​My Tattooed Heart​

​Tattoos are permanent. During the tattooing process, needles punch through the epidermis, the outer layer of skin, and drive the ink into the dermis, the deeper layer that’s mottled with nerves and blood vessels. Our brain sends signals that have immune system cells racing to the site of the multiple puncture wounds caused by the needles. It’s painful. It hurts, and the result leaves a forever kind of mark.

Sometimes we feel like our hearts are tattooed as a result of remarkable pain – forever scarred, always marked. May be you’ve told yourself that you’ll never be good enough.  Perhaps you’ve walked away from God, may be even more than once. May be a classmate has whispered that you’re dumb. Your wife may sigh that you’re lazy. Your ex-boyfriend might have told you that you’re ugly. Your heart could be forever marked by tragic loss. It might be what takes place when your life is turned upside down by unfulfilled promises or events you didn’t see coming. It’s time to change perspectives. From asking, “What’s wrong with me?” to “What miracle does God want to perform in me?” Because He wants to perform a miracle in your life.  He wants to make you whole.

Removing a tattoo from your skin is an extensive process that involved extensive laser treatments, and even still you may not be able to get all the ink out.  It may still leave a mark, but Jesus never does.  He doesn’t just cover things up, He replaces it.  When we go all in for Him, we have a brand new identity.

Every day we have a choice.  We can choose to believe the labels of who we used to be, the labels of our past, the labels that others have put on us, the labels that we have put on ourselves or, we can choose to believe our identity is only found in Jesus. We were created in the image of God, Himself. In stark contrast to the lies we believe about ourselves, the labels we’ve chosen to carry – we can start to use Scripture start to redefine who we are. And, we never have to pick up those labels again.  The Bible tells us that we were made to be loved (Ephesians 1:4-5). We were made to be new (2 Corinthians 5:17). We were made to be confident (Ephesians 3:12)! We were made to be victorious (Romans 8:37). We were made to be set-free (Romans 8:1-2)!

Whatever you’ve laid down, you don’t have to pick it back up. You aren’t permanently tattooed with it. It’s not your label to carry. It’s time to be made whole.

Reflection:

This weekend, we are closing the Whole series and celebrating being made whole through Jesus with baptism service. If Jesus has made you whole, it’s time to tell everyone and to celebrate. If you’ve never been baptized, and it’s your next step, register today.

Verses:

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. Psalm 51:17 (NIV)

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18 (NLT)