I got a tattoo! WHAAATTT!?!?!! I know very well that this could SEEM like an impulsive, immature, rebellious thing to do (at least that's what I used to think when my sixteen-year-old son asked for a tattoo). But this decision was just the opposite of impulsive.
The recent months and days of my life have been weighted with significant challenges. Life-altering, perspective-shattering, faith-threatening problems. But, God's Word tells us that WHEN (not if) the hard days come, we are to REMEMBER what God has done.
"I will remember the days of old; I meditate on all that You have done, I ponder the work of Your hands." -Psalm 143:5
I like how it says what He HAS done, not what He promises He will do (which is always important to be aware of too....). The history of God's accomplishments and fulfillment of His promises is our evidence of what He is capable of - MORE than we can ever ask or imagine.
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." - Hebrews 11:1
I chose this as my scripture of the year two months BEFORE things fell into the pit. God was setting my mind and spirit to ready me to lean on my faith. To assure and remind me of all that I have experienced of His provision in the past.....
● When I lost the job that I loved, I believed I would never find another one that was meaningful, fearing for our family's financial stability; He provided me with a better job. One that fit my gifts and experience even better and paid me more than the other position.
● When my mom was dying of cancer, He provided for miraculous family reconciliation and connection that carried us through grief and pain and made the experience strangely beautiful.
● When my husband and I were seeking to adopt, God provided in every detail - finances, timing, resources/support, my job's flexibility, and the matching of the perfect son with our family.
My son got his first tattoo in September at age 16, a four-leaf clover in honor of his grandfather who passed away last spring. We made the parental decision to sign on the dotted line allow him to permanently alter his body and get a tattoo before he was legally able to do so. We thought, since he was honoring his adopted grandfather, it was a beautiful way to imprint his forever family on his heart. But now he had the "itch" for more tattoos...
In October, he said, "I know what I want for Christmas! Another tattoo! Do you want to hear about it?" I reluctantly said, "Sure, but you're only 17, we are not going to get you another underage tattoo - you can decide when you are 18." He said, "I want 2Corinthians 5:7 -
'Walk by faith, not by sight,' because I have gone through a lot of hard times in my life, and even though life seems hard, I need to look beyond what I can see and look to my future, which God promises will be okay." Man, that kid is SMART! He knows exactly how to get to his mom's heart! But we resisted and did not get him the tattoo for Christmas - we are responsible and level-headed parents, you know...
Back to the new year, and when the "stuff" hit the fan.....I walked into a new year, a new decade with optimism and believing in the assurance of God's promises and provision, I also walked smack-dab into the hardest days of my life. But even in the earliest moments of this trial, I made the decision to COMMIT to my faith in believing in what God WILL do.
"Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him and He will help you."
His promises are real. I live my life by that ideal. It is a value that I treasure and lean on daily. He has done great things, and He will continue to do great things. According to Webster's, commit means to "carry into action deliberately,"; "to pledge,"; "to put into charge or trust." If I believe in God's word, His promises, and His provision for all my needs in His perfect manner and timing, I should gladly and quickly commit my life, my ways, my thoughts, actions, and reactions ALL to Him.
Returning back to the idea of deciding NOT to allow my son to once again put a permanent imprint on his body as an underage minor, I suddenly thought, "I want a tattoo!" This situation is hard and overwhelming, but I claim to believe that God is good, God's got it ALL covered by His faithful promises, so I can take the risk of COMMITTING to believe in His Word and His provision, especially in the hard times. So I approached my adorable giant of a seventeen-year-old son, and I said, "You know what, let's get that tattoo together, and commit to believing that God has got us, and our faith says that we will believe in Him to make all things good, even when we can't see that right in front of us." He eagerly agreed it was a GREAT idea, and now here I am, about to celebrate my 53rd birthday, with a permanent promise written on my arm for all of eternity, and my son does too. We made a lifelong COMMITMENT to "Walk by faith, not by sight," and that feels pretty awesome. I feel like a pretty cool mom now!