What is the shape of your soul? You’ve probably never thought about it.
Of course, you’ve heard about how important it is to keep physically in shape, get enough sleep, interact with others, and stimulate your brain by learning new things. They’re all vital to good health.
However, I was surprised to learn that if I didn’t address the spiritual side of my life as well, I would remain unbalanced, like an urn with an uneven base that would easily topple when buffeted by the wind. As well as food for the body, I discovered that to be whole, I needed food for my soul.
When I was a young girl, I lived with my mentally ill grandmother. I had no self-esteem, no confidence, no purpose, and a fierce dislike of psychiatric wards.
Sitting on the edge of a rusty bath in this miserable, empty place, smelling of desolation, I began to understand, and my lack of compassion for my very ill grandmother changed to a fierce loyalty for others in the same situation. This was a watershed moment as the potter reshaped my heart and began to reveal some of the treasures found only in darkness.
It’s during the darkest times in our lives that we can learn the most about God’s heart and grow our own strength, resilience and compassion.
Like raw clay, my heart was moulded, fired in the kiln of life, reworked, re-fired, fashioned and glazed.
Through it all, I became a writer, a mental health chaplain and then a Funeral Director
after a long, winding but exciting journey, with a few detours along the way.
Here are my 5 tips for developing the shape of your soul:
1. Surrender to God. He’s the master craftsman and He knows best. Draw near to Him (James 4:8) through reading His word, speaking with Him (praying) and seeking advice from Godly people around you.
2. Wait patiently. There’s no fast-track or easy path to shaping your soul.
3. Yield to His hands, pushing and pulling in the right direction. Being shaped can feel uncomfortable and even painful at times.
4. Did I mention wait patiently? It’s so important. Soul shaping cannot be rushed.
5. Stand amazed at who you become – a vessel, standing firm and being used in ways you never thought possible.
Some days are more difficult than others. As a Funeral Director, I recently had to take a still-born baby to the home of the parents for a final viewing. I kept looking at this precious cargo in the tiny white coffin on the front seat of the hearse beside me. The house was full of grieving relatives who watched as I removed the lid to reveal little Carmen looking like a beautiful doll in her tiny, specially-made dress and without a mark on her. She seemed perfect. Like an angel. My pre-shaped soul would have crumbled and fallen apart but through my strengthened, reshaped soul, I was able to give hope and support to the people around me during the most difficult time of their lives.
Taking risks with God and trusting in the dark, leads to amazing discoveries and life choices that work, and along the way you’ll find out who you are, where you are going and the tools to reach the right destination. This is a journey not to be missed.
Kaye Hollings is an Australian-based author .Shaped is the non-fiction back story to the first two books of inspirational fiction Dawn of Hope and Kept by Love, and completes her story. For more information go to: www.kayehollings.com. Shaped is available from Amazon.