My dad said, “Aren’t two tattoos excessive for a forty-one year old mother of six?”

I laughed.

Grinned at him.

 

 

And then.  Weeks later.  A message left on my phone’s voice mail.  His tractor-trailer-driving muffled voice at the same familiar lilt I’ve known since birth.

“And what will you tell your children when they want a tattoo?”

I push call back and answer his question.

I’ll say, “Yes.

If my daughter reaches the age of forty-one and wants to tattoo a singular word of hope and praise on her forearm, I’ll say yes.  Yes – can I go with you?”

It’s just a word.

In a beautiful font written by my sweet friend Jessica at Shop Letterly.

But for me, it’s a statement.  A hope.  A reminder.  A message inked more on my heart than on my skin.

It says this:

nevertheless.

 

 

And it means this:

O God.

There is this cup placed before me.

You’re asking me to drink.

It is bitter.

It stings.

It burns.

I do not pick it.

I do not want it.

O God.

Take this cup from me.

Please.

There is this path, carved out for me to walk.

There is this road.

And it is rough.

Rocks and broken glass.

Shards and splinters.

It hurts.

I feel unprotected.

I don’t want to go.

Please.  Please.

Pick another way.

Please.  Please.

Don’t make me go.

nevertheless.

A single word.

So much hanging on it.

nevertheless.

I see it.

I feel it.

I’m begging to pass this cup off.

I’m crying to not take this step.

O God.

I don’t want to go.

nevertheless.

O God – is there any other way?

Is there any other path?

nevertheless.

And I know.

I choose.

I surrender.

nevertheless.

Not my will but yours be done.

nevertheless.

I trust in you more than I trust in me.

nevertheless.

Your ways are higher.

Your ways are better.

I acknowledge.

I believe.

nevertheless.

(And it isn’t a sentiment just for this week or last month.  It’s a message for the rest of my life.  There will always and always be these options.  There will always and always be my struggle to take control.  There will always and always be a need to die to myself and to live for Jesus.  And I will always and always need to be reminded.  nevertheless.)

 

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