Choosing to leave Illinois, the place where we'd grown up and lived our entire lives wasn't a decision we came to lightly. It came after much prayer, lots of conversations and a bit of input from people we considered our "wise counsel." The idea came to us sort of accidentally, but once we'd spoken it aloud, it grew and tugged at our heartstrings.
It started as a "What if...?" question. I usually love those. Those are the basis for any good idea, I think. But this "What if" scared us--not a Freddy/Jason kind of fear. The kind of fear that's mixed with excitement and bubbles way down deep in your belly.
You know that fear?
In the early stages, someone very close to me, who I knew prayed for us and heard God on our behalf, told me something that I've never forgotten. She said "I see you leaving, but under the covering of a big, red umbrella. God is going with you."
If you're not a spiritual person that may sound like a load of hooey (and if anyone else had said it to me, it may not have meant so much) but it resonated with me. It was confirmation.
We were going...under the covering of a red umbrella.
I'd just started painting at that time (this was a little over a year ago) and I immediately knew I wanted to paint something that signified how I felt.
Since that time, I feel like I've painted better paintings, but this one will always hold a special place in my heart. Because it came from a place of passion. What I longed for...that red umbrella...to lead us HOME. To that place of acceptance, where we can simply be ourselves.
I did a google search of "Red Umbrella" and guess what I found?
I listened to the lyrics and cried. It was almost like God had reserved this song just for me. Like these lyrics were written just for me at this time in my life. (Did you know God can use secular songs to speak to you? Gasp!)
Since that day, I've listened to this song more times than I can count because it lifts me up. It makes me feel better. It speaks to me in a way I can understand.
Let it rain...it's pouring all around me...let it fall...it ain't gonna drown me...after all, I'm gonna be okay...so let it rain...
Yeah. Pretty much just what I needed. And still need. A love song from God, one that reminds me he never leaves me or forsakes me. He's got it covered. When I worry and panic (which I do more than I care to admit...) He's still in control.
Recently, I did another red umbrella painting, this one quite a departure from the first. (Or any that I normally do). I wanted to learn to draw a better umbrella so I googled till I found some cool ones. I based this on one of the sketches I found online, but naturally I have no idea where.
Adam was quite concerned for her. ("She doesn't have any boobs.") Aw, honey, so nice of you to notice. This painting was more an exercise is "let's see if I can figure this out..." than anything. And I'm not satisfied with the umbrella, but it's a start.
I have a feeling, that red umbrella will always speak to me. Any time I'm in a tough spot, I'll remember those words and they'll comfort me.
I'm gonna be okay, so let it rain.
Has God ever used unconventional means to get your attention? Like a country song, rather than a church song? Tell me I'm not alone!
P.S. Today's the last day to enter the giveaway for Christy's SheArt workshop! Don't forget to comment on this post!