Friday, May 9, 2014

Being married to the 'Tattooed Mormon'

Oh, the words of advice we were given from people before we were married. They would say marriage is tough. Marriage is hard. Marriage is a battle. Marriage isn't easy. Are you sure your ready? You're life is over. No more fun and games. Others would say that it was the best time of your life. A new adventure. A new beginning. True happiness.We've all heard them right? I think being married to my wife has been the best thing that has ever happened to me.

A lot of people know my wife as the 'Tattooed Mormon'. Though, I must say I very much dislike that nickname for my wife. I have never been a big fan of the name 'Tattooed Mormon' and she knows that. When we were engaged people at her speaking events, and even people I know would tell me 'How does it feel to marry a celebrity?' Or 'how do you do it? How do you look past the tattoos she has, knowing that people will stare?' Some would even applaud me on marrying her, because of her past and how her past is so visual. I mean really? Serious? Hearing that use to bother me. Not once have I ever noticed or even cared that she has tattoos, I just don't see them when I look her. Sure, I know they are there, but its not something I have ever cared about. When we were writing on my mission or when we were dating I would tell people about her, it was: "She is a blonde hair, blue eyed girl, with a killer testimony and personality." Not ever was it: "Oh, I'm dating this girl with tattoos, with blonde hair and blue eyes." Because, to me who cares if she has tattoos. It's not a big deal. That was part of her past, before she even became a member of the Church.

I don't think she should be defined or known by some as the 'Tattooed Mormon'. Sure she has tattoo's and to some her past shows, but why should that define her? She is just like anyone in this Church. The greatest part of this Gospel is that people can change. She is a wonderful example of that! Boy, is she ever! She has shared with me how hard it was for her in Utah with people judging her for her tattoos, not giving her a chance. Pasts scare some people. But, I love that about her.

I have a past that I'm not proud of, a past that took me years to overcome and years to cope with. I know very well now I have been forgiven and lots of blessings have come. I was always worried about who I would marry, because I thought who I used to be would be a road block for some girls. I always wanted to marry someone who knows me, and accepts me, and has a story of her own. I found her. I feel as though, it's hard sometimes to let people change. Or doubting that they even can. This Church and Jesus Christ is about accepting anyone and everyone. No matter what they look like, no matter what they have done or where they have been. Christ is the master of change. He gives anyone who comes unto Him a new heart and a new mind. He is beautiful. He makes everyone beautiful, if they just trust in him and believe they can change.

Let pasts go. Allow people to show you that they can change, grow, and become better. My wife was called out for how she looked on her first day in Utah because she was tattooed and holding a church book. That guy told her how foolish she looked. That's messed up. When my wife and I meet people, a lot of the time I will notice their eyes just starring at her tattoos. To me she is not the 'Tattood Mormon' nor will she ever be in my eyes.

Marriage for us, I can firmly say, has not been hard one bit. Sure there have been life difficulties, but we get over them. I love her more and more everyday. I love her more than the day I married her. I find her even more attractive then when we first met. I fall in love with her everyday. Even to this day when I look in her deep blue eyes, I know why I married her. I married her not for her looks, sure that's a bonus, but I married her for WHO she is. I love who she is, where she came from and what it took for her to get where she is today. I married way above myself. She keeps me corrected. She keeps me on the right course. Marriage should never be tough. Never marry because of looks and looks only. Marry someone who you are attracted to in every way, especially spiritually. Spiritual attraction is most important, that's what makes those hard things easier. Marry someone who has the same end goal in mind.

Sure my wife has tattoos and a lot of people stare, and some know her as the Tattooed Mormon, and others know who my wife truly is. I love my wife and her courage to open her mouth to prove that people can change. I have. She has. We all can change. Don't let your appearance, your past, or whatever stop you from changing. Let people show you they can change, you never know what their potential is. Tattoos should never define someone. Pasts should never define someone. Christ died for our transgressions. If he forgets about them and doesn't notice us for what we have done, let us forget and forgive.