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Fixed Focus

Philippians 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (NIV)

This past week I earnestly prayed to God to expose what is still not right in me, what ways do I need to get better in my walk of faith. After my most recent podcast my dad text me and said, "Lord wants us focus on falling in love with him more and more and obeying his will not thinking about our problems all the time. We get stressed out and that's a lack of faith, focus on praying for others and thank him for resolving and before you know it God has resolved your issues."

If I didn't believe before, I have no choice but to believe that the God of the universe answers prayers. Whoever listened to my last solo podcast could hear the pain in my voice but the question is if they could hear God. Through my father, my heavenly Father was letting me know that I am still focused on my problems rather than who the solution is. The lack of faith hit me, because more than anything I'm working tirelessly to build my faith.

That's the biggest obstacle in my walk, believing in this concept called grace. Understanding that God will continue to cast my failures as far as the east is from the west, it's unconceivable from my small human point of view. I find myself trying to prove my love for God, trying to prove that he's first in my life, trying to prove by my actions that I'm worth his love and worth being in Amelia's life.

Unfortunately, the pursuit only causes more stress and I'm constantly finding myself looking in the mirror praying that my hair isn't starting to fall out again. Some days I look and can swear that it's thinning, other days I believe that I see a new spot forming, but there are times that it's looking as good it has in two years. Another example of me lacking faith since I know that my hair finally grew back because of my walk with God.

I want to believe that his grace is sufficient but I'm always hearing that I lived away from him for so many years what makes me think that he'll fix my problems in the few months that I've been walking with him. The major keynote to take away from this is patience, I know, but in my mind I feel as if I can speed up the process by my works. Then to hear that he won't love me any more or any less than he already does regardless of what I do is heart warming and disheartening at the same time. A conundrum, one that makes me fear any ailment my body receives hoping it's not something as drastic as alopecia.

Even in my mental debacle, God answered another one of my prayers as I consistently ask him how to better read and study his Word. My pastor delivered a message not only centered around the aforementioned scripture but speaking on how to meditate on his Word. He gave four points on how to properly dive into the Word of God; ponder, devise a plan, practice, and study.

So far, my plan has been to read a chapter a night but I don't always feel as if I'm getting what I need to out of my readings. It feels more like a duty than falling more and more in love with the Father as my dad suggested in his text. Pastor talked about I might have to stay on a passage for an entire week pondering, eating, and studying it to internalize all that I need to. He suggested the congregation look up words and definitions in Greek and Hebrew as well as reading different versions of the Bible and sifting through the various dialects.

I'm honestly not sure the true purpose in reading the different languages but if it'll strengthen my walk in God then I'm willing to try it. I just want to be all that I can be and get the most out of being a believer. I want to bask in his grace so that I can move forward without persecuting myself. It's just not that easy especially when temptations are lying around every corner, they just keep popping up. It's because I'm claiming my 28th year to be my turnaround year, that means the devil is going to attack more.

Going off the preaching today and my dad's text I'm fixing my focus on Philippians 4:4-9. I will rejoice always, and focus on not being anxious about anything while I continuously pray. Another way I struggle mentally is when I do think anxious thoughts and read passages like this one I feel like I have failed the Father. I pray against the thought, I pray against the anger, I pray against the anxiety but it seems to keep coming back. My brain tries to tell me that it's fine, that I'm still learning but my heart feels as if I'm losing out on the opportunity to be closer to God.

I've felt the peace that transcends all understanding but in my wavering thoughts I sometimes lose that peace. That's when the part about focus on what is noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable comes in. I have to focus on Him answering prayers, focus on hearing Amelia's voice and the love she spoke to me with. Fix my focus on the lawyer doing what she is supposed to do and on my beautiful relationship with Amara.

We had another grand weekend and I can tell the love that my baby has for me, it's all over her face in her smile and I can hear it in her laugh. I love the way she looks at me while I'm driving, or when I'm rapping to her so that she can fall asleep or quiet down. I love when I go to pick her up she knows who I am and waves to me and when I drop her off she blows me kisses anticipating her next visit with me.

She was gassy all weekend and her mother and I are starting to wonder if she is lactose intolerant like me. It's possible since we are having her drink whole milk, we might need to switch to almond milk or a lactose free milk. The joys of parenting, learning what our baby needs or likes and dislikes.

Amelia and Amara, daddy loves you, I love you so much. I take great pleasure in being your father, I am fixing my focus and will be a better man for you two.

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