An arrow draws from the tension of the bowstring to launch forward. Likewise, our circumstances, both past and present, positive and negative, can be used to direct and prepare us for our journey. That's why the overall design of my newest tattoo that I just got last fall resembles an arrow, as a reminder that tensions in life can serve as momentum to move forward. God redeems all things, including our experiences. Each moment is a gift, and where we have BEEN equips us for where we ARE; here and now.
In the center of the image, there are fragments of a compass and a clock, symbolizing the importance of mindfulness in the moment, being present, and making the most of divine appointments. The experiences that led us to this moment also prepared us for it; if it's to weather a storm or to be a haven for someone else in the midst of a tempest.
As a nod to my wife Kimberly, born on March 18th, the clock is set to 3:18. Time shared with her is a blessing, and my life is so much more fulfilling with her in it. The head of the arrow is a lion, symbolizing Christ and resurrection, as well as strength and courage. The arrow shaft is the coordinates to my parents' farm in IN, where they raised me and still live today. The value of compassion they instilled in me remains as a guide.
Lastly, the overall design is in honor and gratitude of our dear friend, Marva Diana Rhea. She was a gift to us, and I have very distinct memories of her encouraging me in my work with at-risk youth. Although already in the field, her untimely death led me to dig my heels in and strive to make a greater impact. Losing her to domestic violence is a difficult memory, but it's integral to where I am today. One common interest Marva and I shared was mythology. We had a conversation once about the Roman goddess Diana, and Marva loved that her middle name was that of a goddess known for her wisdom and strength. As goddess of the hunt, bows and arrows were often used on coins and in temples to represent Diana. Likewise, I've chosen to honor Marva with an arrow because of how she influenced the direction of my life and the momentum her memory gives me.