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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I Choose Faith Over Worry

For as long as I can remember I have always been a worrier. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment in time or the day in which I went from a child without a care in the world to one who, even if I didn’t know the word to describe the feeling at the time, filled up on the inside with the worry that I innately carried with me into my adulthood. It could’ve been something I had seen or witnessed and buried in my subconscious so I can not now remember, or it could be one of the many times that I had worried if I was going to get hit by my mother simply for existing that day. Whatever moment it was that turned me into a person who would carry worry into my everyday habits, the habitual nature had been developed long before I knew how the power of Faith truly worked.

I recently read an article written by a friend that revisited the popular children’s Sunday school song In His Hands. The song tells us that God has the whole world in his hand, meaning every last one of us can rest in the palm of his hands. Every battle we face, every test that we fail, every victory that we win, all rest in his hands. Now as a child I did not understand the true meaning and power behind the words in that song but having lived a little and experienced a lot I get more than ever the meaning behind those words.

I have certainly been tested this last year and the funny thing to me is that even in this extremely difficult time that I am having I have never had more Faith in God and his power than I do right at this very moment. I say it’s funny because as I pointed out earlier, I am a worrier by nature and have been since I was a child so I literally worry about nearly everything. Now I’m not saying that my nature of worry has completely gone away because I’m still human, but my faith is unwavering and ever strengthening.

No matter what we face in this world, whatever figurative rocks are being thrown at you, worrying about it is not going to change the outcome. Even if we fall flat on our faces, we are still falling into the loving hands of God’s protection. We are still going to be nurtured by his unconditional love and he will still see us through whatever the battle is that we are being tested by. Not only will he see us through it but he will make us stronger for having fought that battle.

Sometimes I know that it would be nice to be able to see what the outcome is going to be, maybe get a little hint that everything will be okay, but as someone very wise recently told me, it’s not for me to see. God’s got me and that is essentially all that I really need to know. So when you feel antsy and you start to feel that worry creep up inside of you and you start to get impatient with the not knowing where things are headed, just keep in mind that God’s got you and no matter what you’re in HIS hands. Until next time… #BeinFaith #BeEmpowred

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

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Having Faith in the Bigger Picture

“No matter how steep the mountain – the Lord is going to climb it with you.”

~Helen Steiner Rice 

I am not a stranger to struggle.  I have been knocked down time and time again and even when I get back up sometimes I get knocked right back down within seconds, but I just keep on getting right back up. 2011 inparticular was a really bad year for me, quite possibly the worst I’ve had, but yet I find myself optimistic for the coming year of 2012.  I heard someone earlier say that this year doesn’t feel any different than the last year but I disagree.  For some reason, to me, this year feels like it will be the beginning of bigger and better things that are to come for me.  Maybe it’s just the optimist in me.  Maybe it’s just sheer faith in God and in the person that he created me to be.  

Every time I go through something my mom constantly asks me how I can be so calm and nonchalant and not be worried about whatever it is.  I tell her that I just have faith that God has got my back and that I’m not walking this journey alone as long as I am doing what he asks of me.  In reality what I want to say is that I am worried (terrified really) when things start going wrong and that I am not really calm about it, deep inside I am panicking.  However, I realize more and more that I have a lot more faith than even I thought I had.  Of course I worry but I don’t think that I am nearly as terrified about things going wrong as I probably should be.  

It’s because I have so much faith.  Not only do I have an enormous amount of faith in God, but I have faith that he knows where I will end up (it is his plan after all) and just the trials and tribulations that I need to go through to get me there.  Everything I come up against challenges me but it also strengthens me and obstacle by obstacle I realize that I am stronger than I ever thought I could be.  

For anyone who knows me, they know that I am not the religious type, per say.  I don’t go to church (although deep down I feel I probably should) but I am a very spiritual person.  I don’t always get why certain struggles have to be placed on my shoulders and I admit that I get frustrated because I am that person who likes to know that everything is going be alright and hopefully that it will have a happy ending.  However, because I can’t fully see what God’s plan for me is and I don’t know what will be the end result of his journey for me, I have no other choice but to walk the path that he has laid out with faith.  God has already brought me through so much already, so I have to have faith that he will bring me through the rest.  

My message today is for you to have faith.  Even in times of struggle.  Even if there is nothing that is going the way you want it to.  Even if nothing that is happening to you makes sense.  Even if you feel like you can’t get back up and you want to just quit.  Even when you can no longer see the bigger picture for yourself.  You have to have faith.  We are human and we will worry but in the end you should know that God will never let you down.  Until tomorrow…Have faith that you are stronger than your greatest obstacles!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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