I have two tattoos.
One is a celtic knot, which symbolizes the Holy Trinity.
I had thought about this tattoo for years before getting it. I did research of the symbol and daydreamed about where I wanted it on my body. It represented my faith, and I wanted is as a constant reminder.
But seriously, let’s be real. I was 20 years old and could barely afford rent, but could always afford beer and apparently permanent ink. I cussed the entire time.
This tattoo was about as deep as my faith was…barely below the flesh.
Still, I’ve always loved and wanted this tattoo and it truly has been a great reminder of what I believe. I never had a regret.
Then there’s the second one.
I also had a vision for this one, and daydreamed about it, etc. I wanted the phrase ad petendam pluviam, a Latin phrase translated, “to ask for rain.”
I read it in a book that I couldn’t finish because the author didn’t use periods and it drove me absolutely nutty. No periods, just commas. It was like a giant run-on sentence that was totally unnecessary and I never had any idea who was talking, and now there’s a new character and maybe someone’s speaking and there’s a totally new topic, but no one will ever know because there are NEVER ANY PERIODS (OR QUOTATION MARKS)! My sweet readers, I solemnly swear to ALWAYS use periods (and quotation marks).
But anyway, this phrase stood out to me in this period-less book and became my muse for my next tattoo.
This Latin phrase, for me, represented hardships in life that make you stronger. Just as those who originally said this phrase were asking for rain in order to grow a thriving crop, I felt that we should also ask for these painful times since we would in turn grow in our character, and there was a Flood Watch in my life at that time. I wanted to feel stronger and bigger than the struggles I was going through, and I felt like this would be a reminder of that.
So one beautiful morning in the mountains, my good friend asked if I wanted to get brunch. No matter the season, rainy, sunny, or muddy, I freaking LOVE brunch. You can have all the goodies of breakfast without feeling badly or needing an excuse that it’s well passed breakfast time, because it’s brunch!
Brunch also allows you to sleep in. And this girl adores sleeping in. (Ryan said to me yesterday that there are 2 Hannah’s: one before 9:30am and one after…the one before is slightly more difficult.)
We arrived to our favorite spot and indulged, as we usually did, in all our favorites. Starting with coffee and bottomless mimosas. (This restaurant no longer offers the bottomless mimosa deal…and I have a feeling we may have been a reason.)
After brunch, our buzzy brains got the brilliant idea to get tattoos since there was a tattoo shop just across the street. What a perfect time to get my Latin phrase, and I decided I would like it on my wrist.
When we got to the tattoo shop the artist has you fill out and sign a waiver stating that you are not being forced to get this tattoo and that you are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Away I signed!
When the tattoo artist asked what I would like I paused and thought.
I couldn’t remember how to spell it.
Thoughts went through my mind:
It’s freaking Latin, no one would know if you get it wrong, just go for it!
You just had 84 mimosas. Don’t get the tattoo right now.
You know how to spell it, remember? It’s ad petandarmquirwod….was there a number in there somewhere?
Get something else, duh!
I responded, “I would like the word ‘grace’ in cursive right here on my wrist. It’s the meaning of my name.”
I had never come up with this backup idea before, but the tattoo artist wrote up a nice swirly little ‘grace’ and away he buzzed with his permanent skin engraver. (Thanks for stepping in here and stopping me, Cole!)
As the mimosas wore off I got more and more aware of what I had done and was furious.
YOU COULDN’T JUST WAIT UNTIL YOU WEREN’T DRINKING??? THAT’S NOT WHAT YOU WANTED YOU FOOLISH MIMOSA CHUGGING, BRUNCH LOVING IDIOT!
What about my reminder to be strong through the struggles in life? To ask for these times so that you can come out a better person?
How stupid, right?
I actually think that God had an angel with me that day, holding the tattoo ink pen.
Looking back, I don’t think I would have been as happy with that Latin phrase. Had I known how long the depression would last and how hard that rain would fall I don’t think I would like a reminder to ask for it. Why would any of us ASK for hardships? What I should have asked for was No rain ever, k thanks.
What I needed more was exactly what I got, grace.
I needed forgiveness from a lot of people, and they gave it gracefully.
I needed healing in myself, to show myself epic grace.
I needed to move on from a dark time and I didn’t need to depend on how strong I was, but I needed to depend on the grace of God that is bigger and stronger than we can ever imagine.
That’s my reminder when I look at this drunken tattoo.
That a girl was lost and scared and was brought out – still imperfect, still damp, but WHOLE – through grace.
I hope it never fades, and I’m confident it won’t. (His grace, that is.)
Keep swimming, loves