Wellspring of Life and granddaughter Reilyn* are five years old today!
For a grandma who in ‘eternity years’ is barely beyond a gleam in my Father’s eye, seeing Reilyn turn five years old has an aging aspect to it. Since my current (lengthy) assignment from Holy Spirit is recording Vineyard Days, I liken this aging process to slowly turning into fine wine!
For certain, I cannot write about this being Wellspring’s fifth anniversary without recognizing there has been a great component of grace these five years, with yet more to be revealed in this next year’s writing – for five is the number of grace.
As I think about the past five years of Wellspring of Life, I wonder what five things most stand out to me? In an effort to reduce my list to just five, here are my personally most noticed takeaways:
1) At five years old I gave my heart to Jesus. Been His ever since. I was also five when left with grand mal epilepsy in the aftermath of a case of the German hard measles and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). I was miraculously, completely healed at age nine. No more seizures. Ever. I am now 58 years old. Named Nancy, meaning grace, five figures prominently in my life.
2) When I was 53, Wellspring of Life bubbled up to the surface and began splashing about above-ground. When I was still in my forties, the Lord let me know the fifties would be good years. At the time I had no way of knowing what lay before: both of our daughters married in my early fifties, which with our son – their older brother – already married, meant we had raised our three children to adulthood, each establishing their own family.
The fifties have seen three grandchildren added to our generational line. Though Wellspring and Reilyn share the same birthday, my heart is for growth in the Lord’s likeness and truth for her and all my family. Over the five years, that heart has been greatly expanded to include my many-member family in Christ.
Breast cancer visited a second time, at age 53, less than twelve weeks after beginning Wellspring of Life. I am convinced the Lord knew and prepared ahead my covenant with Him in my commitment to writing. The famous three months they say it takes to form a new habit was just enough to cement the diligence. Through twists and turns in life’s journey, the diligence has paid off – in five years of testament to Love.
3) Wellspring of Life does not enjoy a great following. It’s difficult at times to reconcile that with the felt Presence of the Lord as I sit at my sticky-noted desk and write week after week. In His presence, the natural realm in which we conduct our lives takes a step back into the shadows and He shines. Oh, how He shines! The not so delicate tension is in learning how to shine pure, bright and true to Him through my life and writing, while in a darkened world whose knowledge of and experience with light is becoming increasingly darker.
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20 NASB
I am (some days painfully) aware that I not only represent but give voice to the opposite Spirit from the one that is causing people today, including Christians, to cast off restraint and godly wisdom. I pray for enabling grace.
Where there is no vision (redemptive revelation of God), the people are unrestrained,
but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction. Proverbs 29:18
There is a reason Proverbs 4:23 – “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” became the inspiration for this Wellspring of Life blog and message. Guarding one’s heart is paramount to life. All else leads to less than and ultimately, death.
4) When I began writing, first with short stories, and later in obedience to the Lord’s instruction to me: “It’s time to start writing again”, I had no great epiphany of theme. I began to write what I knew; stories, themes, principles, promises, truths, lessons learned and taught me by Holy Spirit in the living of my life. In short, I began writing from what I had lived and experienced at a heart level. That has not changed.
Twenty five years ago I embarked on a healing, growing journey that, up until five years ago, I did not know would lead to the writing of Desert Days and now, Vineyard Days. It seems that in the Lord’s way with me, He requires that I live it experientially before I am released to write about it for others’ sake.
Our original agreement still stands: “Holy Spirit, You write with me and I’ll write. That’s my part. When I hit publish, You deliver it to whom and where you know it needs to go. That’s Your part.” So on we write. If Wellspring holds blessed challenge and encouragement for you, the greatest birthday gift Wellspring could receive is being shared with others. You may be one of Holy Spirit’s delivery methods.
5) This is the sixth post written with Reilyn as part of the Wellspring of Life birthday theme, counting May 2, 2010 when both were born. Wellspring’s world, and indeed Reilyn’s world at home and at large, has changed in five years. Reilyn and her family, including Fritz the dog, ‘got to’ live for three months in a small hotel suite while our son (her daddy) was in a career transition. Her mama told me later that the Gideon hotel Bible was her favorite book. Always ‘reading’ it, even while otherwise indisposed 🙂 This Grandma’s heart hopes and prays that she never loses her love for the Word of God. In it is life, and that life is the light of men (humankind’s countenance). Jn 1:4
I know this: nothing remains the same. Even so, the Lord grants time and space – seasons – for nurture and growing. Practicing what one has learned and then stretching more, for the purpose of growing up in life and Him.
My heart prayer for this next year is one of deeper redemptive revelation of God that causes grace to shine in even more beautifully cut facets of the Word. Then, to be given the continued enabling grace to showcase those gems with clarity, form and brilliance in a dark and angry, hungry and thirsty land.
In my Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria (Heb. hedged-about watch station aka my desk) and to the world,
Grandma Nanc & Gracefully Free
~ Happy 5th Birthday, Reilyn of Grace
Happy 5th Anniversary with my Bridegroom King & Wellspring of Life ~
*Some time ago her name spelling was changed from Rielyn to Reilyn. The same sweetie, though!
Shammahs Field LLC/Shammah Ministries is the biblical counseling, life coaching, and spiritual growth ministry entrusted to Wayne & Nancy Bentz. You can learn more about the resources they have to offer at shammahsfield.com and nancybentz.com.