Creative Expression – Soundproof Rooms – A Vision, A Lesson

Words Words WordsSoundproof rooms – sounds a bit strange to me, or so I thought, but during worship, I actually had a distinct vision of this type of room. It goes something like this:

I was in a soundproof room. I began to speak – words of promise, words of destiny, words filled with faith. Over time, I realized that this room’s energy tried to contain and restrain my voice. The words seemed to be crashing against the ceiling, bouncing off of the walls, and clashing into each other. My initial response was to speak louder and louder but it did not seem to help. The louder I spoke, the more tired I became. I realized that I was expending a lot of energy. So, I stopped. I was silent, staring around at words that were life to me, yet they were going nowhere.

The silence itself then came to life, if that makes any sense to you. It does to me so try to see this in Holy Spirit. The silence itself came to life. It was deafening and somewhat accusatory in its depth. It seemed to be laughing at me, taunting me to try again, to speak louder. Trapped in this place, there seemed to be breakthrough. I was in a constrained and conflicted place with no way out except through the Lord Himself.

The words continued to move around when suddenly it was as if they turned to look at me. As I sat there awhile, I began to see that the very words that were life to me actually became my accusers as they taunted me.  It was if they were talking to me saying things like this:

“So where is your God? Doesn’t He see you know? Traveling to the nations right? From where, this room? He’s a liar. He deceived you. He never meant to fulfill these promises. Has God really said? Can He be trusted? You are a fool.”

The room became a cacophony of sound that assaulted me on all sides. At times it became almost unbearable. What do I do? Suddenly I heard these words crash into my spirit amidst the noise, words of truth and life.

He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:24 NKJV)

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “ With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NKJV)

This was a demonic attack to silence me and to kill my voice. This vision confirmed that which my heart already knew but was unable to truly see. To defeat this requires authority in Holy Spirit, to believe that He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. So instead of shouting excessive words, trying to prove to myself and to whatever was trying to keep me there that I had authority, I simply waited.

Instead of speaking, I began to worship God. In time, faith filled my heart to know that this place of confinement was demonically induced and demonically empowered through deception and lies. The power of Christ in me is the key to breakthrough. Sometimes as crazy as it seems, I forget that simple truth. I opened my mouth and said, “In the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to go, to leave.”

SoundwaveSimple words. I actually believed what I was saying. I did not cringe in hopelessness or doubt or unbelief. I believed He is able and willing and gracious and kind and loving to release me from this place. And He did.

The roof lifted off. Not quietly but with a loud ‘swoosh’ as when air rushes into a place that is like a vacuum or a void. The air of Holy Spirit rushed in and His life breathed into me again with a rush of air full and free. Something broke. I know it.

That is the end of my vision. I won’t explain it because if you are in a place like this, I truly believe you get the point. You may ask or wonder why I did not see this earlier or why I could not have done this sooner. Why wait so long in this position? I am not sure. I don’t have an answer for that. I only know that God’s ways are perfect and so is His timing. For all I know, He may have been ready a long time ago to do this but I was not. I became bogged down in disillusionment and discouragement, dulling my spiritual senses. But, today is a different story.

If you find yourself in a similar place, perhaps you may want to add a comment below. There are many in these days that the enemy is trying to silence. I talk to many people day by day who feel invisible, ignored, and lost. What was the greatest lesson for me in all of this? It’s quite simple. My words are simply words without my source being in Christ, with my belief in Christ. The words of Jesus are spirit, life and truth. They bring light into all situations to set the captives free. In this case, it was me who was the captive. And, it can be you. I could not say any words, but the right words empowered by light, love, light, and truth. And, I had to believe He is able to do this through me.

I can expound a lot on this but I am learning that the prophetic shines brightly when I leave you with room to think, room for you to fill in the blanks in your own story. There will be more battles to come in the future. For now, this is a victory.

In Christ, Debra Westbrook

Debra and ChloeRivers of Eden Ministry is called to challenge people to a life of creativity, revelation and intimacy in Christ. Marvin and I look forward to hearing from you, allowing us the opportunity to minister in the grace and love of Christ in your gathering, church, home group or conference.  Currently we are planning a trip to Kenya in July in which we are looking forward to establishing new relationships with leaders for a Kingdom purpose. Contact us on Facebook or Twitter for more information.


Creative Expression – Mirror, Mirror

Mirror ShatteredDisillusionment (disappointment, let down, discouragement) works side by side with disintegration (fall apart, fragment), attempting to shatter your identity in Christ!

God often speaks to me short and to the point, choosing words that point to profound change and transformation if I choose to meditate on what He is saying at that time. His words can cut like a knife or flow like honey. Whatever way He chooses to bring them as a good Father, they bring confrontation and a choice to change. I still believe that a good Father, a really good Father, will speak to his children in varying tones of love. His words don’t always sound poetic or flowing. They can also sound confrontational and strong. Yet, again, love has many varied tones. That is a good Father. His words, always rich, full and right on time.

His words: Disillusionment fastens itself to disintegration! 

I sat and listen to what He is telling me. Then I close my eyes and receive an accompanying vision, a story from the Lord, filled with hope and restoration.

His vision reaches into the depths of my spirit, often where words simply cannot reach me. Let me share it as if I am telling you a story.

There she is standing in front of a mirror. It is me or it can be you. Looking, intently gazing at the image, she wonders about her life, questioning some things that are not easily understood. The questions are internal, not voiced but pondered within, as she stares at the image before her. She admits to herself that she really does not like what she sees. Outwardly, she appears content and happy. If she were to really admit it, she expected more than this in life. Disillusionment has left her fragmented, shattered, and wondering how to regroup lost time.

Suddenly the effects of disillusionment produce cracks in the mirror, right before her eyes. Her face begins to look distorted. Hope evades her for the promises are distant and ethereal, unable to be seen. Disillusionment crept into her soul, slowly but surely. The cracks show that hope has subtly turned to cynicism and doubt, wondering if God can be trusted. Would He come through for her?

She kept standing and looking at her image. Suddenly more cracks and distortions appeared right before her eyes. Any semblance of joy or beauty was gone. She did not recognize this woman. Everything is out of place in her life. She just kept staring, looking intently as she began to disintegrate, little by little, piece by piece.

That is what disillusionment does, you know. It fragments hopes, dreams and faith until all that is left is pieces of a life that are unrecognizable. The enemy, over years of accusations, kept asking the same question over and over and over. “Has God said?”

These words produced an inner disintegration of her very being, having her question everything she knew about God, everything she believed about God. Looking at herself, she knew that this woman, shattered and fragmented, is not the woman that she is created to be in Christ. She could not look anymore at this distorted image. Looking down at her feet, she saw sharp, jagged pieces of glass scattered all around her. There she was, fragmented pieces of a life that had once been full of passion and promise. How did this happen?

She looks up. The mirror is gone. Her image is gone. There is nothing left. Nothing. In that moment, reality hits illusion. This is when God is God or He is nothing at all, only a vague nebulous being in the sky that seems distant and unaware of her inner pain and struggle. This is it.

Pieces falling to the ground all around her, shattering into more minute pieces as they hit the ground. The mirror is gone. The image is gone. There is nothing left. Nothing. This is when reality hits illusion. This is when God is God or He is nothing at all, only a vague cloud in the sky that seems distant and unaware of inner pain and struggle and trials. This is it.

She looks down again at the pieces of glass, knowing that it was never supposed to come to this point of nothingness. There they lay on the ground. Time rushed in, life moved fast, like it always does. Live long enough and you will see this to be true.

At this point, silence pervades the atmosphere. Where are the tears? Too many have been shed. Where is the crying out? Too many years of that too. Silence is the appropriate response to this chaotic scene. She simply looks up and gazes. That’s all. She breathes. She sighs.

At that very moment of release, a wind begins to blow. It swirls around her, soft and gentle. The wind flows through the room and the pieces on the floor begin to move in the wind. At first, they rise up only inches off the ground, accompanied by a beautiful tinkling sound. Gradually, the wind increases in intensity and the shiny silver pieces strongly vibrate, hitting up against each other, yet they do not crack. They seem to have a momentum all of own, swirling and rushing around her feet.

The wind turns to a roar and it draws up the shattered silver pieces up and away flowing like a river towards the mirror form. Each piece hits the mirror in a strategic place. The sound is deafening to her ears. When they are all in place, the roar of the wind stops abruptly. There is only a deep silence. A silver-like river of shiny liquid suddenly begins to flow among the broken jagged edges. These pieces beautifully meld together until the mirror is restored to perfection again with no hint of any breakage.

All is silent. The woman cannot comprehend what has just taken place. There is fear in her heart, so she lowers her eyes, unable to look up into the mirror. She is apprehensive about what she will see. She breathes and looks up, slowly at first.

Me Jeremiah VerseTruth looks back at her from the mirror. Illusion has died.

Many of us struggle in time – its hopelessness, its pain, and all of the unanswered questions. These struggles erode our faith and belief in the reality of God’s love for us. Disillusionment leads to fragmented and shattered lives. We want answers. There are no easy answers. Life will still have many questions that evade our ability to understand it at times.

When there are seasons that I bottom out, seasons where my life just seems chaotic and random and void, it is at those times, He is real. He restores me and sets me on a new path of wholeness. I am richer for the experience. I can then encourage each of you to stand, when all hope seems lost, when grief overtakes you, when all is chaotic and crazy. Stand. Jesus Christ is real.

Creative Expression – Gravity

This morning, sitting, just sitting. Nothing going on. No great thoughts. Just the simplicity of the stillness. I entered into that beautiful stillness in Christ and kept hearing this song, Gravity, which I have loved for some time now. Just the feel of the song. Its sound stirs something in my life. Its notes take me to a place where I feel like I am soaring, above that which can cause me regret, above that which can pull me down into a place where I don’t want to be, into anything that tethers or tries to hold me back. This is just some prophetic musings today. So why don’t you listen to the song and then just read some words of encouragement from my heart to yours.

It really is time to leave regret behind, any regret that tethers you to its expectations and requirements, demands or regulations. To regret is to consistently rewrite the script in your life that says you could have done it better or said it better or lived it better. What if you couldn’t? There are always others involved in the equation. What if you did all you could and you find yourself re-living it over and over and over? That is the effects of gravity. It pulls you back to that place of constriction, that place where you look up, knowing you were meant to fly but you are always tethered to something or someone or some place or some situation by the regret of what could have been but wasn’t, what should have been, but never actually got there. Is that you? Is it me?

Perhaps it is the overflow of this song touching my heart this day. These prophetic stirrings in my heart today are for you and me. Jesus Christ in me is bursting my heart wide open to allow this to flow, without any preplanned agenda but just a creative bent, a creative passion to do something different other than the mundane. So, out comes these words of encouragement for you and for me.

In Christ, I am seated in heavenly places, above the pull of gravity and its effects – the chaos of life, the constant disruptions to my forward progression, the effects that small disruptions have on my life day by day, things that just did not pan out. Yet, seated in Christ, opens up the vistas to see beyond what I can see when regret tethers me to its constant demands in my life. So, today I soar. Do you? I hope so.

I have lived in the box of demands for so long – what demands? Those demands that cried out from deep within that I, like you, have tried to silence, but they are still there until I realize that in Christ, I am above the effects of gravity, whether I want to believe it or not. That is why, even to this song, I can soar to its freedom sound in my life. It is a freeing sound in my life.

Who knows where this bit of creativity will take me? After all it is just a simple song that may mean nothing to you. But it stirred prophecy in me today to realize that you may be reading this and be one of those who struggle with regret. So listen over and over and simply breathe in to know that in Christ, you can be seated above it all, right now, right here. I present Jesus Christ to you to reach up, to raise up, to rise up – past it all into Him. He gathers and hides you in the shadow of His wings. That is reality. From that vista I can look down and see things quite differently. So right now I listen to this song again and open my arms and worship to something that was probably not intended as a worship song……..but it is for me. I love you Jesus.

Creative Expression: Is Anyone Listening? – The Dream

SoundwaveAs I toss in my bed, I am thinking about how often I am unnoticed, even in a room full of people. I am often unheard even when I am called to speak to a group of people. I know that it is not my imagination but it is a deep frustration within me. I am pondering these thoughts while gently nodding off to sleep.

Suddenly my eyes open and I am standing in the great room of a large house. I look around, surprised, trying to make sense of it. This place is completely unfamiliar to me. “How did I get here?” I ask myself. Then, in an instant, I realize I am in a dream.

There are many people gathered in this house, distinctly unaware of me. I keep thinking, “Where did all these people come from?” I know that I am called to be the speaker of this gathering, but it seems quite amusing to me since I don’t know these people or I don’t know where I am. Looking around and surveying the scene, I notice that the house seems to be naturally sectioned off into groups of people. They are divided not by walls or rooms but by ‘people types’. This makes quite an interesting scenario to me.

To my left, I see men dressed in suits sitting on antique dining room chairs, ebulliently talking to one another with fervor and passion. They are leaning in to their circle, a sign that the conversation is intense and interesting.

Off to one side, I see people sitting on plush couches, relaxed and laughing. They seem to be waiting for something to happen with great expectancy.

live-with-passion-cuff-sterling-silverThen off to my right, I see some people sitting quite uncomfortably on folding chairs, looking a bit uneasy, shy and reserved. There were so many different types of people all around the house.

They have come to hear me speak. I know. I just know. How to get them to listen? That is the question in my mind right now. Minutes pass by as I keep thinking how to get their attention. “What to do?” I ask myself. “They aren’t going to settle down on their own.”

Without raising my voice, I began to speak to the group. My voice is neither loud nor soft, but fitting into the mix of the sound of the voices in the house. I am hoping that someone hears me, then another, and another until the room quiets down and I get their attention. That did not work. My words seem to blend into the mix of the sound of voices, having no effect in changing the atmosphere.

Quite unlike myself, I am not frustrated at all. I know in my heart that I will not fight to be heard. I also will not force myself to be seen or noticed at this time. I stand there and wait for an idea. I have experienced this so many times in my life, those moments when you realize that you are not a priority but just an option to those to whom you are sent to bring words of life. Thoughts flood my mind. Thoughts of times past where this has happened to me before. Giving my all, I have often been placed in situations where I am unseen and unheard.  

I have been sent here to speak forth what God has placed on my heart. I surmise that to get their attention, something has to happen, or they will go on this way, in their own self-absorbed world, for a long time. In just a few short minutes, a fire alarm begins to ring very loudly. I had no part in making this happen but I knew instinctively what to do. I spoke loud, clear and with authority. “Everyone outside,” I said. “Now!”

With the sound of these words, people throughout the house began walking toward the door to head out to the back yard. They formed a line across the back of the house. No one was speaking. It was silent except for the sound of the alarm. The alarm eventually stopped and then, the silence was all that remained. I stood on one side of the yard and a line of people faced me from the other side. Having their full attention, staring at me, I started to open my mouth and found that nothing came out. I had nothing to say.

Standing there like a complete fool, I was unable to move and unable to speak. The people started to get restless and within minutes, they proceeded to go back into the house. They walked by me as I stood there.  I turned and saw through the windows that they walked right back to their previous groups and began to pick up in conversation where they had left off. I was still standing on the lawn, alone. The words, which I had to speak, were still pulsing within me like fire in my veins, but they did not flow forth. 

At that moment I woke up, eyes open, wondering what this dream actually was all about. Then my eyes closed and I dozed off again for a short while. Then frustration came upon me because I felt helpless and unable to change my situation. I was still hidden, unseen and unheard. I kept thinking of different scenarios that would have given me some answers to this dream. Should I have walked back into the house and demanded that they listen to me? What would it take to be seen?

Enjoy the JourneyMy dream did not come with closure, at least not the type of closure that I wanted. I wanted clear answers and some type of vindication. I did not get any of this. So, after praying and thinking for some time, I realized that the dream was open-ended and that by the Holy Spirit, the story shown in my dream continued with my eyes wide open. “Is this possible?” I wondered. Then as I briefly closed my eyes, I began to dream again, while awake. There before me was a path, a new path in Christ. The path of my life – a way outside the confines of normality, one in which there would be adventure and joy. I could not go back into the house. That was not possible for me. After all these years of wanting to be heard or seen, or needing to be affirmed by people in the mix, I knew that I was meant to walk a different path in my life. This dream showed me that I knew there was no going back now. So what now? Again, this is a creative journey that works itself out as I walk it day by day in Christ. Enjoy the journey with me!

Creative Expression: Stop, Look, Listen

creativity-takes-courageI don’t look at the usual to find the unusual. I don’t follow the mundane to find the creative. I also stopped listening to the myriad of echoing sounds to find my voice. It’s all about being Debra, not anyone else. It is not self-indulgent to proclaim this at this time in my life. I have labored under misrepresentation for so many years that I breathe a sigh of relief when I find peace in Christ in me. My creativity is grounded in the One who knows me through and through.

The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you; therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message (Colossians 1:27 Message)

Living “out of the box” has been added to a long list of clichés that currently exist. I myself have been known to say it so many times that I often bore myself at its repetition in my life. So I have decided to turn the tables on myself and stop talking it and start walking it. It’s time to live “out of the box”. Time for me to look outside my self-imposed boundaries that have placed a lens of normality over my eyes to where I don’t even see the new opportunities. I catch a glimpse of something new, something fresh and it is tempting to retreat into the comfort of the ‘crowd’ out of fear of failure or fear of the unknown.

So what does it mean for me to be creative and think out of the box? Well, first and foremost, creativity does not exist in a vacuum but is dependent upon relationships that add dimension to my life, visual stimuli that impart creative ideas to me, or reading interesting books whose words carry the seeds of creative ideas that burst open within me. All in all, creativity is dependent on movement in my life. Moving out of the stability of what is comfortable into what is innovative and fresh. This path can and often is accompanied by internal fears but do it anyway. For me, it’s all in Christ.

We live and move in him, can’t get away from him (Acts 17:28 Message)

The LIght Goes OnA practical example for me this very day set my heart afire within me. I saw a running video in my head that had me grab my journal to write down ideas. Then I talked briefly to my young friend in Finland, Jenna (by the way, READ this gal’s blog. It’s great.) I shot ideas by her and we have determined to bring forth the manifestation of this great idea in the beginning of 2014, God willing. Timing is crucial but if not then, it will manifest soon, very soon. What matters the most is that the creative journey sparks life in me. It is who I am and it is how I stay alive and adventurous day by day.

New ideas start to come when we press past the norm. And then, the new ideas may be nebulous in form because they are so new or different that we reject them at first. But then they start to take hold and they form into purpose and then we launch out to try, to do, to make, to create. It’s a good day.