Today I got my first tattoo.
Rewind to college. I wanted a tattoo, one that meant something. I didn't want one just for the sake of having one. I wanted a reminder of something God taught me or something God did in my life.
Fast forward to our first year in Salem. The hardest year of my life! The short version...moving to Salem meant...I lost family, friends, support system, identity, history, and...it felt like I would never be me again.
One night (during the "crazy" Kara phase) Jeff and I were laying in bed...I was doing the ugly cry...I felt like I couldn't be 7 months prego, with a 1 year old, hardly any friends, no family around, living in a tiny apartment with my belongings in 3 different locations, no social life, and no ministry connections anymore. I was exhausted and didn't have anything left.
I remember looking at Jeff through my water filled eyes saying, "If this is God's best for me...I don't want it! I can't do this anymore!" Jeff responds, (with more passion than I knew was in him) "I didn't move our family up here for you to give up...I will carry you!" Not much was said after that, he just held me while I cried.
Fast Forward 1 year later. I was recounting to a friend all that God taught me during our first year here in Salem. I shared w/ her the story of Jeff and I on ugly cry night. Rejoicing in Jeff's response being a reminder of how the Lord felt about me...He would carry me...and HE did!
She blurts out, "ahava!" I had no idea what she was saying or what that word meant. She explains it is a Hebrew word for love. There are several different kinds of love in the Hebrew language...this particular word can be the carrying type of love...example; no matter how heavy or hard it gets I love you so much that I will carry you!
Jeff did the design for my tattoo...making the "h" resemble a shoulder...a reminder of how the shepherd puts his sheep on his shoulders, to carry them after they have strayed away, to be close the them, because HE loves them!
Today...I celebrate and remember God's love for me...the "I will carry you no matter what" kind...