After a nice visit with friends and family, we drove the ten hours home to find a pipe spurting water, and at least 8 gallons of water sitting on the floor and soaked up the walls on one side of the basement. We were stunned. Thankfully, our plumber was able to come out and make the repair (even though it was 9pm on a Saturday night), while I ran to rent a carpet cleaning machine to extract the water before the store closed. The next morning we reevaluated the situation to discover mold in the still wet walls. We knew we were in over our heads, and decided to make the claim to the insurance company.
That very day, a water mitigation company was sent out and we watched as the ripped up our basement carpet and cut up drywall and haul pieces of our once nice basement out the backdoor into their trucks. To us it was a disaster.
Not even a month into our new house and it was being ripped apart. We wondered if we should have even bought a house. Were we cut out for this? Was it really God’s plan for us? Looking back at our decision to buy, everything at the time seemed right. We had prayed about buying, and things lined up monetarily. It had all gone so smoothly. We had prayed a novena to St. Joseph to find a good house, and it seemed that God had blessed us with the house we found. Why was this happening? The week we decided to buy the house, this was a reading at Mass:
And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11:9-13)
All of July, we struggled with the stress of basement, wondering if we had made a huge mistake in buying it. As we worked with the company making estimates for the insurance company and in charge of the repairs, we learned that the whole of our basement family room was going to need to be refinished, ceiling, walls, and flooring. The timetable was much longer than we had hoped for initially, but I started to see that the house God had blessed us with was not a scorpion, but it was the egg that we asked for. We had a nice house, but now it is going to be even nicer. The disaster of the leaky pipe, is going to give us a new basement with fresh carpet and the additional fourth bedroom built except for the egress window for safety purposes (which we will take care of in a few years before we use it as a bedroom).
In my life, I know that I have been so abundantly blessed by God, especially when I have taken each decision to Him and asked Him for His blessings. Things rarely progress or end up according to what I planned, but the certainly end up as God planned. He brings the Good out of all situations, and takes care of those who trust in Him. And the disasters, large and small, in our lives teach us what is most important, and that is loving God and each other.
The material blessings are the cherry on top, and from a loving Father who gives us our very existence, they are given and important. Nothing is too small for His notice, and all of our sufferings are an evil. But, He who makes all things new, brings about Good from our sufferings and blesses us further.