I had a dream that I was waiting on people in a restaurant naked. When I realized everyone was watching as I walked around in the dining room I stooped down to talk to my table quietly. Then I was inside a fancy dressing room at a department store inside the mall. The room was surrounded by a glass circular case which I was inside, again naked. A line of people outside waiting to get in wrapped around the glass and they were watching me. I recognized some celebrities and when I saw Brad Pitt in the line I ran to the trash can and started going through papers and tags to look like I was doing something important. A guy inside the glass room with me came over and said, “They are fakes, just looking important because of their reputation.” I stood up and realized I didn’t need to cover myself. End of dream.
When I woke up I heard the statement, “People have always said you are “real” and not afraid to be made a fool of. I quickly grabbed my dream notebook to write down the details from my sleep.
Amazingly, before I had gone to bed I checked Doug Addison’s prophetic word for that day. It read, “God is speaking clearly through dreams that will not require a lot of interpretation.” Right on target, once again.
Nakedness means transparency. In both scenes I was revealing all of myself and had an audience. Being encased with glass was a protective barrier representing the heart of God. I was inside, transparent before onlookers. This is Holy Spirit separating and protecting me who prophetically speaks truth. The truth I spoke intimately to my table as I waited on them reveals my preparation for bringing truth into the atmosphere with a prophetic word. Waiter means, “faithful servant of God, filled and ready for service”. I was transparent in my waiting on people. Waiting means leaning on God’s timing, awaiting His appointment for divine truth to be revealed. Dressing room means Preparation for the King or one’s heart.
Applying the dreams meaning to my life is so simple yet profound. Our dreams speak to where we are at in our relationship to Daddy, our soul revealing beliefs and uncovering questions for our future or present state. This dream had much to say about my life in this moment of personal growth as I find myself where I do not truly want to be vocationally or in my emotions.
I am in waiting. Three years ago before I went to ministry school I decided to walk away from the food and beverage industry. I did not want to waitress on the weekends anymore because I had used it to fill time out of fear of being alone. Now, it is the only resource I have to fall back on as I await finishing school and in a new state. In present, I am a waiter. I truly know that I must fill myself up through prayer before and after my shifts so I will be ready for service. I was a naked waiter which speaks to my being a prophetic voice for the workplace to build up the people. This is not my life-long career, but a time to prepare me for fulfillment of dreams as I work out character flaws surrounding the ridicule I get from co-workers. I am being prepared for the greater on the horizon. The glass encasement of the second scene is the Word of God that separates me and protects me from pretensions of the world. When I realize they see me naked I rummage through the trash, looking inward to my faults and believing I need to strive for approval. But once truth was revealed to me, that others aren’t as they seem, “more important than me”, I stand up in my nakedness. My transparency at work is my shield because nobody can take it from me. I don’t know any other way than just to be myself. Unfortunately, it brings the onslaught from others looking into my life, leverage that they have when they form an alliance against what they do not understand. Daddy however has given me great favor there.
This is a confirming dream. It speaks very personally to the depths of my inward change and daily growth because of the opposition I face from those I am surrounded by. The anger I picked up on the first day is real, but a mask to deep pain within my co-workers who hurt me because they are hurting. I am convinced that Daddy tells us to watch our tongue in His word because of the grave consequences that occur when we speak negativity. I fell into it one day. So much back-stabbing was going on among the servers that I took it out on Dylan through a text. I couldn’t control my environment so it was easier to lash out at him when I really wanted to tell those at work to stop devouring one another. The hostility got to me and I took it out on the person who I knew always had my back, but wasn’t there to rescue me. Everyone was quitting. The pressure rose as people on the floor dwindled. I was only free from my own defacing thoughts and the complaints of employees if I was actively catering to the patrons. That instance demanded that I provide the best service in order to take responsibility for myself and not give into quitting myself. I was aware of the 24hour surveillance the restaurant is under and prayed to keep my cool. With signs posted all over the walls of the hundreds of ways one could be terminated, my anxiety level continuously rose when the Kitchen started slowing in food production. As soon as tables went on a 50 minute wait for 20 minute pizzas the waitresses slung even more mud at the kitchen staff. The owner actually started asking for names of who screwed up which caused an avalanche of accusations that pierced my heart and spirit. Should I even be here Lord?
The need to keep looking over my shoulder was draining. As soon as I turned one corner groups dispelled because they were gossiping about someone. They scattered like rats running from a light being turned on. Yet, I was deemed the biggest rat. My light within was construed to be the illumination of their faults. I broke down and found myself also wanting to quit because my kindness was mistaken for arrogance. I was fault-finding in my mind to offensively ward off feelings of rejection. I couldn’t understand how my joy was being twisted into a façade. The more I learned about the way things were run in this place the more I realized that those who remain in power do so because of degrading demands. If I shrugged them off, it made me a target of ridicule all the more because I was still pleasant. Yet, here is the mystery of God revealed, we will be like death to those who choose it. I had walked into a landmine where fear cripples servers from speaking up for righteousness and being heard. It wasn’t their fault that fighting and gossiping was a protective barrier against the truth and love that I was bringing. They just didn’t know how to convert me into being just like them.
Three days in a row I went into the bathroom and got on my knees for strength. Help was not accessible from anyone but Him. Everyone had to watch their backs. No one was safe from judgment. I was given twice the amount of busy work than those who were supposed to do it, and if I failed they reveled in my missing the mark. But Daddy comforted me every time. I wiped my tears and decided that I would bless instead of curse and make the most out the time I had there. I made a deal with Him, “each day I will approach it as my last day and give it my all.” It worked.
When I joked about being non-committal with Dylan he quietly sat there without a response. I could tell he was keeping something from me so I questioned what he wanted to say. Still, he remained quiet as I shared how my friend Polly would pray with me week after week about my inability to trust myself. I believed I fundamentally made wrong decisions and she would probe why I thought that way. When explaining myself I mentioned that I usually felt apathetic after I became overwhelmed. If I felt backed into a corner I would just walk away from circumstances, jobs and people to avoid being abandoned. I didn’t like doing this but it was easier to say, “I’m done” and shove my feelings rather than get to the driving emotion that had me put up walls. Dylan calmly said, “I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but you are a quitter.” It was like glory rays of light coming out of the sky illuminating my life. I saw hundreds of instances flash in my mind’s eye as soon as he labeled what I have been unable to label for myself. He was RIGHT! I was quitter! I quit when the going got tough but would play a martyr because I believed lies that told me, “I gave all I could right up to the breaking point”. But I really hadn’t. I was spinning my wheels because I thought everyone else was causing me pain or stealing my dreams. Quitter! Yup that is the defining word for every opportunity that I lost because I walked away. I was so excited! All these years I couldn’t think of a way to describe how I gave up on myself and others. This was mercy and grace for me in one package. Daddy used someone I love to softly speak the truth to me. His grace allowed me to receive it. His mercy led me into repentance. I didn’t, I don’t want to be a quitter. But I don’t have the faintest idea of how to change?
I have been spending years confessing, breaking vows, forgiving and reading about ways to make me change faster but would give up just as fast if I wasn’t fixed. I believed lies about God not being there to help me, all because I was initiating my speedy recovery from abandonment. If everyone I loved left me than I must not be worth investing in. I would just quit at any moment in my heart, dissolved relationships and negative experiences would usually follow, proving myself right. When I saw the word quitter in my mind’s eye, I was able to say NO to it. It is what it is. I use to quit. I have hurt people, circumstances and myself. I don’t want to continue in that cycle anymore. Dylan and I prayed and I envisioned handing it over to God. My prayer partner Polly would be proud! I couldn’t have been happier to find out what word best described my mindset so I could let go of it. If I was going to seize the opportunity for change it had to begin with me. If this job was where I found myself right now then I wanted to make the most out of it. I want to choose change because breakthrough was beginning to reveal itself.
One night I woke up at 3am and started writing a list of things that could help improve the rapport between the servers that remained. I offered a solution for every problem that I had witnessed. Then I took it to the people who shunned me the most in order to offer them recognition that they did have the power to change it if they wanted to. I had to speak their language, not name names and humble myself in order to honor them. They agreed with the points I had made. Then I shared it with the staff. I offered to take the fall and be their protection should leadership need someone to blame. By dispelling secrecy and continuing to pick up the slack for the sake of positive change, breakthrough happened.
It did not come without high cost however. Those in authority took my ideas to the owner and passed them off as their own. I did not have time to care about who got credit; I just wanted peace in my workplace. I made sure the underdogs got heard. I spoke on their behalf if injustice surmounted, and I did it with a smile. It shook the foundation of their ridicule so much, that they began to lie about my temperament. When I was smiling too much they said I was fake. If I was in a great mood and encouraging them in spite of them berating me, they told me I was bringing them down. It became so backward, that I would have to laugh out loud. I was truly walking out scriptures that depict the world will hate you because of the Christ that lives within you. The more they hated the blessings the more strength Daddy gave me to overcome and wipe it out with more love. I relied on my cleaning experience to clean areas of disarray so that the kitchen would function smoothly. I listened to every command and asked for other ways I could help even if it wasn’t in my job description. What was happening was beautiful. I was flying above the circumstances. My agitation faded and I knew Daddy kept me from quitting because my heart was aching for the very ones who despised me.
I know their pain. I know how hard it is to handle daily life when emotions direct my steps. In my heart I chose to keep going back to a fearful, angry atmosphere without regard for money. I didn’t care about making money; I cared about speaking truth into the existence of hurting souls. I determined to make my days at work my ministry. Then I gave the owner my note. I re-wrote it so he would not feel attacked and I thanked him for the employment opportunity. That night proved to be the greatest upset in the spirit realm. It was a chance I took to put myself on the chopping block. I told nobody else that I delivered the note and I waited. On my next shift I worked with employees who have the most pull. They suggested I quit. One, who I tried to befriend, told me that if I didn’t quit, she would, and that somehow I should realize I had to be the one to leave. When I told her that I like it here, she blatantly called me a liar. She told others servers they should quit because they were too good to be at this restaurant. When I saw how deeply ingrained manipulation caused such dissension I suddenly had a revelation. “I don’t need to quit in moments of being manipulated that is where I can be real.” In order for me to break out of a role of quitting and not standing up for myself, I can be true to myself. Up until this job, I pretended to go with the flow often. My inside joke was that “I role play”, act like I’m supposed to in order to keep the peace. This was important for my survival growing up in an abusive home, but it didn’t fit anymore. If a decision overwhelmed me I use to give up on finding solutions but regret not making a choice based on what I needed. Too often I told myself that throwing caution to the wind would make me spontaneous. In fact, quitting on myself debilitated me from acting as my true self. The bottom line was that my whole life I chose to judge those who manipulated me as the problem because it gave me an excuse to not stand up for myself and speak authentically.
Anybody else relate to that? I’m going to repeat it because I need to hear it again. “The bottom line was that my whole life I chose to judge those who manipulated me as the problem because it gave me an excuse to not stand up for myself and speak authentically”. Manipulation sucks. The people who manipulated me were wrong and it hurt me, but it created victimhood in my beliefs and behaviors. I gave up on me because I didn’t trust my voice. My convictions and curiosities and my need to understand were often uncomfortable for my family and friends to deal with. If they overpowered me I justified hating them on the inside because they stole my voice. Today however, I don’t need to respond in anger. I can take appropriate responsibility and share my perspective so my feelings are heard. How they respond to me says more about them than it does me, but even in that I don’t have to judge them. One of the best lessons I have learned through my volunteer work at the prophetic deliverance ministry is that judgment always negates mercy. Sometimes, “it is what it is” lets me off the hook from being manipulated if I simply make an observation and give the circumstances to Daddy. If mercy triumphs over judgment and I have felt the effects from both, why would I choose chains of manipulation to keep myself and those I judge bound? When I don’t get the punishment I deserve from Jesus I am able to let the manipulator and my “role-playing quitter self” off the hook because I have played both sides. In this depth of understanding I am able to be set-free.
Looking around, I wasn’t conforming to the sickness nor was I morphing into the belief system that I had a role to play in order to keep my job. Choosing to state my needs calmly afforded others a chance to respond to me the same way. Spiritually I agreed with heaven to speak peace into the existence and call people into their identities instead of falling short. I had to lay aside any information Daddy gave me for the sake of empowerment because I knew His expectation from me was to tell the staff how He saw them. I did all of the side work that evening and asked every employee what I could do to help them leave faster. Another employee kept telling me to go over what I had just finished and she was silently telling me how much she disapproved of me through her gestures and mockery. When I completed all of her work for her she said I had to stay until she made sure everything was finished according to her standards. I felt my inner spirit rise up and break out of the mindset that I have to manipulate manipulators by being the peacemaker. I looked at her and said, “No. I have done everything for the both of us and that is more than fair.” I picked up my keys and left.
My talk with Daddy on the way home was intense. “I see what is happening. I know what you’re saying. I feel the injustice but I don’t have to be one who manipulates to get what I want. I can be myself and I know you say that’s ok. I have done my best to follow your lead and I won’t become someone who calls out people’s flaws, but I won’t dismiss them either. I will be respected because that’s who YOU say I am. I won’t compromise how you have made me just to earn the favor of man. I’m growing weary and can’t worry about the fear of man. They don’t like me, fine, but I serve YOU so will you please keep me peaceful enough in my approach to becoming me? I need you to fight these battles.” I happened to see the Bible app on my phone at the red light just before my house so I clicked onto it. The verse that came up was Heb.10:30, “For we know Him who said, “justice belongs to me; I will repay them.” who also said, “The Lord himself will handle these cases.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” I started screaming in my car when I read that! He literally responded to me instantly.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I slept well that night.
Then bright and early, I opened the restaurant the following day. The owner immediately started saying how he couldn’t believe I left everyone high and dry the night before and walked out. I let him rant and felt righteous anger rise up in me. I simply said, “Check your tapes, you’ll see the truth” and I waited. Within seconds he lowered his voice and said in front of the whole kitchen staff, “I read your letter and I’d like you to implement what you wrote. I don’t care how you do it because I don’t want to be a part of it, but write down what you did for me for the staff.” Holy! What???? I was speechless. This time I went into the bathroom to cry tears of joy. I couldn’t believe what was happening. It’s great that everything I had prayed and fought for had come to pass, it was worth it, but best of all, I’m changing. I’m not quitting. I’m pressing through and taking my thoughts and actions to Him and He in His great love is widening my heart so that I long to withstand persecution for His sake. I am feeling, sensing and knowing just how intimate He truly is with my life. I don’t have to be Cinderella and clean-up for everyone; I can do it for a greater reward. A spiritual promotion has always been my desire. An ability to trust myself is a prayer I have prayed my whole life. Could it be that my quitting a waitress job three years ago was still His perfect timing so that I can re-enter the industry and redeem it? Redeem my mindset of giving up when things get too hard? How is it possible that my loving Father in heaven can use daily life and decisions to reveal my own heart yet heal it all the more? I do love people and somehow loving those who hate me has caused me to love another part of myself, the part that opens itself to His truth?
Looking over the past 4 weeks that built up to this defining moment, I have to admit that during the times when I was weakest, He made himself strong. He knows the unspoken judgments that I think toward myself that keep me closed off to His plan. He knows how to use the people closest to us to gracefully reveal an area of brokenness. And He does it with such precision that we actually thank Him for it! Much of the advancement toward ending the cycle of quitting in my life coincided with Dylan pointing it out while working at this restaurant. Neither would have been possible had I not listened to the Holy Spirit. At times I was able to prophesy into the lives of others but still miss the application for my own life. But now, I get to stand up just like I did in my dream, naked and transparent for all to see. I too have been where most of the others are at in life, which is why I can be compassionate, but I must stand firm in the shoes of peace in order to accelerate in my walk with Christ.
Now I can take off. If I choose to stay at the pizzeria it will be until Daddy has matured me enough to take on the next spiritual level in a different place. I don’t have to hurry up and heal myself because in His plan I always succeed after I accept it. I have had numerous jobs where I just walked out and could have here, but His Kingdom is displayed through me even when I succumb to doubt. One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 30:21 “Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, “this is the way, walk in it, whenever you turn to the right or to the left” I don’t have to dilute these words or doubt their reality if I allow Him to teach me how to trust His leading. Instead of saying, “I’m going into work today as if it’s my last”, I can say, “I hear Daddy’s voice and trust myself because I trust He guides my steps.” It is what it is. I hear a word or I’m prompted to choose His choice because He has shown me that He always is in the midst of the fire with me. Wouldn’t it make sense that if we listen to the Spirit and do what He says, the results will consistently prove for our betterment? I think we tend to doubt that when suggestion from the outside world trickles in. In my dream the glass barrier encircled me; it was His truth and Word that separated me from the onlookers. As Christians, we are walking inside of a protective bubble where we can have 1,000 attacks from the outside but still maintain our identity as people who are real, full of flaws but still seeking truth to overcome.
I think this is what Daddy meant when we spoke that His ways are higher than our ways. If He stands for truth and cannot lie then we get de-railed by our own beliefs in lies. If I believed I always gave up on myself, was easily manipulated or couldn’t trust myself and had experiences to prove that these things seemed true; I walked out in those beliefs. Yet, once the lie was exposed and I heard the truth, no matter how upsetting, it set my path toward His road of recovery. I believe many people replace their experiences with God’s truth once mercy triumphs over the judgment we have toward ourselves. I remember when a grocery clerk corrected me as I was walking out of the store one time. I had prophesied over a cashier and confirmed an answer to prayer he personally had. The cashier was uncertain of where to move and the Lord gave me a word which happened to be where he truly wanted to move to. I encouraged him to trust the still small voice he kept hearing. The grocery clerk stopped me and said, “His ways are higher than our ways. Sometimes we don’t get to do what we want to do”. Besides wanting to instinctively tell him to shut up, I calmly responded, “But He also tells us that old men will dream dreams. Let that man go live his.” If I had a chance to speak with that grocer again I would probably speak from my most recent revelation at work and say, “I understand you may have lost some chances in life and believe that God wants you to suffer for the sake of the cross but I have also had dreams fade away. I believe that God gave me those dreams but somewhere along the way the world and its sinful influences had me give up on myself. In the midst of not wanting to be where I was, He met me there, spoke peacefully to me and directed my steps into healing where I was free to stand firm and take back my dreams. He being higher would mean that now I can fly!”
I’m sure that’s because I have flying dreams at night and wish everybody else did just so we can have magical conversations about spiritual promotion and revelation, but truly I just want others to know that Daddy is real and we can each be a transparent glass into His truth. I imagine that each of us have to get down to the bare bones of transparency before the King if we want to be clothed in His righteousness. Stripping off everything that weighs us down can consist of judgments, behaviors and mindsets but the exchange is to stand naked before Him, revealing our heart that prepares us for garments of purity in thought. He is preparing each one of us to live out the truths in His word so He can place us in circumstances that may not be easy but they become moments of spiritual elevation that transform everyone involved. When Joseph had his dreams and told them to his brothers, the Bible says that they burned with jealousy and contempt toward him. Yet Joseph knew what he had dreamt but in his exuberance to share it appeared arrogant. What’s so crazy is that he was favored by his Father just as we are by our Father in heaven. Due to his acceptance and great love from his Father he naturally responded with excitement and was authentic in his delivery of what he dreamt. May I suggest that it was because he had no agenda or need for approval that he just spoke the truth of his experience? As a consequence his dreams had application and interpretation come to pass before anyone understood how pure he was when describing them years before. Joseph is a role-model for me, one I’d much rather role-play the character of. He had freedom of expression and took the misinterpretations from man as opportunity to seek God for strength and divine appointment, nothing less than redemption and proof that He heard Daddy’s voice. His life was a depiction of a dressing room, where we bare our heart and receive a cloak that separates us from the others in our Daddy’s sight. From there we, like Joseph, are covered yet persecuted for the preparation of the King’s fulfillment in our lives. We are a prophetic people given the chance to reveal ourselves as being an extension of mercy in a jealous and angry world. It doesn’t even matter if people understand your process toward fulfilling the call on your life because eventually Daddy will re-direct them back to their own. The moment we accept that God has chosen us as His favorite child we will walk in the authenticity that cloaks us.
I am still being taught the many intricacies of preparing my heart for the King. I can write about the insights I have gained but I couldn’t possibly expound in words all of the dreams I have dreamt and seen come to pass. I trust my dreams because He speaks to me there very personally. In that personal way that Daddy communicates to me He offers me healing and strength to face the next day. Last night I woke up from my sleep with a picture of the pizzeria and the words written MERCY as a banner over it. I can still see it now as I type this. I wept. How merciful, gracious and loving has our Father been from the beginning of time? The stories we read in the Bible are meant to equip us with strategies of love for the battles we will face on our journey towards everlasting home. I imagine people like Mother Theresa told the stories from the Old Testament as she lived out the New. Can you imagine the daily miracles she saw, the step-by-step instruction she received and marveled at from Holy Spirit? I envision her within a glass case. All the world surrounding her, able to look in and watch her share her heart with strangers, find out whom she was in the process and stand tall before her King Jesus. She had a faith walk that was not concerned with trivial things of the world for they made no impact on her. She set her sights on the strength and love of Daddy and giving it away. Sometimes there is such profound enjoyment that comes with relying on God for everything that the onlookers mistakenly believe its enslavement. But it is nothing less than unmistakable joy and peace that comes from trusting the Lord’s ways are higher and above what we can understand.
I pray that your faith walk increases despite the trials that thwart you and long to dismantle God’s truth. I ask that your inner spirit man be strengthened so you will be able to hand over another piece of your heart in hopes for the great exchange of truth and healing. Expect to see Him in the midst of your suffering, seek Him and you will experience Him. May His love and joy wipe out the memories from past wounds. I pray His cleansing blood over you and His healing oil to saturate you. Thank you for reading and sharing my journey. Sept 28, 2014