1. De Haan, Julie
  2. Friesen, Pamela K.

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His Beloved

By Shayla Fox. Shayla is a nursing student at Bethel University.

Figure. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. No caption available.

I love art. Pottery has been one of my favorite art forms to practice. I first learned the craft during high school. Learning to guide a ball of clay to the center of gravity takes patience and a steady hand. Much to my disappointment, I could never perfect my skill. In college, I learned about the art of nursing. However, no matter how much I grew and studied, I continued feeling inadequate, not quite perfect, questioning if I have what it takes to become a registered nurse.


During my teenage years, my already degraded self-perception changed into a view of myself as a performer. As long as I brought home A's on my report card and positive feedback from teachers, I believed I satisfied God and my family. I was a perfectionist; the more I received praise for my almost-perfect accomplishments, the deeper this lie of conditional love penetrated my soul.


Pottery exposed the truth. One day, I was almost finished forming a lovely pitcher on the pottery wheel, when my foot slipped and the vessel I had been forming nearly collapsed. I felt devastated, silently chastising myself for not being more careful. Then a new thought stirred: "Perhaps, I could still make this beautiful." I slowly, carefully began to lift the edges of the pot upward and smooth the ripples. After hours of carving and adding a twisted handle, the result was a pitcher, which looked as though it had grown from branches of an oak tree. I carved this verse into it, "And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do" (Jeremiah 18:4, NIV).


I continue to enjoy ceramics a great deal. I sometimes pause to feel the soft earth between my hands, as the pottery wheel whirls. I know now that God is the Potter, and I am the clay. The collapsed pot was just one moment God used to remind me I am the work of his hands. My job is to say yes to the Potter, who continues to craft me wonderfully in his image. It is as if God says to me, Be still, my daughter. Let my love heal you. Let my hands support and shape you. There is nothing I have done or could ever do to earn such a profound gift.


I am no longer a performer. Graduating from nursing school will not grant me the love of Jesus. Masterful nasogastric tube placements, excellent medication administrations, or even lovely pottery pieces are only minor details. The future nursing abbreviations to follow my professional signature are nothing compared to my identity in the lover of my soul. He will never call me, "Nurse Shayla." I will always be His Beloved.


Creative Outlets

Having a creative outlet, such as pottery, benefits overall health. Health Fitness Revolution (2015) listed benefits of pottery throwing, some of which include:


* providing a physical and mental outlet for creativity


* improving optimism by encouraging expression and spontaneity


* increasing the ability to focus on the creative process, which translates into better focus in other areas


* reducing stress


* exercising the lower arms



Isfahani, Hosseini, Khoshknab, Peyrovi, and Khanke (2015) reported that nurses' creativity in the workplace significantly influences quality in healthcare settings through improvements to patient care, workflow, and organizational performance. What creativity have you invested in your nursing practice?


Shaped by the Potter

We are God's artwork.


"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago" Ephesians 2:10 (NLT).


Health Fitness Revolution. (2015, May 22). Top 10 Health Benefits of Pottery. Retrieved from[Context Link]


Isfahani S. S., Hosseini M. A., Khoshknab M. F., Peyrovi H., Khanke H. K. (2015). Nurses' creativity: Advantage or disadvantage. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 17(2), 1-6. doi:10.5812/ircmj.20895 [Context Link]