Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Scholarship Story

Sometimes, when people ask me why I love Jesus, I struggle to answer them with eloquence. It's not that I don't have any answers; it's just that 172 answers often hit me at the same time. Anwers that, like too many people trying to walk simultaneously through the same door, get jammed in the idea-transportation tube that connects my brain and my mouth. You know what I'm talking about, right?

My super precise scientific diagram
And the idea-transportation tube is totally real, right?

Well, the same thing's been happening to me this month, except with writing ideas. I have so many blog post ideas that they're jamming the tube that leads from my brain to my fingers. Thus, my two week absence.

And so, this week, because there's a traffic jam in my brain-to-fingers tube, I'm posting a friend's testimony.

For awhile now I've been wanting to do a series in which I feature other people's stories of God's faithfulness and provision to them. As I've written elsewhere, these stories can buoy our faith.

This isn't the kickoff for that series because I still need to gather more stories. (If you have a story of God's faithfulness and provision I want to hear it!) But I think this lone story will encourage you.

And so I give you a scholarship story, in my friend's words:

This is the story of how my financial need was answered.

Since well before Thanksgiving Break, I knew that I was going to be short a fairly large amount of money for this upcoming Spring semester. In an effort to find aid, I spoke with the Student Advocate Office in early November about the potential possibilities for aid. I met with Shelly Smith*.

Shelly walked me through the steps I should take to find aid and suggested that I attend several Scholarship meetings. I did as was told and attended the meetings and looked into the different ways to find scholarships.

Nothing really came about from my pursuits and so I was continually stressed about ways to figure out my dilemma. I prayed and prayed that God would take away this burden, so that I could return to school in the spring.

With my other scholarships and a last-minute provision of $6,000 that went straight to my account (!), I was $2,445 short of next semester’s tuition. I was the only person who knew this information. Or rather, I did, and so did God.

I went in to financially check in on December 6th, which was the scholarship application deadline. I had no idea what I was going to do. I thought that I might as well try the Student Advocate Office one more time. Just to see if there was any possibility of receiving aid directly from that office. When I walked in, Shelly Smith was just finishing up with a client and recognized me, almost a month later.

She said, “Joseph Bullinger*, right?”

I was surprised that she remembered my face, much less my full name.  She proceeded to say, “Come on in,” and I didn’t have to wait at all. I waited 30 minutes at my previous visit.

She brought me into the same room as last time and said that she was glad I came in because she had just been working on my file that morning. She had been pestering her boss to look over my financial need and that very day she had gotten an answer as to how much I would be able to receive.

She did some calculations and showed me the number on the calculator and with a smile and glint in her eye she said, “this is the amount we will be able to help you with”…my chin dropped as the number was $2,501.26.

It was 56 more dollars than I needed. But no less than I needed.   

God provided for me this month. In a very big way. It was very encouraging for me, in my dedication to prayer, and in confirming that there is no need to doubt. If God wants you somewhere, He will put you there. So long as you are open and listening. 

*Names have been changed
Image credit (tube edits mine):

© by scj

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