Let's Talk Tattoos

it may surprise some of you to find out that i have, not just one, but a few tattoos. you maybe have spotted the one on my wrist in videos or photos, but you probably haven't seen the one on my ribs...ya know, because i'm usually fully clothed ;) 

my tattoos are incredibly meaningful to me. there was much thought and consideration put into each individual one and all three of them together. almost 6 years later, i still don't regret catching the 'tattoo fever' - which is very real and very strong. i had assumed that i would be a 'one and done' girl when it came to getting inked, but with each day that i loved my tattoo more, i opened myself up to the idea of adding to my tiny collection. at three, i feel pretty content with what i'm working with. although i'm always open to adding more, it would have to be something that is meaningful and well thought out.

here's the story of my first:

i got my first tattoo when i was just two months into being 18 years old. i've always had a bit of a rebellious side to me, but nothing too wild. i've had my nose pierced (twice), a handful of ear piercings, and was always open to trying new styles of clothes. the first tattoo, though, was my first major change. i mean, it's permanent, so that's natural. i had known for about 6 months that i wanted to get it and finally worked up enough gumption to do it. i was nervous about the pain and the permanence, but not about what i was having inked on me.

for those that have wondered, tattoos aren't painful. in my opinion, they're more annoying than anything. it certainly doesn't feel good to have a needle pricked into your skin, but i never felt an overwhelming sense of pain, just a desire for that horrible buzzing to stop. i've been told i have a relatively high pain tolerance, so others may totally disagree, but i've always advised people interested in getting a tattoo to not change their mind because of the pain they may experience. deepening on the location of the tattoo, some will be worse than others, but it's nothing unbearable or deal-breaking.

my first tattoo is located on the inside of my left arm, about 2" below my wrist. i wanted it high enough on my arm that it could be covered by a long-sleeve or jewelry (thinking of future employment). according to tradition in some countries, the vein in your ring finger leads to your heart, so i wanted this tattoo to be on top of that vein for the symbolism of it. agape is the Greek word for selfless, unconditional, sacrificial love. the kind of love that God has for humankind. i wanted it near my hand to represent how God created everything, including me. so this tattoo is my representation of God.

my third tattoo is 'walk in love' written on the outside of my left foot. the phrase is found several times in the Bible, in Ephesians 5, 1 John, and 2 John (depending on the translation used). to me, it represents what Christ did on earth and what i am called to do as someone that proclaims to be a follower of Him. i chose to have it on my foot because Christ walked on earth, as i do now. 

my second tattoo is the outline of a 'dove of peace', which is a symbol used for the Holy Spirit in the Bible. i wanted to keep this one very simple because i knew that it would be larger than the others. the outline of the dove is in black, while the branch in its mouth is colored with green. the green branch represents the promises of God (story of Noah) and the fact that the Holy Spirit is alive in me because i am a follower of Christ. i chose to get this one on my ribs because it was the closest i could get to my soul, which is where the Spirit lives in me.

altogether, the three tattoos represent the three persons of God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. all unique and different, and yet all the same. i carry them with me wherever i go and am constantly reminded of my faith and its importance whenever i see them. for a couple years, i've thought about adding a fourth (and probably final) tattoo to represent me and my relationship with the three but haven't come up with any ideas that i'm in love with yet.

truthfully, i forget about the one on my ribs and it startles me to spot it out of the corner of my eye sometimes! i haven't had a single regret about getting any of them - they're personal to me and hold much meaning, so i don't think that i ever will. except maybe when i'm like 87. but just maybe. 

do you have a tattoo (or tattoos)? do they have a story? i'd love to hear it! 

9 comments

  1. I love that I found this post! I just got mine. My first on Saturday. I'm 35 and my life it taking a big change. The Lord is calling me closer to him and letting go of some big things in my life. I got a cross on inside right portion of my left wrist. I love it. It symbolizes for me to live in the moment, have a life worth living, being significant vs having success, being obedient to what God is calling me to. Redeemed and saved by grace. Living with purpose.

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    1. Love that, Shea! I trust that God will be with you and guiding you during this season of change in your life!

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  2. Love this & I'm not really a tattoo person.

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  3. I have five tattoos. Two I got for my husband, during a very tough time for us (his nickname on my left wrist and "thou and no other" on my left foot) . My first I got at sixteen, a representation of my nature as an insomniac (moon and stars) , my second was for the nature of life (comedy/tragedy masks) and my most recent was for how people are (one of many snowflakes to come) .

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  4. I have 5 tattoos, all very meaningful and I don't regret a single one. My first tattoo was when I was 16 and my best friend died of cancer, she was 17. I got a butterfly on top of my foot. My grandmother always told me she believed that butterflies were part of the soul left behind when you leave this earth. She said that butterflies were the only creature she knew to "die " as one thing and come back as another. They always remind me of Rae and every time I see one it reminds me that she will always walk with me thru life. I also have two R's on the inside of my ankle one for her and one for a precious little boy named Ricky that I had the honor of being a nanny to that passed away when he was 7. The others are all things I have gotten with my sisters, to whom I'm very close. My older sister lives a thousand miles away and we both have "I carry your heart" tattooed on us to remember we are one and the same and distance will never truly separate us.
    I love this post. Some people have such a negative outlook on tattoos. When in reality it can be such a beautiful thing. I have never questioned or had anyone question my love for God, as I'm sure you haven't. But to have the conviction to display your love I'm such a permanent and present way in today's society is a lovely thing . I commend you for displaying your love for him that way . And I hope you add on to your collection . Its a beautiful way to tell your life story.
    -Lauren

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  5. I got my first tattoo at 18, it's a small butterfly randomly placed on my back like it was flying and landed there. It reminds me of my sister and her love for butterflies as well as my great grandma. It took me 8 years to get my second/third tattoo... My sister moved to South Carolina from Washington and we got matching tattoos in my moms handwriting. It's a Winnie the Pooh quote, "keep me in your heart" "I'll stay there forever" is what we got, each has part of the quote on opposite feet so they come together :) and then on the top of the other foot we got matching heart outlines like my mom draws on our coffee cups ever morning :)

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  6. I love how yours tie into the trinity! I got my first tattoo last year. It's a kite with "Hebrews 11:1" in the kite string. My next one I want to get is "I will rise" in braille for my Papa.

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  7. I only have one. And like yours, there is a meaning behind it. I got the phrase, 'be happy.' I had a sign that had the phrase on it, and it reminded me during a difficult time in my life to no matter what, be happy.

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