Saturday, July 20, 2013

Outsider - The tattoo edition


I've been wondering if we start sinking
Could we stand our ground?
And through everything we've learned
We've finally come to terms
We are the outsiders

A couple months ago, I got a tattoo.  I have always wanted a tattoo, but I wanted to make sure it was something meaningful, something that represented who I am and who I will always be, something that I won’t regret years from now.  I was having Bible Study one night with Mandy and Christine and we were talking about how we are realizing more and more how what we believe as Christians is not seen by the world as “normal.” Some people just think we are crazy.  Some people don’t get it, but they may “tolerate” us as long as we tolerate them.  Others think we are hateful and judgmental.  No matter what people think, we are often put in a category outside of what is normal or acceptable.  Our Bible study was a way to encourage ourselves to live for Christ even if it goes against what the world thinks is normal. By the end of that particular night, Mandy and I decided to get a tattoo of the word outsider. 

This word has a lot of meaning for us.  It is actually inspired by a NEEDTOBREATHE song called “The Outsiders” (see a video of the song here: ) but it is so much more than a fan girl tattoo.  While we both very much adore the band, we aren’t about to get something representing the band tattooed on ourselves.  But this word, outsider, really strikes home in a powerful way.

To me, it represents my life as a Christian.  I have seen how different I am in this world, how different I want to be, and how in this life, I will always be an outsider.  But this isn’t a tattoo of mourning.  Being an outsider is something I should never be ashamed of because I love Jesus and being an outsider, being hated even, is something Jesus promised would happen (Luke 21:17, John 15:21).  I can count it a privilege to be seen as an outsider because that means I am becoming more and more like Jesus!  It is a chosen lifestyle.  

So, this tattoo is a reminder for me to stay strong in my faith.  Especially here in Spain, it is so easy to get distracted by all the world has to offer.  These things can satisfy temporarily but as one who desires to do God’s will out of my love for Him, I need to constantly remind myself to seek out the more complete and satisfying way to live, and that is in God’s will. I also struggle a lot with people pleasing.  It is so easy for me to get caught up in wanting people to like me and forgetting that the most important thing is that God loves me no matter what. As an outsider, all that needs to matter is living my life for Christ and not conforming to the world (Romans 12:1-2).  That is where true freedom is!

On the outside, you're free to roam
On the outside, we've found a home
On the outside, there's more to see
On the outside, we choose to be

And now…pictures!