Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tattoo Taboo?

Recently there has been some talk of tattoos around us, friends getting them, parents asking about them, and brides covering them up. It made me realize, I haven't really shared my tattoo story with many people.

Things this blog post is not:
1. a tactic to encourage or divert anyone from or for tattoos
2. a way for me to show off, although I do love my tattoo, its about my story
3. making a statement about others choices or motives for getting inked

 Right before Lyric was born I was looking for his life verse, and I wanted it to have a music reference in it. I wanted this reference, not because we love music in our family, but because I wanted Lyric to have the biblical and spiritual connection for the name we chose for him. When we were picking names, and we came upon Lyric, I personally loved it so much because I feel like life is a song of sorts and having Lyric was like putting words to our song as a family.

 In July, four weeks after Lyric was born, he was diagnosed with Pyloric Stenosis and had to have a minor surgery (you can read a past post about what exactly happened). During that time I clung to the verse Psalm 28:7 as my utter comfort and promise. Ironically, I had nearly forgotten that this was Lyric's life verse, I just knew that the truth within this particular verse was such a source of encouragement and strength when I felt that I had neither of my own. The verse says "The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him." Being a parent and feeling like this baby's life was completely in your hands, and then suddenly being completely and totally out of control and unable to prevent and protect your child shakes you to the core. I would never have wanted to go through this, to be with our teeny tiny baby in the hospital, but I would never trade it.  The Lord was so near and so strong. The way Austin tells the story of the day is almost humorous to me. I was unusually composed and unemotional, and Austin was (while still composed) definitely emotional. If only he had known at the time that I was repeating this one verse in my head over and over and over like a crazy person. (Oh and no worries, I don't have a heart of stone, after we left the hospital with Lyric I completely lost it).

Psalm 28:7 was brought to life because of Lyric's surgery, but it was it's content which was completely glued to my heart and mind. The Lord is my strength, yes absolutely true. The Lord is my shield, definitely had experienced that protection. In him my heart trusts, God had not been taken by surprise--even though I had. My heart exults, yes yes...he is worthy of rejoicing even when I'm scared, alone, drained, hurting, and exhausted. With my song I give thanks to him, both with my literal song and the song of our life and family.

So now you know the back story. The actual sentimental and personal reason why I was compelled to get a tattoo. I should also note that I already knew that I liked tattoos (since marrying a super hot guy with one himself), and I knew that when/if I had something meaningful enough for a lifetime, I would get a tattoo myself. For me, my tattoo is not art (even though I think it's pretty), it's not self expression (I mean kinda can't totally avoid that when you permanently mark yourself), it's not an attention grabber by intention, it's my Ebenezer.

In 1 Samuel, God comes to the aid of the Israelites when they were in battle. Ebenezer means "stone of help" which was set up by Samuel in remembrance of the help God had brought them. (To get the full story, read 1 Samuel 7)

My tattoo is my ebenezer, a mark to remember what God is, was, and will continue to be.

And for the logistical side of things: I waited until I was out of my parents house and no longer under their authority (they were not big fans of the idea), I waited until I was married (my body isn't just mine, it is also my husbands, so I didn't want to do something permanent until I knew that the man I would marry would love it), and I waited until and only tattooed after I was sure that this was something that I would never regret. you have the full story.

Paige Newton Photography

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