Unbroken

I realize that I haven’t had an official introduction to my newfound love of the blogging world, so let me just take a moment to word-vomit for you now. It’s a little hard for me to wrap my mind around this concept of journaling for the world to see, but as I’ve said, I’ve really grown to love blogging. I usually find myself plagued with insomnia somewhere around 3 am, armed with a laptop and a universe of thoughts swirling through my mind. I use to be afraid or ashamed of how dark my thoughts can be, but honestly they just seem more beautiful with age. (But what do I know, I’ve only just turned 19 last month.) Maybe my next boring monologue will be my testimony, but for now I’ll save that story for another day. Let’s just say I’ve been through enough in my life to know that I wouldn’t be here without my faith in Jesus. But again, I’ll explain that another day. Nights like this I love to curl up in my surprisingly comfy dorm bed with my favorite blanket so that I can hash out my feelings with WordPress. To sum that last minute I’ve wasted of your life: yay blogging, probably an insomniac, Team Jesus, getting to the point.

And now, the point. Are you wondering what the title means yet? I’m getting my first [and only] tattoo tomorrow. I haven’t really told my friends, so I definitely haven’t told my family. I don’t know if it’s a fear of disapproval or a mistrust of the people I care most about, but I don’t want lectured or convinced that I shouldn’t do something if no one thinks to understand. Honestly, I use to be strongly against getting a tattoo myself. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the artistry and sentiment of tattoos on others; I’ve just never had an urge to get one myself until this past November. What changed my mind, you ask? Well… I’m not sure. I have mulled it over for  two months now, and I think it’s something God has placed on my heart. (Save the scoffs please.) One night I was having my birthday dinner with some of my best friends when the subject of tattoos came up. Both of them announced what they wanted tattooed when they found the time or money and immediately turned to me to ask what I would get if I were to get one too. Without hesitation [to my amazement], I just blurted out the word “unbroken.” Of course they wanted to know why, so I found myself explaining a recent self-discovery I had made. First I will give you the context:

November held a lot of trials and tribulations for me, but I probably wasn’t handling my emotions in those situations properly. I always find a way to beat myself up. In this particular case, I spurred that process on with disappointment, loathing, and disparity towards myself. In my poem “Red” I discuss some of my behavior, including my ongoing war with drinking. The only word I thought could best describe me was “broken,” because I felt shattered inside and out. I thought that word defined me, and I was rolling in anguish. In my leather-bound journal, my last entry before Christmas Break read:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

I don’t mean to push people away, but it just kind of happens. I hate burdening people with my struggles or pain. So I guess I just shut out everyone and everything. I mean it’s definitely easier, but it’s also lonelier. I’ve been at a loss for words lately. Just listening, watching, waiting. One step at a time. I’m ready to be done with this semester, but if Thanksgiving was bad how will Christmas go? Or my birthday? Can I just stay out of trouble one time!? And I need to decide if I’m going to cut myself off from my toxic friends or learn how to say no… my soul is weary God; give me rest. I need rest. I need You.

And so I made it through. (Yes, I’m getting to the point soon. I promise!) Now for the journal entry after Break:

Friday, January 9, 2015

It’s been nearly a month since I’ve written in this; almost like saying hello to an old friend. I’ve learned a lot in such a short amount of time about myself. I love how unfailing God is. There has been a lot of pain, but there has also been a lot of truth. I finally told *insert douchebag guy here* how I feel after years of liking him, but I’m still confused about that whole situation. I’ve really missed Bloomington for so many reasons. For being home though, I actually managed to stay out of trouble (which was amazing considering everything). I’ve come to realize that I don’t have much of a relationship with my dad or sister. Actually, I think my boyfriend/general guy problems stem from my trust/daddy issues. No matter how broken my body or heart is though, my faith remains unbroken. I really relied on God to get me through Christmas Break, and of course He delivered. I get why I felt so broken before, but I was just confused. I banked every belief and decision on the fact that I was utterly broken; while that may be true to some degree, Jesus also broke for us. For us. So that our faith– our souls– would be eternally unbroken. So I guess I take it back. I’m not the ugly, shameful, unworthy, “broken” that I thought I was. The life I have, the way I choose to live, proves just how unbroken I really am. Sure I stumble or fall sometimes, but isn’t that why it’s called faith? A strong conviction that God is beyond the choices we make, because He is the path we take. He’ll get us there, even if we trip into a thorn-bush or two along the way. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. So to clarify, yeah I may be/feel “broken,” but my faith sure stands unbroken.

And lastly my clarification entry that following Sunday during a wonderful sermon at church:

Sunday, January 11, 2015

It’s so liberating to know that having brokenness is different then being broken! This is an incredible revelation that I’ve overlooked my whole life, and now I can move forward in my walk with God. Am I weak? Yeah. Limited? Of course! Frail? Duh. But broken? No, thanks to Jesus’ resurrection. It changed everything. It shows what God declares for us. And my sins can’t change that.

Alright, it looks like another summary is due. Pre-Break Meltdown + Post-Break Revelation = Unbroken. Now for my choice of placement. In late middle school and early high school, I self-harmed to a small degree. I use to take mechanical pencils or nail files, and I would scrape at my left wrist until the skin would break. (Again, dealing with emotions isn’t really my thing.) It never left a strikingly obvious scar, but I can still see it sometimes if I look close enough. With my new revelation in mind, I feel that tattooing “unbroken” over my scar is perfect. If I can, I also want a small, solid sparrow beside the word in honor of my favorite hymn, “His Eye is On the Sparrow.” (Fun fact, the inspiration of the song came from Matthew 10:29-31.) So you see? My reasoning is a little complicated and long-winded for the average person. But that’s the beauty of it! The reason God has put this on my heart is simply that He wants my tattoo to be a conversational tool I can use to initiate conversation about my testimony and faith. So although some would argue that getting this tattoo is an unwise or reckless decision, I find very serious reasoning behind my actions. And that’s okay. I can’t please everyone [nor do I want to]. Now that I’ve rambled on for hours, I think I’ll go to bed. Tomorrow is a big day for me.

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