so… here’s the story, morning glory…
i (finally) got a tattoo. despite some of you being surprised at that previous statement… this was not an impulsive decision. for nearly five years now, i’ve been crafting and articulating the idea/intent of getting a tattoo… for very specific reasons.
so… why did i get a tattoo?
> i am a visual learner.
the more that i am learning about myself these past few years, the more apparent it is to me that i see the world and remember moments in vivid pictures and scenes. what better way for me to remember something than to constantly see a visual representation of it? this tattoo is my very intentional way to remember where i’ve been… who i am… and where i’m going. (past, present, future)
> where i’ve been.
i wanted a tattoo for the very purpose of being able to share my story. and my story is filled with overwhelming GRACE. most days i still don’t even fully understand or comprehend this grace in my life. but simply put, i know this: that i was saved by grace because of Christ, and because of Him, i am able to rejoice in HOPE of the glory of God [Romans 5:2]. i’ve messed up in a lot of areas of life. i’ve hurt and i’ve been hurt… and i continue to mess up, daily. i’ve struggled with failure, self-worth, value… just to name a few. some days i feel so unworthy of love, or friendship, or anything beautiful because i feel so dirty… but none of that is truth anymore. the truth now is that Jesus washed all of that away…
> who i am.
the intent of having this tattoo is to be a constant, daily reminder to myself.
a reminder that I AM NOT MY OWN. i was bought with a price. and i will glorify God with my body. [1 Cor. 6:19,20]
i struggle with this almost daily. to want to be my own. it is quite literally in my human, sinful nature… to desire to be in control [Genesis 3:16, NLT]. there was this one class in college that completely rocked my world… Scriptural Interpretation of Gender Roles (or something along those lines), where i finally recognized and came to terms with what i want most in this world: to be a wife and a mother. but in that realization also came the recognition of my sin nature not only as a human being, but also as a woman… to desire to be in control over man. and i am not ok with this. it sounds almost silly, but once this clicked, i started seeing this everywhere: TV shows, movies, media, past relationships, friendships, etc. etc. etc. i do not want to be that kind of woman. i want to fight to be more like Christ… to be gentle, patient, submissive. (that’s right, i said the “S-word” … submission.) really, truly, despite all of the ways this culture will try to spin women’s rights and the need to be independent and that women should not feel subjugated to man (which, within in the proper context, i do not disagree), i feel that submission should be a desire in my life, not a “sentencing”… and that’s what clicked nearly five years ago. I AM NOT MY OWN. i am marked by Christ. and i will submit…
> where i’m going.
some of my pains and struggles in life have set me in a place where it is easy to not place expectations on people or moments… while in some ways this can be healthy, there is also a downside: you also forget to strive for things. the beauty of knowing where i’ve been and knowing who i am is that i also know where i’m going. because i have already been saved by GRACE, i can rejoice in the HOPE of the glory of God! this is exciting! this hope is not a dream… it is not a wish… it is a STATEMENT. a promise.
and it is this hope that has helped to inspire the symbol for the tattoo, which i have found in the beautiful and poignant words of Emily Dickinson:
“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul,
and sings the tunes without the words… and never stops at all.”
so why did i get a tattoo, you ask?
bottom line, to be a daily reminder to myself of these simple truths:
I AM NOT MY OWN.
i will submit to one God and one man…
living by grace…
filled with hope.
☑ get a tattoo. (finally)