I got my first tattoo during spring break of my senior year of college. My best friend, Cohen, and I were traveling to New Bern, North Carolina, to visit some friends of ours. We planned to get our tattoos together during the trip and had been planning ahead for awhile.
|I got this one at Bombs Away Tattoo in Jacksonville, North Carolina.|
Unfamiliar with the verse, I looked it up to find that it was from John 19:30. "It is finished" were the last words Jesus spoke before he died on the cross. After reading this, I felt like I understood the sacrifice Jesus made for me for the first time. I wrote the verse on the inside of my bible and meditated on it for the rest of the week in Panama City and beyond. Three years later, I sat in a tattoo shop in Jacksonville, North Carolina, with three of my friends and got the verse tattooed on my foot as a permanent reminder of how that mission trip changed my life and helped me read and understand scripture in a way I never had before.
I got my second tattoo during my second year of graduate school. Justin and I had just gotten married and we were on our honeymoon in Chicago. We had both talked about commemorating our marriage in some way and creating a tangible representation of our commitment to one another, but we had a hard time deciding on a design. We knew we wanted the date we started dating, the date we got engaged, and the date we got married, but we each wanted to customize ours with a saying or image unique to our relationship and couldn't decide on what to get. When we got back from our honeymoon, I had a "light bulb" moment and knew exactly what I wanted.
|Justin and I got these tattoos at Marvel Tattoo in South Bend, Indiana.|
The next tattoo I got was last summer, and it was completely spontaneous (even though I had had the idea for awhile). Fall 2014 was a chaotic time for Justin and I. I had applied to a PhD program in Bowling Green, Ohio, and Justin was applying to jobs in that area. When he was in the middle of the interview process for a position, I was often anxious about the future and a potential move. I had a playlist on my iPod that I would listen to when I was feeling anxious, and it included songs like "I Need You" by Matt Maher and "Thrive" by Casting Crowns. I loved the line "we know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives, it's time for us to more than just survive, we were made to thrive" from the Casting Crowns song. I would listen to this over and over and remind myself that God had a plan for us to thrive and that he wasn't going to leave us empty-handed.
|I also got this one at Marvel Tattoo in South Bend, Indiana. The same artist who did my "marriage" tattoo did this one!|
|We conquered the rocks!|
|The hardware that was placed during my latest surgery in July 2013.|
|This sums up the saga of my hand injury.|
|The infamous ladder.|
|Justin and I at the top of the watchtower overlooking Lake Michigan!|
|I got this one at Broadwing Tattoo in Bowling Green, Ohio.|
I love having these tattoos as reminders of where I came from and where I am now. My tattoos remind me of faith, of commitment, and of God's great plan, provision, and grace. Will I get any more tattoos? We will just have to wait and see.