I have always felt strongly that if I am going to put something permanently on my body, it needed to have a significant meaning to me. Somewhere along the way, I have found myself wanting tattoos as reminders of different lessons God has taught me in the many seasons of life. Tattoo #6 was no different. Here’s the story.
3 years ago, I found myself in a place I believed only weak women ended up. That was certainly not me & yet it happened. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. My days were spent trying to buffer everything to ensure that I did not set him off. Of course, I failed daily. And with every degrading comment and every scream, my soul was slowly being etched away until nothing was left.
I had completely lost all hope & I just wanted the pain to end.
In the mean time, I applied for a new job. I was always able to keep my career on track, no matter what tragedy I was experiencing in my personal life. And I typically found it as an outlet to distract me from the darkness I wanted to escape. I had the job in a week. This was everything I had worked for. The job I dreamed of having for years. I remember celebrating my new job over champagne & feeling so incredibly numb.
This wasn’t the life I had planned.
I will never forget the night that I sat in the shower crying out to God to help me. I was so incredibly drained & I did not know how I was going to do this. I was tired of hurting & I was so tired of being hurt. With an incredibly scared and shaky heart, I asked God to remove this from my life if it was not His will.
My relationship was over in a week.
I had no idea who I was without my ex. I wanted to crawl back to the twisted place that I had come to believe was security. I did not want to stand on my own and I most certainly did not want to move forward. Thankfully I serve a God who loves His children enough to nail doors shut.
So I moved forward out of necessity. I was now completely on my own and I had to figure out how to do this, one way or another. I started my new job. This was everything I had worked for, afterall. Everything I had always wanted. I knew this was going to be a huge project that would be a great distraction from actually having to feel anything.
Within several months, I was slapped in the face with the reality of the season I had just entered. I told God I didn’t have the strength to walk through another storm. I negotiated that I would do this job a year, because I knew in my heart that this is where He wanted me to be. Anybody can bare anything for a year, right?
God kept me in that role for 2 1/2 years. It was hands down, one of the most challenging seasons of my life. I was pushed to my limit repeatedly. And every time, I found more patience and grace than I ever thought I was capable of. God taught me to focus on the good in people, even when they hurt you. I learned to have thicker skin. I learned to go with the ever changing flow of an unpredictable life. I learned to be faithful and obedient. To always focus on what God is trying to teach me, even in the middle of the storm.
The biggest lesson the past 3 years taught me, however, was God’s protection. He kept me in those seasons long enough to learn the lesson, but not so long that it was more than I could bare. My job was to keep moving forward, day by day, and trust His plan.
“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” -Psalm 91:4
This life is meant to push us to be more like God. These tough storms are the moments where we go from existing to really fully experiencing everything that we are meant to learn on this earth. I’m a firm believer that is where the richest part of life comes into play. When God loves us enough to not let us stay stagnant.
I’m so thankful to serve a God who constantly pushes me deeper and deeper into experiencing His love, faithfulness and protection.
My tattoo is a reminder of His wing always covering me in protection so that I am free to fly and experience all that I’m meant to encounter in this life.
And to really enjoy the grace of a brand new season.