I have 4 tattoos and all of them have meaning to me, but on my right arm is the one that holds the most significance. It says "By His wounds I am healed" which comes from 1 Peter 2:24. In the Amplified version it says "He personally bore our sins in His own body on the tree as on an altar and offered Himself on it, that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed." 

The reason this tattoo is so significant to me is because it's proclaiming the fact that I've been healed by the scars of Jesus over the scars that I gave to myself. Every day I have a beautiful reminder of the fact that I am so completely loved that someone would die for my healing. Sometimes I just stare at that tattoo and revel in how amazing that fact is and how incredible the change in me is because of Jesus. 

Other times however, and I know I'm not alone in this, I somehow forget that I've been changed. I forget about the healing and cleansing that's taken place and I feel like all of my sins and pains are tattooed all over me instead of those beautiful words. Certain things in life happen, or we stumble and mess up and we start to think "There's no way". We think, "God couldn't possibly love me", "My past is so dark, so dirty, so full of pain", "I'm not capable of changing", "I am so weak", and we write these things all over our hearts and minds. I have one word for those thoughts: NO. 

God is so in love with you. He has been pursuing you since before you were even born. Before you were even starting to form in your mother's womb God knew your whole life. What mistakes you would make, what successes you would have, the trials, the pain, and ALL of the sins that would take place in your life. And guess what? He created you anyways. More than that, He sent his son to DIE for you. That is a love we can't even try to comprehend. 

One of my favorite passages in the bible is Romans 8:37-39. It says "No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Just think about that for a moment. NOTHING in all creation will ever be able to separate you from His love. 

Nothing you've done, nothing that has been done to you will EVER make Him love you any less. I wanted to write about this today because I know how hard it is to move on from your past, and I know how easy it is to let the enemy put thoughts into your head that will remind you of it and try to break you down. 

Satan is always going to try to make us weak, but I'm beginning to see that as a victory for us. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says "Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me." How incredible is that? Satan makes it his goal to try and weaken and break us, but it says in that verse Jesus' power works BEST in our weakness. When we are at our weakest , Jesus is at his strongest. He has done and will continue to do what we couldn't on our own, and He loves us in a way we will never be able to love ourself. 

I love tattoos and I like I said I have 4, so I tend to think about them a lot. If you had to take the most prevalent thoughts in your mind and write them on yourself what would it look like? Would you be covered in love, grace, and beautiful things or would you have to cover yourself in things that would only bring you painful reminders? Jesus took our place so that we wouldn't have to be trapped in shame and sin, so why would you want to keep living that way? Every time you have a thought, think about what your "thought tattooed body" would look like. If you don't think your mind is full of things that would decorate it beautifully, tell it no and get the enemy out of there. Each day my prayer is that you will wake up and remember what I get to see on my arm every day: that by HIS wounds you are healed, and that will never go away.

- "God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start. Now I’m alert to God’s ways; I don’t take God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:20-24 (MSG)

- "For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]." Philippians 4:8 (AMP)

-"But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed." Isaiah 53:5 (NLT)

- "The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying “I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with unfailing kindness." Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)

- "The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17 (AMP)