Friday, April 30, 2010

St. Joseph and the Ungrateful Whiner

I’ve always had a fondness for St. Joseph and over the years I have received truly extraordinary graces through his intercession. In fact, every petition I’ve ever presented him has been granted.

So when my husband and I placed our home on the market a few years ago, I turned to him in prayer. Our home went on the market the week before Thanksgiving in 2007. I didn’t worry or think too much about selling it over the holidays so I began my first novena to St. Joseph the first week of February 2008.

Every night I knelt next to my bed and prayed the Unfailing Novena to St. Joseph. Sure enough, at the end of nine days we had an interested buyer – two as a matter of fact. One agreed to our asking price but they were denied financing. The other made an offer that we thought was too low. So I prayed some more. Even though I didn’t notice it at the time, in hindsight I recognize that every time I finished a novena, someone would go through our house and they would generally make a verbal offer. The offers were always too low – or so I thought. Confidently I would respond to our realtor “Thanks but no thanks. We’ll wait it out for a reasonable buyer.”

So weeks turned into months and months turned into years. The offers that we turned down in the early months of 2008 suddenly began to look very good. I prayed a bit more, and then the offers from people wishing to rent our home started to come in. Our home is located in a city where a major international corporation in headquartered and executives from around the world are frequently transferred there for two and three year stints. The corporation itself is the tenant, they issue the monthly rent checks, security deposit and employ a maintenance and cleaning team to restore the home to its original condition when the lease is up. It is actually a great deal, if you are interested in being a landlord.

But I had ‘faith’ that renting was not the way to go. I had ‘faith’ that my prayers would be heard and that a buyer would turn up. Beside I didn’t want another family damaging our home and furnishings. So again my confident ‘thanks but no thanks’ response was given to our realtor.
I began to feel frustrated and told myself that I had to have patience. My prayers would be answered in God’s time. So we turned down a host of prospective tenants.

One day in November of 2009, our realtor called us with two prospective tenants, both long term executive rentals. It had been months since any potential buyers had gone through our house. For the first time we began to consider renting. I hemmed and hawed and thought of a million reasons why I didn’t want other people living in our home. I wanted to sell the home and be done with it.
My husband and I debated it and finally I came around. We agreed to rent the home only to discover that the tenants leased another home so they could be settled before the holidays. We pulled our house off the market in frustration and let it remain unlisted for a few months.

We relisted it in February and would have sold it for any of those early offers we had rejected back in 2008.

An offer to rent our home came in from an executive family with four teenagers and a dog. I was near tears thinking of the shape our home would likely be in after two years in that scenario. We have two kids and a dog and know how much damage happens to a home during the course of a day.

I fought despair and whined to heaven. I was in the midst of a spiritual tantrum when it suddenly occurred to me that God had been trying to bless me all along. Every prayer I sent to St. Joseph had been answered, just not in the way I had expected. The epiphany came that my haughty confidence and ‘faith’ was actually pride. God knew things about the real estate market that the world didn’t, and he sent buyers our way . I petulantly snubbed them, and His graces.

But good and patient St. Joseph presented my case time and time again, and Jesus graciously responded. I know how frustrating it is when my children are ungrateful for my acts of love and kindness. I was so ashamed to consider what must have been going through their minds. I had been an ungrateful whiner.

So I apologized to Our Lord and Good St. Joseph and resolved to accept God’s grace no matter how my pride tried to deceive me. I began another novena to St. Joseph and this past week two prospective executive tenants came though. Both are interested in renting. One prospect was more appealing and I just heard they are considering another property. I fought a wave of disappointment then caught myself.

God knows things I don’t. God and great Saint Joseph have been patiently trying to bless my family. I am going to get out of His way, accept His grace and say thank you for not giving up on me. And I am going to thank Him for the gift of St. Joseph, the patient and powerful patron who never fails anyone who approaches him with confidence.


  1. Dear Happy!

    Have I ever missed you dear one! I've checked your blog off and on and prayed you come back! GREAT to "see" you!

    By-the-way, we couldn't sell our home in Illinois 13 years ago when we moved and I was in a similar place of prayer ... despair ... prayer for a long while, until I finally let go. I kept praying, but I starting trusting God -- through St. Joseph's intercession -- that all would be well. Eventually, we stopped trying to sell in a buyer's market. We listed our home with a good property manager and it has been rented ever since, only vacant for one brief stretch of three months in all those years.

    He is AWESOME! Trust Him!

  2. I can relate - I too need to remember to get out of the Lord's way. Great post. God bless.

  3. Great post. Thanks for linking to my Friday meme. My parents just bought a house- their first at the age of 72! St Joseph came to their aid as well. Although I begged my Mom not to bury the good saint upside down in the dirt.

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