Lately God has been calling me to do a lot of waiting. My husband and I have spent some time in the last year intentionally discerning a few things for our family, and truly believe we are hearing God call us to some things. What we didn’t count on was WHEN God would call us to those things.
We took time and discerned that we were being called to move to a certain community, buy a home, and put down roots. We found loads of homes in our price range that we liked when the timing wasn’t right, and now that (we think) the timing is right, there’s nothing on the market. Literally. There are 0 homes in our price range.
My patience has been running short. After more than 2 months of waiting for new homes to come on the market, I told my husband I was pretty sure we should look at a house that’s 350 square feet smaller than our current (small) apartment. He calmly told me that we had discerned that we were looking for a home because the extra space would be conducive to some future plans we have. Moving in to a smaller space defeated the purpose we had discerned for buying a new home, and told me I needed to pray for more patience. He was right. I still thought we should check out the house – you know, just in case.
God has used housing to teach me patience in the past, and by now I expect he’s surprised I haven’t learned my lesson. When we were a newly married couple, we lived in a great apartment right in the heart of our city. We paid way too much for rent, with the intention of living there for only one year – hopefully the only 9 months of our marriage when we were two and not three. When we began to hunt for something more practical for a family, we were striking out big time.
I went to my women’s bible study and asked the women to pray that we might find a space that was the size we were hoping for in our price range. The woman sitting next to me turned to me and said, “I think I have an idea.” Her and her husband were moving to Japan for a new military posting, and needed to rent their condo. They just wanted to cover the mortgage and needed someone they could trust to take care of the place with no landlord supervision. Needless to say, we signed up right away.
I can’t help but think that this season of waiting in my own life matches up perfectly to the liturgical season of Lent. As my husband and I wait for the new changes life will bring us, and work to trust God’s plan, the Church waits for Easter. We trust that Easter will come – bringing with it the hope and joy of the resurrection (and here in Wisconsin, hopefully some temperatures above freezing.)
Yesterday at mass, for the first time in my life, I was struck by the words of the Preface to the Eucharistic Prayer.
For you have given your children a sacred time
for the renewing and purifying of their hearts,
that, freed from disordered affections,
they may so deal with the things of this passing world
as to hold rather to the things that eternally endure .
It reminded me that in asking us to wait for Easter, to carefully prepare and practice self-control, we learn to value what is important. The same lesson can be learned whether we’re waiting for Easter or waiting to find our new home. God is there in the waiting, teaching us to hold tight to Him. To hold tight to Him, we have to let go of everything else.
So during this season of Lent, we’ll keep praying to ensure we’ve correctly discerned the what, praying for patience to accept God’s when, and (until my patience grows) checking Zillow 10 times a day.
I agree with Catholic Doors – the Preface to the Eucharistic Prayer is a super underutilized resource for Catholics. I’ll be listening more closely to this piece of the mass in the future!