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Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB, found her perseverance tested when a series of essential home repairs took well over a year to complete.

Mine is an old house, and though I have maintained as best I could for more than three decades, it finally showed its age after July of 2021. A massive storm ripped through the area and the house was damaged—extensively. Not in the way most folks think of storm damage with twisted walls and timbers exposed, but in multiple undeniable needed repairs, with almost none of them covered by insurance. 

Add to this massive repair the supply chain issues from COVID, an incompetent contractor at the onset (who after five months was fired), and personal financial constraints and you have a perfect storm of emotions. 

It seemed that any problem with an older house in doing the repairs that could possibly come up, did. Even the new contractor—a fine Christian man, third generation builder, who worked alongside his kindhearted boys—was flummoxed.  

After waiting six weeks for the cabinets to arrive it was discovered that the cabinet guy entered into the system the wrong measurements; it took another six weeks for the three replacements to arrive. After completing the floor, the contractor's son found that the flooring material was defective; it had to be fully removed and redone. All the electrical issues ran us way over budget. Packages arrived missing parts or missing stock. 




With each new issue and delay the contractor had to rearrange his trades according to their now full schedule. With each scheduled time for construction, I had to miss work. 

Trying to manage living in a house torn apart—without a kitchen, electrical and water often shut down for hours, not to mention the racket, debris, all the trades coming and going—was  beyond simply being an inconvenience, especially with a disabled and compromised housemate!  

The house was a disaster for weeks! My housemate’s and my health were suffering: there was filth pumping through the furnace and coating surfaces, we were unable to maintain proper nutrition without a working kitchen, and because of the ongoing stress there was minimal sleep.  

It felt at times like the devil and his minions were doing everything they could to break my spirit, and create a sense of hopelessness. And they nearly succeeded!  

All the platitudes about managing stress felt shallow and trite: find joy in the journey and not at the destination, pray for patience, trust in the Lord to guide your way; meditate, pray, just breathe. 

Things had to be managed and I was the only one to handle whatever arose. Letting go and letting God sounds lovely until you have to figure out timelines, finances, and medical needs. 

My battle cry in all this was “Lord, get me to when …” 

I knew cognitively there would, eventually, be an end to all this mess—the house would finally be repaired. But emotionally the stress and anxiety for months on end were nearly unbearable. I was at times overwhelmed.  Even the therapist I was working with while going through the construction, couldn’t get over how many things went wrong so often with the repairs. 


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I was begging the Lord for endurance, to renew my weakening confidence that all would be well eventually. #CatholicMom

I tried hard to focus on getting to each “when”: when the floors are fixed, when correct cabinets arrive, when the walls are replaced, when the furnace is repaired … 

This continued struggle of getting to “when” forced me to plead the Psalmist’s cry of desperation. I was begging the Lord for endurance, to renew my weakening confidence that all would be well eventually.   

And my “when” finally arrived after 19 months. My health from the chronic stress still needs to be addressed, there is some clean up and painting of other parts of the house still to be done, but in all of this these long months was a waiting grace. My dependence on God through it all was increased, and that is all the more lovely than our precious old house now fully restored. 



Copyright 2023 Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB
Images: Canva