you are more.

I recently got a new tattoo. A simple, three-word phrase: “you are more.” When I decided that I wanted it, I said that I wasn’t going to share it with anyone. I changed my mind, okay? Get over it.

Throughout this past year, my life has spiraled out of control. From family drama to friend drama to relationship drama…from school anxiety to graduation anxiety to moving out on my own anxiety…I’ve experienced it all. I’ve been on so many emotional roller coasters that it’s hard to walk on solid ground. I have vertigo, people! I’ve experienced complete darkness, bright light, and everything in between. I have lost many battles, and won a few as well.

If you say you’ve never been in a position where you feel like you’ve gotten that final strike and God is like, “deuces, loser…you’re on your own now!” then you’re probably lying. I am a Christian. I have a relationship with God, and I believe that Jesus has rescued my worthless soul by dying on the cross for me and that He the only reason I can even stand before God. But there are times when I think God cannot possibly love me anymore. I’ve pushed Him over the edge and that’s just it. My pure, white cloak has been removed and He throws me some dirty rags to wear and tosses me into a dumpster. This past year, I’ve been pushing Him as hard as I can. He’s standing on the edge of a cliff with His back to me and I am pushing, shoving, and charging into Him. Obviously, I’m not strong enough. He never budges.

While I’m shoving as hard as I can, He turns around. Because I’m charging into Him with all of my strength, I immediately fly into his open arms. He wraps me in a hug and just holds me. He doesn’t let go. He starts whispering in my ear as I am trying to break free:

You are more than the choices that you’ve made.
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes.
You are more than the problems you create.
You’ve been remade.
And this is not about what you’ve done, but what’s been done for you.
This is not about where you’ve been, but where your brokenness brings you to.
This is not about what you feel, but what He felt to forgive you, and what He felt to make you loved.

Okay, so maybe those are actually Tenth Avenue North lyrics and not direct quotes from God. But I know these words are Truth. I know that God would agree with what these guys are singing. I am so much more than the sin I have been chasing, so much more than the crap I’ve been through. This world can really make me feel worthless. People can hurt, situations can hurt. I hurt people. I create problems. But I am more than that. I have been made new. I am more than my sin. I am worthy. I am loved.

What does this say about God? That He has powers beyond measure. He looks at my life and still says,

“Wow, check out my daughter. She’s perfect. LOOK AT HER! I love this woman, so much. NOTHING will change that. Nothing!”

No human can ever offer me that kind of love. No human has the ability to forgive the way that God does. The song Forever Reign is completely accurate in saying:

You are more; you are more, than my words will ever say.

It’s true. I have no words to accurately describe God’s love. I can’t do it. I could try with words like amazing and wonderful and perfect and great, but they don’t even do it justice. God is so much more than I’ll ever know or understand. And I love that so much. I worship a God that is mysterious, and I worship a God that loves me unconditionally. Regardless of my current situation, regardless of what other people think about me, I have a God who approves and loves me unconditionally.

So, I’m tatted. I want to remind myself of this Truth daily, and I can see it on my body. I’ll never be able to read the words and not think about my Savior. And I’ll never be able to remove it from my skin. I’ll never be able to remove that promise and that Truth from existence.  And this is why I love tattoos.

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