For some time now (three years maybe?) I've been tossing around ideas [Scriptures or words inspired by Scriptures] for the text of a tattoo I will 'someday' acquire. In black ink. Probably on my inner forearm. :)
I've thought about getting "Jehovah Rapha" - translated, "The Lord is my Healer." I really like the idea of getting that written out in original Hebrew.
I've also considered just one word. "HEALED" - perhaps with a reference to Jeremiah 30:17* or Isaiah 53:5.** The word "VICTORIOUS" and Romans 8:37***
Then last night, I was hopping around Pinterest (yes, I finally joined the club last month) and I came across a little text/art image, the kind that is all the rage these days to reblog on Tumblr and repin on Pinterest. It was pretty to look at, and it happened to be a verse from Psalm 71.
I read it, and it hit me square in the heart; These are the perfect words.
Psalm 71:14 - "As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more."
After all this lymphoma scare craziness (beginning, great news, ruling out other stuff), and of course with my past liver transplant, and the challenges of living with Ulcerative Colitis that just won't go into remission, awful physical pain from enthesitis and arthritis, and living with crazy food intolerances with ridiculous reactions, and now they tell me that the liver disease (Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis) has recurred in my new liver, plus the tests that say there is fibrosis that has progressed all the way to stage 4: cirrhosis...
Yeah, I have no explanation for the strength, peace, and hope I feel, except to point to Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and my Father God. I couldn't do this without the HOPE I have - for healing, soon on Earth (yes, I am going to be miraculously healed one day, and do so many things I haven't been able to do!) and then of course eternally healed in Heaven.
It's a funny thing to be the cheerful, smiling one in a room with a medical professional, a patient, and some "bad news." But that has often been the exact situation I've been in in the past year. And I've thought often of how I would love to have a tattoo that is just there on my forearm, as a constant reminder of who I am in Christ (Justified, Victorious!), what I can count on as a promise through Christ (Healing and Hope!), and/or words that, when other people read them, allow me an opportunity to share a bit of my journey and give glory to God for being my strength and partner through the journey.
"...Wait a minute! A tattoo as a ministry tool???" Doesn't that idea just have the old-guard legalistic religious Christians turning in their graves :)
(That's me being facetious; no need to get offended.)
*Jeremiah 30:17 - "'But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,' declares the LORD.
**Isaiah 53:5 - "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed."
***Romans 8:37 - "But in all these things we win a sweeping victory through the one who loved us!"