Growing up in rural TN, I was like many other 20-somethings. My story was rooted in bad choices, life lessons, and rebellion. I always wanted a tattoo, but was always told that if I were to get a tattoo I would be marked for life, I would be trash, and ,of course, I would end up in hell. I didn’t want to hear any of that so of course I got a tattoo.
At the time I got my tattoo, I wanted something to represent my faith, so I go a stereotypical cross. And although I loved it, I had plans for more ink in the future. Soon after getting my tattoo I hit a very rough spot in my life. I questioned myself, my relationship with God – even questioning if there was a God. Through a great deal of soul searching, I realized that I was made who I was for a reason, that no amount of “praying” or wishing it away would change that. I could try to be the “perfect” Christian, but God made me who I am for a reason. He loved me and cared for me and I was one of His children, and even if the world didn’t see that in the way that I did.
At a time when I didn’t love or care for myself, I remember listening, on repeat, to the Rita Springer version of “ In Christ Alone.” It touched me to think of Christ – of how much He loved and protected me. So I decided to pay homage to that and added “Solus Christus” (Latin for Christ Alone) to my cross. I can finally say that I love who God made me to be and I know the plans he has for me. If I ever worry or doubt, I know that Christ alone has me, and loves me, and protects me.
“In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand”