The Times

The first tattoo that I got was in November of 2008, over Thanksgiving weekend. I got it at a place in Savannah, GA because tattoo parlors had only recently gotten legalized in Charleston, SC…and I wasn’t keen on testing the waters of brand new shops just yet. I went with my boyfriend at the time, picked a design out of a book, and added some words. It was cheap, it was quick, and it turned out pretty terrible. You get what you paid for. I really, really hate it now, but it has been a hard decision for me to cover up or have removed, because it has so much meaning. (Though I have recently decided to have it lasered, then covered up, and to put some of the lyrics on my arm, along with the other lyrics I have, instead of leaving this hideous thing on my shoulder…)

I had been going through a terrible, awful, horrendous time in my life. I jumped too quickly into a new relationship after ending things with my fiancée. I was struggling in the new relationship, because he was my best friend and we were so close, but I was still head over heels in love with my fiancée. I had miscarried not long before the end of the relationship (which had a lot to do with why it ended). And I was absolutely ruining my current relationship, and friendship, and really hurting someone I cared a lot about.

I was having a horrible time at work, dealing with a lot of sexism and sexual harassment type of issues. I was trying to get ready to move across the world, to Japan, and just wasn’t prepared for it. Plus, there were lots of family issues all going on at the same time. Things just were in a pit, and I was horrendously depressed.

I had spent a day in early October at a friend’s church, walked through a really neat experience about the life and after-life of 3 soldiers, the believer, the non-believer, and the agnostic. I was trying to reconcile my faith with my “life sucks and God doesn’t care about me” point of view. And I was struggling.

I was on the verge of giving up…I didn’t even want to get out of bed anymore. I battled my way through my 14 hour work days on rotating shift work (yay PEMA~!), lived my life on the computer playing a stupid game, and drank heavily whenever my friends and I were together.

Then, I went to a concert. The boyfriend and I met up with some friends from the computer game we played and we went to a Casting Crowns concert in North Carolina. I had been introduced to one of their songs at the Halloween event (see, it ties in! not just useless information!) and really loved it…it really spoke to me…so, when I was at a MercyMe concert around Halloween, I saw a flier showing that Casting Crowns was going to be performing in this terrible little theme park venue in late November, and off we all went and decided to make a big group meet up out of it. The meet up was fun, but not quite what I expected. I felt out of place, and it sort of made things worse with my boyfriend. These were his friends, not really mine…and the wife/girlfriend now wife of the two guys we met up with, well, they knew each other…so I just felt out of place and awkward. The funny thing is that I now keep in touch with one of the guys, and we talk frequently, and I am loving watching his beautiful kids grow up.

Anyway…we sat through the first terrible band at the concert…and then the next band came out…Skillet…and it was weird, and awesome. I had never heard of Christian rock music…I didn’t know it existed…I thought MercyMe was about as hardcore as Christian music got. And I remember the first words John said after they finished their first song…”We are Skillet…yea, I know, it’s a stupid band name, but everything good was taken, and we were kind of hungry when we decided on a name.” I laughed, and it was real, and it felt normal for the first time in a long time. So, they kept playing, and it was pretty good…and then they performed a song that forever changed my life…it is called Imperfection…the lyrics are below…but it just struck a chord in me. Everything I was afraid of, everything I was worried about, everything that seemed to be destroying me…it was laid out, and I realized that maybe there was a reason for it all…and that all of these struggles were my own doing…I was drowning in my imperfection…in my point of view…in my own worry.

I barely remember the rest of the concert. I was so excited to see Casting Crowns, and yet, all I remember is Skillet and that one song (and one joke). The rest is a blur. I remember being in tears most of the rest of the night.

We went to Savannah the next weekend…and this tattoo reminds me of that song…of that moment…and it is something I turn to when life gets tough and depression gets to be too bad…”For all the times I hate myself…”

 

12

 

Imperfection

By Skillet

You’re worth so much
It’ll never be enough
To see what you have to give
How beautiful you are
Yet seem so far from everything
You’re wanting to be
You’re wanting to be

Tears falling down again
Tears falling down

You fall to your knees
You beg, you plead
Can I be somebody else
For all the times I hate myself?
Your failures devour your heart
In every hour, you’re drowning
In your imperfection

You mean so much
That heaven would touch
The face of humankind for you
How special you are
Revel in your day
You’re fearfully and wonderfully made
You’re wonderfully made

Tears falling down again
Come let the healing begin

You fall to your knees
You beg, you plead
Can I be somebody else
For all the times I hate myself?
Your failures devour your heart
In every hour, you’re drowning
In your imperfection

You’re worth so much
So easily crushed
want to be like everyone else
No one escapes
Every breath we take
Dealing with our own skeletons, skeletons

You fall to your knees
You beg, you plead
Can I be somebody else
For all the times I hate myself?
Your failures devour your heart
In every hour, you’re drowning
In your imperfection

Won’t you believe, yeah
Won’t you believe, yeah
All the things I see in you

You’re not the only one
You’re not the only one
Drowning in imperfection

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