So, last week I did a thing.
Something a few years ago I could honestly say I'd never do... but the story was too great of one to hold on the inside. I'm sure to some this is just a super small, insignificant tattoo; but to me these simple three words tell of a whole journey. One of great love, cherishing moments, the pain of loss, and choosing joy in the midst of it all.
Those of you that have followed our journey through losing our daughter Savannah know that we've clung to the song "Oceans" by Hillsong. We even often refer to it as Savannah's song now, and I love that our friends and family know exactly what we are talking about.
If you haven't heard it, I'll link it here. This is one of my favorite versions.
This song came on the radio pretty frequently during my pregnancy and the lyrics seemed to speak to my heart in ways that honestly not much else did at that time. When I went into labor I even played this during my epidural. I remember mouthing the words through the contractions and clinging to the phrase "in oceans deep, my faith will stand". Even as I type this I am instantly brought back to that day and those emotions.
Throughout these last few years without Savannah, I've continued to be amazed at how these lyrics have stood the test of time and never fail to snap me back into those moments with my girl.
They say that grief is like an ocean; vast and never-ending, yet coming in waves. I can honestly attest to how true that is. The parallels between this song and our journey are not lost on me. The first verse alone I feel like describes our time with Savannah-
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
The Lord chose us to parent our sweet Savannah, He knew each one of her days before she was even born (Psalm 139:16), and yet He called us. Seriously... what an honor. There have been so many unknowns, so many times that my feet certainly have failed, and yet He has met us in each of those. In those deep oceans, the times that the waves of grief could have easily swept us further away, He has been there.
I never want it to sound like this has been easy for us, because it hasn't. Even when we see God's hand in it all, we would of course trade anything to have our little girl back.
I've never been anti-tattoo, I just didn't ever have anything that I felt like I wanted on my body forever; then I carried Savannah. These last five years I've felt the weight of her story being carried on the inside, only being able to share about her when it naturally arose. I had two main reasons for getting the tattoo; first- for myself. To have that forever reminder that even though Savannah isn't here with us, she lived and I am her Mama. And second- I hope people will ask, and I'll get to tell them of one of the greatest little loves I've ever known and of a God who even 'in oceans deep' meets us there.
This last week as my husband and I went to get my tattoo I thought I would be so nervous, and while I was, there was equally this peace that filled me. I kept my mind focused on Savannah the whole time and definitely let my emotions out when it was finished. If you are local to Ohio, Scott at Black Cloud Tattoo is amazing. He did my husband's Savannah memorial tattoo as well and we are so grateful to him for helping us have permanent reminders of our journey.
I have to be honest, this is one of the hardest posts I've written. This has definitely surfaced a lot of emotions for me that are sometimes in the background instead of the forefront. Difficult not because I don't want to share or don't have the words, but because this is probably one of the biggest pieces of my heart.
I am so grateful I am able to share (even when it hurts) because it keeps Savannah's memory alive, and I hope, each time, you are able to get a better glimpse into who I am. So, thank you for allowing me to spill my heart with each of you!