grace- The Meaning Behind My First Tattoo

“Grace” is a word that means more to me than I can explain. Just the simple utterance of it can spark a world of emotion in my soul. Masterfully folded into a Bible verse or song lyric can bring tears to my eyes.

When I was in high school, a second grader in the church class my parents teach said that grace was “something weird we don’t deserve”. At the time, I just compared that definition to my friend Grace and laughed about it. Now, I don’t think that kid was too far off. Grace is something weird (we could never understand it) we don’t deserve (we could never earn it).


God has been speaking the word “grace” to me a lot, lately. It started when I was still in Orlando for the Disney College Program. I was so busy and always had so much going on that I never made time to read my Bible and didn’t pray much either. That’s a different story for a different day, but even then, the word “grace” started to stick out to me a lot. There was a song on the Rachel Platten CD I had bought- a completely secular artist and album- called “Grace” that really moved me during a certain week. I was struggling a lot with anxiety and jealousy and my eating disorder and I would listen to that song my whole twenty minute drive home from work at 2:00 in the morning for days, crying out to God that I needed Him, that I needed His grace to get through it all.


Ever since then, that word started popping out at me every place I turned. I would read one Bible verse all day and it would be about grace. I would hear it on the radio, notice it in conversations, catch it on random pictures on social media. It was everywhere.

By the time I made it back to Missouri, this word started to make more sense to me. I researched the original Greek word and meaning, listened to songs that talked about it, and read all the verses I could about God’s Grace. I discovered how amazing and wonderful it is. It became my lifeline, my goal, my desire. I wanted to show others grace like God does for me. I wanted to show myself grace- one of the hardest things of all.

Here are some things I’ve learned about this mysterious, beautiful thing called “grace”:

  • God’s grace is truly all I need. When I have no strength, He is there to lift me up. 2 Corinthians 12:9
  • God’s grace is a gift. We truly don’t deserve it, and we could never earn it, but that’s what makes it so beautiful. Ephesians 2:8-9
  • There is no condemnation in God’s grace. By His grace, we are free from the law of sin. Romans 6:14
  • Where there is sin, God’s grace is greater still. Romans 5:20
  • Grace isn’t about perfection. Grace is about the absence of perfection. I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to be me. And that is enough.

When it came to finally getting my first tattoo- which I was waiting until I had worked at Disney World to do- I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted a permanent reminder of the gift from God that keeps me afloat. My strength, my forgiveness, my acceptance. All the things this simple word means to me, and yet, I still cannot grasp the full beauty of God’s grace. He is grace. He is love. He is good.

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