I have been contemplating this for two years; two whole years of ‘should I or shouldn’t I. If I do, what will people say? Do I care what people say? What are my motives? Can I imagine myself still being happy with this decision in 40 years time?’
As you can see this has been a carefully considered process. You may even remember reading about my thoughts on the matter two years ago. https://caylysdandeliondays.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/
The decision I’m talking about, is that of getting a tattoo. For some people it’s really not a big deal at all and they are probably saying, “Seriously?! Is she writing a WHOLE blog post about getting a tattoo?!” and then there are others who might have fallen off their religious pedestal by now in shock and are still unconscious…so they can’t really say anything (maybe that’s not a bad thing).
Well, I didn’t get the stag design I had originally intended but I did get the other part of the design, the laurels (see the pictures below to see my inspiration and thought process). I love symbolism and in ancient Greece wreaths were awarded to victors, both in athletic competitions, including the ancient Olympics, and in Rome they were symbols of military victory, crowning a successful commander during his triumph. A laurel wreath is a circular wreath made of interlocking branches and leaves of the Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis, Lauraceae). The circular shape of a laurel wreath is a historic crowning emblem that resonates victory, power and glory. Interestingly, it is said that the laurel leaf wreath was the forerunner of the crown itself. This all has a sense of resonance and great meaning to me.
Before you picture me wafting around all day, every day in a white toga with a laurel halo on cloud nine, let me level here. There are times, when I feel ‘not so victorious’. On days when my work load gets heavy, when I feel lonely or afraid or when I have a ‘fat day’… it’s so very easy to slip into a negative space and forget all that I have already achieved and all that God still has planned for me. Worst are the days when one wanders into a dark and musty cave of doubt with questions ‘What am I here for? Why is God not answering my prayers? Is there a man out there for me? Am I beautiful enough? Will my story actually make any difference in the world?’ echoing loudly in my ears. These are the days when there is a battle within my heart between doubt and unbelief and the Truth and sometimes it is a fierce one. Believe you me, I may be young, but I sure have had to wrestle with such choices.
Here is what I have to say about the matter. After going through some extremely tough and indescribably painful times – and surviving, I feel that I am a victor. I am a triumphant victor. I am victorious in surviving! I am victorious in not losing my faith (it’s not something you lose, but something many people turn their backs on during times when life doesn’t go remotely like they hoped or imagined). I am victorious in pursuing my passions. I am a victorious daughter of the King of Kings who call me His beloved princess (even when I am having a bad day)…and a laurel wreath reminds me of all of that.
I am also reminded of the story of Esther (Haddassah was her name given at birth). She was a beautiful Jewish woman, but an ordinary Jewish woman. No Phd qualification, nor a cure for cancer to her credit, no wealthy influential parents (in fact she was an orphan) nor a famous boyfriend (I can relate to this one hehe). But what she had…I have… and so do you. A heavenly Father who created her, as well as you and me, for such a time as this. Out of thousands of women, it was Esther who was chosen to marry the king of Persia (not by fluke). SHE WAS CHOSEN FOR A REASON. I am here for a reason. So are you.
Esther braved death and saved an entire nation of Jewish people. God positioned her and prepared her. He will do the same for you and me. That is why I had Esther 4:14 inked inside the wreathe. To remind me that I am born for such a time as this. Every trial I face, I will get through. I will conquer. I was born to experience this. It is not haphazard. Nothing God does is haphazard.
Esther 4:14 – The Message (MSG) 12-14 When Hathach told Mordecai what Esther had said, Mordecai sent her this message: ‘Don’t think that just because you live in the king’s house you’re the one Jew who will get out of this alive. If you persist in staying silent at a time like this, help and deliverance will arrive for the Jews from someplace else; but you and your family will be wiped out. Who knows? Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this.’
With all of this research swimming in my mind, I went and did some research on the meaning of my name. As my drama students say, “FREAK OUT!” In Greek, my name means ‘rare beauty’. It’s Welsh meaning is ‘slender’ (best I stop eating cupcakes for breakfast) and in English it means ‘keeper of the keys’. It has a Hebrew origin which means ‘laurel’ or ‘crown or princess’.
My name means crown of laurels?! WOW!
With much excitement, I went and got the laurel and Esther scripture tattooed on my arm.
I will forever be reminded of my victory and place in this world.
I was born for such a time as this!