We’re Not Always Going to Like What We See, But We Still Need to See It

Before this year even started it was dubbed the year of perfect vision. It was supposed to be the year of clarity and clarification and of people leveling up in their lives. Then the world came crashing to a halt and between the Corona Virus that hit us like a tanker truck and the police brutality that has had a shiny spotlight placed on it which has led to social unrest that we haven’t seen the likes of possibly since the civil rights movement, people are just exhausted: mentally, physically, and emotionally.

We’ve essentially been on lockdown for the better part of this year and have had protests and marches to try to combat racial injustices across the country simultaneously. On top of that we’ve lost so many people as well as influential celebrities this year, some to COVID-19 and some to other illnesses like the most recent loss of Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther) which hit really hard for the black community and especially our younger black children who finally got to see a superhero on the big screen that looked like them.

Even with all of that I am still willing myself to see the positive somehow because it doesn’t do any good to dwell and sit in the negative. 2020 may have not been the clarity and clarification that everyone thought we were going to get this year but I implore you to see just how this has actually lived up to the year that people thought it would, it just didn’t look the way that people thought it was going to. I think that if people truly think about what they gained from this year instead of solely focusing on what they might have missed out on or lost then you may be able to see it the way I see it.

Obviously I’m not saying that we should have had the record number of deaths that we have had since COVID-19 hit us because in my mind nobody’s life is ever expendable. However, the lockdown that has transpired in light of COVID-19 has not only slowed some people down who might have needed to slow down a bit, but it also gave something to all of those people who I hear say they would spend more time with their family if only they had the time.

Well during the lockdown, unless you were a frontline worker, you had nothing but time to spend with your children and your loved ones and to focus on so many things that you would have ordinarily taken for granted. For writers with full time jobs who were sidelined due to the lockdown, you then had plenty of time to actually sit down and write the book that you always claimed you never had time for.

Also, during the lockdown, I’m not sure if you all are aware of this, but the hole that was growing in the ozone layer actually had a chance to shrink because everyone was at home and the earth could finally breathe. I read reports from people who lived in places where the air was normally foggy say that the air was actually clear for a change. For the first time in years Spring actually felt like Spring and not just an early Summer.    

In terms of the social unrest, I think that 2020 has highlighted a racial problem this country has that people had either started to believe had gotten better, or their eyes were just closed to the reality of the fact that there is a different American experience for a different set of people in this country. It’s not a reality that is new (especially if you are black in America), it is just a reality that people are actually paying more attention to now. 2020 didn’t bring about these realities, they did however, make people more aware of them.

This year may not be everything that you planned for it to be but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t make some things clearer for a vast majority of people. Hopefully it made it clearer to people what is more important. That there are things that we take for granted and that we have a chance to turn around so that we can refocus on what matters. I hope it made it clear how much damage we have done to this earth, that staying home and essentially not being outside in the world starts to actually heal some of the climate issues that we have been having for a while now. I hope that it peeled back the curtain on the fact that there are two American experiences happening here when there should only be one and maybe people can finally do something about the problem that they were closing their eyes to before.

It’s true, 2020 has been a hell of a year, one like no other, and it’s been hard. Everything that is hard and rough is essentially going to teach us something. The question is are you going to only focus on all that went wrong with this year of perfect vision or are we going to truly see the things that we had already been taking for granted for far longer than we should have been. Our vision was made clear this year, it just wasn’t what we had wanted to see. God always opens our eyes and gives us the ability to see what we need to, but he never said that what we would see would always be pretty. Until next time… #BeFocused #BeMotivated #BeGrateful

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Reflection In Isolation

I know this quarantine has been hard on a lot of people and now that things are seemingly getting back to business as usual (which I don’t feel that it should be by the way) people are beginning to go back to how they did things before the global pandemic. I find it difficult to believe that anyone can go through all of this, the experiences that it has put us through as a country, the emotions that we have felt watching some many people’s lives senselessly lost, without being changed in the way you do things and the way that you react to situations and just the way you treat people in general but I know that so many people will go back to just being however they were beforehand, unchanged and seemingly un-phased.

For me this quarantine has been a time to reflect and get things in order, or at least in better order than they were when we went into lockdown. I have been on a spiritual growth journey for a while now and I realize I still have so much more to learn and discover on this journey, not just about myself, but also about my love for God and more importantly about God’s love for me, his child. This time of isolated reflection has allowed me to really truly focus on the important things and to do things that I was letting fear stop me from doing before.

I was made more aware during this quarantine of all of the gifts and talents that God gave me that I wasn’t using for the purpose that He wanted me to use them for, or even to the best of my own abilities at the very least. I had been wasting so much time and all because of being afraid of the possibility of not having enough time to begin with. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? The old me, who I was before going on this spiritual journey and experience of discovery, would have been crippled by this global pandemic. I would have been overly paranoid, even more cautious, and honestly, given the financial situation that I was in before we went into quarantine, I would have sunken into yet another bout of deep depression and holed up in the bed barely taking care of myself.

However, the person that I have blossomed into has allowed the knowledge that I have gained spiritually through reading my Bible, my devotionals, and my every day conversations with God, to provide me with the peace that I need to know what I need to do in any given situation. And for the times that I still don’t know what to do, the peace of knowing that God does and that he will guide me and would never let any harm come to me that he didn’t think that I can handle. I know that it sounds crazy given the times that we’re in right now but I really do feel more at peace now than I have ever felt in my life.

It’s not that I don’t worry deeply for those who have suffered loss or for the safety of all of our children and family members because I do. It’s not that I don’t have any deep feelings about the social unrest that is taking place and the state of the black community in the midst of this pandemic because I do. I feel so deeply that I can’t even watch the news anymore on a constant loop the way that I used to because I like feeling at peace and I like not being in a reoccurring state of depression and what’s best more me mentally is to not see it every single day. I know that some people see that as turning a blind eye but I have my ways of doing my part, ways that God has led me to and guided me towards, but I have to maintain my peace and sanity to do it.

I have gotten so much out of this time of isolation and reflection and I want to take the nuggets of wisdom that I have been gathering along with the peace that has been residing within me and I want to encourage anyone who is not okay and who is heavily burdened with worry and fear and struggling to feel some sense of peace to seek that peace in the knowledge that God already knows how everything is going to turn out. In essence whatever is going to happen was always going to happen and as troubling as that may seem there is nothing that you can do to stop what was already predestined. What you can do is figure out what part you are going to play in the solution and in the aftermath. We all have our roles to play but we shouldn’t waste time on anything that doesn’t aide our purpose and that role. Until next time #BeInFaith #BeatPeace #BeEmpowered

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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There Is Reward in the Waiting

I know that this quarantine has been especially difficult for quite a number of people. It’s been stressful and uncertain and I’ve heard a lot of people saying that they have had a hard time focusing, on anything. I truly sympathize with them and I can understand those feelings of insecurity in these times. However, if I’m being honest, this time has been not only a wake up call for me in regard to my entrepreneurship, but a time of reset and of shifting.

In truth if not for this quarantine I would have been homeless by now and it wouldn’t have been anyone’s fault but my own. I wouldn’t have had the time that I needed to refocus and to essentially hit the reset button. God has truly been blessing me throughout this time of isolation and reflection. The more time I have put into my spiritual growth and my devotional and prayer time with Him the more he has started to guide me towards my purpose and show me that He will always provide me with what I need when it is time for me to have it.

I have been more driven and focused in terms of my own business endeavors and getting my books ready to be published soon. I have started my own YouTube channel, which I can honestly say I might not have put aside my fear long enough to do but for this quarantine experience. In fact a lot of my fears (which are still present by the way) have been courageously overcome because I had no choice but to get past them. It was almost like my hand was forced and God put some extra courage inside of me to help me fight the anxiety and panic that I would normally feel when trying things I don’t feel comfortable doing. I have begun to feel some degree of comfort in things that I thought I would never bring myself to do. I have also caught up on some past debts that I had before going into quarantine and I am restructuring things, with some spiritual guidance of course, so that things can remain in a good place and continue to get better.

The message this past Sunday by my Pastor on the live stream reminded me that it is usually when things are becoming settled and seemingly in a good position when the temptation comes in to either get complacent or even to get too content and not push further towards my goals. There’s also the possibility that a wrench could get thrown into things and I could become tempted to quit or give up. Those moments will be the moments that I will need to hold onto my faith and trust in God even more.

I have held onto my faith and trust all of this time and I’m not going to lie and say that the desire to throw in the towel wasn’t strong at times but I am just starting to see the benefits to waiting on God and being patient in knowing that my timing isn’t always what is best and to rely on the timing that he has already preset for me. And because I know that God only wants the best for me and he would never allow me to go through anything that I can’t handle or push through then I know that even if today I were to suddenly be on unstable footing again then there must be a purpose for it and God must have a designed plan and that everything will be okay because HE said it would.

If you are feeling tempted to quit right now, to just give up on all of the dreams and plans that you have, or that you feel God has called you to, don’t. He would never give you a purpose and a gift for it to never be used. He doesn’t give you a destiny that He doesn’t intend for you to fulfill. You just have to remember that it’s not in your time, it is in His time and you can’t be tempted to give in just because your dreams require you to have a little bit more patience. Are you willing to “Wait For It? (and yes that was most certainly a Hamilton reference lol)… Until next time…#BeinFaith #BeDiligent #BePatient

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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The Social Distance Between

“Do not worry about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.”  ~Philippians 4:6

With what’s been going on in the world the last couple of weeks (or months depending on where you’re located) it’s hard to think that there can be any good in this scenario. One of the things that disappointed me the most about the quarantined methods that have been enforced was having to miss church this past Sunday (and next Sunday as well) because I haven’t missed church one single time since I’ve been working on strengthening my relationship with God and I love every aspect of being at church from the message that always seems to be designed just for me (although I know it’s not), down to the fellowship that takes place when I’m there and the bonds that I have begun to form with some of the members there. So this past Sunday as with most of the world we were forced to live stream our service and the message was so timely.

One main point that the pastor made was that while the circumstances that have forced everyone to have to take a step back are not ideal at all, it is still somehow God getting us to slow down and maybe take stock of what we have and for some of us, it’s him answering prayers in as unplanned a way as one can think of. The pastor touched on how there are some people who hadn’t been able to make time to get their life balanced, to get their families on track, or to even spend time with their families because life always has us in such a hurry that we often don’t appreciate the little things that so many other people are not blessed with.

So at this time when schools are closed and some are forced to telecommute, or just not work at all, this would be a moment in which you can spend more time with your spouse and your kids at home, to check in with them and to make sure everything is on track and where you want it to be. You can take some time to call and check on friends or distant family members that you hadn’t had the time to check on or catch up with before because life had you so busy. This is an excellent time to strengthen your relationship with God and talk to him.

There are those of us who were in a struggling situation where you were praying to God for some more time to have to work that problem out and suddenly God has granted you more time so work on fixing the problem. The point is, when time is the one thing we can never get back and we so often complain that there’s not enough of it, during these weeks or however long this event lasts, use that time wisely and cherish it. Until next time… #BeFaithful #BeMindful #BeVigilant  

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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