Many people wonder why someone who leans more conservative in their beliefs would ever get a tattoo. Well, I am here to explain the simple reason why I, a Christian who leans more conservative, has tattoos. First and foremost it is not because I think I am cool and up to date with the present day trends; I honestly could care less about that. Tattoos are a form of art and self-expression. Mine serve as reminders for myself of where I have been and where I am going. The reason I get tattoos is for myself and not for anyone else. I now have four and the recent edition of number 3 and number 4 strategically placed on my right foot and leg. A tattoo that is two in one.
My other two tattoos are Hebrew writings on both of my wrists. One, if translated directly, means to endure/to stand firm, what I use as over-comer. Something to remind me of what I have been through and how I made it through and that in the future I can do it again. Standing firm in my faith while enduring trials. The other tattoo means "forgiven," an important yet difficult concept. It reminds me that I have been forgiven and I need to forgive. The concept of forgiveness is a difficult one and often very hard to fully do. A daily reminder that I need to as God has forgiven me.
As for my most recent tattoo, there is a birch tree on the outside of my leg. Connecting with the words on my foot. The quote reads "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." Something a famous writer E.E. Cummings once said. A quote that resonates with me personally because growing up is a part of natural life; we can't avoid it, but it takes courage to become the person you know yourself to be. Growth is the word that I use to connect back to the birch tree. A birch tree is my favorite tree because it reminds me of Minnesota, my home state. I also connect it back to God shaping and molding us into who he wants us to be with the trunk and as we branch out we reach new people and experience new things we grow as well. Keeping ourselves deeply rooted in God. Therefore we have a tree image.
Many people say that conservatives are against body piercings and tattoos because the bible says it is wrong; true, very true. My tattoos though are artwork and they all have a connection back to my faith. Is it a sin? I don't know but I am not going to hell for it. I get the amazing opportunity to explain what they mean to people and talk about God. So either way, I am able to use what some people consider wrong for a good purpose.
Each are sayings that help me on a day to day basis. It isn't a rebellion phase or a type of action, it is art and a form of inspiration for myself. I don't do it to upset those around me and show my independence. My ink is a part of my identity and I am not ashamed of who I have grown up to be. It is not a phase that I will regret later on in life. I have had tattoos for about three years now and I can honestly say it was the best decision to get them. Yes, three years is a rather short time considering how life works but I believe that these tattoos are applicable for all parts of my life. Regret is a part of life, fearing that you will only holds you back from discovering greater things.