Tammy Helfrich

Life begins right where you are.

What’s your symbol?

Do you have a symbol that resonates with you?

Something that has special meaning for you?

Maybe it’s a family symbol, or something that has helped you through a tough time.

My Dad loved sunsets. He loved to photograph them. I don’t really know if there was ever a meaning behind it for him, or if he just appreciated the beauty of it. I love sunsets because they remind me of him and also of the beauty in the world.

I know others who have gotten tattoos of their symbols and it gives them strength.

For me, the tree has been something that has been very symbolic for me as I’ve gotten older. I’ve always been a pretty strong person. I’m responsible, difficult to ruffle, and my roots are strong. Those things are characteristic of a healthy tree.

treepin

It made sense to me why this symbol resonated with me. However, a few years ago, I started to get discouraged by being the tree.

Why do I always have to be the strong one?

I felt like people were constantly climbing on me, and sometimes it just got overwhelming.

Then, I heard a teaching by Jeanne Stevens that really hit home with me. She was talking about the story of Zaccheus. I’ve heard the story a million times, but she said something unique that felt like it was directly for me.

Sometimes, you have to be a tree, so that other people can climb up on you to see Jesus. (Tweet that!)

That really changed my perspective. It was like a breath of fresh air. Sometimes it feels like we can get walked on and climbed on and taken advantage of. But when we reframe that and see that people need us to help them see Jesus, that changes everything.

Do you have a symbol? I’d love to hear about it.

 

8 Comments

  1. The Power T is what most people think of when they think of me.

  2. i think my symbol has always been my last initial: G. i’ve always just really resonated with my last initial. it’s a part of who i am, but also represents where i’ve come from.

  3. I know some people feel their initials are special to them, but to me my initials didn’t resonate. (I suppose that’s a good thing because they changed!) I know many people have something special to them like you mentioned. Once again, nothing really for me. I was beginning to despair a bit that I had nothing to represent me.

    Then God gave me a word, Story. I didn’t do much with it at first, but God gave me another idea. A tattoo of the word ‘story’ in Hebrew. I see it as my promise to God and myself to be the story teller and story keeper he made me to be. That sounds so succinct, but I’m still discovering what that means. I suppose because I’m still discovering what God wants me to be.

    • I love that. I think living in the tension of figuring out who God wants us to be can be so exciting (and sometimes frustrating). Keep seeking. Can’t wait to see where He leads with the story idea.

  4. I don’t really have a symbol per se, but more an image. You will probably laugh, but this image has been very important to me throughout my Christian life. Romans 8:31 says “If God is for us, who can be against us?” I always imagine being on the playground as a team captain, picking players for a pick-up basketball game…and I choose GOD to play on my team. Hard to lose when GOD is your point guard, right?

    I think this image is my youth pastor’s fault, but I’m the one who has kept it in my mind for 20+ years now

  5. I am not sure I have a symbol exactly but both sunrises and sunsets have become very special to me and my husband since he had his heart attack in 2007. God reminded us that we are not promised another day so each sunset/rise is one more that we are thankful to share together.

  6. Hmmm, I’ve never given much thought to symbols before now, but I would have to go with the sunset example like you used above. Their beauty completely take my breath away, and I am reminded of there being a God bigger than my problems.

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