A God-Tattooed Life

“My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret and intricately and curiously wrought as if embroidered with various colors…” –Psalm 139:15, Amplified


No matter what seems out of control with my life, I can come back always to truth.

This truth:  I have a divine design tattooed on the inside.

If I was just a casual jumble of molecules and ions, it wouldn’t matter how I spend my days or nights, how I spend my life.

It matters but doesn’t seem like it for most of us.  Instead of relating as deeply as we can to those around us, instead of engaging with all our beings in our tasks, instead of attending with great love to the details of life, we sail through rough waters or sunny conditions with a casual, distracted involvement.

True even when I had no cell phone.  I seemed to have a hard time standing still to listen to a child or friend relate something of their day to me.  Not looking into precious eyes.  I felt that I had to be doing some multi-tasking to ‘maximize my time.’

But my heart was not and is not maximized by hurry, by forcing life and people into my molds.

I didn’t know what was going on at the heart level.  If you don’t know what’s going on at the heart level, you can’t live at the heart level.

If you don’t live at the heart level, you have to settle for less, living in the limits of intellect and one’s own finite strength.  Less love, less quality in relationships.

We’ve simply lost a sense of meaning, a sense that our lives are divinely knit together for a purpose.  That includes a unique package of gifts with which to serve and love others.

We matter, but we don’t believe it.

I didn’t believe it until illness began to help me confront the truth of what I believed about who God really is—a loving, perfect Father with my best interests in view versus what I used to believe, that He was detached and uninvolved with my life details, good and bad.

I also had to confront the truth of what I believe about who I am.  For so long I did not believe I mattered, sad to say.  I sincerely, if mistakenly, believed that my presence in any gathering was optional, my in-put trivial compared to another.  God, by loving me in all my various states, has convinced me that I do matter, that I carry vital gifts important to the well-being of others, that I’m worthy of love, care, attention, no matter how deep and wide the chasm between who I am and who I aspire to be.

And if it doesn’t matter what I decide today, I just hurriedly make a decision.  Not now.  When I have an important decision and can’t come to a clear, definite choice, I try to stop that sense of rushing to force a decision.  Life is precious.  God wants time with each of us, and He invites us to take time with Him and get our answers, however slowly they might come.

A decision with 100% peace and clarity is the decision we really want.  Why settle for less if we want the good life God has designed us for?

Life is about relationship with God and people, not our best ambitions.  When God led the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage, He did not want His children living under a harsh economic system that dictated every detail of their lives.  And not to live just for themselves but free to love and serve others and Him.

And yet aren’t we now living in an oppressive system that we have put ourselves under?  Our jaded, overwhelmed lifestyles keep us moving toward more and more activity but less and less peace and joy.

And funny how we jump excitedly when the phone ka-dings to let us know we have a text message or email.  Is that all there is?  Passively watching life on a screen rather than engaging with people around us, off the screen.

Around our house we are seeking to overcome this social dysfunction that afflicts everyone, no exceptions.  Not just putting away the phones at mealtimes or other times.  Let’s go deeper.  We are examining again what is our calling/purpose in this season of our lives, re-visiting what is truly most important to us.  It needs re-evaluating from time to time.

How can we live a passionate, generous, engaged life, out of our gifts, not just sold out to the pressures of daily demands, just getting by, complaining about what is and isn’t?

We can carve a new path right where we are.  That’s where zest and energy will overtake us.


I read a professor’s advice to her students pining away with their school studies, wanting to get on to something more meaningful.  She encouraged them to find ways while still in school—or it could be while still raising children, while facing health problems, while living in less than perfect location or situation–to enact their dreams, express something good that gives joy to others and brings you joy to share.

Our dreams may not be fully realized this moment.  But there are definite steps to be taken even now.  Be brave–look into your heart; appreciate, even admire the colors there, then pray for guidance.  Take a step. One step, then another.

You will never be happier than when you are living according to your design.  You’ll never be more exhausted and disillusioned than when you ignore or simply don’t take the time to discover what’s been there in your heart all along the pathway.

Life is zooming on.  Others are waiting for the blessings that will come through you, through me. Truly, what are we waiting for?  It’s time.  Today.  Here where we find ourselves living, however imperfectly.

Getting ready for more joy and zest.  Clearing out the old clutter, mentally, emotionally, even in my house—yes, especially there.  Creating simple, serene spaces that can support an authentic life, my one, God-tattooed life.



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