I’ve been thinking about what to get for a while now. I want one with my mom and I want a ship and some lines from “City of Hope” by Amanda Cook. I want a dragon and a snake and a million other things. But I’d been putting off what was next because nothing felt like the perfect thing to get now.
Then, a few months ago, our family got some sad news. Just a few weeks after my dad made his recovery, we heard that my grandpa, my mom’s incredible father, was diagnosed with a tumor on his brain. We were given a plan and an expected time frame.
Suddenly it became very real about how much time I have with the people I love.
But God is so good and so faithful and so kind. He knows my heart and knows how close I am to Gaga. In that moment, Jesus told me three things:
- He instantly gave me a sense of peace and trust that can only come from Him. He reminded me that this life here on Earth is only temporary and our true joy and life won’t be found until we return home with Jesus.
- He reminded me that my time here, though short, is so incredibly important. Because not everyone will know their true joy and life because not everyone will return home. As painful as it is, some people don’t know the Lord and I want to make it my life’s mission to try and share this joy with them.
- And finally, God (who likes to stick to themes, I’ve noticed) reminded me of his undying and infinite faithfulness. He was faithful in keeping my family surrounded in love and safety when my dad was in the coma. He was faithful in healing him. He was faithful in rescuing me from a situation I got myself out of. He is always faithful in answering prayers. And even in death, He is good and faithful. Even as I watched two close friends lose a parent after mine was healed, He is faithful.
Thus, the tattoo brainstorming began. It’s been an incredible year of growth and teaching and love and fear, and me being me, decided that deserved a tattoo. My grandpa deserved a tattoo.
“Partners Forever” was a necessity on this new tattoo, and it, of course, needed to be in Gaga’s handwriting. He’s been calling me his ‘partner’ for as long as I can remember, and no matter what happens, he will be my Partner Forever. Until the end, Gaga is my partner in crime and was one of my best friends growing up.
The location was also easy to choose. Right next to my tattoo for my grandma, Mia, depicting a bumblebee (which signifies God’s creativity and ability to do the impossible and our ability to get to heaven because of His sacrifice).
The Lily is both for Gaga’s mother and to represent faith and trust in Jesus.
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith!
In addition, my mom used to sing me the song “Your the lily of the valley,” a song Gaga and his mom used to sing. Also, this verse came into play when choosing the flower:
“I am the rose of Sharon, The lily of the valleys.”
-Song of Solomon 2:1
(Also, it doesn’t hurt that Lily also happens to be the name of Harry Potter’s mother, the woman who gave him the strongest protection of all: sacrificial love).
Nena and Gaga (my grandparents) used to have a ton of Doves. Gaga would take me to the coop and watch me try to catch the doves and then gently pet them while they cooed. The doves were beautiful and graceful and one of my favorite memories of afternoons with Gaga.
And how lucky am I that the dove is a perfect symbol of God’s faithfulness?
And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth.
God used this creature to present a the olive leave to Noah, proving that He was faithful in keeping His promise, that life and land was just around the corner. The dove carried a sign of life and faithfulness to Noah and his family and now, every time I look down, I’ll be reminded of the life God has promised me and His enduring Faithfulness.
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.