You got a tattoo?!!
I sure did. And a lot of thought went into it–and really, it symbolizes something that I’ve been learning during the entire first 20 years of my life–and something that I’ll just never stop learning.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have always wanted everything to be perfect. My hair just right. My dance routines beautifully performed down to the last move. My backstroke technique flawless. Perfect A+ grades. Never miss an assignment. Don’t even think twice about getting a detention. Get into the right schools. Go into the right career. Find that perfect guy. Make the best of friends. Show the world I’ve got it. You know, that “it” factor that everyone seems to want. But, in tear-filled frustration, I always seem to come up short in comparison to the world’s standards. Not pretty enough. Not the star swimmer on the team. Not the valedictorian. No handsome stud on my side. No group of BFFs I share all of my deepest, darkest secrets with. It’s like perfection just wouldn’t come–no matter how hard I tried.
And that’s when it hit me. I will never be perfect. I wasn’t created to reach perfection. God created me exactly as He wants me to be–and in His eyes, I am perfectly made. Psalm 139 confirms that. He created me to love and embrace this grand adventure called life. The problem was–and is–that when I was striving so hard to reach what I deemed “perfection,” I couldn’t truly live.
There are several portions of God’s Story that I’ve been immersing myself in so far in 2012. And they’ve been radically transforming my thoughts, my beliefs, what I hold on to so tightly, my relationships–how I’m embracing becoming.
One of those portions is found in Deuteron0my 30. The entire chapter is absolutely what I have needed to allow to sink into the depths of my heart, but a few verses in particular stood out. Verses 11-14 empower me with the truth that I CAN do what God commands me to do. I don’t have to have anyone else explain it to me, teach it to me, or tell me to do it. Obeying God is up to me. I just have to do it. Following verse 14, God lays out some life-altering, eye-opening words that can’t help but grip you:
“Look at what I’ve done for you today: I’ve placed in front of you
Life and Good
Death and Evil.
And I command you today: Love God, your God. Walk in his ways. Keep his commandments, regulations, and rules so that you will live, really live, live exuberantly, blessed by God, your God, in the land you are about to enter and possess.” (Deuteronomy 30:15-16, the Message)
I want that. I want to live. Free of the distractions of wanting to win popularity contests (which according to Luke 6:26 isn’t what I am supposed to be pursuing anyways!). Free from fighting so hard to be perfect. Free from avoiding messy, real, authentic relationships. Free from being so afraid of getting hurt. Free from trying to avoid failure so intensely. Free. Free to LIVE.
You see, I’m on this journey. This road stretched out before me, where I can see the pages of my life being turned–being written–into this story. And this story, has the potential to really do something. Change the world. But only if I let it. It really boils down to one thing: who will I trust to write my story? Me or God? Perfection screams, “Choose me! Choose me! Only I can control how everything turns out.” But living exuberantly whispers that truth that you know deep down inside your soul is what will stand the test of time, “Choose God. He IS life. If you choose Him, you choose life.”
I am becoming. Becoming who God has created me to be. This story is being written. But definitely not by me. I am choosing to trust the God who created me in the first place to continue to write this story. And I am embracing the truth that life is a grand adventure. I’m loving it and letting it make me stronger along the way.
In the words of Shauna Niequest, this season–this season of my life–is all about becoming.
“This season is about becoming…walk closely with people you love, and with people who believe God is good & life is a grand adventure. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven’t yet earned. Give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep traveling honestly along life’s path.” (Shauna Niequest, Bittersweet)
And that is why I chose to have “becoming” tattooed to my wrist. Every, single time I look at my left hand, I’m reminded that life is a grand adventure. I’m reminded that the pursuit of perfection isn’t what God created me for. I’m reminded that I am made perfectly in Christ. I’m reminded to trust Him to write my story. I’m reminded to live exuberantly.
But, most importantly, I’m reminded to embrace becoming me.