Growing up, I’ve always associated tattoos with hooliganism, rebellion, and just about everything else that went with those things. As time went on, I started to notice that tattoos weren’t just things that inmates got behind the bars of prison, and criminals of the streets weren’t the only ones who got tattoos. I began to notice the art behind them and the meaning the symbols had to the person wearing the tattoo. Getting a tattoo has been something that’s been on my mind over the past few years, but given the chance that I actually built up the courage (and saved enough money) to go in and get inked, I knew whatever I would get had to mean something to me. I’ve had an idea in mind for awhile, and yesterday was the day I finally decided, “You know what? I’m going to do it.”
In a sentence, the semi-colon is a symbol that is used to connect two ideas together without actually ending the sentence. Essentially, the semi-colon is used to put a sentence on pause, before continuing onto the next thought.
Over the past few years, I have been through so much, from my ongoing battle with anxiety to a near-diagnosis with manic depression. I have been through so many highs and lows that after awhile, I began to be desensitized to a lot of things, both good and bad. My frequent and extreme mood swings put my relationships in jeopardy, particularly my relationship with myself, and more importantly the relationship I thought I had with God. Ultimately, I felt like my life was at a standstill, that I wasn’t going anywhere, that everything was just on pause.
I sought counseling at the peak of all of this, and it seemed to work for awhile, and things seemed to finally be going my way. I was finally in the major that I was passionate about, I had a great job that (at the time) I felt was my true calling, I was voted Vice President of not one, but two clubs, among other things. Despite all of these great things and the fact that I was actively seeking help to battle my inner demons, I still felt like something was still missing, something much deeper than a rekindled friendship or an intimate relationship. No matter how much I tried to sit on these feelings and tell myself everything was fine, they always came back. Soon, I began to feel myself reverting to my former state of mind, always seeking validation, always in a negative mindset.
Towards the end of that summer, I attended a club fair at my school to represent one of my clubs, and while doing so, I ran into a friend of mine who was recruiting for her club, Cru, a Christian club on campus. After catching up, she asked me if I would be interested in filling out a survey for Cru, and I cordially obliged, not really thinking anything of it at the time. About a week later, I got a call from my current Bible study leader, however I was at a concert at the time, and so I was unable to answer the call (I also chose not to answer it because I didn’t recognize the number, just like any person would). A few seconds later, I got a string of texts from him asking me if I was interested in joining a Bible study. At first I was very hesitant, asking myself the same questions anyone else would when they get texts from a strange number – “Where did he even get my number? What is he trying to advertise to me?”
I expressed my uncertainty to him, and the conversation was left like that. I sat at the concert, thinking about what had just happened. All of a sudden, the air felt heavy around me, and no matter how much I tried to focus on the concert and be in that moment, I couldn’t overcome a sense of moral imperative. The words “just do it” kept on echoing in my mind, and were nonstop until I finally texted him back and told him I would meet him at the green couches on the second floor of the Student Center that Thursday, the general Cru hangout area. At this point, I don’t know if what I felt was relief, excitement, or nervousness, but something about it just seemed right. Fast forward to today, and agreeing to go to that first Bible study was one of the best decisions of my life.
Today, I can finally say that the void I had been feeling in my life has been filled. I’ve accepted Christ into my life again by going to weekly Bible studies and worship, and have met some of the most incredible people along the way, people who are on the same journey I’m on. Today, I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time. Today, I can say that what seemed like a perpetual pregnant pause has finally come to an end. My new tattoo is a daily reminder that I am not alone, as long as I keep Christ with me. With Christ in my heart and God by my side, I know how to get excited again, I know how to be happy again. My life is no longer on pause, and with God, I am fearless, strong, and alive.