the year of the Lord's favor

the year of the Lord's favor

the Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. they shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.

isaiah 61:1-4

friend, this is our calling. this great work is what our lives are all about. each has a story. stories which are real and raw and painful and horrible and lovely. for the righteous falls seven times and rises again. we are more than our stumbles. we are more than our successes. our lives, as messy and remarkable as they are, are to be used to proclaim the greatness of our God...and to heal others. to comfort those who mourn. our failures are not to define us. they are to move us. to stoke us. to humble us. to empower us to take action and extend grace upon grace. to encourage others. our stories are powerful. and when we overcome, when we are victorious, when we are saved from destruction, we rejoice. we share. we have work to do. we are called to join with others. to link arms. to rebuild those places of desolation. to repair. to drive a stake into the ground and proclaim that darkness has no power here.

this is our grand work. and no matter where you have been or how far you have to go...this is the year of the Lord's favor. your life and your story can be used mightily. do not be afraid to shine light into the darkest places. the only way to remove the shadows is to illuminate.

would you join with me? would you rise up as a strong oak of righteousness and tell your story? i am starting a new series here that will share the powerful lives of remarkable people. of ordinary yet extraordinary people. the bold ones. the overcomers. the fighters. the survivors and thrivers. those who are still stumbling through. those who have made it through the fire without even a hint of smoke left in the fibers of their garments. those who barely made it out alive. those who have big mercies to share. those who have smiled and suffered alone. these are our stories. meek and mild or loud and wild, these stories are amazing. these stories touch. these stories connect.

this series is about...

healing generational devastations. binding up wounds. building up. claiming land in victory. standing victoriously on the battlefields of life. proclaiming freedom from bondage, from captivity. comforting those who mourn. anointing with sweet smelling oils. we are the oaks of righteousness. a planting of the Lord. we are deeply rooted. we stand firm. we share our stories of grace and healing and restoration and revival and beauty. these are the stories from the oaks.

if you would like to participate, leave me a comment here {or over on instagram} or send me an email @ swankyanddapper{at}

here's to victory and realness and freedom.

Coram Deo, rachel