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12:21

I wrote this story for a paper for school. I don't feel like changing it or shortening it or anything of that manner. You get it as it is. (I did change the very end, when I state how long I've had it. I felt like I could do at least that much.)

 

 

Romans 12:21- “Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” I’d heard the verse from time to time during my childhood, but I never thought much about it. To me, it was just another Bible verse that my parents expected me to follow. When I was around the age of thirteen, my opinion of anything having to do Christianity and the Bible began to deteriorate rapidly. I was tired of being condemned, of being chastised and belittled. Many of the “Christians” in my life had been, in a word, cruel to me. I abhorred the Bible, my conservative family, my Christian school, and the church my parents forced me to attend. Lonely, introverted, and depressed to the point of suicide, I wanted nothing to do with God. Self-injury became part of my life; small red lines began appearing on my stomach, arms, and shoulders- but not my wrists. Never my wrists.


            Over the past year, I’ve been slowly crawling my way back to God (not, however, to Christianity. I consider the two to be completely different, and will probably always have that mindset). It has not, however, been easy. A few months ago, my mentor and friend (who happens to be the pastor of the church I’ve been attending since this summer) offered me encouragement in the form of a verse. “12:21,” he wrote on a piece of paper. Then he smiled at me. “ ‘Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.’ It’s your anthem.”


            I was incredulous. The only times I’d heard the verse before, it’d been recited with a tone of condemnation. Now, it was being offered to me as encouragement. As hope.
            I began writing the numbers on my wrist in pen. It seems like such a trivial matter, writing on ones wrist, but it was difficult for me. All my life, my wrists have been sensitive. I’ve protected them obsessively. They’ve been, in a sense, the tangible evidence of my vulnerability and insecurity. I felt as though I was overcoming something, overcoming my fear.


            When the idea came to me to get the numbers tattooed onto my wrist, I was overcome with a storm of emotions. I wanted it more than anything- I wanted my new anthem with me forever; I wanted that sense of hope with me for the rest of my life. I wanted to vanquish my trepidation. Yet I was afraid… I was so afraid. Even during the darkest moments of my life, even when my entire arms were cut up, I’d never allowed a blade to touch my wrists. And here I was, with the idea in my head to allow someone to touch it. Not just touch it- to use a blade to essentially cut it open and inject ink into it.

 

The idea didn’t leave me. Oh, I battled it inwardly. My excuses ranged everywhere from logical to ludicrous: “Tattoos make it more difficult to get a job.” “My parents will stop paying for my car insurance.” “It’ll get infected and I’ll die.” Ultimately, though, I knew I needed to get it done. I knew that, regardless of anything else, it’d be a step in the right direction.

 

On November 11, the day before my eighteenth birthday, I called Laughing Gremlin and made the appointment.

The next day, I drove over after school. I arrived at the small purple building. I was alone.

 

Amy greeted me with a warm smile and introduced herself as the owner of the Laughing Gremlin. After showing her what I wanted done, I found myself whisked into a room and then seated in a chair which resembled a barber’s chair. Amy chatted amiably through the entire process. I sat and watched as the needle entered my wrist over and over in a vibrating motion, injecting ink, emitting droplets of blood; I was entranced. The feeling was unpleasant at first, but grew evermore painful as the needle drew nearer to the center of my wrist. I finally closed my eyes, unable to watch, trying to not cry from the pain and the knowledge that something was cutting into my wrist.

 

Suddenly, it was done. I looked at my wrist. It was red and puffy, but the image was dark and clear: 12:21. I’d done it.

 

I’ve had the tattoo for a month as of tomorrow, and couldn’t be happier with it. It’s healing wonderfully, looks beautiful, and brings me encouragement every time I happen to glance at my wrist. More than that, though, it is a reminder that I can overcome. “Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” Has the tattoo magically changed me into a better person? No. But by getting it, I overcame my simple fear of anything coming near my wrists. And by having it with me, I am forever armed with the reminder that, regardless of anything that may come my way, I can overcome.

 

 

SheistheLorax SheistheLorax 18-21, F 16 Responses Dec 11, 2008

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I wish religion was real... Meh

Amazing story!! Good luck in your journey to becoming the authentic you.

U r realy different

I admire you.

you are very true in yourself and no one should take that away.

here I think tatoo is a good reminder for you ,maybe you don't know the strong reminder is your own heart ,cause you keep getting stronger,just you are unconscious!<br />
Congretulation ,you find your way and have confidence to overcome your obstrution !

i can understand what you mean..

Very beautiful!!! I hope they gave you an A for the paper... I am planning on a tattoo also to remind myself every day that I can overcome and have an amazing inner strength. I am glad you found yours!

It's a pity your tattoo had anything to to with the bible. The bible was written by man for his own gains, it has nothing whatsoever to do with God. If you want to know the truth about God, read my story, it's certainly not what you have been brought up to believe in. The truth is not comforting and if you are happy with your own belief, don't read it.

Aye, tattoos without meaning aren't really tattoos worth having, in my opinion. =/<br />
And I mirrored it simply because it is more aesthetically pleasing.

I like this cause of all the meaning in it. Tattoos interest me because they have meaning. When I ask about a tattoo I don't want to hear "I just like butterflies" (Sorry to people with butterflies tattooed on them. Nothing against butterflies..). I want to hear a story like this.<br />
I saw the picture in your album. Cool. Why'd you decide to mirror it?

Heh, thank you very much. I'm quite fond of it myself. =]

Aye. That we do. =]

That is remarkable. And I'm so glad things have turned out well for you. Already, mine has done so much for me. I've not cut at all since I got it... which is really impressive. It's just.... oy. They are life-savers. They really are.

Thank you, both of you. And you're right, Tia. It's remarkable, how influential a few simple words can be.

i love ur reasoning 4 it