So the other day I got my first tattoo, and a lot of people have been asking me about the meaning, the process, and the pain so I figured I’d write up a blog post on it!
First off, I thought about getting a tattoo for a long time before actually considering it, and defiantly weighed the pros and cons before actually getting it. Going into college as a nursing major, I truly had to think about how getting a visible tattoo would affect my life and affect my career in the future. When I was growing up I remember thinking I would never get anything permanently inked onto my skin, let alone in a visible spot. When I finally came around to the thought of having a tattoo, I made sure it was necessary to me and had immense personal meaning.
My favorite Bible verse for the last couple of years has been Roman 8:18, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
When I had spinal fusion surgery, this verse was a hopeful reminder that the pain we experience in life is temporary, and doesn’t compare to the joy that is to come. Spinal surgery was definitely a hard experience, but Jesus can make any terrible situation turn into an incredible blessing, and the hardships we experience in this broken world fail in comparison to the happiness we experience through Jesus. This little reminder that this world is not my home and that glory will be revealed to me when I’m in my true home by Jesus’s side, changed the way I thought about and lived my life.
My tattoo is of “8:18” in roman numerals on my wrist, so that every time I look down I am reminded of that verse and all that it entails. I understand that not everyone is a fan of tattoos, but I stand behind my decision, as I want to see this reminder as often as possible.
Now, some people have asked how this is going to affect my college life and me pursing a nursing major, and honestly I’ve yet to find that out. I did research online, and some hospitals allow tattoos and some have a zero tolerance rule. But here’s the thing: the entire reason I want to be a nurse is because of my spinal surgery experience. I want to be able to work with people who are also going through a difficult life experience, and remind them that they will get through it and that this pain is temporary. A friend of mine actually brought up a good point when I told her about my tattoo idea, she said while this tattoo is clearly a personal reminder for me, it can also be a conversation starter than can help others. You never know what someone else is going through, and who knows maybe someone will ask about my tattoo’s meaning and benefit from the verse/my response. It’s not only a message to me from me, but it can also be a message for others. This verse changed my life, it might change someone else’s as well. You truly never know.
As for the questions about the pain, my actual tattoo took a total of five minutes. The whole experience took about thirty minutes because of paperwork and placement. Honestly, I have a low pain tolerance and this was completely bearable. My only advice is do not let them do it if you are not happy with the placement, and if you’re uncomfortable at anytime tell them to stop because it’s a lot easier to fix half a tattoo than the whole thing. My tattoo was actually originally messed up in a way: the tattoo artist forgot a digit…He put “VIII:XVII” which is actually 8:17, a totally different verse. Luckily, I noticed the next morning and was able to swing by the shop on my way to the airport. It was also very lucky that it was just a simple digit that needed to be added to the end. Now, it’s corrected and reads “VIII:XVIII” for Romans 8:18. I truly think I didn’t notice that night because of nerves and of the wrapping they placed over my wrist afterwards, but I’d advise you to check the work thoroughly before you leave because not every tattoo can be simply fixed by adding a line on the end…I was very fortunate.
Well, that’s the story of my first tattoo! I’m honestly really happy with it and the artist did great. I hope this post had some useful advice and that you enjoy reading it, because I enjoyed writing it!!