My Tattoo Is A Reminder Of God's Intimate Work

My Tattoo Is A Reminder Of God's Intimate Work

Summer Chronicles: Vol. 5
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Welcome to Volume 5 of my Summer Chronicles. Click here if you missed Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, or Volume 4.

To begin, I would like to make clear that no one needs to defend their reasoning for getting tattooed, I would just like to share my story. I was raised in a Christian home and church where people viewed tattoos as somewhat taboo. Both of my parents had tattoos from when they were younger but didn’t encourage me to add ink to my body. When I told others I thought of getting a tattoo they asked: “What will happen to your tattoos when you get old?”

My mom always said if I wanted a tattoo I would have to be 18 with at least two years of knowing with certainty exactly what I wanted (including size and placement). She did not want me to make the same beautiful mistakes she had when she was younger. I waited, maybe because I was scared of the commitment, maybe because it did not have enough meaning to me just yet.

Once I got to college, I realized that more people my age had tattoos than I expected. This made me wonder if I was purely a follower of the latest trend. Being a Worship Arts major I also worried that getting a tattoo would be detrimental to my chances for a career after my schooling was over.

Why would a Bible-believing Christian woman want to get tattooed? Some friends and family thought a tattoo was unladylike, implying that ink would diminish my physical beauty; others asked why I would get tattooed when God made me how He wanted me to be. I kept these thoughts in the back of my head…

After my second year of singing in school, I had an important Vocal Jury which if not passed would mean I would either have to stay longer or change majors. I sang my five memorized pieces in front of a small panel of judges in the empty auditorium. They clapped, I bowed and then exited to await their decision. I was welcomed back into the room where they congratulated me for my performance but told me I might have vocal nodules. I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t that what the one girl in Pitch Perfect had?”

Well, yes and while it may have been funny in the hit comedy, it was much more serious in my life. If I truly had vocal nodules I would have to give up all that I had been striving towards. You see, at some point along the way I thought I could plan my life for myself, instead of trusting God. This negative news brought me to a place of fear and humility. I knew I would have to trust God with not only my health but my career path as well. That summer, I went to the doctor. She scoped my throat and found that my vocal cords were healthy. It was the most intense relief I had felt in a long time.

My thoughts wandered back to my tattoo idea. God had brought me closer to Him through this trial (like so many trials before) and I knew that He gave me the gift of music for a reason. I had wanted a treble clef at the top of my back for a good amount of time - 4 years to be exact. I asked my mom to go with me. On the way to the shop she asked what type of wedding dress I would get, since I was getting tattooed. I replied “A dress that showed it off.” Her response was “Oh good, just testing you.” She knew how much this artwork meant to me.

Some might say that tattoos are ugly, defying God’s creation. I see mine as a way to share a part of my testimony as a follower of Christ. It is a testimony of God’s care for me, even when I am too small-minded to see it. I knew getting a tattoo would hurt, I knew it was permanent, but I also knew that it would be a reminder of God’s intimate work in my life.

Cover Image Credit: Sierra Murray

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Not Wearing A Bra, And 11 Other Things Girls Do That Make Guys Uncomfortable

According to men, we're the biggest enigma.

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As a woman in today's society, it seems like according to men we can do nothing right. We either get over sexualized to the point where we are told "cover up" or over sexualized to the point where we are called prude for not showing enough skin to attract the attention of the men around us. Taking all of this into consideration, guys are still grossly uncomfortable with normal things that women do in today's world. If you're a woman reading this, I'm sure you're already forming a list in your head. If you're a man, well, here are 12 things that you are uncomfortable with that you probably shouldn't be.

1. Not wearing a bra 

First and foremost, whether I cease to wear one out in public or in my home, trust me, buddy, I'm not doing it for you. I'm not doing it so you'll mention the fact that you can tell I'm not wearing one. I'm doing it for my comfort level, and most certainly not for your benefit. At all. Ever.

2. Denying their advances 

Grabbing my ass is not the correct way to ask me to move out of your way, catcalling me will not get my attention, and no, buying me a drink does not mean you automatically get laid. Not only do you look like an idiot to every woman around you with that kind of mentality, but to the girl you're trying to impress by being a pig? Yeah, she thinks you're pretty stupid, too.

I know it just kills your ego when we tell you no. How dare we make YOU feel uncomfortable by denying your lovely attempts at getting our attention.

3. Not accepting a drink they hand us

They offer you a drink, you say no, and suddenly not only are they mad on some occasions, but their poor ego is damaged indefinitely... Until they try that same move with the girl a few places down. They don't understand why you won't accept their drink that they were so nice to buy you.

Uh, you could drug me. If you want to buy me a drink, let me order it, watch the bartender make it, and then you can pay. Please don't expect me to take a drink right from you.

4. Traveling in groups to the bathroom during a girls' night out

We only do that because there is strength in numbers. If it makes you uncomfortable, sorry, but guys like you are probably the reason we do it. I don't know why our safety is any concern to you.

5. Knowing about cars, sports, or anything deemed a "guy thing"

You say one thing about a sports team or a car part and suddenly, according to men, you have no idea what you're talking about and they have to talk over you to explain it all, much better than you could. They only do this because the thought of us knowing anything about "guy stuff" makes their skin crawl.

6. Wanting careers 

How dare we want real jobs and to be paid as much as them! Silly us!

7. Thinking our place is anywhere but the kitchen 

Obviously we are meant to be of total service to the men in our lives, regardless of circumstances, right? We shouldn't have careers and hobbies when our life's purpose is to be a homemaker who slaves over the stove all day while our very masculine husbands do everything.

When will we learn? No wonder you guys are so uncomfortable. We don't know our place yet.

8. Wanting rights to our own bodies 

Uh oh, I think we forgot (again) that men are supposed to be in control of everything about us, including reproductive rights. No wonder they're so confused. They aren't always in control.

9. Not wanting kids

But wait! Isn't our only reason for being alive to mother a baby? It's a blessing to be a mom no matter what, according to men, and we need to fall in line. So, when you look a man in the eye and say you don't want kids, sometimes their eyes about pop out of their skull.

10. Having a menstrual cycle 

Men will never understand the daunting nature of our time of the month. Between cramps, headaches, and the constant desire to pop pain killers, it's grueling. To men, though, the whole thing is gross. Ew, we're bleeding. Forget about denying them anything during this time because most of them will not understand why.

11. Denying them sex of any kind, ever 

We have every right to tell you no. Listen, I know it just totally baffles you when we do, guys, but we owe you nothing. Let me say it again. We owe you nothing. No matter what.

12. Being independent 

By society's standards, even today, we are to allow a man to take care of us meek young women. You meet a man who intends to do that and by the first date when you pay for your bill he doesn't want you anymore. You want to work for your money and not depend on him, know about topics deemed "guy stuff", and stand up to him and he just doesn't understand why.

Let's face it: Guys will never understand.

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