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 

Writer/Editor 

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Hope Never Fails

 

I’ve been very open here about the fact that this past year has been extremely trying and there have been moments when, naturally I got worried, but I never gave up or quit. The last couple of weeks, as I stared down the face of my daughter and I being evicted from our home, might have been the first time during this whole storm that I’ve been going through that I actually started to truly lose a little but of the Hope that I was holding on to and I had a very frank and needed conversation with God. Now I talk to God on a daily basis but this particular conversation was more meditative and this time I said my peace and asked for guidance and instead of continuing to talk I stopped and I really listened. There was no TV on that overpowered my thoughts, no music playing in the background, no games being played to past the time. There was silence and I had stopped doing all the talking and just listened.

Now I’m not saying that I’ve never gotten a sign from God before because I have plenty of times and there are times where I hear a bit of a whisper telling the right thing to do that I believe to be God, but I must admit that I have never heard him in a clear and unfiltered way until the other night. I heard him clearly, as I would hear a person standing next to me, and he told me to have patience (which is something I deeply struggle with), he told me to let him work it out and he told me not to rush him and that he’s got me. Instinctively I know this already but to hear it, so clearly is a feeling that I can’t even begin to describe. It’s freeing and gave me such clarity. The next morning, Sunday, in the message one of the last key points the pastor made was that Hope is patience and knowing that God’s got you and he will work it out and he will not fail you. It was even more clarity to what I had already been told the night before.

In the message the Sunday before my pastor made a really good point and it’s that if we were to get everything we wanted, when we wanted it, there would never be any reason to have hope. When we hope we are hoping for something that we want to come to fruition, a new position in our lives that we want to be elevated to, or to conquer a particular battle. We can’t see any of those things but that’s what Hope is, believing in the things yet to come and the future that you can’t see. Hope is a very powerful thing.

There may be times when you might be going through some things and ALL that you have left is HOPE and you put your faith into that hope. I just want to let you know that your hope is not misplaced and even when it seems like you’re out of all hope and that nothing is going to work out in your favor, just remember that not only does God have the ability to perform miracles that you never expected but he can do so instantly. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and the storm will not last forever so when you feel like there’s nothing left to hold onto, hold onto HOPE!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

https://write-2-be.com/

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Patience Through the Struggle

Patience Through the Struggle

Lets talk about patience! I remember sitting in church a few Sundays ago listening to my Pastor talk about having hope as we go through life. He talked about how suffering doesn’t always necessarily mean a negative experience, but simply just an experience. Then he said something that really struck a chord with me. He said too often we get impatient and we tend to walk away before the experience is through and before God has a chance to bring us through to the other side of it.

It made me think about my level of patience (which admittedly I have very little of) and had me questioning myself how many times have I walked away from something because it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, or should be. How many times have I just thrown in the towel because I got told no and felt the sting of rejection was just too much to deal with. How many times did I give up on something I dreamt of because I was just too frustrated to tough it out.

Then it made me realize that I am in this place I’m in right now, behind on my goals and my dreams, stuck running in circles, because I didn’t stick it out and I didn’t let God finish doing his part. I guess you could say I ran out of hope, either in myself or in the purpose that God had for me. It’s almost as if I was right there, right at the goal line, just several feet away from my destination and then I would chicken out and later I would have to start over again.

Fear has always been my Achilles heel and it’s the biggest flaw that I have. Now while I know that nothing is really worth going after without a healthy dose of fear, I have been reacting to the fears that I have rather than remaining hopeful and just pushing past those fears. I had lost hope in the reality that God would never allow me to experience something that didn’t serve a greater purpose. I had lost my patience in the fact that he would never leave me and will always bring me through whatever challenges I meet along the way.

So no matter what experiences you are currently going through on your journey, remain hopeful. Don’t lose sight of the fact that God is never going to leave you and you just have to be patient so that he can bring you through to the other side.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

https://write-2-be.com/

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Beware of the False Negatives

I think that sometimes people, particularly artists, have a hard time trusting ourselves.  I’ve noticed that with myself at least.  I know I’ve shared with all of you in the past that I constantly second guess myself and then when I decide on something, I rethink it and wonder if I made the right choice.  I wonder if I’m good enough.  Sometimes I even think that when I have confidence in something that I might be getting too far ahead of myself because maybe, just maybe, I shouldn’t be nearly as confident as I am.

I tend to give advice to others about trusting their gut and doing what they know if right for them and trust that God will not steer them wrong or allow them to get too far off course.  I give good advice that I never seem to be able to take myself.  I seem to have no problem filling my head with all of these false negatives, I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not strong enough, I didn’t work hard enough, I didn’t try enough, but the odd thing is that deep down inside I know those to be false statements and yet they are so much easier to believe then the truth.  Why do we do that?

We tell ourselves the worst, perhaps trying to not allow ourselves to get big headed or to get overly confident or to get our hopes up, but why shouldn’t we be all of those things?  Why shouldn’t we be confident and why shouldn’t our hopes be raised?  Joel Osteen said something in one of his sermons that stuck with me.  He said “you can’t have faith if you don’t first have hope”.  We’re always so worried about the other shoe dropping from somewhere out of the sky to make everything around us crumble.

The fact is that so many things can go wrong that we don’t need to add to it by standing by and waiting for what we presume might be the inevitable.  Instead of worrying about this invisible shoe from some unknown place and filling our heads with all of these false negatives that we like to tell ourselves about our own abilities, why don’t we just chose to act now.  Act on those instincts, don’t second guess, don’t over think, don’t wonder if you’re good enough, don’t question all that might go wrong, just take action.

Think of all of the opportunities you’re walking right pass while you are worrying and waiting for that other shoe that just might never drop.  It’s a false expectation that helps to foster all of those false negatives that you have come to rely on to be true.  Sometimes the lies we tell ourselves can end up being the death of all of our dreams.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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Waiting Out the Storm…Doing Nothing!

This past weekend everyone awaited Hurricane Sandy with all of its anticipated destruction that was to come with it.  Everyone stocked up at the store, making sure they had enough non-perishable, batteries for their flashlights, sand bags if you happened to live close enough to the water, and most likely people made sure that they had something to keep them busy while they were made to be confined to their homes for about two days or so.

I managed to make it to the store to get a few essentials (and by essentials I mostly mean snacks) but I already had flashlights with batteries, and I have tons to be able to keep me busy because there are tons of things that I have been unable to get done lately.  I also had the impossible task of keeping a child who very much loves being out of the house from being bored.

All of the things I could have chosen to do during my stay indoors for the last two days I chose to do absolutely nothing.  I mean I played with my daughter and I watched TV, I even managed to do some reading that was long overdue.  But I can admit that I was really lazy these last two days.

But tomorrow is a new day, there’s no more Hurricane Sandy, no more mandatory need to stay indoors, no more excuses that I can make.  Tomorrow it is time to put in some much needed work on all of the things I must get done.  But for now, I’m going to go back to reading my book.  Hope all of you are being productive, and if you’re not, I at least hope that you’re enjoying being able to do nothing because I’m sure it doesn’t happen as often as you need it to!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

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When the Walls Have Crumbled, You Can’t Remain Underneath the Rubble (Can You?)

Yesterday was the beginning of a very bad week for me.  I won’t really get into the specifics but let’s just say I have never felt more like the walls are closing in on me than I do at this moment.  As I thought my life couldn’t get any worse, it happened to actually get worse.  My best friend was trying to keep me positive and remind me to still have hope but I have honestly never felt more hopeless than I do right now.  It seems like nothing is working out the way that I wanted it to (the way I feel it should be working out) and everything that was giving me some semblance of hope is crumbling in over top of me.  

But I still have to put on a smile for my daughter because no matter how much I feel that things are falling apart.  I always tell her that how her day turns out has a lot to do with the way she trains her mind to think in the beginning of that day.  That if you get up and have the conviction that it is going to be a positive day, then most likely it will be, and the same goes for the negative side of that coin.  I found myself having to repeat that to her again last night and I found myself thinking (as I have many times before when giving advice to others) thinking that I really should learn to take my own advice to heart.  

So we went skating last night and for a moment I forgot the horrible day that I had and the problems that were mounting against me.  Of course I remembered when I came home and certainly it was on my mind when I woke up this morning but I tried my best to put my frame of mind in the positive column and not the negative.  It helped that I managed to put some of my stress into my treadmill time this morning at the gym.  

Today I can’t honestly say that I have had my hope restored and that I believe that everything is going to work out just fine.  What I can say is that I was listening to my best friend Ms. L. last night when she told me to just focus on jumping into action to make everything better rather than sit around with the conviction that it’s never going to get better.  I hate when she’s right but it happens so often that I am used to it by now.  

That is what it means to have good supportive friends in your corner.  When you are in that place where you have forgotten that the struggle is really worth your fight, it is good to have someone remind you that everything that you have been working hard towards is not for nothing.  Just when you think the walls are crumbling all around you, it’s nice to have someone there who will help you to remove the rubble.       

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress