Tattooed …

I’ve never had a tattoo – but I’ve always been fascinated at the idea of engraving one onto my skin in a place where very few people would ever see it.  Why a hidden place you might ask?  Well, I don’t really want to invite question or comment or even judgment.  I just want to know that it’s there for myself, for my own benefit.  I don’t need it to signify anything in particular or to need it to identify myself with anyone/anything.  It wouldn’t be a “statement” that aligns me with any kind of ideology or latest fad.  In fact, I’m not quite sure even why I would want a tattoo other than the fact that it intrigues me!

So it’s no surprise that there is a passage of scripture that has got me thinking:

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:16).

In essence, God has “tattooed” us on to the palm of his hand – right out in the open for everyone to see – not hidden – not merely for his own benefit.  Unashamed – unreserved – boldly courageous – this Father in Heaven wants everyone to see that we belong to Him.  As I sit here pondering this, I can’t for the life of me understand why He would want everyone to see ME there ???  Me with all my hang-ups, anxieties, brokenness.  It just doesn’t make sense.  Why not showcase other people who are doing a better job at their life than I am?  Those people would be much better “calling cards”.  But no – He sees me very differently from how I see myself.  The simple fact that he calls each one of us a “masterpiece/handiwork/work of art” (Eph 2:10) is a testimony to how we have been specially created by Him for the purpose of doing good works.   Each one of us is a part of his plan and as such are part of the tapestry that creates a beautiful work of art.  And so it is: my name is tattooed on his hand.

But wait – He hasn’t just tattooed our name, he has tattooed “us”.  So what’s the difference?  Well – I could quite easily tattoo the names of my children on my arms as a way of identifying them as incredibly important people in my life.  But it would just be their names – it wouldn’t indicate anything about who they are, or their character, or their uniqueness, or their strengths, or their struggles in life, nor even the type of relationship they have with me.  Just a name.  However, scripture states that “You” have been engraved on his hand – not just your name, but everything about you: your circumstances, your needs and wants, your weaknesses and your sins, your person and your temptations.        .

As if that wasn’t proof enough that God loves me, and ALL of me, but I’ve come to find out that tattoos are generally more painful in less padded areas of the body – in other words, where the skin is most sensitive.  The palm of the hand has almost no fat padding and is one of the more sensitive areas of the body.  This means that a palm tattoo is one of the most painful tattoos you can get!  Imagine that!  Our God not only chose to indelibly mark us on his body, but he chose to do it on a place where He would experience the most pain.  Wow!  He loves us SO MUCH, that He chose to take the pain and suffer to have us etched into his hand rather taking the lesser pain to mark us in a place where few will see.  Sound familiar?  It should.  After all, God’s story is one of ultimate sacrifice and pain as He hung on the cross and then conquered death so that we could all live eternally in His presence.  Open sacrifice, ultimately the cross, but even in the engraving of us on the palms of His hand – for all the world to see.

And I’m left in awe.  In awe of this Heavenly Father who is SO unconditionally in love with us to the point of tattooing everything about us into his hand.

Unbelief …

I believe that God created the universe and the earth and gave life to everything;

I believe that He is eternal, existing through all time;

I believe that He is sovereign over everything;

I believe that my God is faithful, loyal, dependable, good, holy, just, wise;

I believe my God has limitless strength & knows all things;

I believe that my God is righteous in all His ways and loving toward all that He has made; and

I believe that the Bible is “God-breathed” and true


So why do I still struggle with unbelief?


It’s not that I don’t believe IN Him – of course I do – I made that decision 8 years ago.  But do I BELIEVE Him and all that He promises for ME? Do I really believe He can do what He says He can do?  Do I really believe I am who He says I am?  So often I whisper to myself how unworthy I am, how fearful I can be, how weak I am in certain situations, how self-serving I can be, how discouraged I can be.  But if I am a true follower of Jesus Christ, all those whispers are lies that are waged against me to veer me off course from the plan God intended for me.  Oh, how easy it is for me to get distracted.


There’s a story in the Bible (Mark 9:14-24) which recounts Jesus healing a boy with an unclean spirit since childhood. When the father presented the boy to Jesus asking for healing, he asked Jesus IF he could do anything for them.  Jesus responded “If you can! All things are possible for one who believes” (Mark 9: 23), to which the father cried out “I believe; help my unbelief!”  And that is where I’m left pondering.  Am I struggling with unbelief?  Quite possibly unbelief is a stronghold that is preventing me from living that abundant life that God promises to us if we choose to believe HIM.


He just asks us to believe Him – He will do the rest.   This is the phrase that resounded in my head and heart this week as I travelled to Texas to be at the bedside of my precious Father-in-law as he deals with end-stage cancer.  Seeing this disease rob my Father-in-law of so much of his independence, health and joy has been painfully hard.  At times I’ve prayed for complete healing and restoration, knowing that my God is capable of miracles.  And at other times I’ve prayed for a swift end to it all, knowing that my God is capable of that too.  But right there in my prayers I hear him whisper to me “My will be done, not yours”.   I have to step away from the circumstance and just trust God.  I can’t just believe IN Him and then fall to pieces when the going gets tough.  I either believe or I don’t.  At the end of the day I have to choose simply to believe.  I have to choose to strip away my unbelief when circumstances are overwhelming.




It’s been 8 years since I gave my life to Jesus…

8 years since I made the decision to hand over control of my life to a loving Father in Heaven who already knew my story and who had a plan fully mapped out for my life…

8 years since I stepped into that “new creation” that is promised in 2 Corinthians 5:17, ridding myself of the “old” and putting on the “new”…

8 years in which I should have been living an abundant life filled with all of God’s promises and freedom in Christ….

8 years during which time various “fruits” should have been born:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22)…

So why do I still live with fear, anxiety, shame, doubt, and worry?  This is NOT a new life – this is NOT freedom!!  This was my old life but with faith thrown in for good measure.  But don’t get me wrong – I haven’t been sitting on the sidelines being passive – I’ve searched the scriptures, I’ve prayed, I’ve cried out to God for an intimacy with him as I’ve never experienced with any other, I’ve sought out wisdom from fellow believers, I’ve submerged myself in fellowship and community, and I truly BELIEVE that Jesus is my Savior.  So what has gone wrong?

My faith makes sense in my head – it just gets stuck when I try to filter it to my heart.  I seem to be nixxing my own destiny.  In other words, I’m preventing the transformation from happening in my heart.  Why?  Because the words I read in scripture and the promises of God aren’t filtering down to my heart.  Christ doesn’t live “in” me (Galatians 2:20) – rather I’ve been trying to live “for” Christ, with all the effort and works that that involves.  The basic truth, is that I obviously don’t trust God’s word.  If I did, I would be living an abundant life, as promised by Jesus in John 10:10.

So it’s time to RESET.  Time to walk into the light, time to sit up and fully digest the Truth.  Time to clothe myself in the Truth.  Time to believe and trust.

My reset journey blog is this next step in my adventure.  Learning to take the truth of scripture and bind it in my heart.  To change my own narrative that has shackled my heart and to throw off those chains so that I can truly live in the Freedom that comes from a Father in Heaven who gave everything up for me so that I could have an abundant life of joy and peace.

John 10-10