reason for my ink

1.24.2015 |

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i wanted to take a minute to tell you about my tattoo.  though i didn't have time to participate in my friend cassie's "link your ink" i still want to share my story.  most of the time i forget i have a tattoo.  yes it's a part of me, but it's not something i think of every day.  with that being said, it IS a part of me.  like i have arms and legs and rarely stop to consider them, i have a tattoo on my back left shoulder.

a lot of people are against tattoos, think that they give you a bad association, will actively condemn people with tattoos, and try to misuse the bible as a weapon against them.  i've really never understood that. i guess people do that with several things: hair cuts, specific clothing, piercings, etc.  i think having a tattoo can make you more approachable in today's society; however, in saying that, that is not a reason to get one.  i have always fancied the idea of getting a tattoo.  i am not sure where that idea was birthed, but it was there.  when i got into college, i fully believed i would get a cross-country tattoo associated with mississippi state university.  the more i thought of that, the thought of permanence freaked me out.  injury after injury plagued me leaving external reminders in the form of tears and scares.   i knew that i didn't want another reminder of dreams unfulfilled.  

i began growing in my relationship with the lord my senior year of college, 2011-2012.  this is when i can recall to surrendering my life to christ and giving up control of my life.  there i found so much freedom.  i remember sitting at the kitchen table in my house on loch lane where i lived with my 3 incredible friends.  i was going through proverbs and i ran across a verse i never noticed before.  

proverbs 4:23 says, "above all else guard your heart for it affects everything you do." 

how true this was in my life.  for a girl who ran from obsession to obsession, i was highly influenced by where my heart led.  my heart has always led me away from christ and towards boys, running, work, vanity, anger, and the list goes on to an unhealthy extent.  i decided that i wanted to live out this truth i had run across in God's word.  while sitting at our kitchen table, i started to doodle as i pondered the truths i had just read.  what resulted from that moment of pondering is now with me forever, etched on my back. 

the moment i colored in my doodle, i felt this strong pull to stick it on my body.  it was like i knew that that picture was going to be with me, forever.  so on april 3, 2012, i penned my doodle to my back.  (funny story about the actual tattoo process, but that's for another day)  today, my tattoo is an external alter and a reminder that the Lord is faithful, that his word is True, and that my heart was not created to be filled by frivolous things.  my heart was designed by God, for God, and i choose to glorify him by guarding it.

since having my tattoo, it has been an incredible witness opportunity.  i get to tell them what my tattoo means and the reason behind it.  many people who don't know me will assume that i have had a heart transplant.  they are not too far from the truth, jesus has taken my heart and made me new.  

ezekiel 36:26 says, "and i will give you a new heart, and a new spirit i will put within you.  and i will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."

another way my tattoo has been a useful tool is that when i see someone else with a tattoo and i am caught in an uncomfortable or awkward situation, i always ask them about their tattoo.  people are always so willing to share their stories behind their tattoos because there is deep, emotional meaning to most.  when i was on an airplane headed to vancouver for a mission trip, i got to sit by a girl named katie.  she was from texas, adopted, went to ball state university, and had a tattoo of love on her foot.  to break the ice of a 3-hour plane ride, i simply asked what her tattoo meant.  after talking about it, i got to share that i too had one.  this was the perfect entrance into the gospel which i did not shy away from.  katie and i still keep in touch today.

whatever your opinion on tattoos, i challenge you to not let your own fear of us weird people with tattoo freak you out and try to view tattoos as a creative expression of reality for that person.  a lot of times, if you are willing to ask, people will become their most vulnerable when you ask the meaning behind a tattoo.  

still actively guarding my heart, 

4 comments

  1. thank you thank you Cass!! glad I could finally put this into words! :)

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  2. oh my gosh i love this so much. seriously thinking about getting some tats now. YOU ARE SO AWESOME!!!!!!! love your heart for the Lord and I'm so glad He placed you in my life!!!!
    -Laken

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  3. aww thank you laken! I am so glad God placed YOU in my life! I can't wait to see how God uses you in college to further his kingdom!

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