I got a tattoo recently, despite the fact I'm a conservative grandma at heart. And it's been an eye-opener in a lot of ways. If you've ever read through I Kings, congratulations, it's a difficult book to read. But you would have read, possibly skimmed over, the story of Elijah and his prayer for rain. Under the reign of King Ahab, a drought was plaguing the land. Six times, Elijah sent his servant out to look over the valley for some sign that God would deliver them by sending rain. It wasn't until the seventh time when the servant came back and reported he had seen a cloud -- the tiniest of clouds -- one the size of a man's hand, and Elijah knew God has kept his promise. That's the background behind my tattoo because it's so indicative of my life, as I've prayed for patience since I was a child. (Warning -- praying for patience gives you opportunities to be patient. It's not pretty.) These seven dots are a symbol of perseverance and trust in God's promises to me. It's a symbol of hope and of deliverance. But immediately after I left the tattoo parlor at 12 a.m., traces of blood poking through my saran-wrapped arm, I thought to myself, "What have I done?" My mom's warnings of "Are you going to want that on your body your entire life?" ran through my head.
Who knew a silly tattoo would provide such peace, though! I realized, after several panic attacks and frantic text messages to my friends, that my anxiety came from the change -- I altered my body for the rest of my material life. That's a big deal, and it came with some worries. But now, a week later, I am so proud of myself for 1. Creating something unique to me 2. Sharing the gospel with the people who ask about the markings 3. Enduring the pain.
There's so much truth in that -- change is hard, change is painful, change can even cause anxiety. But when the change is working for the Lord, when the change will make you more like the person you want to be, when the change paves your future -- those changes are good.
Am I still a Conservative grandma? Totally, but now I'm tatted, so there's that.