I work as a server at the Cracker Barrel down the street from my house. I love how easy it can be to make money doing my job. Even though I have an extremely introverted personality I tend to be overly friendly to people I don’t know…absolute strangers who eat the food I give them. Haha. The issue with my job is I get terrible hours, but awhile ago the scheduling manager was out for surgery and a different manager did schedule and I got scheduled out the ying yang. Anyway, about 3 weeks ago when all this was happening I was really excited to be making a lot of money because I was really needing it. But I got very discouraged when I was getting next to nothing tips and not even breaking $30-$40 in 3-5 hour shifts where I’d normally be making $50-$70. It was very upsetting. The compliments I get on my friendliness, my huge smile, etc were non-existent and I was starting to think I had lost my touch, that I was somehow doing something wrong and somewhere down the line I had lost my way.
It was such a big deal to me because I’ve always known that my happiness, my joy, my ability to put away all the problems of my life and serve the guests that sit at my tables was from the Lord and that, somehow, my service to them was a witness.
Last night I was on the floor for about 3 hours and, miraculously, I walked away with about $80. Today I was on the floor for 6 hours and made about $90. On top of that, last night I had lots of happy people who engaged me any various conversations (something that makes me feel like I’m doing my job) and today I got several compliments (another even more favorite thing of mine). It honestly made my entire day. I don’t always like my work, I don’t always enjoy the people. But, on the occasion, I get to share bits of my personal life with the guests at my tables and I feel like I’m making some sort of difference. Maybe it’s all in my head but I know God has put me here and giving me the desire to keep doing this for the next few years, at least, for a reason. And I think now I’m being pushed to do it more wholeheartedly than ever before.
Sitting here at home now, after being off for a few hours, I’ve been reflecting over and over and I keep getting more and more excited. God gave me a gift. Perhaps it’s a silly gift but I am so excited about it! I just had to share.
It is finished. Paid in full. It is a Greek word and it is what Jesus said on the cross just before He died, bearing all our sins for all eternity. And it is what I got tattooed onto my wrist where I used to cut. In my 19 years of going to church I don’t ever remember hearing the word. It wasn’t until listening to a sermon of my preacher uncle that I was awakened to its wonder. The second I heard him use it and give its definition, I knew that would be my tattoo. For years now I’ve been planning and plotting and sketching and doodling what my tattoo would be.
I first started cutting right after turning 13, although I didn’t really understand why. After a few months I stopped and was clean for just over a year. I started again in about January of 2009 and it got worse and worse from there. I was at my “peak”. I cut constantly. That year I had been clean was the year I spent watching other people get into what I had been in, it was the year the emo reign really took over, and it was the year I had my “official rebellion” and just stopped caring. I went all out. I wore mostly black and neons. I had bracelets 8 inches up both arms and inch thick winged eye liner. I wrote depressing poetry and death notes (not to be confused with suicide notes, although I did write two or three of those). And all the while I was going to church, reading my Bible, raising my hands, etc. But maybe not for every single service.I walked a beautiful fine line. There’s a lot more to it than that but I’ll save the full story for another time. Anyway, I started tapering off at the end of 2009 and the cutting just became occasional in early 2010.
When I started designing my tattoo I initially wanted to have the first initial of every person I ever knew that cut. That list reached the point where it would have turned my wrist tattoo into a sleeve. The potential tattoo took on many forms over the years and at times was very detailed and elaborate. Especially after I quit cutting for good, because the tattoo was going to be my visual testimony and conversation starter. It had to be perfect. When I heard “Tetelestai” I was sold. It was one word. So simple. But it packed possibly more meaning than any other word ever will. So now I walk around with the Greek spelling of the word tattooed across my wrist. And since getting it done, about 3 months ago, I’ve been able to share bits of my story with several people. It’s a beautiful constant reminder everyday.