I'm a big fan of tattoos. I know not everybody isn't, and I totally respect that. To me, they're a lasting piece of art that tells a story of something meaningful, and I am always fascinated to hear the stories behind tattoos.
If you didn't know, I have two already: a simple arrow on the side of my right foot, and then this baby I designed on my left forearm. You can read the story of my second one here if you're curious what that's all about!
But, the exciting part is that there's now a word etched into my skin! Oh, the meaning behind this one.
It's Greek for "beloved."
Here's the official stuff:
But here's my heart behind it:
To me, beloved means to believe without a shadow of a doubt that I am worthy of the love of a good, gracious Father. To me, beloved means seeing Jesus as the one true esteemed Son of God, perfect and blameless, the Father's pride and joy, the one and only Savior who could make a way for a sinner like me. To me, beloved means every person, every human, every breathing soul. There are none that are unworthy, none that are outside this love, none that are exceptions. Because He is love, because I am loved, I can (and should, and must) love too.
To me, beloved is my identity, but it's one I've yet to fully grasp or grow into. Side note: part of the reason I got the Greek instead of the English is because this whole thing is something I'll never fully understand, just like I'll never understand Greek. It's a reminder that it's a journey and a mystery but true all the same.
I haven't always believed I was beloved. A hard, messy, whirlwind of a long relationship in high school left me feeling broken and closed off to love (from anyone) and there has been nothing more transformative in my life than opening myself up to love from others, love from God, and love for myself.
If I'm honest, I still don't live like I'm beloved. I listen to the whispers of fear and shame and anxiety, and I start believing that I'm useless, worthless, meaningless. Nothing about that is true. This tattoo will be a constant reminder to me of what is true: I am beloved.
Nothing I do will change that.
Nothing that happens will affect that.
Nobody will take that away.
Nothing can lessen His love for me.
I am chosen, I am called, I am known, I am loved.
I am beloved.
May this daily remind me of what is true. May this daily challenge me to live like I believe it. May this daily encourage me to love others out of God's immense love for me. May this daily beckon me to come closer to the gracious, loving heart of my Father. May this daily be a declaration of my true, unchanging identity: beloved, beloved, beloved.