"He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along." Psalm 40:2 (New Living Translation)
Sometimes we need tangible reminders. We want a memento or a souvenir to help us remember a special event or a cherished person: photographs, ticket stubs, dried flowers. We hold on to these objects. We look at these treasures and remember where we've been. We think of how we've been changed because of the people connected to them. On hard days, particularly if that cherished person has passed on into eternity, we cling to our treasured objects with every fiber of our being, gripping them tightly as the tears flow down our faces. Then, through the pain, the significance of that object brings a smile to our face. We remember the funny movie we watched together, or we laugh at the funny faces we made in the picture. The joy mingles with the pain, and we find the strength to make room for both.
That's why. That's the answer. And the question: "Why did you get tattoos?" You see, there are still dark days. There are still days in which it takes most of my strength just to get out of bed. There are days in which the monster I know as depression roars over me and I have to fight again and again. But then I look. And I see. And I know this: Because of the cross, my story isn't over. I see it carved into my very flesh. I see it when I walk behind my beloved husband. I'm reminded that the Lord gives me strength. I'm reminded that there is joy, even in this life. I think of how the Lord lifted me up out of the abyss and brought me to a place of beauty. I recall how He walked through the fire with me. He never left my side-not even in my darkest moments. And I fight on. Tattoos and all.