Today at 11:22 a.m. I started the countdown — 2 hours, 38 minutes until my home inspection. Then I’ll know. Either I’m buying a house or not. No more telling people, “I think I might be buying a house,” and them asking, “Well, do you have an area in mind?” and me saying back, “Well, I actually made an offer and it’s been accepted, but I’m being cautious.” Then they look at me with that look that says, “What do you mean you might be buying a house?”

Then it was 11:37 — 2 hours, 23 minutes. Finally, I can pick out my new refrigerator, talk to someone about getting the garage door replaced, and finally give notice to my apartment.

11:43 — 2 hours, 17 minutes. I wonder if I can afford a new sofa, too.

11:49 — 2 hours, 11 minutes.

Then I stopped. From the time I decided to buy a house, I’ve been resolute in wanting to embrace each part of this process. To stay firmly planted as I wait for each phase to unfold. I’ve had trouble sleeping, sure, and I’ve been anxious about offers, true. But I’ve tried hard to stay in the moment. To be present. And waiting for this inspection can be no different.

I said a quick prayer, “Lord, help me to be thankful for the time I am here at work and to be present in what I’m doing.” And then I forced myself not to look at the clock every time I wanted to (I gave in about every third time).

This, I’m learning, is where patience begins.

The inspection happened, and much of it was positive. But just as we suspected, there are some issues with the roof, and unless the seller and/or his insurance company (hail damage) is willing to pay for the repair, the deal might be off. When will I know for sure? I don’t know. I’ll certainly know more tomorrow, but I’m guessing it will take at least several more days before adjusters can come out and estimates secured and decisions made. And a big part of me just wants to know now.

But a bigger part of me realizes that as I strive to be present in this process, I also must believe in faith that the Lord is very much present with me through this. He is walking with me, reminding me to wait. If I rush through this, I will no doubt miss learning more about who He is. And I also will miss learning the things he has for me to help me grow.

If I wait, there will be blessings. But not necessarily new houses with new roofs. The blessings of patience are more like perseverence and character and hope.

A new roof might keep the rain off, but hope will protect me from the storms.