A few weeks ago, I got a new tattoo. This is my fourth tattoo, and I doubt it will be my last. My newest, and latest and greatest tattoo is the first tattoo that I have gotten that actually has meaning behind it. I like all of my other tattoos, but I only got them because I liked them. It occurred to me earlier this year that I should get at least one that holds a deep meaning for me. My latest one certainly fits that bill. It is a Bible verse: 1 Timothy 6:12. I have it as 1 Tim 6:12 on the inside of my left wrist and the “T” is a cross. I LOVE it! That Bible verse reads, “Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
The real reason I was drawn to this verse is because of a song by the Christian band Unspoken called Good Fight. The lyrics go, “Keep fighting the good fight. Keep letting your light shine.” I love this song and for some reason these lyrics really spoke to me. I knew they had to be based on verses from the Bible. I looked it up and voila, 1 Timothy 6:12 appeared.
It is a permanent reminder that God loves me. If I am ever feeling down, upset, sad, or mad, I just have to glance over at it and those song lyrics start flowing through my mind. They are powerful and strong and remind me to be the same way. I want to let others see God’s light shine through me. I want to be a blessing to others and help them to know God. I want to be His witness and do His will and good work. In order to do this, I have to keep fighting the good fight. I feel like this helps me to focus and keep my eyes on God and this is an important step. The more I do it, the easier it will be. Pretty soon I will be doing this without even realizing it, and this is where I want to be. I want to always be thinking of God and putting Him first.
Getting a tattoo is not for everyone. I am naturally a shy, introverted girl. I originally did it for the rebellion and shock factor—basically because no one would ever guess that I would do it. I wanted to do something that was “out of character” for me. I have such fair skin, and I love bright, colorful things, so a tattoo seemed like a good choice!
I got my first tattoo about 20 years ago or so. (I am bad with dates and keeping up with time.) My first tattoo is of an image that I found in a Sarah McLachlan album. I think it was her Fumbling Towards Ecstasy album, but I can’t remember for sure. It was of a circle and has four points on it, almost like a compass. I just thought it was cool, and I love Sarah and her music. I thought it was as good a thing as any to use as my first tattoo. It is on the inside, on my left ankle. I got it at Psycho Tattoo in Marietta by a female artist whose name is also Erika.
My second tattoo is a small, colorful butterfly that I found on a Precious Moments box. I have always been a Precious Moments fan. I use to collect them when I was a kid and throughout my young adult years. My butterfly tattoo is on the back of my right shoulder. I got it at Trilogy Tattoo in Dallas, Texas while I was in graduate school at Oklahoma State University. My cousin, Steve, was living in Dallas at the time and I got it while I was visiting him. This was in 1999 and my friend Dusty went with me. She got a small four-leaf clover tattoo on her back at the same time as I was getting my butterfly.
My third tattoo is my big tattoo. It is of a water dragon—a dragon that sort of looks like a sea horse. It is goes along the left-hand side of my back. I went back to Psycho for this one. A guy named Rob Berrong did it. He is still there and doing great work.
I will end by saying that I don’t regret any of my four tattoos. Tattoo artists are truly artists and there are some amazing people out there doing work that blows my mind. I especially love my 1 Timothy tattoo. It is in a spot where I can hide it, if I need to. But, it is also easily accessible. I love that I can show it off. The first thing that people who see it ask me is, "what does it mean?" Being able to share with them that it is a Bible verse, what that Bible verse is and relate that back to my faith and love of God, allows me to share God himself. I pray that it will be a tool to help others and maybe even nudge them down the right path--the path to knowing God for themselves.
I am so glad you are here! I am Erica Strickland, a girl who loves God. My goal here is to simply share His love and light.