Why I Got a Tattoo

In today’s American culture, tattoos are not uncommon. In fact, they are becoming increasingly popular. Yelp shows 119 tattoo parlors just in the central Ohio area. Pinterest is flooded with ideas and inspiration for tattoos. Birds, feathers, hearts, smiley faces, geographic coordinates, bible verses, famous quotes, trees, birthdays, and compasses decorate hands, arms, ribs, feet, shoulders, and legs.

Despite its popularity, the reason I got a tattoo has nothing to do with the growing trend.

I did not do it to be cute, stylish, or hip.

Rather, I did it as a reminder to myself. A reminder of things to come. A reminder of a dream not yet realized. A reminder of a calling. A reminder of a passion.

Since I was in high school, I have dreamed of being a photographer. I have envisioned myself hiking through the rain forest creating snapshots of rare nature and being at the scene of a major historical event documenting it for future generations and capturing peoples’ life stories through a picture. These dreams are yet to become a reality for me.

I have long clung to the words of the prophet Habakkuk: “But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” (Habakkuk 2:3 TLB)

The camera on my arm, which my husband designed based on a camera that belonged to my great-grandfather, is a reminder to be patient on God. I believe God has given me this passion and vision for a reason, and I hold onto to the hope that someday the vision will be fulfilled. I do not know the details, nor do I know the time and place when I will be able to call myself a “photographer”. But I believe someday God will fulfill that dream. One day I will no longer be a photographer on the side or in my spare time or as an intern. One day I will be a full-time, self-employed and freelance photographer. Each day, I can look at my wrist and remember the job I have now is temporary. God has called me here for a season, but soon he will call me to follow my passion.

The camera represents God’s promises and the dreams he has given me.


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