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Let Your Light Shine

Being Sifted Through the Fingers of Time

A Conversation with Monyetta Shaw-Carter.

MB Magazine would like to bestow its well wishes and heartfelt congratulations to the now Mrs. Monyetta Shaw-Carter and her newly wedded husband, Mr. Heath Carter! The power couple joined in holy matrimony at the Biltmore Hotel, Atlanta, in November 2021. As founder of The Evan Grace Group, Monyetta is an entrepreneur, author, and actress, known for her roles alongside Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac in the movie Soul Men (2008); VH1 Reality Series Atlanta’s Exes; movie thriller Alexander (2020); and upcoming movie release I Wish I Never Met You (2022). To understand the glory behind Monyetta’s story, one would have to understand the relevance of the sifting process that prepared her for this moment. 

SIFT•ED

/sifəd/ 

Adjective. Meaning: a kind of separation orchestrated by God, ensuring your availability to receive His blessing.

Sifting involves agitation to remove those things that do not belong. While bakers use a sifter that passes ingredients through a wire mesh, God uses our life experiences that sift and shake us during seasons of time. Sometimes He must shake us to get us to release the thing (or that someone) that causes our light to shine dimly. When we get tied up in relationships that are not a part of our destiny, God must sift us. The sifting may seem painful, but it makes us available to connect with the people, places, and platforms that God has called us to. 

Sifting was at the heart of the profound message that MB Magazine gleaned from its reflective conversation with the newly wedded Mrs. Monyetta Shaw-Carter. This woman is on FIRE! Just weeks after returning from her honeymoon, MB Magazine caught up to the newlywed, and we could see the delight in her smile as she asserted, “It was all worth it. The relationship with Ne-Yo. The wedding that didn’t happen. Navigating the intricacies of co-parenting on my own … Yes, to be where I am today, it was all worth it!” 

MB Magazine: How did you and Heath Meet?

Monyetta Shaw-Carter: “Our paths crossed briefly at a cousin’s home in 1999. Then, about four years ago, I was sharing with that cousin some of the challenges I was having with the person I was dating, and she says, ‘Girl, forget him. Call Heath.’ I asked, ‘Who is Heath?’ She tried to spark my memory from the time we met in 1999, but I could not remember him. I asked her to send me a picture, and she did. Likewise, she sent a picture of me to Heath. Shortly thereafter, Heath and I were reintroduced, and the rest is history.”

MB Magazine: Most every young girl dreams of growing up and getting married. At 41 years of age, high profile, affluent and strikingly beautiful … you had never been married. What were you believing God for in terms of love and relationship at the time you met Heath? 

Monyetta Shaw-Carter: “I was blessed to have a two-parent household. I had an awesome childhood. I grew up in a household with siblings. My parents loved each other and enjoyed one another’s company. We lived in a community. My family went to church every week and sometimes two to three times a week. I honestly believed that I would grow up and find an amazing man like my father who would love me through and through, just like my father loved my mother; and we would have an amazing homelife, just like the one my parents provided for me. I just knew that was going to be my life … my happily ever after.”

Having gleaned from the success of her parent’s 49 year marriage, Monyetta had framed a picture of marriage in her mind to give definition to her expectation of marriage. In her father’s house, Monyetta learned the look of love. How love expresses itself. How love gives, and how love responds. Thinking back, Monyetta expounds, “Everything in my parent’s relationship was not perfect, but they worked through their problems peacefully and contained their conflicts behind closed doors. My siblings and I did not experience the yelling, screaming, and arguing of parents that some of my closest friends experienced in their homes.”

Because of her iconic status, Monyetta’s sifting process was at times public and hurtful as broken relationships came to an end. Through it all, God strategically positioned Monyetta to enter this next chapter of her life as a wife, mother, bonus-mother, and influencer with His grace and blessings.  

Monyetta Shaw-Carter: “When I was planning my other wedding, the one that didn’t happen, there was something about the energy that just did not feel as calming and peaceful as the energy felt while preparing for my nuptials with Heath. With Heath I felt safe. We had become inseparable. I had an overwhelming sense that ‘this,’ my marriage to Heath, was supposed to happen.”

MB Magazine: What element of staying power observed in your parents’ marriage are you taking into your marriage with Heath?

Monyetta Shaw-Carter: “Friendship. My parents were best friends. They genuinely liked being around each other. They would balance things out between work and family to ensure they set aside time to just be together. I believe their friendship produced the happiness that my siblings and I saw in their relationship. We were fortunate enough not to see our parents arguing and screaming at one another; rather, we saw them working with one another to balance family life. I am definitely carrying friendship as a priority into my marriage with Heath. It is super important to be friends.” 

MB Magazine: What were some things that you and Heath did to deepen your friendship with one another before deciding to get married?

Monyetta Shaw-Carter: “We showed up and took our place in each other’s life. We were open and honest with one another about our respective pasts and where we are in our present. We knew we desired a future with each other, and our honesty and openness played a tremendous role in that. We invested time in one another and our children. Heath made time for my children, showing up to soccer games and extracurricular activities, and I likewise began taking on a supportive role in the lives of his children.”

MB Magazine: Going into the marriage, you and Heath each have two children independent of your relationship. Did the two of you include your children in the nuptials?

Monyetta Shaw-Carter: “Yes, it was such a magical day. My bonus daughter’s mom gave her blessing for Gianna (Heath’s youngest daughter) to be in the wedding, which made it even more special! It’s awesome to be able to bless the kids with this amazing bonus package love. The energy of that day was just overwhelming. Such amazing support and a true feeling of love. I feel like I manifested that moment because when I did see flashes of it, it looked just like that. Everyone was there: my parents; Heath’s parents. My dad walked me down the aisle, and my mother was sitting there on the front row. It was just beautiful! Magical, if I could describe it with one word.”

MB Magazine: Share with us one of the most memorable moments of your nuptials.

Monyetta Shaw-Carter: “I don’t know if I can name just one! My goodness … I’ll give you three!”  

  • “One was dancing with my father. We did a fun dance to ‘My Girl’ because he has always called me his little girl. Growing up he would always play that song for me.” 
  • “My son, Mason, along with my cousin Mark sang a duet to one of my favorite songs, ‘So Amazing’ by Luther Vandross. When Mason first shared that he wanted to sing the song at my wedding, my heart melted. And when he did, it was truly … so amazing!” 
  • “Lastly, during the reception, as Heath and I sat on our raised platform, we could see the entire ballroom. We are in an interracial relationship, and just seeing friends and family of varying ethnicities from all over the world was breathtaking. We had friends there from Jamaica, Barcelona, Los Angeles, Louisiana. It was such an awesome moment.”

“Just sitting there taking a breath, holding hands, Heath and I looked at each other and took it all in. It was such a beautiful moment, feeling the collective energy of everyone sitting there together, sharing in our celebration of love. I could see it. Truly, that is what life is all about. This blessing of love. I felt so grateful to the almighty God for even allowing us to experience this great day. It was a day that was meant to be.”

TIME

/tīm/

Noun. Meaning: the limited commodity of life that God uses to guide each of us to our purpose. 

Monyetta Shaw-Carter: “My advice to anyone marrying into a blended family would be to keep God first in everything. Relationships are not always easy and require a lot of work. Trials are going to show themselves, just as they would in a traditional family structure. Expect the rain. It is going to come, but with God first, you can stand on knowing that ‘this too shall pass.’ You have to believe that whatever the challenge, you can get through by keeping God in the forefront.”  

“Oh, and stay out of your own way! I feel like I just about talked myself out of my marriage a few times, all because I had this vision of what I thought it should look like. As a result, I found myself trying to hold onto relationships that I knew were over. When you are in situations like that, you must realize it’s not our way, but God’s way. And we must have faith in the unknown, trusting God’s Word and His timing.” 

“My dad was my voice of reason and my rock while I was waiting on God’s timing. He was my rock, and he kept it real, even when I didn’t want to hear it. He would encourage me, “He just wasn’t the one, but God got some somebody for you. This is the time to work on you.” My dad would send me the perfect Scriptures, and they would just shake me. My eyes would open, and I would say, ‘I’m back. You’re right.’ But sometimes we doubt ourselves. I know I did.  Especially while you are going through relationship challenges as publicly as I did. But, through it all, I thank God.”

MB Magazine: What does 2022 look like for Mrs. Carter? What’s on the horizon?

Monyetta Shaw-Carter: “God is opening up so many doors for me right now. Some of the doors are doors He previously closed! I guess the timing just wasn’t right then. I’m learning to hear Him when He says, ‘Trust Me, my child. If you wait on my Word, wait on my time, resting in my Word … Just trust me. It’s going to be even better than it would have been.’”

“I feel like God is saying to me, ‘You waited. Now here’s your husband, here is your friend, here is your blended family; now it’s time. Go forth! Be that example.’”  

“I’m getting back into my acting and have booked a role in an upcoming movie. I have a new agent, and I’m super excited about life! I also have some more children’s books coming out along with a self-help resource book for co-parenting. It’s a co-parenting planner. It’s in the works and will be released very soon!”

MB Magazine: We are grateful that you have allowed MB Magazine to share in this amazing love story. If there were one thing that you could say you are believing God for in your marriage, what would that be?

Monyetta Shaw-Carter: “I know within my heart that what God is about to do through my life is going to show the masses that God is real. In a world that is so divided, I believe that God handpicked my marriage and relationship with Heath to show the world love. We are from two very different backgrounds, yet God chose us. With God inside of us, we are going to shine so brightly that the world is going to catch on that you can lead with love. I am believing God that Heath and I are going to be a positive example to spread love and change lives.”
MB Magazine is grateful for the opportunity to join our faith with that of Monyetta and Heath Carter as they embark upon this journey of sharing hope and love throughout the world. It is our prayer that lives will be changed and families will grow closer as a result of the example set by the Carter family.

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