Each December I try to read a different Christmas-themed story on every day. Two days to go after today in this December, but I’d like to share one of my selections that does not have a Christmas title, but does have a Christmas theme –
Hope! Hope is what Christmas is about. Hope is what we all need – not at one time or another but every day. Helo has, and is living that.
Many of you are well aware (perhaps personally aware) that the major holidays and particularly Christmas can be depressing and hope-less feeling. Whatever your circumstances or difficulties, I would encourage reading and sharing the story of Helo Matzelle. It has the potential to change your life, and the lives of others through you. Helo allowed her life to be changed and used for God’s glory at the shocking diagnosis, through surgery, and despite on-going changes and challenges of an adapted new-normal.
This tender and personal story has a lot to offer. A prayer answer from God in one of the final chapters says it for me: I loved you yesterday, I love you today, I will love you tomorrow. We all have different crosses to bear, some from yesterday we continue to drag along, some from today we struggle over, and we even worry about those that have not yet (but might) appear.
I’ve had the experience of a loved one’s diagnosis that make you look at every area of life, and obsess over what will happen next and how will we all bear it. Helo gave us the gift of sharing her personal journey as she would share with a friend.
Helo’s story helps me to understand the physical trials of many I can tell are disabled and, as meaningful to me, those who are disabled though not visibly.
How many of us have seen some apparently healthy looking person hop in or out of a car at a disabled spot and wondered or assumed unkind things? The prejudice and the unique opportunities Helo had in this regard following her surgery and long and arduous therapy opened my eyes to possibilities, new assumptions, and hopefully new opportunities to bless others.
The details of her story are gripping, the scriptures encouraging and the quotes inspiring and thought provoking. A favorite quote “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King.
Sometimes, we depend too much on only our own experiences to understand, relate to, and help others. It was a blessing to read Helo’s experience, to feel as though I walked along and watched her grow through physical, spiritual, mental and emotional challenges. Sure she got discouraged, angry and emotional, but each time she also found a determination to accept her new normal and make it the best she could with God’s help. Helo found hope.
I hope to find a special someone with whom to share this dynamic and faith-stretching story. But first, I need to go through all of the bookmarks I placed and copy the multiple inspiring and confirming comments and quotes to remember! Helo found hope – and now she is giving it away!
Helouise “Halo” Matzelle is the engaging author of Halo Found Hope: A Memoir. In January, 2011, at the age of forty-six, as a blessed wife and cherished mother of three, Helo was diagnosed with a rare tumor lying over the main artery in my brain. She remembers sitting quietly with her husband, Rich, on the day of diagnosis. He asked her to pray. Unable to speak, Helo softly whispered, “God, please make something beautiful out of this.”
Defying medical odds, miracles unfolded. Eight weeks later, she returned home to twenty weeks of intensive rehabilitation learning how to: walk, talk, eat, think, and function over again. Helo learned where hope is always found and now she’s passing it on.
What started out as a diary, hidden in a drawer, is now titled, Halo Found Hope: A Memoir— recipient of the 2015 Independent Author Network Outstanding Non-fiction Book of the Year award in the Religion / Faith / Inspirational category. Helo’s journey was recently featured in the 2015 Oct/Nov Today’s Christian Living Magazine. Helo has also been blessed to share her testimony on multiple television and radio stations throughout the country.
Given a second chance at life, Helo cherishes every moment and considers life a gift. Helo’s faith in our Maker is her foundation. God blessed her with a natural ability to captivate audiences through speaking and she’s inspired crowds ranging from twenty to three thousand. Her passion is helping those facing various challenges and afflictions discover where hope is always found.
Helo is an encourager for the hopeless, a supporter of the disabled, and an advocate for the National Brain Tumor Society. Helo is a graduate from the University of Washington where she met her best friend and husband, Rich. Formerly in marketing for Bristol Meyers-Squibb, Helo became a stay-at-home mom after the birth of her daughter, Lauren. Later the Matzelles were blessed with two sons: Jordan and Austin. She resides in Redmond, WA with her amazing family.
You can purchase your copy of Halo Found Hope at:
I was given a copy of the book for my honest review. I am a member of the CWA review crew.