it may surprise some of you to find out that i have, not just one, but a few tattoos. you maybe have spotted the one on my wrist in videos or photos, but you probably haven't seen the one on my ribs...ya know, because i'm usually fully clothed ;) 

my tattoos are incredibly meaningful to me. there was much thought and consideration put into each individual one and all three of them together. almost 6 years later, i still don't regret catching the 'tattoo fever' - which is very real and very strong. i had assumed that i would be a 'one and done' girl when it came to getting inked, but with each day that i loved my tattoo more, i opened myself up to the idea of adding to my tiny collection. at three, i feel pretty content with what i'm working with. although i'm always open to adding more, it would have to be something that is meaningful and well thought out.

here's the story of my first:

i got my first tattoo when i was just two months into being 18 years old. i've always had a bit of a rebellious side to me, but nothing too wild. i've had my nose pierced (twice), a handful of ear piercings, and was always open to trying new styles of clothes. the first tattoo, though, was my first major change. i mean, it's permanent, so that's natural. i had known for about 6 months that i wanted to get it and finally worked up enough gumption to do it. i was nervous about the pain and the permanence, but not about what i was having inked on me.

for those that have wondered, tattoos aren't painful. in my opinion, they're more annoying than anything. it certainly doesn't feel good to have a needle pricked into your skin, but i never felt an overwhelming sense of pain, just a desire for that horrible buzzing to stop. i've been told i have a relatively high pain tolerance, so others may totally disagree, but i've always advised people interested in getting a tattoo to not change their mind because of the pain they may experience. deepening on the location of the tattoo, some will be worse than others, but it's nothing unbearable or deal-breaking.

my first tattoo is located on the inside of my left arm, about 2" below my wrist. i wanted it high enough on my arm that it could be covered by a long-sleeve or jewelry (thinking of future employment). according to tradition in some countries, the vein in your ring finger leads to your heart, so i wanted this tattoo to be on top of that vein for the symbolism of it. agape is the Greek word for selfless, unconditional, sacrificial love. the kind of love that God has for humankind. i wanted it near my hand to represent how God created everything, including me. so this tattoo is my representation of God.

my third tattoo is 'walk in love' written on the outside of my left foot. the phrase is found several times in the Bible, in Ephesians 5, 1 John, and 2 John (depending on the translation used). to me, it represents what Christ did on earth and what i am called to do as someone that proclaims to be a follower of Him. i chose to have it on my foot because Christ walked on earth, as i do now. 

my second tattoo is the outline of a 'dove of peace', which is a symbol used for the Holy Spirit in the Bible. i wanted to keep this one very simple because i knew that it would be larger than the others. the outline of the dove is in black, while the branch in its mouth is colored with green. the green branch represents the promises of God (story of Noah) and the fact that the Holy Spirit is alive in me because i am a follower of Christ. i chose to get this one on my ribs because it was the closest i could get to my soul, which is where the Spirit lives in me.

altogether, the three tattoos represent the three persons of God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. all unique and different, and yet all the same. i carry them with me wherever i go and am constantly reminded of my faith and its importance whenever i see them. for a couple years, i've thought about adding a fourth (and probably final) tattoo to represent me and my relationship with the three but haven't come up with any ideas that i'm in love with yet.

truthfully, i forget about the one on my ribs and it startles me to spot it out of the corner of my eye sometimes! i haven't had a single regret about getting any of them - they're personal to me and hold much meaning, so i don't think that i ever will. except maybe when i'm like 87. but just maybe. 

do you have a tattoo (or tattoos)? do they have a story? i'd love to hear it!