If you answered tattoo, you were right. As of a few days ago, I am the proud bearer of a very significant tattoo on my right arm. (Yei).
Now before someone faints on me or something along those lines, let me tell you the meaning/my reasoning behind this tattoo :
The Tattoo: Symbolisms
Let’s start with the Phoenix. The tattoo is a tribal design depicting a battle between a Phoenix and a dragon. The Phoenix is at the top depicting victory and triumph over the dragon that is on the bottom. The Phoenix is a mythological creature that is reborn from the ashes (short description). The reason this is significant is because in Isaiah 61:3, Scripture shows that God can create beauty from ashes. This He also shows in the parable of the potter (Jeremiah 18:1-6) just to name a couple of places. This is significant to me because, as most of you know, God has brought beauty out of the ashes of my life. Truly He has re-birthed me and given me the spirit of adoption. The bird has also come to symbolize the Holy Spirit which now resides in me.
The position of the phoenix is also important. Notice that the Phoenix is on top if the dragon, symbolizing triumph and victory. Indeed, I have victory because God has given it to me. Satan (lower case is purposeful) has been defeated, a fact he knows oh too well. As a trophy of grace, I rise to proclaim God’s victory!
Also, notice the full design of the tattoo. It’s a figure eight. This has many statements for me. First: Consider that by flipping the image, a satanic victory can be depicted as opposed to his factual defeat. All it really takes is flipping the image around, or looked at another way, all it takes for you to claim victory over satan is to flip the image (that is, if satan is winning in your life). This is important because the truth is, if you have not come into a relationship with Christ, satan is winning in your life, further destroying any form of structure until you are left in ashes. But as simple as the action of flipping the image around is; victory can be obtained in like fashion by turning around to Christ by accepting His forgiveness and the plans He has for you. By giving everything you know about yourself to everything you know about Christ. By placing your hope on Him. Why? Because He says: for I know the plans I have for you and they are good, to give you a future. On our own, we are not able to defeat Sin and satan’s hold on us. But Glory be to God, we don’t have to because God did that for us and He says: “Today, if you hear my voice, come. Come to me all of you who carry a heavy burden and I will give you rest, for no man has greater love than he who lays his life down for his friends. I have laid my life down for you, so that I can call you friend.” I answered that call and He made that flip in my life. Therefore my Phoenix rises above the dragon, in total glory, authority, and victory!
Second: The figure eight is also extremely important to me because of the symbolic meaning of the number eight in scripture (this could be a whole blog in it of itself). To spare you an even longer post I’ll tell you the meaning: The number eight symbolizes Jesus and new beginnings (new creation, new order, rebirth, etc). I could have chosen a circular “ying yang” type of design in order to depict this battle, but that would have symbolized unity between the two fighters. The fact is that the enemy and I are no longer unified. He has no power or dominion over me. he (lower case not a typo) and I are completely separated in Christ. So Yin Yang would not have worked. Rather the eight, which symbolizes what God has done in me; that is, made me a new creation, is definitely more appropriate. Moreover, the figure itself depicts the struggle between two separate entities, as opposed to the union of two competing entities.
Lastly, the figure eight is the mathematical symbol for eternity, which is something I can now look forward to thanks to God’s sacrifice.
The dragon represents satan. However, it also represents sin and the great deception of this world. Notice that in spite of the fact that the dragon is on his back (defeated) he is still fighting. A picture of reality; meaning that in spite of the fact I am victorious in Christ, satan is still fighting against me. He can’t rob me of my stature with God. But he can try to steal my joy. He also wars against humanity, for he despises us. He knows he’s lost, but he will go down fighting…like all serpents do.
The Tattoo: Design
The tattoo is not original art. In fact, I found the image online (here). However, when I saw it, I knew it was the design I wanted as it depicted everything I have discoursed in the paragraphs above. Whether the artist’s intentions where to portray my exegesis of the design? I really don’t know. But the reason why I decided to make this design a permanent mark on this body is because it paints in great detail with little details at all the powerful work of God in my life. A work I would choose one billion times over the alternative. With everything that has been happening lately on the media, and everything that is about to happen, I wanted something that depicted satan’s defeat as a constant reminder and encourager. I also wanted something that represented my story which God through His power gave me (Ie. My testimony). And, yes, I also wanted a tattoo…period. Nevertheless, I wanted a tattoo that meant something for me, hence why I have waited four years to get it (lack of money also helped).
The Tattoo: Conclusion
I feel that this tattoo is a brand of what God has done and is continuing to do in my life (as stated earlier). There are lots of people who would disagree with my “branding” of myself. But little would they know that in the time I have had this tattoo (about three days now), I have been able to share my testimony with a good amount of people. If I were to stand before God (which as believers, we are always before God) I would not be ashamed of this decision. Rather, I would run up to Him and I would be like, “lookey lookey, aint it cool!!!” and He would probably be like “that is a sweet tattoo….but mines are better” and I would be like…..well, I would not know what to be like, lol. Oh and before I forget…No it did not hurt…not one bit. I sat on that chair and I was like “what? Is someone tattooing me? Is that the tickling I feel ?”. Ok, maybe the experience wasn’t that pain free…ok I admit it, there was some pain involved….2.5 hours worth of pain. Ok fine it was pretty painful lol. But well worth it .