On Thursday, August 2nd, 2018, I got a tattoo. I can tell you its meaning in four lines or less, but let's make this unnecessarily long and back up to the very beginning.
Nowadays I’m mostly called Lizzie, but my full name is Elizabeth Carolyn Bromley. I was born in Santa Monica, CA at 3:16 AM on December 23, 1997 in a hospital hallway. I simply couldn’t wait any longer; I had to be born.
I don’t remember exactly when I found out the time of my birth, but I do know that I was young and to this day, I've never forgotten it. I would tell people “3:16 AM” whenever I got the chance. It has always been so appealing to me, I just love the way it sounds. Being born at 3:16 is a fact about myself that I like and always have (and I grew up not liking a lot of facts about myself).
During Formal Sorority Recruitment this year, a woman in my recruitment group and I talked about lucky numbers. I said that I don’t really have a lucky number, but I’ve always loved "3:16" and that I would want it to get it tattooed. However, it’s kinda weird to get your birth time tattooed on you without any other meaning. And then it clicked.
You’d think that with the amount of time I spent studying the Book of John my sophomore year of college that I would’ve made this connection way earlier, but no.
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Truly an iconic verse. The only one I remembered after my 3rd-grade bible presentation. Arguably the most widely known. Popular enough that my non-religious little brother knew it without prompting and when my co-worker noticed my foot, he said “is that a reference to your Christianity?”. It is also on the bottom of the red In-N-Out cup, my favorite fast food chain (restaurant??) and the epitome of Southern California, my home.
I guess it makes sense why 3:16 has always sounded like music to me.
I chose to get tattooed to make my faith visible. I want to be someone who you look at and see their love for others and the world; I’ve always admired people who have that energy around them. I picked red ink to represent loving the Lord/life and I chose the placement on my foot so I can walk with God forever. My mom was hesitant when I told her about this idea just in case I ever struggle in my faith (/have a complete lack of faith) the way I did for a large portion of my life, but I assured her that no matter what happens, how I feel, or what I believe, I was brought to the earth at that time for a reason. Ever since 3:16 AM on December 23rd, 1997, I have been growing and learning and creating and inspiring and listening and sleeping and talking and dancing and singing and everything in between. Having my birth time on me reminds me that I should appreciate every minute of life that I am gifted, nothing happens without a reason, and maybe, just maybe, God knew that I would struggle, so He gave me an obvious reason to have faith.
Fun fact: the timing and circumstances around my tattoo were insane. I could talk forever about how sure I was that this was the perfect timing and exactly what I needed to do. Also, March 16th, 2018 also just happened to be a really good day. I think about the events of that day a lot and didn’t even know that it was 3/16 until I checked my calendar the day before I got the tattoo. Craziness. Anyway, if you want a more in-depth version of events, get coffee with me. Let’s talk about ink and Jesus!