I’m too afraid to get a tattoo. It’s not because I’m afraid of needles. It’s more that I’m afraid I could never pick something I love enough to have it on my body foreverandeveramen.
Temporary tattoos are more my speed. So, last year, I bought a temporary tattoo subscription as an Easter gift for my family.
Each month, a new temporary tattoo arrives with a Scripture on it. It is written in such a way to help you memorize it.
b u t // h e // w a s // p i e r c e d //
f o r // o u r // t r a n s g r e s s i o n s, //
h e // w a s // c r u s h e d // f o r // o u r // i n i q u i t i e s;
t h e // p u n i s h m e n t // t h a t //
b r o u g h t // u s // p e a c e //
w a s // o n // h i m, //
a n d // b y // h i s // w o u n d s//
w e // a r e // h e a l e d.
See how it works? The first letter of each word. Cool, right?
We got our first tattoo in the middle of March. And I was so excited to open it up. What would we memorize? How would God speak to us? Encourage us? Lead us?
I opened up the envelope, turned the mini devotional card over and saw this verse:
I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief. Mark 9:24b
Huh? That’s the verse we are going to circle around this month? We’re going to talk about how we don’t believe ENOUGH? What kind of faith-filled, helpful Scripture is that? Why would they chose that one?
We read the mini devotion, put the tattoo on and talked about it. But still, I wondered why that verse would be a good one.
This is exactly one year ago when all the COVID-crazy began. Everyone was scared (or at least dazed) and we all seemed to hunker down to prayer a bit more.
During the first week of real shut down (the same week Disney World closed, y’all), my best friends’ dad was put in the hospital with coronavirus. He was on a ventilator for 21 days and became one of the first deaths in Georgia from COVID.
During that time, we prayed. We prayed a lot. And during those prayers, we believed for healing. And then sometimes, we got scared and didn’t…couldn’t believe.
And that verse would come back to me. I’d look down and remember that we could ask God to increase our faith. It was a reminder that big faith is something God not only wants us to have but will give.
Who knew that this was just the beginning of the faith we’d need in 2020?
When our next tattoo arrived, I was ready for it. And what Scripture should appear?
“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13
In the midst of a global pandemic, “I and the Lord your God”.
When everything is closed, “I take hold of your right hand”.
When nothing is certain, “Do not fear. I will help you.”
It’s the truth our hearts needed.
In May, we got a long verse in the mail. “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 1:17
And again, I felt like this was a verse that was good in theory but didn’t seem like one I’d look down on my wrist and go, “Ahh, thank you, Lord!”
But, do you remember what happened in May of 2020? George Floyd. And all the things that happened after that.
God was planting that seed in my heart (and in every heart who had that tattoo on their arm!) before all of it even started. He was preparing me (us) to do right, seek justice, defend the oppressed, to take up causes and plead cases for those who need it.
Guys. Are you tracking with this yet?!
And we are only in May! Let’s keep going!
On May 15, doctors discovered a tumor in my dad’s colon. This is a long story I am documenting with several blog posts but the short version is that this is the second time he’s had a cancerous tumor there.
The last time was 13 years ago and God healed him. Since then my dad has clung to the verse from Psalm 91,
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Everyone who knows my dad knows this is his favorite verse. He even has it tattooed (like a REAL tattoo) on his arm.
So, when our next Dwell tattoo came in the mail, it felt like an actual kiss from the Lord to see Psalm 91:1 in black and white.
(And, as another aside, that big “A” design for this Amanda? Pretty nice.)
The next month, my dad is in the throes of debilitating chemo for a diagnosis that the doctors have told us is the worst one you can have.
And what tattoo shows up in the mail?
My dad’s second favorite verse. The one he speaks more than any one, the one that encapsulates his new life in Christ:
So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
Free indeed. Free from sin. Free from fear. Free from worry. Free from cancer.
It’s hard to imagine that this can keep going. I mean, God didn’t set this whole tattoo company up just for us, did he?!
The next month, as my dad is still in the hospital, still barely able to talk, experiencing all the most horrible side effects of chemo and my entire family are believing for God to take this cancer away, we get this in the mail:
Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:2b
NOTHING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE.
Cancer will not be impossible.
Chemo will not be impossible.
Life will not be impossible.
So, we stuck the tattoo on, took this as a word…a Word from the Lord and spoke this one over and over again. We used it to remind ourselves of what is really true. Not cancer. Not chemo. But the impossibility of the POSSIBLE with Jesus.
More verses came last year and each of them were significant because God’s Word is significant. Each one pressed something deep into our hearts and spirits even if we didn’t understand it.
At some point, the Holy Spirit will bring these verses back to us when we need it. We will have that bread of God’s Word when we are empty. We will have the water of God’s Words when we’re thirsty. We will have the power when we are powerless.
William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury in the 1940s said, ‘When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I don’t, they don’t.’
This is what happened to us last year with our Dwell tattoos. We prayed and the “coincidences” started. It’s not magic or the Universe or some kind of positive thinking. It’s God.
He is an attentive Father who loves, loves, LOVES us and is ready and waiting to speak to us. But he’s a gentleman. He doesn’t barge in and and tell you what’s up.
However, when we do ask for His words, his attention and His direction, you better watch out! He can and will do it in the best, most creative ways. He knows you intimately and wants you to know him, too.
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