Written by: Erin Pearson

Matthew 28:19

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

I found myself staring as the TV in the waiting room as it played a mute version of Spongebob, trying not to think about why I was there. I met the eyes of those around me, some who smiled kindly and others who wrestled with small squirming bundles of tired whimpers.

My appointment time slid by and I tried to occupy my time with positive thoughts, but it was inevitable. My mind wandered back to the lumps that had brought me to the door of the breast surgeon. I was 29, I was just getting back on my feet after being laid off. I had an awesome job, my family was all healthy, and we had started to feel comfortable again. I kept holding back the fearful tears, I wouldn’t let whatever came next scare me. I could do anything because God was with me.

I was startled when I heard my name called by the nurse with kind eyes and a sympathetic smile. She could see my fear, and she felt sorry for me.

I could tell.

Deep breath, I told myself, we can conquer this too.

After the weight and the height and the initial history of when I first noticed the lumps, I was again left alone with my thoughts while I undressed and stepped into the examination gown. I didn’t think it would affect me, but the last time I was in a gown like these, I was in labor with my twin sons at 26 weeks. I felt my petrified fear once again, it blew me over and 6 years ago came rushing back to me. The tears rolled down my cheeks as I sat and shivered in the gown on the exam table, and I prayed quietly by myself.

A small knock brought me back to present day, and the doctor of slight form filed in with his nurse in tow. I recounted my story once again, and trying not to shiver, I prepared myself for the exam. He couldn’t help but see the tattoo on my foot, and his initial reaction was one I had seen often before; disgust and disappointment. But I could tell that he wanted to make me at ease, so he asked me politely, “What is that on your foot?” This was also a frequent question, and not because the artist did not do an excellent likeness of the piece I had requested, but because I needed an easy way to start a sometimes difficult conversation.

“It’s a cross,” I said. “It means Jesus guides my feet.”



At this point I didn’t know his background, I had no idea if he was Christian or not. But first and foremost, it was my declaration. I feel the hardest part of being Christian is sharing it with others. Typically I get a standard “Oh, that’s nice,” or some such knee jerk response, without genuine feeling, but not this day.

“Now,” he said, “that’s impressive. I’ve never heard that. It’s nice.” He stumbled with his words slightly apparently taken aback by my guiltless admission. Here, I had never been before, a fork; continue with my witnessing, or stop and let the quiet win.

I think we all know what I chose.

I showed him my wrist.

Galatians 6:17

Therefore let no man harm me for I bear on my body the mark of Christ.

“But the Bible says not to tattoo your body. It is your temple.”

Leviticus 19:28

Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own. 1 Corinthians 6:19

True statements, and I was encouraged that he continued the conversation with me.

It was a reflex, and I recited “In Leviticus it says not to tattoo yourself in mourning for the dead.”

I could see that I had touched on a fire that he had stoked before, and he shot right back, “but your foot, Jesus died.”

“Yes,” was my reply, “but I do not mourn him. It is a celebration.”

A smile came across his face and somehow my shaking had stopped, as did the uncontrollable urge to cry. After the initial exam was done, we had a little more time to talk. Turns out my doctor was raised in a Jesuit school, and knew scripture like the back of his unshaking hand. He promised me he would get back to his bible, especially the verse in Leviticus, but that he was reassured that he and I could talk freely about our faith. He had recently suffered through a divorce where the woman he loved left him for another, and he finally came back to the faith that he had strayed from. He talked to me about how his family didn’t understand and that he knew that he had to give them time to adjust to his more fervent roots coming forward.

This day did not start out to be a reassuring experience. I was scared, nervous and angry. And yet, being able to share my faith with someone made me able to face the day again. And it was all started with the sight of my tattoo.

When I receive those looks from people that don’t understand, those who can’t read past the ink under my skin to be able to interpret the words that are just as stark the lines on a page, I know that I can still reach others who are willing to look deeper.

Other people have asked me, “Why do you do that to yourself?” and I can answer them easily now.

I tell them, Jesus died for me. The least I can do is bear a little pain to be able to spread his name to others that need him. It’s how I know to talk to the generation around me, the ones who look to me for a reason to continue on a straight and narrow path in a society of shortcuts.

I have a tattoo kind of faith.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Erin Pearson

Hailing from Nebraska, E.L. Pearson is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Kearney where she honed her writing talents and fed her desire for enchantment through studying classic literature. Her one-of-a-kind writing style reflects this love in her upcoming Prodigal Lost series. Fascinated by her childhood church, her unique perspective was forever changed when she attended a teen revival and accepted Christ as her Savior. Her mission is to encourage and uplift those in perpetual darkness. She seeks out those who feel God couldn’t possibly love them because of what they’ve done in the past. She desires but one thing-to let the world know that no matter the sin, no matter the stain from the past, Jesus is the cleansing power. As her relationship with God has grown, so have her blessings which include a patient husband who is kind and strong, and twin sons who remind her just how much God loves her. Together, they do life together in Kearney Nebraska.

God Redeemed the Broken Parts of My Infertility Story

In: Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Two young children walking on a path near a pond, color photo

It was a Wednesday morning when I sat around a table with a group of mamas I had just recently met. My youngest daughter slept her morning nap in a carrier across my chest. Those of us in the group who held floppy babies swayed back and forth. The others had children in childcare or enrolled in preschool down the road. We were there to chat, learn, grow, and laugh. We were all mamas. But we were not all the same. I didn’t know one of the mom’s names, but I knew I wanted to get to know her because she...

Keep Reading

God Has You

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman hugging herself while looking to the side

Holding tight to the cold, sterile rail of the narrow, rollaway ER bed, I hovered helplessly over my oldest daughter. My anxious eyes bounced from her now steadying breaths to the varying lines and tones of the monitor overhead. Audible reminders of her life that may have just been spared. For 14 years, we’d been told anaphylaxis was possible if she ingested peanuts. But it wasn’t until this recent late autumn evening we would experience the fear and frenzy of our apparent new reality. My frantic heart hadn’t stopped racing from the very moment she struggled to catch a breath....

Keep Reading

My Husband Having a Stroke at 30 Wasn’t in Our Plans

In: Faith, Living
Husband and wife, selfie, color photo

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV) This verse in the book of Jeremiah has long been a favorite of mine. In fact, it’s felt relevant across many life events. Its simple, yet powerful reminder has been a place of solace, perhaps even a way to maintain equilibrium when I’ve felt my world spinning a bit out of control. In this season of starting fresh and new year intentions, I find great comfort in knowing...

Keep Reading

She Left Him on Valentine’s Day

In: Faith, Marriage
Husband kissing wife on cheek, color photo

“Can you believe that?” Those were the dreaded knife-cutting whispers I heard from across the table. I sunk deeper into my chair. My hopes fell as everyone would forever remember that I had left my fiancée on Valentine’s Day. Maybe one day it would just dissipate like the dream wedding I had planned or the canceled plane tickets for the Hawaiian honeymoon. Some bridesmaids and guests had already booked plane tickets. It was my own nightmare that kept replaying in my head over and over again. I had messed up. Big time. To be honest, if it made any difference,...

Keep Reading

God was In the Room for Our Daughter’s Open Heart Surgery

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child's hand with IV

I’ve had a strong faith for as long as I can remember, but I always felt bad that I never had a “testimony.” I had never gone through something that made me sit back and say, “Wow, God is real, He is here.” I have always felt it to my core, but no moment had ever stopped me dead in my tracks to where there was no denying that it was God. And then, that moment happened to me on December 5. After five months of fervently praying for a miracle for our daughter, the day came for her heart...

Keep Reading

A Benediction for the Worn Out Mother

In: Faith, Motherhood
Woman leaning against kitchen counter, black-and-white photo

Blessed are you, Father, for bestowing upon me the honor of motherhood. For allowing me to experience the deep joy of bringing forth life—a joy I often take for granted and instead choose to begrudge. My children’s cries and demands have worn me down. I do not recognize myself. I selfishly long for the old me. My thoughts are an intangible mess of never-ending tasks, self-criticism, and comparison to those around me. RELATED: God Sees You, Weary Mama But Your word says you are near to the broken-hearted and downtrodden. You do not forget the cause of the tired and the...

Keep Reading

God Doesn’t Forget You When You’re Lost and Unsure

In: Faith, Living
Woman looking into camera, color photo

I’ve been wandering around feeling lost for over a year. Wondering where I’m going, what I’m supposed to be doing. Nothing seems to make sense. I felt purposeless. I felt stuck. I questioned everything: my faith, my marriage, my career—if it could be questioned, I doubted it. And I was completely clueless how to fix the funk. For over a year, I’ve been in the wilderness. I’ve wanted to find my way, but every path seemed like another dead end. The wilderness. I’ve been residing there. Not feeling fed. Not feeling heard. Not feeling seen. Struggling to find a purpose....

Keep Reading

And Then, the Darkness Lifts

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother with baby smiling

Today when I woke, it had lifted, like sunshine peeking after rain. And as my toddler clicked on the lamp beside my bed to see her mama, I saw me too. I got out of bed and I walked down the hall. And the coffee pot sat there waiting for me, as always, like my husband at the kitchen table with his books. He smiled at me, and I think he could tell as I took my medicine, took down a mug, and poured my coffee. I opened the secretary desk and pulled out the chair and my Bible, like...

Keep Reading

Joy in This Stillness

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding sleeping toddler, color photo

I woke up suddenly in a sweat while it was still dark. Except for the humming of the oxygen machine, the house was silent. For a moment, I thought I might have time to enjoy a cup of coffee before my son woke up. However, a glance at my daughter’s crib told me that feeding my caffeine addiction would have to wait. My daughter has a terminal brain disorder called Lissencephaly, a side effect of which is uncontrolled epilepsy. Many mornings, a subconscious recognition that she is having episodes of repeated seizures rouses me from my sleep. Throwing on a...

Keep Reading

Sometimes All We Can Do Is Say How Hard Motherhood Is

In: Faith, Motherhood
Tired mom with baby in foreground

I have been sitting in the peace and quiet of the office to do some long overdue Bible study for all of five minutes when the baby wakes up. With a heavy sigh that is becoming all too common, I go to the bedroom to pick up my fussy, probably getting sick, 8-month-old daughter who has been asleep for approximately 15 minutes. I bring her to the office and put her on the floor with some new books and toys. Sitting back down in front of my own new book of Bible maps and charts, I begin reading once again....

Keep Reading