I Thought It Was Just On the Surface

Two weeks ago,  I took a pretty intense fall. It was more of a face dive, actually. I was near the start of a 30 minute run when a knot in my shoe became a raveled mess. With no advance warning, it got caught in my step I went from an solid pace to flat on the ground in less than a second.

The intensity rocked my brain, scraped up my knees, and would likely have injured my nose and face if it had not been for my left elbow and the phone in my right hand to break the fall.  A bit shaken from the entire experience, I got up and assessed my injuries. Some scrapes on my knees. Major pain in my head. And a pretty bad floor burn on my left elbow.

After 2 days of rest I decided I’d better get treated. My brain was pretty foggy and my neck hurt a lot. I was thankful that my doctor was able to get me in the day after I called.

Within minutes of an eye/brain check, it was clear that everything, in that realm, was fine.  (I had been worried about a concussion) and with several adjustments to my back and neck, I assumed I would be on my way. But then he got to my elbow.

“Jennifer, how is the pain in this elbow? Is it getting worse?”

Understanding floor burns can have significant pain, I had not really thought much about the elbow pain.

“Getting worse? Well, I don’t know. I never really thought about it.” I responded, because in reality, I just figured any pain from my elbow was a result of the surface wound.  But then he showed me the under skin bruising, the swelling, and took his pen to mark the spots where he thought it might be fractured.

What? A fractured elbow? I never would have imagined. I was too busy noticing the outer wounds and blaming all the pain on those.

In a few minutes, all healing focus shifted from the skin area of my elbow to the injury on the bone inside. Suddenly that floor burn didn’t seem like such a big deal. A joint out of place, a possible fractured bone, internal bone bleeding, and ongoing internal swelling became things that needed regular monitoring. And the pain did get worse, a lot worse.

Its been two weeks since that injury happened and already the floor burn is almost healed. The scabbed area is flaking away and nice pink, new skin, can be seen in its place. But it’s the internal injuries that are going to take a lot longer, and if I don’t give them the proper care, I could suffer damage for life.

My elbow reminds me, in some ways, with things in our lives. If you’re anything like me, you’ve gone through some stuff in life that is hurtful.  We live in a world of hurt people.  Abuse, loneliness, divorce, abandonment, loss of friendships, loss of jobs, foreclosure, bankruptcy, abortion, or self hatred after realizing we have done things to hurt others.  They all create wounds. But we also live in a world of “fine”, a world of “I’m okay” and a world where its not cool to show pain. What is that creating? A bunch of wonderful people, many who love Jesus and want to live for him, but are hurting badly inside and instead of healing, they’re suppressing, covering up, or running away, in the end, never healing.

Today I want to encourage you to take the first step toward inner healing.

Psalm 34:18 says The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

What is the first step? Realize that God truly is your healer, but also recognize that healing can be painful and even lengthy. It requires being honest with yourself. “I am hurt. I am hurt more than I want to admit. I don’t want to stay here. I want to become free.”  Often healing from a major hurt requires writing down what you encountered, or finding someone trustworthy who will listen unbiasedly to what you went through. Maybe it means finding a program like Celebrate Recovery or HOTSPOT. If you plan to talk with someone, make sure it is a Christ follower who will pray for you before, during, after, and for a long term during the healing process.

But don’t avoid the healing. God doesn’t want you to live in chains.

Psalm 31:1-4 says “I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me. Lord my God, I called to you for help,
and you healed me. You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
you spared me from going down to the pit.

Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.”

That’s the cry of someone who has suffered intense hurt but has also discovered the miraculous power of God’s healing,

So as I spend the next several weeks caring for my elbow injury I encourage you to ask God to help you face those internal injuries you’ve not wanted to face. Its worth it. The pain. The struggle. The necessary steps to becoming whole again. It’s all worth it. Email me if you have questions or need prayer.

We’re in this together!