I heard a quote recently that read:
“Tattoo’s are like scars that you wear on the outside to show the pain that’s on the inside.”
Being someone that has both tattoo’s and scars I’d never thought of it that way. My scars show the pain I’ve been through, the times I’ve suffered, but they also show the past… My tattoo’s though still showing the pain I believe show the present and the future..
Now, that might be a little strange so let me explain.
My scars some easy to see, some showing when I’m tan in the summer and being less noticeable when I’m not, some covered up by a tattoo or clothing, and some that have just disappeared. Each tell a story… a time in my life when I was broken and in need of healing. A time when the pain inside was just too much, a time when a brighter future just didn’t seem to be on the horizon. As irrational as it sounds sometimes the only way I dealt with my pain inside was to find a different source of pain one I was familiar with, and knew I could handle. Each whether easily seen or almost lost to the human eye tells a different story, each leaving it’s unique mark of the pain I felt inside once. Though this pain seems so unfamiliar and long ago, the scars remain..
I used to be ashamed of my scars always scared to tell someone where they really came from..or when they happened. People always looked at me differently and those who’d never seen something like it didn’t understand..so I felt guilty and ashamed that I couldn’t handle things like I felt I was meant to, I was embarrassed that I handled the pain inside so differently than I was led to believe I should be dealing with it based of the words of others. Though I did not handle it like others I did handle it, and I am no longer ashamed of my scars they have made me who I am today, and are etched into my body as living proof that God is bigger than anything. They show of a past where I suffered and dealt with pain by replacing it with more pain.. each scar tells of a sad, lonely girl, trying to fill up a void in her heart.
But my tattoo’s though scars as well, show of my present but most importantly of my future. They show of pain I have suffered and overcome.
My first tattoo covering up some of the very scars I was so ashamed of… instead of seeing my scars that often made others sad, now one sees “Pslam 19:14” and an Eagle in their stead. The verse reads “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, my rock and my redeemer.” -Psalm 19:14 and the Eagle signifying that “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” -Isaiah 40:31 Both telling a story of how a once broken girl has hope for a brighter future when she puts the meditations of her heart in the Lord, which gives her wings to soar.
The next, telling a story of someone who loves others more than herself. Sometimes this can be weakness, while at other times it shows the awesome power of the love of God. I believe God’s love shines through, for I could not love the way I do without Him. “Greater love has no one than this, that one would lay down ones life for ones friend.” -John 15:13 This tattoo reminds me to always love others no matter the situation, for each person is God’s creation and therefore who am I to judge whether they are worthy of love or not? Jesus loved me enough to lay down his life for me, and the best I can do is try to love the way He calls me too. This tattoo reminds me of a time when I loved the opinions of others, the attention of others, and myself more than actually loving the other person for who they are and who they could be.
Next, I have an arrow. Though hard to see as if almost invisible, you simply just have to look past the surface for it because it is there in white ink. This one tells a story of remembering to stay positive. Sometimes it’s hard to see the positive in every situation but if you really try you can always find it. Just like an arrow you can not shoot backwards.. you cannot change the past.. All you can do is move and like an arrow keep moving forward. You may hit a bump or two, or even miss your target. The great thing about an arrow you can just pick it up and try again until you hit your target.
My last and most recent “Fear not for I have redeemed you, I have summoned you by name, you are mine.” -Isaiah 43:1 in black with “Agape” in Greek (ἀγάπη) written in hidden ink within it. This tells the full story! Of someone who lived in fear and wandering in search of the next best thing, but ended up finding that God knows my name I am His. I found a God that knew my name a God who has an unconditional love for me, ἀγάπη. A God that loved me through it all, even though I couldn’t see Him during it all He was always there. It’s a reminder that no matter what I go through there is a God who calls me by my name, a God who has redeemed me, and a God that loves me unconditionally no matter what challenges the future holds.
So, yes my tattoo’s are scars.. scars that I have suffered and overcome leaving the permanent mark etched in me that God conquers all! A testament for me, a hope, and a future, but also for those who see them and need to hear the same message when they ask what they mean!
So I guess the quote would better read:
“Tattoo’s are like scars that you wear on the outside to show the pain that was once on the inside, but that has been overcoming. Leaving a mark for the future to come.”