I had my midlife crisis moment earlier than some.
I didn’t run away from home, break up with my hubby, leave my job, or buy a dream ________.
I got a tattoo about three years ago
Technically its three in one.
I am guessing you may have a glimpse of where this post may be going now with that last comment.
But maybe not.
At the time, I had a lot of emotional pain & baggage pent up over the previous couple of years. I lost three important people in my life in the prior three years, three people I hope knew how much I loved them. I have three family members I adore 95% of the time, and with the many circumstances swirling in my head at the time, I wanted a tangible reminder of those two facts, as well as just how much God (in His three distinct persons) loves and is there for me.
So i walked in and got three quarter sized flying bird tattoos in a place I felt comfortable with.
Immediately after, it dawned on me rather abruptly, that I didn’t know how my hubby felt about tattoos.
I have grown up around people with them, a few in the military, several artists and found them visually interesting. Didn’t think I would ever get one, never really thought about it much over the years.
My hubby doesn’t like them. And we didn’t need any more stress in our home at the time.
You see, I had a history that hadn’t been fully uprooted of minor cutting, which I know now was my way to trying to relieve pent up emotional angst. Not a healthy choice, but I am thankful i was set free from the bulk of it before I fully was aware of what it was & could have led to for me.
I had unknowingly tapped back into that physical relief with the tattoos, doing something concrete to serve as the reminder I felt I needed at the time.
We ended up in some pretty intense arguments, counseling and prayer times.
While my hubby will never fully get why I got tattoos, he has accepted me as I am now and forgiven me for hurting him. I had a few lightening treatments to help them fade more quickly, as their starkness was part of what bothered him.
I more clearly know sometimes our actions have consequences we may not understand.
I also know through it all, God understood:
Look, I’ve written your names on the backs of my hands.
-Isaiah 49:16 MSG
See/Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
-Isaiah 49:26 NIV/ESV
I am important enough to Him for Him to have my name written on His hands, as are you. As is my husband. We are forever etched in the nail pierced hands of Jesus.
The simple act of doing something without understanding the implications or fallout is a reminder that we can hurt those we love most by not thinking of them in the decision making process.
Had I turned to God and poured out my heart in that moment, I would have made a wiser decision, and likely taken the time to work things through. I might still have gotten a tattoo, or not, but my hubby wouldn’t have felt the same punch to the jaw he did with my actions, as I would have clued him in to what was going on inside me.
I am not saying tattoos are wrong. I love mine. Most of us have enough stresses we are trying to deal with in our relationships, and don’t need a mid life crisis type event to knock the wind out of us or our loved one, causing a tidal wave release of unexpected emotion.
While it is good to remember, we need to also keep in mind our actions are to be made with love in the forefront, not an after thought.
Jesus knew the implications of his sacrifice.
The man in Him wanted another way.
The God in Him chose to blaze the pathway to freedom at great cost to Himself; knowing He is, was and will ever be the only Way.