These days, I wear my faith like a new tattoo. It came about through searing pain and lots of cursing. It's there and plainly visible, but by just looking at it you might not understand the full story. And it is a story - one that I'd be happy to share over a cup of coffee.
But it wasn't always like that. At one point, I believed that my faith was to be displayed by carrying around a bible like an athlete wearing a letterman jacket. I once believed that my faith was to be used like a megaphone in a public library. And for a short while, I was foolish enough to believe that my beliefs made me better than everyone else.
I will never pretend like faith is easy. If it was, churches would be filled to standing room capacity every Sunday. Saying that I've believed in God my whole life would not be telling the entirety of my tale. That would be like reading the first page in a Stephen King novel then assuming the every character survives until the end. I am not one of those "I grew up in the church and nothing bad has ever happened to me" kinds of Christians.
The pages of my book are filled with doubt and struggles. Mistakes and missed opportunities. Broken heart and wounded spirit. Yet, ultimately, it's about second chances - of which I have been given many.
So my faith is like a tattoo. Art covering an imperfect canvas. Something beautiful from something painful.