I wasn’t the girl who spent high school desperately looking forward to turning 18 so that I could get a tattoo. Yes, I couldn’t wait to turn 18, but getting a tattoo was far from my thoughts. I didn’t start even thinking about it until the end of the summer, that’s when the excitement grew. I had so many ideas for tattoos that I might possibly want, how to choose?! I also battled the idea that if I did get a tattoo it would always be on my body, forever. Well, decisions were made and on September 26, 2016, I got my first tattoo. I had a friend draw it out 3 weeks before getting it done. Then, one week before, I went with another friend (who has plenty of awesome tattoos) and made an appointment for the following Monday. Shoutout to my roommate for making me think about the design for an extra week AND going with me to get it done! It hurt like CRAZY, but only took about 5 minutes total!
People still ask all the time what my tattoo means to me. Here is a longer version of what I tell them.
First of all, it’s based on two bible verses:
“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine…”
Song of Songs 6:3a
“…her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.”
In the summer of 2016, my dad went to Israel. Among the beautiful gifts that he brought back for my mom, sisters, and myself, there were five identical silver rings with Song of Solomon 6:3a inscribed on them in Hebrew. He told us that he got them for us to remind us that not only are we his beloved, but more importantly, we are Yahweh’s beloved.
I’ve always loved the English word “beloved”. Have you ever noticed the two different ways that people pronounce it? The first way is /bee-loved/ and the second is /bi-love-id/. The first one reminds me of someone calling you out and saying, “Hey you, BE LOVED!” The other one feels like a gentle, loving term of endearment. Both are exactly the reminders that I want at different moments in my life.
For the two months before I got my tattoo, I had been getting so many tiny reminders that I am beloved. A couple people prayed for me and asked Papa God to remind me that I am His beloved. Then at a worship night on campus they played a song that quoted Song of Songs;
“And I am my beloved’s and He is mine, so come into Your garden and take delight in me.”
-Cory Asbury, Where I Belong
My last reminder came from hearing a song I hadn’t heard in two years. The singer, Jason Gray, only once explicitly says the word “beloved”, but the video “says” it clearly.
“If I’m your beloved, can you help me believe it?”
-Jason Gray, Remind Me Who I Am
One of my life goals is to see and treat every person that I encounter as Papa’s beloved child. That’s how He sees each and every person that he created: as His beloved child.
I’m still learning to live like Papa’s beloved daughter, but that isn’t something that I will or want to ever stop learning. Each morning when I wake up, I look down at the beautiful script that says “beloved” on my foot and I’m reminded again that I am Papa’s beloved and that every human he created is a beloved child of His. I’m so grateful that I get to live in this concept of “belovedness”. I’m thankful that I get to spend my life learning what it means even more than I already know. I am Papa’s beloved and that will NEVER change.
So with that, happy 1 year to my little tattoo that means so much to me.