The Tattoo My Daughter Wants

And through Him (Jesus), He reconciled all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” Colossians 1:20

Dry heat engulfed us as we walked the streets of our vacation destination. Around every corner the word “TATTOO” jumped off the buildings, catching the eye of my teenage daughter. A conversation was sparked with our family as to what tattoo we would get if we ever ventured into one of those obscure shops. Mostly the talk was light as we fluttered around different ideas, tossing them into the air and went on our way forgetting the thoughts nearly as quickly as they were muttered. Until my daughter said hers. Her idea wasn’t a whim. This one had been formulating in her mind and simmering there for some time. Her idea arrested me as soon as the words were uttered.

My daughter simply said, “The tattoo I want is the word ‘Sister’ surrounded by a heart.”

To the random person overhearing this conversation, this would seem perhaps odd, but then it would be brushed off and reasoned away that she is a sister of two brothers wanting to proclaim her sisterhood to the world. For me, however, this was no mystery, the reason for this tattoo was clear and heart stopping.

Thankfully no one asked why and everyone went on with other conversations, going to the next topic. But this comment lingered in the air, not easily forgotten like the others. This one hovered and is likely not going anywhere until it perhaps lands on her arm or ankle one day.

Today is the anniversary date of when I had my abortion, or more accurately, when I choose to end the life of my first child. Harsh perhaps, but true. It was twenty-eight years ago. Many who have had an abortion suffer when thinking of the anniversary date, but the Lord has redeemed this date for me in so many ways. I actually rarely think of it but knowing it was coming gave me reason to want to write this post.

For years I have written about how abortion impacts lives and hearts, but the sibling component isn’t discussed much in post-abortive or pro-life circles.

Abortion impacts the siblings of the child lost. Being very open about my abortion, I knew it was important for my children to hear about it from me. All three of my children know. Also, I didn’t want to hide my past from them. Secrets are never free.

My teenage daughter, who has a very tender and sensitive heart, has commented on her sister in heaven many times and even has a stuffed bear in memory of her. She loves her sister and like me, looks forward to meeting her one day. My heart breaks a little every time I hear her say something about how she wishes she had her sister here. But she must grieve, as we all must, those we love and lost. It is healthy to grieve and recognize the loss.

I have had much emotional healing in regard to my abortion, so much in fact that it can be possible for me to forget that part of my past and story. It feels like a lifetime ago and I am a different person now, made new by the blood of Jesus. But events like this one are good for me and it is good that I feel a slight twinge when I hear my teenage daughter’s covert pain. To not feel anything would be more concerning and dishonoring to my daughter in heaven. She is a real person. Sometimes it is easier to forget, but I am thankful for the times of remembrance. Her memory is worth more than being tossed out into the wind, forgotten as a careless word on a hot day.

The promise of eternity and of meeting her one day fills my heart with joy and lifts me to a place of peace, resting in the ever present assurance that our God is big and amazing and nothing is too much for Him. No sin is too beyond His forgiveness and no breach of relationship is beyond His repair. We are reconciled to Him and the glorious hope of reconciliation with our lost ones safe in His care.

My teenage daughter may or may not get a tattoo that says “Sister” on it (I’ve asked her to wait until she is at least eighteen) but regardless of an external mark, her name, Kori Danielle, is tattooed on our hearts forever. We love you Kori and look forward to the day we can meet you. We honor you.

Father, we thank you for the glorious hope of eternity. We thank you that while we were still sinners, you loved us and sent Jesus, our Savior for us, and Christ died for us, so we could live forever with you. Thank you that no sin is too big and no breach is too wide. Thank you that the cross and blood of Jesus made a way for us. Lord, we pray for all those who have lost a child to abortion, that they would find hope and healing in you. And we pray for those who have lost siblings to abortion, that you would comfort their hearts and give them reassurance of the hope in you. For those reading this today who haven’t thought of this component before, we ask for your grace to cover and healing balm to soothe hurting hearts. Take us deeper in our healing, knowing you in deeper ways. We love you Lord. Thank you for loving us so well. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Your abortion doesn’t have to define you.

It’s time to find the freedom you deserve.