It has been thirteen years since “Wellspring” and our granddaughter Rielyn were introduced into the world! Both were conceived in love, born from Love Himself.
I chose the accompanying photo for this anniversary and birthday post because of its ‘stark in the dark’ beauty. Wellspring’s writings over the years have been like lilies amassed into a growing, fragrant bouquet offered back to the One I love.
Often found and gathered in the shadows of life, each one represents deeply dug, well-watered encounters for growing fruit that will last, a pleasing harvest to Him.
There are those who scorn calla lilies and consider them a weed. Yet I know that calla lilies, among all His splendid types of lilies, are valuable and precious to our Shepherd Lover. He often goes to His garden to ‘browse in the gardens and gather lilies.’ (SS 6:2-3) Redemption, from Him who knows with what and how each grows.
Many times, He uses fellow lilies in various growing stages to share His loving care.
As a Teenager Turns
Rielyn entered a new stage of growing up with this thirteenth birthday. Teenager! No longer wishful thinking. And a jolt of reality to parents the world ‘round who add another candle to the birthday cakes of growing a life. This year, I decided to ask RJ a couple of questions for a personalized glimpse into who she is. The brief interview was conducted via text messaging (for which I am grateful since we live states apart). Her answers were quick and concise, a clue to this grandma’s coaching mind that she knows at this age what turns her crank! I asked her:
- What need and/or people make your heart want to help them? Her answer: kids not having enough clothes and kids with Down Syndrome.
- In a few words or sentence, describe your best kind of day. What makes you happy and feel good inside? Her answer: no school, hanging with family, eating out, getting Starbucks, shopping of course! Definitely thirteen. Her homebody temperament remains a trait embedded since she was tiny, as long as she can come and go!
Before we signed off, she shared with me that she does a class at school called peer support, where she gets to help all the disabled kids – followed by three exclamation points and I love it so much. God and I love that you love it too, Rielyn ♥ I bless you, granddaughter of my heart, with ‘stark in the dark’ beauty as Jesus’s heart goes in you wherever you go.
Wellspring’s Thirteen Years of Promise…and counting
When I began the Wellspring of Life blog thirteen years ago, I focused on capturing the lessons and truths that Holy Spirit had made real to me and in me. There was thirty-three years’ worth of raw material to draw from, not counting my life before marriage. I’ve often said or written that life is lived one day at a time. The years add up and what was raw material shows itself in what has been internalized. Fine Lines: Point the Way vs In the Way remains one of my favorite treatments of growing up as adults and growing up teenagers (rather apropos for year thirteen!). I’m nowhere done scribing, for life and revelation waters keep flowing from the Source who will never run dry.
The Great Promise & Blessing of Thirteen
As I thought about the biblical significance of thirteen, it became evident once again that Satan’s character is that of a liar and deceiver. Number thirteen has long been symbolic of evil, rebellion, and lawlessness – for which you can find plenty of examples in our world and in scripture. The Adversary has honed replicating a counterfeit of every Truth-filled word of God. It is not far from him to twist any and every scripture in endless efforts to accomplish his purpose.
Truly, what we choose to believe → dwell upon → and finally act out of, reveals itself as fruit of what we have done with the raw material of the life we have been given. The Lord gives grace and glory to His own. The enemy does not.
Un-twisted thirteen is the opposite of what humanity has been led to believe, and attributes to evil and bad luck. Instead, thirteen has always been a number throughout scripture of God’s great promise and blessing.
It Always Takes Two 2
There are always two elements surrounding number thirteen: 1) God initiating a promise that He will see comes to pass; and man (humanity) knowing they cannot bring it to pass but attempting to do so anyway. 2) Natural emotions arise and abound in hope, anticipation, and desperation to see the promise fulfilled. Accordingly, there is always a time and space between a number thirteen promise and the fulfillment or manifestation of the promise. 3) Thirteen has a season where God will bring to pass His promise – regardless of what humanity has tried to or has produced on their own.1
The Lord, in His infinite wisdom, most often uses the least likely time of unfavorable circumstances to make a number thirteen promise. In time, however, the circumstances themselves must yield to the birth of the promise. In a number thirteen promise that the Lord Himself has spoken, our tried faith, my friends, will be rewarded.
Number Thirteen – Words of Wisdom
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But when desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.
13 Whoever despises the word and counsel [of God] brings destruction upon himself,
But he who [reverently] fears and respects the commandment [of God] will be rewarded.
14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain and source of life,
So that one may avoid the snares of death.
Proverbs 13:12, 13, 14 (Amplified)
Happy thirteenth birthday, dearest Rielyn! The Lord bless you and keep you in all your ways, for you bear His heart. May yours ever beat true and strong in rhythm with His.
To my Beloved, the number thirteen promise is indelibly inked on both our hearts; I continue to love You more…
~ Grandma Nanc & Gracefully Free
1 Genesis 15-17: (Abram) Abraham, (Sarai) Sarah, Ishmael, Isaac and the Lord’s unequivocal promise, is a notable underpinning of biblical 13
2 Stephen Gola attribution for study on biblical number thirteen
©2023 Nancy C. Bentz
Photo calla lily by Unsplash