Creative Expression – He Is Enough

Note to Self: You are EnoughThis is a journey. The dream in the previous blog will help you understand what I am writing here in this blog. When God decides to get my attention, He gives me a dream. Why? Is it because that is the way He usually talks to me? No, I rarely dream, so when I do dream, they are detailed and accurate. I pay attention to my dreams.

My dreams answer questions, those questions that are moving like a deep current under the surface of my life. Those questions that I can’t even articulate but I know that they are stirring within me and need to be answered. At those times, I am looking at God. He is looking at me. I have no words but He hears the cry of my heart. The yearning that says “Jesus I don’t understand.” The silence that says, “I don’t know what to do. What do I do?” The tears that say, “You are there, aren’t You?”

Back to the dream – I stand and look back into the house. There they are; all the people who hurried back in, sitting with their groups. Here I am, standing on the outside. I turn and look in the other direction for that is what God is clearly saying to me. The path is not exactly clear but He knows the way. I seem to know that to get through this narrow door (Read this blog please) I will have to lighten my load, getting rid of excessive weight that holds me down and ties me to the past. I wholeheartedly agree it is time. Now is the time.

What weighs me down? Past hurts, wounds losses, rejections, insecurities, and fears. Does that cover it? Yes, I think it does. This time it is real and it is essential for the journey ahead. There is no way to get around it. As a Christian, it is time to stop playing games and get real, at least for me. That means a journey of honesty and confrontation. Enjoy this journey of honesty with me. I can lay it all down so that I am freer and freer and you can walk this out too.

Walking one step away from the house, I hear the Spirit of the Lord say this to me, “You, Debra, are a a woman with a strong sense of justice.” These words shot through my heart awakening me to their truth. Just a few words in one sentence confronted a big reality in my life and how I perceive things. This strong sense of justice wanted to run back into that house and begin to rail at all those people with their pride, their arrogance, the presumed condescension, and their obvious rejection of me. I wanted vindication and a sense that a wrong could be made right and they would see that I was somebody. But, that strong sense of justice was one thing that had to go to lighten my load in this journey.

You see, this strong sense of justice to make people see that they have hurt me was unintentionally binding me to the past and this deep need for closure. Unfortunately, life does not always bring closure. Our need to be righted when wronged or our feeling of entitlement for wrongs done to us does not always come but there is a better way. Justice for all the wrongs done to us is settled on the cross. It is finished. I see that all that I have held onto in my life has been seen by Jesus – my hurts, my sorrows, my pain. He has healed them in His life, for me. He died so that I have life in Christ. If I do not see that the life I live, I live in Christ, then I will continue to seek vindication for wrongs done to my life. This sense of justice formed my life and kept me looking to the past. Now I see, I will lay some things down and pick them up no more. It is finished.

creativityLeaders whose words of condescension cut me like a knife. I stand and say, “It is finished. I forgive.” Many who looked past me or around me, believing that I just did not have the ‘goods’, while I was willing in my heart to give all I could to bring them to the glorious reality of Christ Jesus, I stand and say, “It is finished. I forgive.” There are so many more situations and people who I can talk about today but I believe I get it right now and I hope you do too. To walk away into a broad place, a new vista in Christ, I lighten my load of what I have carried for so long. The case that I have raised against them has been closed this day and I do not seek vindication of retribution of any kind from any man. It is a great feeling within me. Honesty is wonderful and when you have nothing to prove, you have nothing to lose.

This is a spiritual journey for me, written not in analytical form, but in a creative supernatural way. Through dreams, visions, and revelation from the Word in the Spirit, I write this blog for this is my life. I see that now. See this in the Spirit and hear by the Spirit what I am saying here. This is the beginning of a new path in Christ, one that I have waited for these past years. Religion died in me so that intimacy in Christ and relationship with Him lives in me. Enjoy this journey with me. Walking away from the house seems a bit easier now after this blog.

What about you? I know it may be hard to share in-depth things right here, right now but I would like to hear from you. Thank you for any encouragement you may give to me, but I would also like to hear your heart.

Who? You? – Quotable Living

“Never let anyone steal your joy.”  Me, Debra Westbrook

Growing up, I was part of the generation that ran outside to get the Sunday paper that was delivered to our door. I loved reading the comics and I loved Peanuts, especially Charlie Brown. His imperfect, bumbling, insecure, and insignificant life made me laugh. And Lucy – well she was the forerunner of a generation of haters soon to come. They always made me laugh or even cry. I love this cartoon below.

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Why do we let people get in our face, invade our place of joy, and touch our substance? A friend once said to me “Child, don’t let them touch your substance.” I didn’t get it at first but then he proceeded to explain it to me.  Substance means that part of you that makes you, YOU. That inner depth, feeling, thinking, quirky, unique, and creative person that YOU (and me) really are. That part that God said is wonderfully formed and beautifully made. No one can touch that. No one, so don’t give them access.

So here comes Charlie Brown, beaming, laughing, and dancing with joy after a home run. “You?” Sally Brown exclaims. Ever been there? I think all of us have at some point. She reached out with her words to crush, annihilate, and destroy any bit of possibility and hope within him to be HIM. Maybe she didn’t mean to, but she did. She touched that part of him that believed he could rise above the status quo and be someone or somebody for even one minute. With that home run, which I am sure surprised Charlie Brown himself, he vindicated himself in the face of all those preconceived notions family and friends had about him.

Well, we don’t know what Charlie Brown did after that but I know what I might do with a comment like that. I could laugh it off, but feel devastated inside. I might ignore it, but that isn’t likely. I could even laugh along with the condescension pretending like it didn’t affect me. But knowing now, what I may not have known years ago, I would realize that those words cannot and should not penetrate who I am.

What do I do? I have this inner place in me, the secret place where I pray, talk, and meet with God. It is that place where I am unconditionally allowed to be me by a God that created me, knows me through and through, and loves me. When words try to hit that place and get in, I have a protective shield that flings them back in grace. Now, the person saying something like that to me may never know this about me for I could be smiling all the time. But, eventually I run to the Lord, like Charlie Brown, dancing and leaping with great joy and He says “Great job”, with no condescension, no condemnation, and no sarcasm. 

Nothing to Prove, Nothing to Lose – Quotable Living

IMG_4825“When you have nothing to prove, you have nothing to lose.” Anonymous

I’ve been given that quote many times in my life. Right now, it forms a strong foundation in me. Now it is truth, but not always. Getting to this place involved a lot of stripping away of non-essentials that I actually believed formed the essence of Debra. Now I know Debra, all the quirks and imperfections and there is nothing to prove about my person, my substance for I am in Christ, in union with Him. There is nothing to lose anymore and that is freedom. Here is my life in one verse.

Colossians 1:27 –  “Christ in me, the hope of glory.”

I am in union with Christ. The me in Him is flowing each day in creativity and beauty. My life flows in action through the person of Christ in me. I don’t lose myself in excessive qualifications and justifications of who Debra is or is not anymore. Life is way too short for that. I found myself in Him, in His life and now I have nothing to prove in the midst of my life.

But, for years before this, there was a battle raging within me. In fighting to be accepted, I usually found myself out of the mix of the action. I did not like that at all. There was an inner emptiness in me formed from feeling alone and insecure that rejected this person called Debra. So I fought my life from a defensive position of trying to fit in or form myself to be accepted. Truth – I never was. I really never was. This only set up a circular motion of trying harder to prove my being to only be rejected again and to start the process all over again. I worked so hard at it that I lost myself in fear and shame. And, this happened as a Christian. And, this happened even when I walked in ministry. That just goes to show you, God anoints us despite our blatant imperfections.

For years, I walked into a room feeling so uncomfortable. I did not know how to have relationships. I did not know how to actually love people unconditionally. I lived behind a mask of fear – fear of being told that somehow, in some way, I was not right. Not in my actions, but in my being. That inner voice that consistently said that I was not right – my life, my looks, my voice, my thoughts, my beliefs. The funny thing about all of this is that most people think I am an extrovert because I can be outgoing when I need to be outgoing. In actuality, I went through all the motions at times because I was trying to find the Debra that I believed I actually was, and I was wrong. In finding Christ, I am finding me, the me He created me to be.

IMG_4726If you only knew some of my struggles, you would laugh. I do. Who is Debra? Ask that question to yourself. Who are you? Don’t try to prove anything. Be honest and forthright. I will start and then you write something out for yourself being totally honest. This is not self-indulgent okay. After all, it’s my blog and I hope this is helping you to be honest with yourself.

Debra is:

Funny

Unpredictable

Passionate, yet can sometimes get quite angry and let out a few cuss words at times

Impatient

Creative and spontaneous

Thrives on change and travel

A wife who loves her husband

A good but imperfect mom

Too loud

Too moody

People actually can tire me out if I am with them too much

I love solitude and times to be alone to read

I get bored so easy that I then get frustrated

I hate to cook

I love to read

I love reality shows

I despise condescension in any form coming from people

I love the underdogs because I am one

I absolutely love music of every type and every genre

Dogs are easier to be with then people at times and that is why I love Chloe, my French bulldog

I love to sit at dinner and really talk with my good friends over a great bottle of wine

I can’t live inland for the ocean makes me come alive

I love my friends because they really know me, really know me

I am a city girl married to a small town Texas man for 38 years and I believe it can’t get any better than that

I like confrontation and a good argument

I could go on forever but I will end here with a smile. Nothing to prove, nothing to lose. Oh yeah, one more thing…I love Starbucks, French fries and pizza.