The Red Umbrella

The Red Umbrella

I love this quote which was from a book study recently:
The reality of naked trust is the life of a pilgrim who leaves what is nailed down and secure and walks into the unknown without any explanation to justify the decision or guarantee for the future. Why? Because God has signaled the movement and offered His presence and promise.

And Ps. 107:6-7 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble and he delivered them from their distress. He led them to a city where they could settle.

Shortly after Mom died September 7th, 2020, my husband and I felt called to Kansas City to be involved with a church there. We had been there for a short 18 months 30 years earlier and felt like God was saying, “Go and finish the work”.

God had been showing me in dreams that despite our hand to mouth living at this time that he was taking us to a land where we could stand and thrive. My mom had left us a stipend to invest in a house as we had been leasing for 34 years.

As we arrived in Kansas City, housing was at the top of the market and yet we had sold most everything to come and find a house. We first got familiar with the area and outlying areas close to the church and began looking. It was a frustrating time for buyers as there were usually multiple bids and they were paying about 8% higher than the buyer was even asking. After being bandied about in air bnbs, where someone had a reservation coming in behind us constantly, we were exhausted and scattered everywhere. We would have to pack up clothes, groceries and necessities and move again in a week or two. We were literally homeless and doubt crept in. Are we sure we were called to be here? It was much more comfortable with friends and family and familiar territory. Wouldn’t God help us find a house easily if He called us here?

Finally we bid on a house that had 3 acres. My husband wanted to be away from the city and have at least an acre. The only problem about a country place was that unless you were paying high dollar most needed major updating. The one request I had was to have a vanity area and modern bathroom. After losing that house by a bid over us of $35,000, we were disappointed and frustrated.

I went to the ladies ministry night and the ladies around the table were praying for me to find a house as our realtor sat with us. One older woman, Claire, spoke up confidently, “The house you are going to buy is not even on the market yet and it won’t be a totally money deal either.” Well if that were true God, how could you let us go around in circles and not land us yet?

Losing the first house served to make us more flexible. Alan had not been open to look at a two story house until now. There were many two stories in Kansas. We were about to rent an apartment and give up the search when we spotted three houses to look at for a final attempt to buy. I had a dream that night. One of the houses we would be looking at the next day would be ours! In fact the dream seemed to reveal it was already accomplished. We owned the house and I was having my neighbor over for tea in a beautiful backyard covered in trees. We sat outside on an outdoor table with a red umbrella. I also recalled a prophetic word I had received long ago that spoke of my being misunderstood and rejected which had left scars but that a time was coming when I would be restored. And it would be a Christmas in July for me…

After touring two homes the next morning, we came to the third and just felt it was the one as we walked in the door. Sure enough the trees were solid in the back and the outdoor table set on the deck held a red umbrella just as it was pictured in the dream!

We had a day or two to think about our offer since the other agent was out of town and Alan came up with the bid. Since I thought it was God’s choice I really desired the house and was afraid of losing another and being destined to homelessness…Alan said we must lean and trust in God about this decision and not win it in our own strength. I wrestled in the night. Was my dream true or just my hopes? Could I rely on this message in the night? I heard God whisper, “You will be alright.” I knew that meant we would be alright with the bid we were submitting. I had also submitted a letter to the owners stating our desire to be the owners and to host missionaries and visiting leaders of our church as well as lead groups and do some writing. The setting was definitely inspirational and satisfied the country feel my husband desired being in the culdesac with trees and twenty five acres beside us. The owner of the land had no plans to ever build beside us!

The woman’s prophetic impression at ministry night had been accurate. The house had been in pre-MLS and not out officially on the market at the time. Our realtor had sent it to us and we had access the day it came on the market and it had not been all about money. We got the house for $10,000 under what we expected to pay!

In the next few days the story got even more interesting. A red umbrella was sent to my forwarding address. However, I didn’t recall telling anyone the story yet about locating our house by the red umbrella or my temporary address. I first asked my realtor and sister if they sent it. They might be the only ones with the knowledge and address but they did not do it.

Ammsun was written on the case which held the umbrella. Under the company name was written in capital letters, I AM HERE!!! What? A sign and wonder to show me the great I AM is planting me in this location? I wonder who this special neighbor is that I will have over for tea.

Was this a mistake by Amazon or a divine confirmation? I choose to believe the latter! We closed on the house July 30th which proved true that I certainly had a Christmas in July!

God works in mysterious ways! When you know it is His choice that is all that matters. We surrendered every preconceived personal desire and felt a peace that He has a plan and knows the exact place you should live!

“From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. “– Acts 17:26 (NIV)

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