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i gave up my next tattoo because water changes everything

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Breanne stopped by my office the day before I turned 21. I’ll never forget this because of what she left behind.

After being greeted by her famous bear hug and array of laughter, she gave me some money for my 21 years & 21 lives campaign with charity: water. I slipped it in my wallet and we continued talking, laughing about the days to come and summer plans yet to be made.

It wasn’t until after Breanne left that I began to realize just what exactly she left behind.

I opened my wallet to deposit the money into my campaign and realized that Breanne had given me $100. At first, I thought it had to be a mistake. I mean, Breanne & I are college students–a.k.a., we live on 99¢ Macaroni & Cheese, save money for our tuition bills, and wear the same jeans regardless of how many holes are in them. I whipped out my phone and texted her, just to be sure. Her reply is what blew me out of the water.

I have spent a lot of money on tattoos. Ink alone is $470 on my body, so with tip for the artists, it is closer to $600. Yes, my tattoos have stories of why I got them & can start conversations; but, in reality, I don’t even tell people the entire story behind the tat on my foot that everyone sees. I went to this “girls night” in Orlando & the preacher that was there was talking about how we all know what is going on in the world. He talked about how if 100 people were in a line and represented the whole world, we (me!) would be first and have 99 people less fortunate than us (me) behind. It hit me that it doesn’t matter what “statements” I put on my body of what I plan to do after I am fully done with college. I can do something now & instead of spending money and a ton of time on designing my next tattoo & saving money for it or going and buying clothes or shoes, I can take that money and give it to someone that needs it to live. This doesn’t mean I’m never getting anymore tattoos because those are a part of who I am and how I creatively express myself or remind myself of God, but I can get those literally anytime I want. So instead of spending all my money on me, I could do something today and help the 99 people behind me in line. In the end, it isn’t going to matter how sweet my tat looked or how great my Cotton On shirt looks. It matters what I did to spread the word of Jesus and humble myself to live the way Jesus teaches us to help others in Matthew 25:40 & 45.

Putting down my phone, I couldn’t help but smile. Here, one of my closest friends, the day before I turned 21, reminded me of something extremely important: life isn’t about me. Breanne sees the importance of what her life says and she’s taking that truth and really LIVING IT.

More than words or symbols on her body, her life is partnering with people to discover in Christ they have Hope!

Breanne, thank you. Thank you for living Matthew 25:40 & 45.

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