Nik and I got married in August 2019 – not long before the world shut down. As much as I would have loved a spring wedding the following April, God sensed the winds of change.
With my parents still living in Switzerland because of my mother’s job, our lives together began in their house. We decorated our room and the downstairs living room was ours.
Then my brother and his wife made a major announcement that Christmas: they would have their first child the following June.
My mother had told her employer that her time abroad would last either two years or the first grandchild. God had perfect timing as both milestones would hit at the same time. With my parents moving home, we began looking for a house immediately.
After Nik and I met with a realtor, we concluded that we would have a hard time living in North Jersey on our budget. We also saw the tiniest houses on the planet with exorbitant price tags. Even after we dumped our first realtor and brought in a second, casting a wider geographic range did not solve the problem.
We prayed a lot during this journey. Patience is a virtue. However, when I pray for patience or anything like it, God shows me more times that I should use it rather than the virtue itself. Two years and a third realtor company later, I began quoting Harry Potter during an argument with Nik: “I’ve done my waiting… three years in Azkaban!”
Note that this is no reflection on living with my parents. We all made the most of the two years we spent under one roof, whether that meant cooking together or watching “Jeopardy!” as a group after dinner. I felt it was time to have our own place.
Nik’s first response to my screaming as Sirius Black: “Be patient. Trust in His timing.” I didn’t have a choice.
His second response changed everything: “Do you want me to look in Pennsylvania?” I’m glad I said yes.
As crazy as this sounds, when I complain to God about His timing or get upset about a decision He made for me, something good ALWAYS comes out of it. My piece on St. Teresa of Calcutta is Exhibit A: I lost my job in North Carolina, had to move back into my parents’ house, and then married Nik exactly a year after I met him.
To borrow from Luke 17:15, I’ve been glorifying God in a loud voice after getting this perfect house. We ALL must trust in His timing.
Our tiny cabin in the woods has a guest room – and an office for each of us until God blesses us with children if it is His will (see my piece on Formed and Favored). Trusting in God’s timing has always been hard for me. Jealousy and patience feel like the opposite ends of a battery for me. I have problems with both, but usually not one at a time.
We need to thank God for all His good gifts and continue to be grateful. I am immeasurably grateful to write this blog in my office, in my new house, while my husband and dog sleep peacefully after a long week. I have asked the Lord to increase my faith so that, as St. Julian of Norwich says, “All will be well.” I know that I have a deep faith and it only ever seems to be shaken by waiting.
I have come to believe more in God’s desire for my life, not just His plan or my vocation, but both my vocations as teacher and wife. What else does He want me to do? What more can I give Him, and how can I do it? It’s about what God wants us to do with our faith and love.
As we heard during the Gospel recently, Jesus says we only need a mustard seed-size faith. I love this for two reasons. One, if you have a little faith, then look at what God can do. Two, if you know the end result of a mustard seed, then you see that God grows that little faith into one of the biggest trees on the planet! Don't lose hope – and hold on to the trust in God.
Habakkuk 2:3 also hit me from that same Sunday: “For the vision has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint.” As humans, I feel like we are so worried about what will happen next in our life on Earth instead of what will happen when our time here is done. I worry about it, too. God has given us everything that we have. I try to live my life to reach heaven but being only human makes me impatient. Being made is His image, I trust in my Creator!
St. Benedict, in many prayers, has a house blessing. House of Joppa, a store that makes Catholic goods, sells a hanger and says this about the medal itself:
“The St. Benedict medal is associated with several well-known prayers, which are identified by the acronyms etched on the sides. These prayers include a prayer of exorcism against the devil, a prayer of firm rejection of all that is evil, a prayer for peace among the people and nations of the world, a prayer of petition that we may walk with apostolic courage, and more.”
Let us use these prayers to protect our family and our house, as well as continue to have greater trust in His timing.
“Hurry ruins saints as well as artists” - Thomas Merton