God is sovereign

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What a statement!!  God is sovereign.  It’s so empowering yet such a hard pill to swallow sometimes.

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A few months ago, my brother and I were discussing abortion, and he asked, “What would you do if your 10-year-old child was raped and became pregnant as a result?”  Unfathomable, right?  When our conversation was over, a flood of emotions came over me.  I began to wonder why God would allow any kind of abuse to happen to people, especially children.  It’s something that I’ve wondered most of my life.

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Curiosity struck, and I began to study about God’s sovereignty.  As a Christian, I would say that God is sovereign, but did I understand and believe it?  Proclaiming that God is sovereign is confessing there is absolutely nothing that happens in this universe that is outside of God’s influence and authority.  “The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all.” – Psalm 103:19

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Wow…so, if God’s sovereignty rules over all, why would God allow bad things to happen to people?  He could stop it, right?  So many people, including me, get hung up on this question, but understanding that God is holy, blameless, sinless and GOOD, I know that everything that happens is for His good.  “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28

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I don’t understand the mind of God, but I do know that He is good.  Everything that He allows to happen is for His good, His purpose and His glory!  Thank you for being sovereign, God!

God Hears Me

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Everyone knows how I feel about my babies. When I say babies, I mean my 13-year-old Jack Russell Terrier and 9-year-old Dachshund. Next to God and family, they are the most important beings on Earth to me! It may sound crazy to some people (and that’s okay), but Jazz and Twinky are my children.

A few weeks ago, I discovered a mass growing on Jazz’s rear end. When my mom took him to the vet for me, Dr. Askew said the mass made him feel a bit uneasy. He said that he would really like to remove it to make sure it isn’t cancer. CANCER! How could my baby have cancer? After scheduling the surgery, I began to earnestly pray for Jazz. I asked my family to pray for him too.

Well, I took him in for the surgery yesterday, and I left feeling like everything was going to be okay. At 11:00, the vet called me and said, “Mrs. Treadwell…as Jazz was in surgery [pause]” My heart sank, I didn’t know how he was going to finish that statement. “I noticed the growth on his anus was gone. I removed the lipoma from his belly, but I just can’t figure out what happened to the growth on his anus. It’s like nothing was ever there.” I knew exactly what happened to it. God had answered our prayers for Jazz’s health.

No matter how insignificant this sounds to some, it’s comforting to know that the God of the universe and my life hears me when I cry out to Him.

Worthless

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Well…I graduated in December.  HOORAY, right?  No one tells you that the hard part is when you leave college and start to look for a job.  I’ve been desperately searching for a job for the past few months.  And over the last few weeks, I’ve been feeling a bit down about the whole process.
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First, I interviewed with the YMCA for a public relations position, but I didn’t get it.  Second, I interviewed with Secret Meals For Hungry Children for a part-time fundraising job, but I didn’t get it. Third, I interviewed with the University of Alabama for a financial aid advisor position, but I didn’t get it.  Last, I interviewed with United Way of West Alabama on this past Tuesday for the communications director position, which I most definitely didn’t qualify for.  I’m not sure why I was even interviewed.  They must have seen something in me, right?  (That’s what I like to tell myself.)
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Let me preface the rest of this by saying, I really felt worthless and defeated at this point of trying to find a job.  I felt like no one wanted me.  I felt like the most important thing I did during the day was cook Brad dinner.  I had just hit a low point.
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After that UWWA interview, I had a terribly busy day, and I just wanted to go home and bury myself under my covers.  Despite my sheer exhaustion, I decided to go to a Bible study with a group of college girls.  While I was there, a really weird thing happened.  During the Bible study, we talked about being broken before God and one another.  It’s a scary concept (sharing your wretchedness with the world), but it is so freeing.  After sharing my heart with these girls, I felt like a burden had been lifted from my chest.  I felt like I had a new purpose in life, one that didn’t depend on my job status.
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Brad has also been a huge help.  One night when I was feeling down, he offered this scripture to me:
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Hebrews 6: 9-11 “But beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way.  For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.  And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end.”
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Now that I’m looking at my job search from a different view, I’m starting to feel more relaxed.  God is so good.  He says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requrests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6) And he really does mean it!  When I stopped worrying about my trivial job situation, God opened a new door.
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This morning, I received a phone call from Dr. Herron-McCoy, the executive director at United Cerebral Palsy of West Alabama.  She called to tell me she received my resume yesterday, but they had also closed the interviewing process yesterday and had already decided on a candidate.  However, after reading my resume and cover letter, she couldn’t ignore my skill set.  She said she has decided to re-open the interviews for me and asked me to come in for an interview today at 3:45.
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I’m so grateful for this opportunity.  Regardless of whether I get the job or not, it is nice to feel valued and wanted by a prospective employer.  It’s like God smiled on me saying: I know you’ve had a few rough weeks.  So, I wanted to offer you this opportunity to let you know that you are loved, cared for and wanted.
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Isn’t it crazy that I felt like I wasn’t wanted when the creator of the universe and savior of the world WANTS me?  What else could I ever want?

Anniversaries

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So, it’s been about a month since I’ve last posted, and since today is such a special day, I wanted to be sure and post.  On Dec. 19, 2009, I married my best friend, my husband, my spiritual leader, my favorite person in the whole world.  I cannot begin to describe this incredible journey that we embarked on three years ago.  He has always been so supportive of me and my endeavors, no matter how crazy they may seem at the time.  I thank God for putting him in my path almost seven years ago.  I knew he was the one after our first date…actually before then.  It was when he asked me out on our first date after he seeing me looking my worst (We were introduced after I had just finished jogging, and I looked disgusting.)  It’s amazing how God puts people in our path when we LEAST expect them.  I know I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend when I went out for a jog that day.

I wanted to get married during the Christmas holidays because not only is Christmas my favorite time of year, but it was also symbolic of what our marriage would be centered around–Christ.  Sadly, many of us are so focused on the gifts, Santa, Christmas trees, parties and apple cider that we forget the entire purpose of celebrating Christmas.  I love giving people gifts…more importantly, I love seeing their faces as they open the gifts I gave them.  So, I would be lying if I said I never got caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping, decorating and baking.

I am reminded that those things aren’t the purpose of Christmas.  I am reminded to be thankful for what I have, what I am able to give, and the most precious gift I’ve ever received–Jesus.  He is the best Christmas gift we could ever ask for.

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

For some fun, check out this version of the Christmas Story.

Loving is hard

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After reading Crazy Love a while back, I made loving Jesus whole-heartedly and sharing His love with everyone I meet more than just my life’s mission.  I made it my life’s passion.  Francis Chan expresses this much more eloquently than I ever could.  He said, “Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God and loving the people he has made?…God’s definition of what matters is pretty straightforward. He measures our lives by how we love.” Wow, it makes me look at things a bit differently to think that all of my efforts are for naught if I don’t love God and the people in this world.

But it’s not always easy…what about the times when I don’t feel like loving anyone?  Lately, I have been astonished at how hard it really can be to love people like Jesus.  When I first set out on this mission, it really wasn’t too difficult to love the people I met, but the longer I’ve traveled down this road, the harder it has become.  Some people can be so hard to love.  It’s almost as if they don’t want to be loved or to be shown compassion and kindness.

I am continually reminded that love is a choice.  Am I always successful in loving others?  Absolutely not, but what matters is that I chose to love EVERYDAY!  People may not want or deserve to be loved, but God calls us to love one another.  Although I may fail to feel love toward people at times, I will ALWAYS CHOOSE TO LOVE.  Thank you, Jesus, for loving all of us when we are so undeserving.

Many gods

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During my Bible study, I have been challenged to look for gods in my life.  I do love Jesus so very much, but as I’ve searched my heart, I’ve found some nasty spots, some of which I am extremely ashamed.  I never realized how many things I unconsciously put at a higher priority than my Savior.

I know that it is easy for all of us to get caught up in this thing we call “life” and forget the whole purpose of our living–to live and love like Jesus and to share Him with everyone we encounter.

1 Corinthians 8:6 – “yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.”

From now on, I’ve decided I’m going to take the Hulk’s approach on my life’s gods because none are bigger than my Savior, my God.  I serve and love a mighty God who will help me defeat life’s “puny gods” and rid them from my heart.

Revelation 19: 16 – “And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.'”

I’m thankful that my mighty God (the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords) is patient with me and willing to help me cleanse my life of everything unholy, everything not of Him.

Heart for the Nations

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Not long ago, my class team started a fundraising campaign for Secret Meals For Hungry Children.  This program discreetly provides weekend meals for school-aged children who typically go hungry over the weekend.  Before this project, I despised the idea of fundraising.  I have never minded giving money for good causes, but I have never felt called to ask others to give.

Now more than ever, I’ve come to realize that we are such a self-absorbed society, and unless someone is advocating for those who have no voice, we don’t think about those who need our help.  This fundraising experience has lit a fire in my heart and created a fiery passion for helping others.  Although I still don’t like to ask people for their money, I have a new fervor to make people aware of the world’s problems.

We live in such a “give me” society where people are always saying what THEY want. Well, this is what I want:

  • I want everyone to know about the love of Jesus.
  • I want people who are sick to be healed.
  • I want children with no families to be adopted.
  • I want people to be at peace with one another.
  • I want people to never have to worry about food, clean water, clothing and shelter.
  • I want PEOPLE TO START CARING ABOUT ONE ANOTHER!!
This is my heart’s cry, my heart’s desire.  Does this mean I am not selfish at times?  Absolutely not!  However, I am now so very aware and so passionate about those who need my help…who need your help.  We have to be their voice, their advocate and their friend.  The people I help may never meet me or thank me.  But if their life was made better through my efforts, I consider it all worth it!  What would happen if we showed the love of Jesus to EVERY PERSON we encountered?  What would this world be like if we stopped focusing on our selfish desires and started caring about one another?