In July of 2015, I was working for a summer camp in Panama City Beach, Florida.
Before every night session at camp we would meet in the green room for a production meeting and a devotional.
The devotional that night was out of Psalm 51…
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
The word steadfast struck me…and that verse sustained me through the rest of that summer.
A few months after the summer ended, one of my best friends asked me to tell her a word that meant a lot to me and the definition/image I would assign to it.
I told her the word “steadfast” and my definition was written as such…
When I think of the word, I think of constancy and how my faith needs to be steadfast, devout, loyal, steady, true, raw + committed through certainty and uncertainty, mourning or praising, change or consistency, safe or dangerous, but trusting that whatever will be..
He will make it good…
The next thing I know I am opening a package that has a journal with my word and definition with an image on the cover of a sail boat floating on water that meets the mountains.
Fast forward to a week ago. I sat in one of my favorite coffee shops a few blocks from my house with my dear friend. She told me a word that she wanted tattooed in the spot I wanted mine…whatever word that would be. At first I thought I wanted the same word as her, eternity, but then I began praying about the word God placed on my heart and he revived the word “steadfast” when I was reading the book of Colossians…
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it in thanksgiving. At the same time pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison- that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
For your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.
Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
The word was consuming me in the best way possible, showing up endlessly in scripture and being the word in songs that would make my stomach flip. It was defining God’s love for me as loyal, true, unwavering, and constant…and then Paul encouraging steadfast prayer (something maybe we are not so good at, at least I’m not…) and asking for prayer so that the word of God can have the opportunity to be heard.
Which is our mission as believers in Jesus.
It wrecked me because I lose sight of that. God is steadfast, His love is steadfast and He is unfathomably faithful. He is more than enough. In His sturdy and mighty love He is better than life, and He is worthy of the praise that comes from our lips and our active worship. Pursuing a steadfast heart should be for His glory, every day of our lives, because there isn’t time to waste.
I had the word steadfast tattooed on my left forearm…
…because I believe God uses this word to speak reminders of truth into my heart and He uses the word to propel me forward in His calling for my life. I know He wants others to know of His steadfast love, and how He longs to have a relationship with them. I want to remember to worship God, passionately and authentically. Not only because of His steadfast love, but just because of who He is. He deserves all the glory and all the praise I could ever offer and that still won’t be enough, but because of His steadfast love He never expects my perfection; He expects me.
I chose the left forearm, actually before I chose the word, because you wear a wedding ring on the left hand. It resembles the covenant you have entered into with marriage, but God has offered me (you, us) a covenant and when I look down at my left arm I am reminded of that cherished bond I entered into with Him.
That salvation I need to be reminded of, that steadfast spirit that was born and needs to be revived during burn out and dry seasons.
That faithfulness that from God is never ending.
That faithfulness from me that needs to be unwavering despite life’s circumstances and faithful to in Whom my identity lies.
The fire needs to be rekindled ever so often. Not because I’ve lost hope, but because we can get tired. We can lose focus and we can lose heart…yet He wants us to remain steadfast and trust in His steadfastness.