This is the story of my first tattoo. It’s a story of sin (mine) and forgiveness (God’s) and betrayal (mine) and unending faithfulness (God’s). 

Maybe you can relate?

I’ve been reconciled to God. Our relationship once severed by sin, is now restored by faith in Jesus Christ. And it’s not by anything I’ve done, but because He chased after me with an unrelenting, perfect love.

Oh, man. On my best days that’s enough to straight up take my breath away. What hope! What joy! What gladness!

What’s more, if you find yourself at my table, or in the office next door, or next to me in the waiting room at dance class — well, then, I want you to know all about this hope I have. The peace and joy and love that fills me up and spills right out. If you’d ask me about it, I could talk your ear clean off.

But that’s on my best day.

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On my worst? I’m just like Hosea’s wife. Unfaithful, distant, uninterested. I pretend I don’t see you coming down the aisle at Target and avoid eye contact. I shrug off your attempts at deeper conversation. I ignore the nagging feeling that you could use a home cooked meal.

I battle selfish desires, greed, and bitterness, and I don’t want to make room or serve or share the hope I have.  Do I even have hope?

But God

He hears me when my heart cries out for healing, and greediness retreats. My capacity for compassion increases. My bitter heart melts into peace.

The transformation isn’t magic. It’s divine. Not from my own strength, but through the work of the Holy Spirit and a willingness — my plea — to be transformed.

The familiar words, “taste and see that the Lord is good,” bring tears to my eyes because I know exactly what it means. I’ve tasted His goodness. And I’ve been forever brought back into his favor. Reconciled.

Still I bounce back and forth between Hosea’s wife and Christ’s co-heir. I’m blown here and there by circumstance.

Sick and tired of my own unfaithfulness, I began considering a visible mark that would remind me of my role as a daughter of God. A tattoo. This was not something I’d ever considered before, but I was longing for my very own permanent Ebenezer.

I chose a small anchor as a symbol of the hope I have in Christ, and on a whim my whole family accompanied me to the tattoo parlor.

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It was all over in less than ten minutes and now the tiny anchor on my left ankle symbolizes the deposit of the Holy Spirit that will keep me from being tossed back and forth by the waves and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people– if only I ask for help.

My tattoo is my daily reminder to walk with God, anchored to His unfailing truth and the hope He brings because He has forgiven me.

Hospitality may start with a kind word, a delicious meal, or a warm place to rest your weary feet, but it had better not end until I’ve shared my hope with you — the anchor of my soul.

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20

 

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Sarah / Posts / Blog

Sarah is a wife and mom who lives imperfectly for Jesus. She’s a communication professional by day, word girl by night, and always an appreciator of art. She’s on a mission to know and love God so she can love others like He commands. She calls it scattering gold. Sign up for monthly newsletters at www.scatteringgold.com.

  • Michele Morin
    http://michelemorin.wordpress.com

    And we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast (Hebrews 6)

    Amen!

    October 5th, 2016 9:44
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  • Becky

    Seriously. That’s what I thought when I read this. I am SO not a tattoo person yet have been sensing perhaps this is something God is leading me to do for Him??? Say What? So, I’m reading along and BAM! There this is. A tattoo of all things. Thank you for sharing this. I know I needed to read these words.

    October 5th, 2016 11:51
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    • Sarah

      Becky, I know just what you mean! Before August, I would have told you I’d never get one. Lots of prayer went into my decision, and I’m so glad I did it.

      October 5th, 2016 22:35
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  • Jody Collins
    Jody Collins
    http://jodyleecollins.com/

    Oh, Sarah, an anchor tattoo is perfect! Rejoicing with you in God’s reconciliation.

    October 5th, 2016 13:42
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  • Gena Hood
    http://resplendentdaughter.blogspot.com

    So beautifully said, Sarah! I shared your post on our new church’s Twitter feed. Oh, the love of God!

    October 5th, 2016 21:10
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  • Diane Bailey
    http://www.dianewbailey.net

    Wow. This is so raw and Brave. You have described so many of us who are not Brave enough to give voice to the sin in our hearts. Thank you for putting this out and helping us know we are not alone. Good job.

    October 5th, 2016 23:12
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  • Theresa
    http://www.theresaboedeker.com/

    This reminds me of some of the things the Israelite priests had to wear to remind them of their relationship with God. Visible reminders can help us remember.

    October 5th, 2016 23:38
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  • Edye

    I have the Italian word “Perdonato” tattooed on my wrist….it means “forgiven”. It is my daily reminder that Jesus died on the cross, his wrists were pierced, his blood was shed for me; for my sins and I AM forgiven!

    People always ask me what that word means and I am able to tell them, Jesus died for me and I am forgiven, just as he died for you!

    October 10th, 2016 9:48
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  • SimplyDarlene
    SimplyDarlene
    http://www.simplydarlene.com

    Your tattoo as a reminder, not a showing off, that in itself is a thing of blessed beauty.

    Thank you for sharing this piece.

    October 11th, 2016 10:49
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