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Whole Hearts Overflowing
into Whole Families

Bill and Susan Hess
An integral part of the Vision of Wellspring Group is to see individuals and couples be awakened to their unique part in God's Larger Story and to propel them with strength and courage to live out their part in that story within the domain of the family. We are seeing this dream realized in a unique way in the Hess family.

In 2013, Bill came to the Battle for the Heart with First United Methodist Church in Butler, PA. At that time, Bill was a self-described "isolated hard case loner" as a result of pain he had experienced throughout his life.  Over the years, this isolation distanced him not just from co-workers and friends, but from his immediate family -- his wife, Susan, and his children, Bill and Samantha.  As Bill and Samantha grew to be adults, Bill found himself becoming increasingly cold in his relationship with Susan, and even more harsh and rigid in his parenting. Since Bill's Battle for the Heart experience, however, he has broken through to see and begin to change the painful, protective strategies that earmarked his life as a husband and a father.  He says,
 
"With the support of my Fellowship, I recognize the power of the Holy Spirit that comes with surrender and emotional vulnerability, and I experience the freedom that comes by living from a full and integrated heart.  Living in the freedom of day-to-day surrender to Jesus and walking the step-by-step journey from pride to humility leads me to offer all of my heart to Susan and the kids.  Painful, self-centered living is gone, replaced by the deep desire to love my family well."
 
As Susan saw changes in Bill, she also decided to enter the Battle process and began to own the painful challenges of her past that led to negative patterns of relating. With the changes God brought about in Bill and Susan's hearts, God brought about change in their family as well.  Due to various challenges in their son's life, Bill and Susan chose to adopt his daughter, Isabella. Then late last year they decided to adopt her half-sister, Arianna. Susan says, "
 
"God has a funny way of showing up in life where you least expect Him. When we first started out we certainly did not picture our married life unfolding the way it did, but we have no doubt we are playing our part in God's Larger Story." 

After years of repressing his feelings and living in isolation, Bill's family life has been redeemed in ways that he could never imagine. According to Bill,

Bill, Susan, Isabella and Arianna
"Today within my home I feel a deeper love and experience a deeper intimacy with my wife and our girls, Arianna and Isabella.  I'm much more pat ient, calm, and happy than I was, and this has helped us all to be more open and loving.
 
Thanks to our involvement in the Battle process, my wife and I understand the importance of allowing God to work in the shared hearts of our marriage and family, particularly in our shared desire to follow God's lead to rejoin Arianna and Isabella as sister and raise them as our own children."
 
Susan's parenting style has also changed because of Wellspring. She says,
 
"Since participating in the Battle process, I have been equipped to engage my children in conversation that has enabled me to understand their hearts and attitudes at a deeper level. In turn, they experience their mother valuing what they think and feel. With our grown children, I have been able to love them through decisions to which I am opposed with grace and truth. My older daughter and I enjoy a newfound intimacy despite disagreeing on many topics. I am now able to listen more effectively and ask questions that allow us a deeper understanding of each other."
 
As they live out of the fullness of their hearts, Bill and Susan are savoring the joy they experience and are celebrating God's faithfulness in their lives, and in the lives of their new young family.
 




 
Reviving the Call to Authentic Masculinity: 
A Workshop at McLean Presbyterian Church - Washington, DC


Larry's Personal Reflection

Larry Bolden 
 Executive Director - Wellspring Group 
As I shared in our January newsletter, God has been taking me deeper into letting go and trusting in His absolute grace and sovereignty. Since then I've been in the midst of a series of ministry events -- BMH, BWH, a workshop on "Redeeming Masculinity" at McLean Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC and a trip to Butler First United Methodist Church in Pennsylvania. Through all of these experiences, I'm growing in trusting and resting in God's love and purposes. I have a sense that my presence is more important than my performance, that my heart is more important than my skill, and that it is the redeemed image of God in me that people need to experience. I'm experiencing more freedom  as I recognize that the Lord is at work in me and I can relax to let the doing flow out of my being.

From this place, I came into the McLean workshop relaxed and at peace, though it was the first time we had done a retreat of this kind and the first time I've done anything like this in years. As we finished on Saturday, I could feel the distorted desire of a big bang affirmation of my skill and performance, but I was able to resist and just rest. The big bang never came, but God's voice of love and pleasure came and that was enough. Wow, I'm laughing even as I write.

During the McLean workshop, I felt loved, covered and privileged to have Alf Rhea accompany me. Alf is going through the Battle for the second time, has a strong business background, and is coming on our Board of Trust in March. He authentically shared from his own personal experience of redemption with a raw, gut-level honesty that spoke right to where men live and struggle. It was beautiful.


Redeeming Masculinity Workshop - McLean Presbyterian- Washington D.C. 

Reflections From the Men

This was an introductory event to provide immediate impact in men's lives at McLean, as well as gauge ongoing interest in the Battle, particularly our September BMH in Pennsylvania. There was outstanding feedback and significant interest in moving forward. We'll see how that works out, but we know we loved well and God was pleased! Here are just a few of the comments we received from participants describing how they were impacted: 
 
"The workshop provided a great opportunity to further explore and really experience God's full love for me -- that I am a Son of the King, not an orphan! I'm taking that truth to an even deeper level . . . and it gives me an excellent framework to realize the Reality of His love in my life. I look forward to moving closer to the man he made me to be through the opportunity to sit and wrestle with masculinity and realize the beauty and simplicity of living out of the glory of being created in the image of God."

"I have been searching, grappling and trying for three years. This was the tipping point to sustained change." 

"I was struck by the unique call on each man's life
 TO BE over TO DO . . . the simplicity of it, the beauty in the
 difficulty of becoming who I am."
 
 

 
Continuing to Trust in 2016   
 

Our faith has been strengthened as we have seen the many ways God moved mountains for Wellspring Group in 2015. Now, our focus shifts to 2016. We met as a staff in December and came before the Lord to seek His direction for the New Year. We recognize we are facing similar mountains as we continue to build the foundation of the dream God is giving us. Opportunities are developing quickly overseas as well, and we are excited about the development of a global strategy for the Battle for the Heart, which will be a significant focus for us in 2016. Wellspring Group's four key objectives, or mountains, for 2016 are:
  1. Financial - we are trusting God's provision with the following goals:
    • Adding $5,000 in new monthly partners
    • Special Gifts of $345,000
    • Total contribution goal of $450,000   (Dream big)
    • New Church / Organizational Partners
  2. Church Partnership Track
    • Development of the Coaching Process
    • Development of our Global Strategy
    • Exploring our global opportunities
  3. Building our Platform - Marketing & Messaging
    • Launching new website and recruiting tools
    • Completing the Battle for the Heart book

Please join with us in trusting God for his provision and faithfulness in each of these areas. Though the mountains seem great, we have seen God's goodness and continue to believe that as we play our part, He will do more than we can ask or imagine.

 



Upcoming Events

Battle for Your Marriage Event
    We have MOVED!  The Battle for the Heart of Marriage is moving from Sept. 2016 to Feb. 2-5, 2017.
    For more information on the Battle for You Marriage process visit our website
   
2016 Battle for Your Heart Events
    Men's Events - Dates & Registration.
    Women's Events
- Dates & Registration
.
 

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