What Does it Mean?

ship-tattoo.jpegMy most recent tattoo is the biggest I’ve ever gotten. It took two sessions, a total of 8.5 hours sitting in a chair in perhaps the most uncomfortable position. (Truly, the way I had to sit was worse than the actual tattooing). And the final product is STUNNING.

Eddie Molina (website) did an incredible job with this piece and I’m so happy with it. And now that it’s healing and dozens of people have asked the meaning, it’s time I explain.

Of course, via a blog post. Because why would I do anything if I can’t exploit it for blog reads?

So, there are a ton of little meanings here, but I’m going to focus on the big picture. You’ll see some fig leaves, a ship, and a swan at the front of the ship. Continue reading

Jesus is My Champion

IMG_9717Remember in season four of Game of Thrones when Tyrion was on trial and he demanded trial by combat but no one would fight for him? Prince Oberyn (remember? The slutty pansexual sand prince?) ended up doing it for his own personal revenge but no one wanted to fight specifically for Tyrion. To save his life and clear his name. No one wanted to lose their life for him. No one thought him worth it. Not even his own brother.

Tyrion was facing death and he was alone because no one would be his champion.

Sometimes I realize I’m Tyrion. Imprisoned, facing death, sneered at and looked down upon, with no one to be my champion.

I think a lot of us can relate to this. Not on a crazy Game of Thrones level, of course, but we can feel alone. Like we have no champion. Continue reading

When Forgiveness Hurts

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetForgiveness is one of those weird acts that we all have to do every day but most of us don’t really know how to. And the lack of forgiveness tears down societies, relationships, and families. Unforgiveness is painful. It’s poison in the body of the hurt and ice in the life of the unforgiven. It spreads pain and fear and distrust.

M.L. Stedman said it like this, “I can forgive and forget… it is so much less exhausting. You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things.”

Just because you’ve been hurt doesn’t mean you have to live hurt. You can make the choice, daily, to forgive and free yourself, and others, from those chains.

Unfortunately, forgiveness can also be painful. Sometimes it hurts.

But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. Continue reading

He Will Because I Can’t.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetI’m not sure at what point in my life I gave myself some sort of unspoken challenge. To make myself great. To be successful. To live an exotic, adventurous life. To make my pain and failures into something good. Some sort of dust I can rise from.

I don’t know when I started being so hard on myself. When I found myself overwhelmed by the heavy responsibility on my shoulders.

I’m also not sure when I realized that I did that to myself. No one else gave me this false responsibility.

No one else expects perfection.

No one else judges every single aspect of success in my life.

No one else watches how much I can raise from the dust. Continue reading

The Time in Between

photosI found this photo on Pinterest and I’m pretty sure the credit goes to these guys. It seems to perfectly encompass what I feel these days. The time in between.

Slow motion. Blurred. Still and alone.

There’s this weird period a lot of us go through where we’ve finished college or school or whatever it is but don’t have our next step lined up yet.

If we’re lucky, we get to live at home with good parents while we figure it out. Or maybe we have a significant other we move in with. If not, it gets a little harder.

We apply to jobs, ones we really want but don’t get, and ones we don’t want but need. We apply to entry-level positions and we reach out to any connection we might have. We scour LinkedIn and Indeed and job search sites. Continue reading

Champions.

IMG_1024.JPGI can’t explain how proud of my friends I am. Whatever they do, they do it with all they are. Monica crushes the arts and Amy crushes the academics. They are lights in the dark, make you feel so known and loved, and are each champion for people, for the unheard, the unjustly judged, the misunderstood, and the lonely.

I have the immense opportunity to visit them in Atlanta every few months and watch them work hard and love well. Monica recently choreographed an incredible show and Amy kicked a$$ during her first year of Emory while working multiple jobs. Anyway, this isn’t brag on my friends hour (though it should be). Continue reading

How Did I Get Here?

fullsizerenderWhy, oh why, do I make things so difficult? Why do I give myself unnecessary work? Why, when I’m [hypothetically] walking down a path, do I see a turn that has been blocked off with large rocks and think, “hmm, here’s the direction I should go,” rather than continuing straight on the path that’s been lit up for me?

I don’t know about you, but the way I get places, whether it’s college or to a relationship or to a milestone in my relationship with the Lord, is always crooked and more difficult than it should be.

But I make it. And I am under NO delusion that I make it because of my own ability to follow a bath or to not fall or to succeed. The only reason I make it anywhere in life is because God has willed it. Continue reading

Thanks For My Pain?

parisfriday-10Psalm 119 obviously filled me with a lot of thoughts. It’s a good chapter – long, easy to read, and filled with verses that make you go “Uhm, David, what were you smoking and will you please share some of it with me?”

Here are the verses that hit me the most with that “God, what are you saying? I want to believe this and I do but it’s time to wrestle some and please don’t make me cry” feelings: (Oh… I’m the only one that gets that very specific feeling when reading the Bible? ….cool)

 

 

It is good for me that I was afflicted,
that I might learn your statutes.

I know, O Lord, that your rules are righteous,
and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me.

-Psalm 119:71;75

Continue reading

Oh, How I Love

screen shot 2018-12-18 at 7.23.38 pmI don’t like rules.

That’s a lie. I love rules.

Because I love breaking them. Pushing the lines. Asking why they are rules. Realizing they are rules for a reason and then choosing to follow them not because I’m told to, but because I can see the benefit in following them… And then breaking them just for the hell of it.

Okay, but really, I have grown in this area and I can follow rules better now-a-days- especially if I highly respect the authority figure that has made that rule. Continue reading

Resilient Defender

FullSizeRenderI’m stepping into the unknown. My flashlight is flickering and I’m not sure where the next step is. I’m blind and I may fall.

But I’m not scared.

If I fall, I won’t break. I’ll be caught. If I break, I’ll be put back together.

When I can’t see where the next step is, I still trust that it’s there. When I’m scared of what will jump at me from the dark, I know I will be safe, protected. Defended. Continue reading