Three Latin words etched on her left forearm tell a powerful story of grace.
Deus Satis Est. God is Enough.
Nicole Simmons remembers lying in bed one night, wrestling with despair and hopelessness. She couldn’t sleep. A palpable spiritual darkness filled the room. Damning thoughts flooded her mind: You’re not enough. You’ve been broken. You’ve made too many mistakes. Nobody wants you. The world would be better off without you.
At 3 a.m., she suddenly heard a deep, calm voice. “You are enough,” the voice said.
“It was like a weight lifted from me – a weight that hadn’t lifted in years,” said Nicole. “The guilt was gone. The other voices stopped. The pressure was gone. I could breathe. I could sleep. It was amazing.”
Who was that voice? “I believe it was God,” Nicole said. “No one else who was in the house has a voice like that. It had to be Him.”
That night marked a turning point for Nicole, a young single mom and a survivor of domestic abuse. By then, Nicole had left the man whose years of abuse had tormented her. But sometimes she found herself going back to him, drawn to a familiar cycle of hurt and shame.
God’s voice stopped the cycle, and Nicole wanted a tangible reminder of that. “I starting writing on my forearm the words ‘I am enough’ in several languages,” she recalled.
Nicole, who has struggled with anxiety and depression, then was attending a Conversations group led by Stonecroft volunteer Lorraine Monica. The group was doing a pilot study of Enough, part of Stonecroft’s Conversations series.
“We learned that because God is enough, we’re made enough through a relationship with Him through Jesus. That was very comforting to me,” Nicole said.
In the midst of that four-week Conversation, “The writing on my wrist changed to ‘God is Enough,’” she said.
Nicole got a tattoo of those words in Latin on Christmas Eve in 2016. “The tattoo’s message has been an anchor for me. It’s something I can see easily see, if I’m tempted to go back down a path I don’t want to go down. It’s a reminder not to go backwards,” she explained.
Last month Nicole told the story of her tattoo at a Story Marks outreach in her hometown of Bedminster, New Jersey. Story Marks is a gallery event featuring women and the tales of their tattoos. At least one storyteller shares the Gospel with the attendees.
With a friend standing beside her for support, Nicole shared her own story of grace with the audience.
“God found me when I was sinking and after I had tried to save myself on my own through other means. And it wasn’t enough,” Nicole said. “There was something missing. And what was missing was God – it was Jesus.”
She added: “I discovered that we are made enough because Jesus came and lived a life on earth and died for all our mistakes, all our sins. It’s powerful and it’s not something you can fully grasp. Because we constantly make mistakes. … But He paid the price. And because of that, we are able to be enough in Him and through Him.”