Nancy and Ed Huizinga were at church rehearsing for the Christmas programme when their home burned down. It wasn't their first tragedy that year. Three months earlier when a friend, a widow with two children, died of cancer, the Huizingas took her children to live with them as part of the family. So when their house was destroyed it wasn't just their home they lost, it was home to two children who'd already lost their parents. The following week as they sifted through the ashes they found a slip of paper that survived the fire. On it they read these words: 'Contentment: Realising God has already provided everything we need for our present happiness.'
God gives you 'more grace' when you walk through fiery trials. Charles Swindoll says: 'Our whole perspective changes when we catch a glimpse of the purpose of Christ. Take that away, and it's nothing more than a bitter, terrible experience. Suffering comes in many forms, but His grace is always there to carry us beyond it. I've endured a sufficient number of trials to say without hesitation that only Christ's perspective can replace resentment with rejoicing. Jesus is the central piece of suffering's puzzle. If we fit Him into place, the rest begins to make sense.'
Donna VanLiere writes: 'When life blindsides us...abuse, foreclosure, disease, divorce, death, job loss or financial collapse brings us to our knees...grace says there's more love after infidelity, more joy after the diagnosis, and more life after financial ruin...grace is real...an indomitable gift with power to change your life. But it does come with one condition - like any gift, you have to hold out your hand and accept it.'
I am going to need to hold out my hand and accept grace this morning while i deal with Studylink.
Nothing is ever straightforward for me. I enrolled in Uni under my maiden name - Sperling - because that is the name that i now go by. I would be pathetic and stupid if i was still using the name Baillie - i mean i don't even know where Danny is and have not seen him in three years. He is hardly still my husband - other than on paper. Unfortunately for me IRD still have me as "Baillie" and to make matters even worse - Studylink have me as my first married name. This has meant that my student loan has not matched with the person named Sperling who is enrolled to study - so none of my fees have been paid and the money for my course related costs has not gone into my bank account like it was supposed to today.
I know it is just a technical glitch. Yesterday i had to spend half the day finding somewhere that had a fax machine that i could use so that i could fax copies of marriage certificates and my passport all over the country in order to get this fixed. I didn't even know people still used fax machines. I had not seen one since i worked at The National Bank - in 1989!
Anyway - community service this morning - then spending the afternoon on hold with Studylink.
On a brighter note - it is the T and I's first Valentines Day together. I am not big on this day. I never have been. I don't need to be told by flower shops or chocolate manufacturers which day of the year i should show appreciation to the person that i love - but this sure did cheer me up this morning.
He says i get one every Valentines Day for each year that we are together. Considering i will be 53 before i get a dozen - i am over the moon with my single rose this morning!