Gifts of Grace

It was very hot. And the sound system didn’t show up. But it didn’t really matter. This wasn’t about pretty dresses (which were very pretty) or dashing waistcoats and hats (although the hats were rather dashing)–this was about God’s grace.

Two people receiving God’s gift of grace in the form of another person:

“I take you, Stephanie, to be my lawfully wedded wife…”
“I take you, David, to be my lawfully wedded husband…”

Two people committing to give out God’s grace to the other for the rest of their lives.

“…for better or worse, until death do us part.”

There was so much grace lavished on us that day above and beyond our vows to each other. The weather was a gift of grace–no rain, just a gentle breeze so we could still hear everything even without the sound system.Our friends were a gift of grace–everyone travelled, whether it was from South Africa, or Minnesota or Indiana, everyone had to make a long journey to be there.Our family was a gift of grace–they, too, traveled, and pitched it to help set up, tear down, arrange flowers, or do hair. And all of them spoke so much love and encouragement over us that whole weekend. It was a gift of grace to see all of my friends and family meeting each other for the first time–my South African friends finally getting to know my American ones, and the Eberts getting to know the Binions.
It was a gift of grace that our families are believers, and raised us up to love God and serve others.

All of it, so undeserved, so overwhelming.

And now that we are back from honeymoon, and in the throws of getting David’s medical examination for the third time, waiting in long lines at the social security office,  and getting tossed around the bureaucracy of South Africa and the United States–we are trying to remember the same is true:

This is grace.

It is a gift, a huge gift that we can go to South Africa together, and not separately.
It is a gift, an abundant gift that we can actually afford all the medical examinations David needs for his visa.
It is a gift, an overwhelming gift that we can read all these forms in the first place, that we can persevere, that we can wake up in the morning, that we can eat blueberries and play with our nephew Timothy and go to parades. All of this is so undeserved. So overwhelming.

And still, so easy to forget it is grace.

Pray for us these next 3 and a half weeks before we leave, that we would honor God by having thankful spirits for His gifts to us, even when we are frustrated at the slow pace of visas, jobs, etc.
Pray that we will have a good family time with the Eberts before we leave, and that David will be able to connect with his close friends as well.
Praise God for the funding he is providing, and ask him to keep providing it!
Praise God for the new office space iThemba has been given!

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