What My Tattoo Means to Me

I have a tattoo. I got it two summers ago in the back of an RV at Sonshine Music Festival in Willmar, Minn.

In order to understand the significance of this, you have to understand me a little bit. See, I’m not a tattoo kind of person. I’m not really artsy and alternative and cool like that.

I am the kind of girl everyone’s parents automatically want them to spend more time with. I’m focused and orderly. I’m sweet and considerate.

I’m not impulsive, and I didn’t get a tattoo without a lot of deep thinking. Because of this, I am still moved by the meaning of the three, small blue stars on my neck.

Stars are my greatest inspiration, not because of their glittery luminescence but because of their Creator. They just amaze me—all those pinpricks of light peeking through this great vast canopy.

There’s just something about being in the dark that makes me marvel at the light. One of my favorite verses is Philippians 2:14-16, “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life” (TNIV).

That was my original reason for getting that tattoo—and in getting it on my neck. I want to be reminded to be a star—and not just a star that would hide behind a cloud, but one that would shine clearly through the black. If I was going to get a tattoo, I wasn’t going to hide it with clothing; I was going to let people see it and ask questions.

However, as I continued to mull over the idea of getting a tattoo (I told myself I must want a tattoo for at least one year before I could permanently ink my body), I found so many more layers to my inspiration. Mostly, I was reminded of the kingship of Christ, and the beauty of that truth.

In North Dakota, where I grew up, the countryside is vast and empty with nothing but the moon and stars for light. But instead of feeling alone, sitting there gazing at the stars, I have always felt sort of wrapped up in the velvety sky, as if God were enveloping me in His royal robes, in His sovereignty—reminding me of who He is and who I am because of Him.

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Isaiah 40:25-27 says: “‘To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?’ says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God’?" (TNIV).

In the midst of all my uncertainties and questions, the stars were there every night twinkling in steadfastness, just like God is always there in the darkest, most confusing times in my life.

I wear that reminder now on my body. And sometimes when I pull back my hair, I’ll catch a glimpse of that lesson in the mirror and again find myself sitting in a field marveling at God’s greatness and surrendering all my questions to Him.

[Editor’s note: I know I’m not the only one with a meaningful tattoo story. So, what compelled you to get a tattoo? Please email me, and maybe I’ll post your story next. Let’s see what we can learn from one another.]

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