Don’t Lose Sight of Hope

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7

We just celebrated Resurrection Sunday (Easter) and my Pastor (via live stream of course) talked a lot about having Hope in Jesus and allowing that Hope to shape your thinking and your attitude and how you go about things. He talked about having confidence in the outcome of God’s will, whatever that outcome may be. As he was preaching this I actually realized that I had finally gained that sense of Hope and that inner peace that I’ve always wanted. It is interesting when you start to notice changes within yourself taking place (usually you are the last one to actually notice them) because even when you are working on yourself and your personal growth for that very purpose, it often feels like you’re the same person you always were.

I found it odd that when the current world crisis that we are in hit that I wasn’t as freaked out about it as a lot of people around me were. It’s what I would’ve been doing years ago. I would have been overly paranoid, overly worried, and my OCD would have went off the charts. But I’m not doing any of those things, at least not when it comes to this pandemic. I feel an overwhelming sense of peace and calm and I think that is attributed to this journey of spiritual growth that I have been on.

I knew at the beginning of that journey that I wanted to get to a place where my anxiety and depression didn’t have such an overwhelming hold on me and to where, even if I felt a little bit of worry over a particular situation (because I’m still human) and even when I’m staying cautious about certain crisis I can still feel gratitude and still trust that ultimately God is going to do everything that he said he would and that includes all of the promises that he made over my life. God said in Jeremiah 29:11 that his plans for me and my life are to prosper me and not to harm me and to give me hope and a future, and not just any future, but an abundant one. If I believe that and if I trust that then there is nothing to worry about or to panic over.

I never used to get it when people told me that even when all hell was breaking loose in their world they felt at peace and they were as happy as they could be because they knew God had them. I didn’t get it before but I get it now because that’s how I feel. Things still aren’t great for me right now, financially or career wise, but I have so much to be grateful for and the fact remains that I still have each day that HE wakes me up to get it right and to get things on track. I have confidence in the outcome, whatever that outcome may be because God’s will is always going to be done no matter what. So let’s not lose Hope in a time when it is very easy for us to lose sight of how much God loves us. Until next time… #BeHopeful #BeConfident #BeinFaith

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Don’t Stay Rooted In Your Brokenness

This past month or so the series at church has been about rebuilding yourself in order to begin moving forward. More specifically in the last two weeks it’s been tailored to the subject of healing the past hurts and repairing the broken places. Oddly enough it made me also think about a line I heard on a television show before where the one character was telling the other that it’s a choice to stay broken and that while you can’t change the things that have happened to you, you can choose to work past it and move forward.

When I began this spiritual journey that I’m on a few years ago as a way to work on myself and fixing the things that are broken in me I didn’t have a clue that there would be a specific message one day that would literally speak to that journey. Listening to the message the past two weeks it made me think about the fact that while I still have a lot about myself that I want to continue working on because I’m still not quite where I want or need to be yet, I have actually come a lot further than I had even realized.

There was a moment a few years ago where I would still talk about the trauma that my mother put me through in my childhood with anger and resentment still residing on the inside of me. Back then I hadn’t yet reached the point of true forgiveness because while the words that came out my mouth were that I forgave her, when I spoke about my childhood I could still feel the heat of the anger rising on the inside of me and tears would flow every time because I was still hurting and I had not healed from that. That is different now. I don’t completely explode in tears and I don’t feel the heat and anger rising when I think about it and I have truly forgiven her.

Until this message that I heard these past two Sunday’s I hadn’t realized that all of that time I was choosing to stay broken. I wasn’t doing it intentionally but subconsciously I lived in that hurt and I allowed myself to wallow in that hurt for so much longer than I should have and not forgiving my mother for all of those years wasn’t hurting her because she didn’t care, it was hurting me, repeatedly. The messages of the past two weeks also made me come to the realization that somewhere along the way, while working on my spiritual relationship with God and working on loving myself on a deeper level, I had actually began to heal. I just had to make the choice to get out of the broken place.

We tend to dwell on the things and people that hurt us far longer than we really need to. Now I’m not saying that the pain wasn’t real and that you shouldn’t allow yourself to feel it for a little while but you have to be able to move on from that place of hurt. There is a lesson to be learned through the pain and hurt but you may miss the lesson because you’re too focused on wallowing in it. My pastor said something else that was a powerful statement to me. He said there’s no use dwelling on what hurt you in the past because you can’t go back and change it and you can’t go into the future to make sure it doesn’t happen again, all you can do it live in the present and where you are right now. Just remember that by residing in that hurt from the past you are then making the choice to remain in that broken place and you can’t heal from what broke you while you’re still there. Until next time… #BeVulnerable #BeForgiving #BeinFaith

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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An Agent of Change

agent of change 3

There’s something about myself that I readily admit to people but that I am not entirely proud of. I absolutely do not like (strongly detest) change. I like things to be a certain way, I have a routine that I follow, pretty much to the tee and I don’t particularly like to deviate from that routine. In my mind it keeps things balanced, it keeps things flowing smoothly and it keeps a sense of order. Well at least that’s what I had convinced myself of.

I’ve been working a lot more over the last couple of years on my spiritual growth and on improving my relationship with God. I’ve been steadily working on following God’s instructions for my life and the direction that he wants it to go in. It’s a path that has brought me so much peace and joy and it has helped me rediscover who I am again. I hadn’t even realized that I had somehow lost who I was and forgotten what it was I was supposed to be doing, my purpose.

Sitting in church the other day as my pastor talked about growth, and that change equals growth so if you hate change than you can’t grow. It was a moment of clarity (one of many I have had recently). He spoke about how if you’re listening to God’s instructions for your life and following the path he wants you to be on, which is not always the path you had intended to take, then you have to be willing to open yourself up to something different, something new. You can’t hear the instructions for your life and then, because they don’t exactly fall in line with your daily routine, just not take action on the instructions that you have been given.

I’m a creature of habit and I had always led myself to believe that it wasn’t entirely a bad thing that I had set plans, set times in which to do things, set days in which to work on this or that, that I knew what I would be doing any given day at any given time because it would be the same. I call it routine but some might call it being stuck and unmoving. They would be right. I had never thought of my growing habitual routines as being afraid of changing but I can see now that it was exactly what I was afraid of doing.

If I changed things what if something bad happened. If I changed my routine what if the outcome was a bad one. I think I had gotten to a point where I had just made it so that nothing would happen that I didn’t already know was going to happen. That way there would be no bad outcomes, there would be no rejection, and no one could say no. I didn’t realize that it also meant that nothing good could happen either, and that no one could say yes. How could I say I was open to new opportunities of any kind if I was unwilling to change?

It’s not going to be easy to dial back my need for having a habitual routine. It’s opening myself up for an outcome that I don’t know and the thought of that is downright frightening. However, if I truly want to grow and reach new goals, and soar to new heights I have to be willing to change.

Change can be scary but it’s critical in order for us to grow. We can’t get so hung up on sticking to what we know and what our routine is that we miss the opportunities that are waiting for us right outside our little box. The box is good at times and we tell ourselves that the box protects us but does it really? Or does that box that we try so hard to keep ourselves in only hinder us from reaching our fullest potential? Our greatest accomplishments and our highest of heights tend to lie beyond the confines of the box of comfort that we trap ourselves in.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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