I Stubbed My…

…Finger.

That’s right. I stubbed my finger the other day at the gym. I hate it when that happens. Jamming your finger into a basketball, volleyball, or any other hard object… well it just sends this horrendous pain up your nerves until you feel it in your toes, your nose, and your hair.

It hurts.

Well it hurts for a second anyway. Then it just kind of swells up until you can’t bend it or use it. But the worst part about a stubbed finger is the first shooting pain and you know that if you hit it just right, you’ll feel that pain again.

So I just kind of walk around in fear of hitting my stubbed finger. I wince when I see somebody come in to shake my hand. I pull back from high-fives.ย  I drink my coffee with pinky finger in the air like a true Brit. I do whatever it takes to protect my finger from experiencing that kind of pain and hurt again.

The other day, after I stubbed my finger, I was driving down the road. I had both my hands on the steering wheel at 10 and 2. I looked down at my hands and I was holding my pinky finger straight in the air. Subconsciously, without any thought to it, I had refrained from bending my pinky finger around the steering wheel to avoid any pain. The funny thing is that I didn’t even stub my pinky finger. I had hurt my ring finger. WTH?

In the moment I decided to test myself. I sort of gritted my teeth and wrapped all ten digits tightly around the steering wheel. Guess what? Nothing. There was no pain at all. So that left me with a question. What am I so afraid of that has caused me to subconsciously put restrainers in my life for protection? Is it really necessary? Does it really hurt that bad? Wouldn’t it just heal faster if I took the time to stretch it out, bend it, embrace a little of that hurt?

Obviously I’m going somewhere with this. I don’t just write blogs about my stubbed fingers… or toes. Some of you are reading this because you thought I stubbed my toe. : ) Nope.

If I do all of this to protect my finger from experiencing pain, what do you think I do to protect my heart when it hurts?

In the past, I’ve been known to intentionally build up some ancient-style city walls around my heart for protection. The result wasn’t pleasant. I kept everyone who really cared out of my heart in being overly cautious and missed out on some incredibly deep moments and relationships. I actually kept myself from reaching a healthy place emotionally by building up those walls. I learned my lesson and spent a year or more trying to tear down those walls, break through the fear of what might happen, and start to risk in order to gain something greater.

But this whole stubbed finger thing made me wonder what I was unintentionally doing to protect my heart in the midst of hurt. What restrainers were there? Have I been hesitant to reach out to people? I mean, I might not be building up walls, but it’s quite possible that I’m not reaching out to those who genuinely care for me. In my hesitancy am I prolonging the healing process? Would it just go a little faster if I were to step into the hurt, accept it, and push against it?

It’s honestly got me asking a lot of questions about myself.ย  All that from a stubbed finger.

What do you think? Do you do any of these things? How does it affect you? What should you do instead?

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20 thoughts on “I Stubbed My…

  1. What an encouraging word. I know we all need reminders like this. Too often we fear feeling that pain so we hide from it instead. Thanks for reminding me that it never hurts enough to kill us…& who knows, we might just end up stronger for it! Love you! So proud of you, fierce woman of God!!

  2. mark driscoll talks about jesus the suffering servant and he says…

    “For God to use you greatly, he must wound you deeply…”

    I love that.

    And hate it at the same time.

    We’ll do anything to run from pain now-a-days… but the truth it, it is pain, it suffering, that gives us greater value to our experience.

    Love your thoughts!

    • You know I wonder about that Kathryn… God wounding us… I know that our choices wound us… the circumstances of living in a world where others make their own choices, some of them bad… that will wound us. I wonder though how much God has a part in wounding us and how much of that is Him just showing up in the circumstances to bring redemption. I’m not sure of the answer, but it’s definitely one I think about a lot.

      No matter what, you’re right…. there is so much that can come from those experiences where we hurt, suffer, and grieve. I’m hoping it’s useful for somebody else, otherwise it just makes it suck all the more.

      Thanks for reading girl. Love you tons! Come and visit!

    • Ha. You’re right. It’s all your fault. If you hadn’t tried to kick me, and I hadn’t tried to block you…. there would be no stubbed finger and no revelations to write blogs about. Ha. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. This is so relevant to some thoughts I’ve been having. As you know (through instagram ๐Ÿ™‚ ) I found a column I wrote in high school yesterday. It was about a guy who’d broken my heart. Years later…way too many years later, I found myself in the EXACT situation. I thought, as I read it, holy smokes I’m 29…and still doing what I did back in high school?! The names changed as did the place, but it was basically the same. And as I read what you wrote I realized it’s the exact situation because I’m still unknowingly trying to “protect” my once stubbed heart expecting to be safe from hurt. But the truth is, I still got hurt because I was trying to take control of the situation with those walls I’d built. And it makes you think hmm, I guess if I relinquish control, it’ll be a little scary for a little while…but I mean, God is God. We know he is good. So stretching out those muscles and trusting and giving him control…sheesh. Hard, but so worth it in the end when instead of a broken heart, we find a complete/whole one.

  4. So, was I the only one who had to wait until my tears were reabsorbed into my eyes before I could type? Yes, I could have let them gush out all over my silk jacket, but having to explain that my tear stains were the result of a stubbed finger story would be a bit TMI at work today .. perhaps next time. : )

    All that to say that your blog touched my heart and is a wonderful reminder that
    * God has created us to be self-protective (not bending your finger)
    * We have a tendancy to be over protective (your uninvolved finger afraid of being hurt)
    * We are teachable (steering wheel observation)
    * God does speak to us (revelation that protecting your stubbed finger was like building walls to protect your heart)
    * God has created us in His image with a propensity to love and be loved (all the wonderful responses you’ve received to this blog)
    * We are all continuing on your journey of adventure, self-revelation and wisdom

    I love you Ashley Musick! xoxo Patti-Mom

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