There is so much to adore about this city in the heart of Virginia-- from the food, the art, the coffee and beer and cider, the endless festivals, the outdoor options, the tattoos... it's a hipster heaven.
Because I know everyone who sees the photo of ink on my arm will want to know the story, here it is.
This is tattoo number two. (Number one is an arrow on the side of my foot.)
It's inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's stained glass windows-- Wright is my dad's favorite architect and I have always loved his work, especially the geometric, modern style of his windows. (Side note on stained glass windows: I love the symbolism of broken pieces of glass from all different places of all different styles and colors coming together with a unifying glue to create stunning works of art that are at their best when light shines through... what a cool picture of our own lives and how all our brokenness can be put back together by Jesus who shines through us to make us our best.)
So, the cross is at the top because that's my focal point and utmost priority, and it carries down through as the spine of the whole thing like my faith carries through my life. Without it, everything fall apart. Jesus and His sacrifice upon the cross are first, highest, and above all. It's a reminder to always fix my eyes upon Jesus above the things of this world.
The four parts below that (the chevron-looking section) represent my family-- mom, dad, and younger brother, and the parts on either side of that represent that outside influences can't change that they're my core. My faith and my family are the two things above all else that I want to protect against outside influences, so that's what those symbolize, creating the top half of the tattoo.
The sun below that is for Arizona and home-- it's the place I grew up, the place I will always call home, the place that built me and shaped me from my earliest memories. It's where I went to kindergarten through freshman year of high school, it's where I fell in love with the Lord and gave my life to Him, it's where I grew up rooted in incredible community in my church, neighborhood, schools, and friends...it's where my foundation is.
The bottom is like a diamond to symbolize how my life has been like diamonds coming out of dust and triumph coming out of pain. That's my testimony-- my story is all about the Lord transforming brokenness into new life and redeeming me day by day into a new creation. It's been a long process of refinement and God chiseling away at parts of my heart that were ugly and unnecessary, and in doing so, creating new beauty and reminding me of my true worth.
Not a single part of this tattoo was careless or meaningless. I'm so excited it will be part of me forever. I'm excited for the conversations it will start and for the opportunity I'll have to share part of my story because of what this tattoo represents.
So, that's the significance. That's the story. May it be a way to bring my testimony to life and may it be a way to point back to Jesus always.
UPDATE: I've heard from people that this, too, looks like an arrow, which is funny since a super simple one is on the side of my foot! Also, people have said it looks like a totem pole of sorts, and Southwest-influenced, and although neither of those were my specific intentions, I love them both! Obviously, I grew up in the Southwest and it will always have a huge part of my heart. I also traveled to Alaska with family and saw TONS of totem poles and thought they were so cool-- my family even took pictures acting as if we made up a totem pole, so they bring back fond memories as well. :)
Shout out to Ashly at River City Tattoo on Boulevard for bringing my design to life! So thankful for your talent!