experience and it’s a miracle that I am alive today. Now, I don’t take life for granted — at least I’m better at not doing so. Halo Found Hope portrays God’s steadfast affection and embrace throughout its pages. It closes focusing on God’s promise. I simply held the pen with strength — God scripted the words.
Now I know where hope is always found — and this ‘Halo’ is passing it on.
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV)
Halo Found Hope Celebration Tour Schedule
Oct 19: Jendi’s Journal
Oct 20: Simple Harvest Reads
Oct 22: Artistic Nobody
Oct 23: Cheryl B Book Blog
Oct 24: Just Commonly
Oct 26: Bukwurmzzz
Oct 27: Cassandra M’s Place
Oct 28: Texas Book Aholic
Oct 29: Rockin’ My Mom Jeans
Oct 31: A Greater Yes
Nov 1: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
Nov 2: Singing Librarian Books
Giveaway and more information about the book
For more information about Helo’s book and to enter the giveaway, click here.