The Year of the Lord’s Favor.

Warning:

First, this post is a bit long. Second, this post is me being super vulnerable. At first I fought writing this tooth and nail, but God must want someone to read this. If you are reading this I encourage you to read it through Jesus’ eyes. No judgement. No condemnation. We have all walked through the darkness, but Jesus  has caught us up in His grace. 

I feel it in my heart to make some things known about myself.  I know it will allow me to truly experience freedom, but I pray some one else will take these words to heart and understand that freedom can be found.

This whole semester has been a semester of God just weeding things out my life. I’m not talking small weeds either. Weeds that have gotten tangled in my roots. These weeds were deep and slowly choking the life out of me. It wasn’t pretty. The process left me bare and cold because somehow I had gotten comfortable with these weeds in my life. Going through the process of removal wasn’t beautiful. It was messy, filthy, and vile.

About two years ago, I fell into the trap of pornography and masturbation. My life was a mess. Things began to get chaotic and confusing.  See, I had a relationship with Jesus, but I was having an affair with this sin. I was bound to it. It had my heart in a vice and no matter how many times I asked God to forgive me, swearing to never do it again; I always found myself doing it all over again. 

I entered college with this burden. Having prayer nights but still struggling with this sin. It’s crazy how God still used me in my brokeness. He still gave me words to pray over my friends, and I could always taste the freedom that I could experience if I truly let go of this burden. Soon, I realized that it was time to get real with myself. I was struggling, and God was gently coaxing me out but I was still determined to be dragged down. I finally gathered some courage to tell my closest friends. It was a late night at Raising Cane’s, and with my heart beating fast and sweaty hands; I told them I was struggling with masturbation. I kid you not, in an instant, it was like I was finally able to take a deep breath. I could breathe again. I got the most loving response from them all, and I realized that’s why God has placed them in my life.

I would be lying if I said right then and there I stopped. I didn’t, but I started to see the escape routes that God was giving me. With each passing time I was tempted I began to see those ways more clearly. It wasn’t until the day after Christmas I realized the last chain had dropped from my life. The weed that was clinging for dear life on my heart; God had effectively removed it. It left me crying because it was painful, and I was confronted with my less that perfect-ness.

But God is merciful. He dealt with me so tenderly that night. Loving me like no other could. I had a meeting with my Savior. I was  ready to be rid of my sin for good, and whatever it took I was willing. God didn’t strike me down. He covered me with His grace. I know I still have to deal with the consequences, like the loss of my innocence and some pictures seem like they can’t be erased from a mind. However, God’s grace will still abound.

But that wasn’t all. I also had to face the issues I had with my dad. I was angry at my dad for the things he had done and things I thought he should have done. In my mind I wanted him to hurt as much as he hurt me. I held on to this for years. A few weeks before I came home I was confronted with all the anger I had built up, and I finally told my dad how I felt. Finally, I was able to hear his side of things. Things aren’t perfect now, but I know that I also have to make a conscious effort to mend our relationship.

He also dealt with other things. Moments in my life that had me waking up in the middle of the night in cold sweats. Thoughts that held me back from trying new things. Grudges I had against certain people in my past. He dealt with it all.

Restitution.

I learned this word from Lena. She is the sweetest woman who has invested into me, Oyinda, Megan, and Maddie. She told us that restitution is more than just restoration. Restoration is when whatever was taken is given back and it’s leveled out. However, restitution is when everything is given back, but double portion. Restitution means God wins.  No matter how much was taken God will give it back to me double portion. Every area of my life that the enemy has stolen from will not only be restored, but will be covered in a double blessing.

I cling to that because God didn’t intend for me to go through all of those crappy things, and it’s not like I’m going to stop walking into bad situations either. But we serve a God who makes ALL things new. He turns our ashes into beauty, our mourning into laughing, our shattered innocence into purity.

As  I launch into the new year, I am declaring that 2014 will be my year of double portion. I declare right now that my relationships from here on out will be doubly blessed. My health will be doubly blessed. My finances will be doubly blessed. My family will be doubly blessed. My life will be doubly blessed. God is a God of restitution and I rest in that. He will not only restore, but will pour out a double blessing over me.

So in the last few hours of 2013 let God tend to the garden in your heart. I can’t promise you it won’t hurt. Truthfully, it’s not like I don’t get tempted anymore, but I now see that there is always a way out. Please know that in this process: tears will be shed, confessions will pour out, and some things will sting. But it’s oh so worth it. God wants you to be set free right now. He sent Jesus down here to die for ALL of your sins. The dirty, disgusting things that you do in the dark have not gone unnoticed. He’s saying, “give it to Me, let Me set you free.”

Revelation 1:5

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood. 

I also encourage you to read Isaiah 61. Revel in the promises that God has spoken, and know in your heart that He is faithful to complete them.

God sings over me and you. His rhythm is perfected to match every little detail of our lives. He has orchestrated and he directs every note that has to be played out in our lives. He isn’t surprised by all of our mess because His rhythms are matchless. Nothing compares to the song He plays over us. He has composed each of our songs before the day we were born with all the loving kindness He possesses. May our feet continue to dance to the melody that He so tenderly created. May our hands clap to the beat of our life songs. May our lives and voices add lyrics of praise at His majesty. His grace is never forced. It is given freely. Since we have chosen Him and He is ours, He will sing over us unceasingly. A song of peace, freedom, grace, and wisdom. The song He sings over each one of our lives will be the only song that will be a balm to our tattered souls. So let Him carry you, let Him whisk you away along the ebbs and swells of your life song. Because NOTHING can take away the unforced rhythms of His grace.

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Selah. 

12 thoughts on “The Year of the Lord’s Favor.

  1. Bayli!!!

    I love you and this declaration so much! It’s so hard to be so vulnerable in this, but it’s all part of His plan to break these chains for you and so many others! I can’t express to you how proud and encouraged I am because of this! I love you so much!

  2. Wow! You are your mother’s child. You are spiritually mature far beyond your years. I’m so excited to see you share your human issues with the world in an effort to heal yourself and others. I love you, I admire your courage and boldness.

  3. wow , I wish I would have seen this in the beginning of the year because my GOODNESSSSSSSSS things are so hard ! I too have struggled with that in my life, and I feel like I never have “a good season” so recently I been feeling myself getting more bold in my prayers, so this encouraged me so much !!

  4. I have no words for how much this just blessed me.
    Truth sets us Free! Only in vulnerability can we heal and be healed.
    I just have to say “ME TOO” to everything Bayli, me too!

  5. Bayli, this is by far one of the best posts I’ve ever read. I thank God for your transparency and I can only imagine the many lives you’ll touch through your story. You are indeed one of a kind and very special. Keep writing beautiful. God has so much more in store for you!

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