Samantha Wiraatmaja »

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The Beauty Of The Soul

Christmas is my favorite season. It is a time to have our hearts (and tummies) filled to overflowing with love and all things good & beautiful. It is also a time to slow down from the busy, busy, busyness of the year – to let the wheels slowly come to a gentle halt, let the engines cool, and get a new commission for a new destination for the year to come. Exciting, beautiful, wonderful time of year. So I am taking time to unplug and fully immerse myself in this season, being fully present and clearing my soul for space for God to pour His plans for 2015. Meanwhile, I want to give another moment of glory to a few favorite posts and share them with you through the month of December. Have a very merry Christmas, and I’ll see you again in the new year!

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Sensitive. I have always despised that word with all of my bruise-like-a-peach heart.

I hated that the little nuances of life, and the people it brought with it, had the ability to pierce my heart to its core while leaving others relatively unscathed. To be sensitive was vulnerable, painful, hard work. I was ashamed of my feelings, my sensitivity, and I saw nothing good in them.

As a child, I told myself that feeling too much was too much work – for myself, and for the people around me. I quickly learnt that it was easier and more comfortable for others when I was less emotional, less sensitive, less… me. I tried to emulate others who were blithe and carefree, but failed terribly. So I settled for building a solid shield around my mushy insides that would keep my overflowing heart from making others uncomfortable, and would protect my heart from feeling too much.

There have been days innumerable where I ended up in my room, crying and praying that God would forgive me for feeling too much. Having too many feelings was bad. I was under such a terrible weight of guilt for being too “soul-ish”.

But God has recently showed me that my soul is beautiful. It is not something to be ashamed of, to be pressed down or contained, or to be cured by growing in spirituality. My soul was created by God. It IS spiritual. It is beautiful.

It used to be that my heart would move and sway to almost anything – be it something I witnessed in others, or was experiencing for myself – love, dreams, beauty, the bad, the good, the small and the big stuff. I felt deeply for others, and dreamed deeply for myself.

But I was in a perpetual state of shame that my soul, the core of who I was, was sinful and displeasing to God and therefore had to be shut down. But in doing so, I have found that it is impossible to “feel less”. We either keep our hearts open, or shut it down entirely. A hardened heart will keep getting harder, unless it decides to start allowing life to breath upon it again.

I can choose to let my heart soar and my soul be free to be who I was created to be, even if that may mean some messy/painful/difficult days. Or I can choose to close my heart tightly and wear it like a locket around my neck – a pretty display to be sure, but heavy, inanimate, dead. Either way, there is no sitting on the fence.

But sometimes, we just need a little help to see the light. Alex has played a big part in helping me to see, and accept, the beauty of my soul.

Parts of my soul which I have always kept off-limits because of the shame that they are weak, ugly, and a burden to others, he gently and lovingly coaxes out into the open. And as I stand there trembling, deathly afraid that he will pull back in disdain and smash those vulnerable parts of my heart to pieces, he engulfs me with his arms. There, he just holds me and whispers “I love you” over and over again, until my heart flickers with the hope that maybe he really does.

Every time I allow a little more of my soul to escape, I find it wrapped in Alex’s unconditional love. And those moments of pain and fear lead to a deeper conviction that I am truly loved by him.

And if my earthly husband could love me thus, how much more my God who is perfect Love incarnate?

I am starting to accept the realization – not just a knowing, but a deep knowing – that God takes pleasure in my soul. He created my soul to:

  • Love Him fully. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37
  • Experience His goodness. Psalm 103
  • Hope in Him fully. “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 43:5
  • Thirst for Him deeply. “I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.” Psalm 143:6
  • Trust Him Wholly. “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.” Psalm 62:1
  • Bless Him. “Bless the Lord, O my soul…” Psalm 103:1

I am tired of feeling numb. I miss the way my heart soars with every celebration and laughter with friends, with beauty, with dreams, with glimpses of eternity. My soul, when I dare peek into the cage where I’ve got it chained, is crying out for a breath of fresh air. For freedom.

For He came to set the captives free. And I was made for freedom

Are there parts of your soul that you’ve not embraced? What would happen if you did embrace those parts of who you are? How can you be a part of someone else’s journey to discovering the beauty of their soul?

  • NateDecember 5, 2014 - 1:28 pm

    I feel that it’s important to share your heart with the world and others as well. You only have one life to live and should embrace it not only in yourself but others as well.ReplyCancel

  • Aleshea DominiqueDecember 5, 2014 - 1:34 pm

    I really enjoyed this. Thanks for sharin’. Now Im in my head singin’ that Bless the Lord song we sang last SundayReplyCancel

  • Alana (@ I have a Future and a Hope)December 5, 2014 - 1:34 pm

    This post is beautifully written. I am afraid at times to fully embrace my soul. It is a scary to not know where it can take you, but it could be the most beautiful thing to ever happen to you. I need a soul awakening, I am feeling frustrated and stuck, I just need to take that leap of faith. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Neive OsbornDecember 5, 2014 - 3:13 pm

    I don’t know about you but I actually find December to be one of the most busiest months of the year! haha. Lovely post 🙂
    xo Neive
    theaussieosborns.blogspot.com.auReplyCancel

  • Danielle KDecember 5, 2014 - 8:13 pm

    Beautiful post – I have a sensitive soul as well.ReplyCancel

  • TheresaDecember 5, 2014 - 9:03 pm

    I think one’s happiness is directly tied to being able to be yourself. There’s a freedom in knowing yourself, embracing yourself, and expressing yourself in a way that is true & authentic. Beautiful post.ReplyCancel

  • ClaireDecember 5, 2014 - 9:48 pm

    Beautiful words – thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah DianeDecember 5, 2014 - 10:47 pm

    This is a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • BrittneyDecember 6, 2014 - 12:12 am

    Beautiful post and so inspiring! Thanks for sharing!!ReplyCancel

  • Debi (thedeb83)December 6, 2014 - 1:11 am

    Inspring post, thanks for sharing. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Kristen :: Kristen RunsDecember 6, 2014 - 1:43 am

    What a beautiful post! One of my favorite verses is, “By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me is not without effect.” You have a wonderful testimony. Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • IndigoOceanDecember 6, 2014 - 4:41 am

    The more you feel, the more you are alive. I’m glad you are now celebrating who you naturally are.ReplyCancel

  • Olivia Claridge @ Hello, Happy PlaceDecember 6, 2014 - 10:19 am

    This is so incredibly inspiring! I went through a time where I hardened my heart towards God, thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • AnneDecember 6, 2014 - 9:07 pm

    What a beautiful post. So well written and I know that so many can relate to this. Being sensitive is not easy and it’s quite a bit of work and can be exhausting…..this post is refreshing! Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl CopeDecember 6, 2014 - 11:23 pm

    This is beautiful! I too, seem to be very sensitive and had to learn that even though it can be hard it is better to feel than to go numb. I love the way you purposed to believe more in God loving you.ReplyCancel

  • KaylaDecember 6, 2014 - 11:47 pm

    “For He came to set the captives free. And I was made for freedom.”

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing! xoReplyCancel

  • Tania Vaughan (@TaniaJVaughan)December 7, 2014 - 4:45 am

    What really jumped into my heart is where you say “Experience his goodness” my hidden heart forgets that I am allowed to do that – thank you for this reminder that my heart is free to enjoy him.ReplyCancel

  • Miss PDecember 7, 2014 - 1:32 pm

    This is such a beautiful post, and I’m so glad I read it. Love your definition of God as love incarnate. So inspiring. Thank you. xoReplyCancel

  • Erica@RaisingMunchiesDecember 7, 2014 - 3:40 pm

    Beautiful words! I love that you are taking some time to soak in this wonderful time of year. I actually was just thinking the same today… That I need to just be present. To let go of some responsibilities that will hinder me from taking it all in. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • AmyDecember 7, 2014 - 8:58 pm

    This is beautiful, and I hope you are sensitive to the fact that God will, of course, use this tendency of your to feel deeply to bless others in ways that other, less-sensitive types never could. God bless.ReplyCancel

  • AngelDecember 8, 2014 - 4:47 am

    This is a very good post and I think will help everyone who reads it. I know it spoke to me. Love the verses you included too. God bless! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • CourtneyDecember 8, 2014 - 2:57 pm

    This is a beautiful message. Thank you for sharing it with all of us!ReplyCancel

  • alyssaDecember 8, 2014 - 9:57 pm

    What a sweet and incredibly thoughtful article. I will definitely be pinning this for later reads too. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Melanie PickettDecember 8, 2014 - 11:21 pm

    Lovely post, as always! I subscribe to your blog and happened to be under you in the TLC posts this week. Coming to your blog is like fresh air.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie AloDecember 9, 2014 - 8:56 am

    This is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • JenniferDecember 10, 2014 - 12:37 am

    I have a sensitive soul as well. I am trying to learn how God wants to use it, but balance not giving in to my sinful nature as well. Some of my sensitivity may be things from the past that need healing or not being as focused on Christ as I could be. Things that break my heart because of my selfishness, seem much smaller when I ask myself who Jesus would be or what he sees. I am amazed by how He softens my heart by strengthening my soul. I would love to share in your Christian walk. You can find me at Heaven Not Harvard on FB or my blog.ReplyCancel

  • MariaDecember 10, 2014 - 2:52 am

    thank you for sharing. I struggle too with being too mushy. I feel that people take advantage of it at times. But when I harden my heart against some things I find myself hard hearted towards everything – you’re right! I can’t pick and choose what to be sensitive about. I just do my best to stay in His word and allow Him to guide me through all I’m feeling.ReplyCancel

  • KendraDecember 10, 2014 - 3:20 am

    Your ability to feel deeply is wonderful. It means that you have a heart for those who God needs ministered to. Your empathy is wonderful and I would guess that it leads you to pray for people all over. I’m so glad you have it.ReplyCancel

  • StacyDecember 10, 2014 - 3:36 am

    Amazing! I just started a new job in an independent living senior community and this was very touching! Thank you for sharing – I cant wait to share with my residents!ReplyCancel

  • Kristi MillerDecember 10, 2014 - 5:39 am

    I know exactly how you feel. I have struggled (and still struggle) with many of the same issues. Also like you, I have a husband that God perfectly placed in my life to help me journey closer to the freedom you mention. You are absolutely right- we were made for the pleasure of our Father. If I were able to embrace the beauty of my own soul and see myself through His eyes, I believe it would tremendously impact my ability to serve other women and help them see themselves (and other women) with more loving eyes. I am working on seeing myself in a better light but have many ingrained lies to overcome. This negative view of ourselves doesn’t help anyone, especially ourselves and it certainly doesn’t honor God. Thank you for sharing this. I hope, especially as women we can turn a new leaf and believe we are who God says we are. In doing that, we will also help free other captives. God bless.ReplyCancel

  • LauraDecember 10, 2014 - 1:42 pm

    Like you, I have a sensitive heart. I feel a lot. What I have learned from my own ups and downs is that having the ability to feel really deeply equips us with the ability to love so boldly and completely. We may get hurt more easily, but the love we can give is unmatched.ReplyCancel

  • Mary CollinsDecember 11, 2014 - 9:23 am

    I, too, am very sensitive. Sometimes I wish that I didn’t feel so much. Then I wouldn’t get hurt so much. But, I always remember God made me this way for a reason and it is not my purpose in life to change what He has made but to serve Him as I am.ReplyCancel

  • Amy HagerupDecember 12, 2014 - 8:11 am

    You definitely have a way with words. I love how you write. I have recently been feeling the Lord’s love more deeply too. He loves us so very much. Thanks for the gently reminder. Loved the images too.ReplyCancel

  • Jody ThomaeDecember 15, 2014 - 6:19 am

    You state: “I can choose to let my heart soar and my soul be free to be who I was created to be, even if that may mean some messy/painful/difficult days.” Yes! It is a choice. May we always shoos to be who God created us to be, despite the difficult days.
    Love your posts!
    Peace, JodyReplyCancel

  • karissaDecember 15, 2014 - 8:08 am

    Beautiful post I have always been a very sensitive person as well. . ReplyCancel

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