Hey you. Yeah… you.
Wanna know a secret? C’mere. Lean in close…
Ready? I have a tattoo.
Oh. Are you not impressed? Dang. If you knew how much I hated needles, you should be blown away by this statement. But honestly, it isn’t much a of a secret. After all… the foot-tattoo story made it into my engagement pictures, the wedding ceremony and even into a class I was presenting about spiritual gifts a couple of weeks ago. (Glad my boss didn’t fire me for that one.)
So yes. I have a tattoo on the top of my left foot that says “Soli Deo Gloria” which is Latin for “To the Glory of God alone.” Let me give you a brief summary of the backstory.
It was late March of 2010. I was at the lowest point of my life. Over the last several months, I had moved away from friends/family, was working nightshift in a job I hated (Note: I never use the word hate. It was bad.) I cried everyday (and I was NOT a crier.) My grandmother had died suddenly, then three months later my Grandad died. My mom got fired from her job, Dad was sick. Oh, and my beloved was deployed. Relatively certain I was clinically depressed but was so far into denial that I refused to get diagnosed. (For the full story of my testimony, click here.)
It was a Friday morning and I was getting off work around 9am after working all night. I was incredibly sleep deprived. I recently had some dental work done, in which they totally messed up a crown on my tooth. So it was infected. Neat. I was fed up with life so decided it was time to take action. I was going to take control of my situation and live above my circumstances. With God.
I left work (in tears.) At 3am that morning, I decided that I was going to have a good day OR ELSE. So instead of driving home, I took the long route to Columbia, Missouri, praying the entire way. My beloved was coming home from Iraq in a couple of weeks for R & R, and I wanted to feel more like myself again. It was time for an attitude adjustment.
First stop: The mall. New outfit. CHECK. New hairdo. Sorta check. (It was new, and felt great at the time… I learned that chunky blonde highlights are NOT a good choice for me. I looked like a skunk. But my hair could have been purple with green streaks and I still would have felt like a rockstar.) Next: call the dentist and tell them to give me something for the pain. CHECK. They subscribed a narcotic for me to pick up at the pharmacy in a few hours. (Huh. I was feeling better already.)
Last stop: Tattoo parlor. Dear. Baby. Jesus.
I had already decided the what/where details for this tattoo. I always said I would never, ever, EVER get a tattoo… But then again, I never thought I would be smitten with an army man who had Bible verses tattooed on his ribcage OR personally be so crazy in love with God. I needed a personal and permanent reminder of who I was living for. Soli Deo Gloria: To the Glory of God alone.
I was terrified, especially since the guy who greeted me at the front door was so tattooed and pierced that he looked like someone that was recently featured on Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not. But I had done my research. This place was certified and up to code. It was legit and not (too) shady. No turning back.
So I did it. The tattoo artist was extremely impressed– I didn’t flinch once, and he said that top of the foot is one of the most painful places to get a tattoo. (Good to know… after the fact. Sigh.) My eyes were closed and I was praying the entire time that he was inking my foot. Craziest moment of my life.
I wear that tattoo with pride. I see it when I look down. I see it when I’m reclined. I see it when my feet are up as I relax in the tub. From the moment that I walked out of the tattoo shop, my perspective on life changed dramatically. It shifted to God. Permanently. I had hope. I knew from that day forward, everything I did was going to be Soli Deo Gloria… to the glory of God alone.
Now, I’m not telling you to go get a tattoo (unless of course you feel led… but do your research.) It was a little extreme, and might not be for everyone. (My husband was impressed.. my parents were less than thrilled.) What do you need to do to remember who you are living for? Is it a note on your bathroom mirror? A piece of jewelry you constantly wear? Live for God and your faith will gradually grow. Maybe first by a centimenter. Then maybe an inch… and soon… you will be growing your faith by the foot.
Soli Deo Gloria,
“Dear friend, do what I tell you; treasure my careful instructions. Do what I say and you’ll live well. My teaching is as precious as your eyesight—guard it! Write it out on the back of your hands; etch it on the chambers of your heart.” Proverbs 7:1-3 (MSG)
I’m linking up with Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood today.
Won’t you join the party for God’s glory?