I grew up playing hockey and absolutely loved it. One of my favorite things about hockey was the tournaments. It was always so much fun going to stay a weekend in a hotel with your team and competing against other teams for a weekend packed with games. Typically you would play at least four games over the weekend. We played one Friday night, two on Saturday, and one or two on Sunday depending on if your team made it to the championship.
One of my favorite tournament destinations we went to over the years was Sault Ste. Marie in the Upper Peninsula. We went there a handful of times over the years and it was always just an awesome place and atmosphere. One year was totally different. It was Friday, the first day of the tournament. It was our first game. In the opening minutes during my first shift on the ice, I was checked from behind into the boards. This is a very dangerous and illegal play in hockey because it leaves the person getting hit defenseless going face-first into the boards and often ends in injury. If the hit is bad enough you can get kicked out of the game for it. As I was hit from behind, I felt an intense pain in my thumb. I instantly got up and skated back to the bench. I was in great pain and knew something was wrong. Because of the adrenaline from playing, I thought that I had just jammed my thumb really bad. I could not use my thumb like normal and the way it was supposed to move. In hockey, your hands are very important to control your stick. I played the rest of the game but told my teammates to only pass it to me if they absolutely had to. I could not play my normal game and was almost worthless out there.
After the game, my thumb and wrist began to swell a lot. I was certain that I had broken it. I went out to meet my parents in the arena lobby and they knew I was injured but did not know to what extent. I began to tell them what happened and show them my thumb. My mom and I thought for sure it was broken and that we needed to get it checked out immediately. However, my dad was always one to think everything was fine. He said I probably just jammed it and there was no reason to go to the hospital. Luckily, my mom and I were persistent that this was more than a jammed finger. We convinced my dad to go with us. I think he came just to prove us wrong and rub it in our faces afterward. My mom and I were telling each other how we were hoping it was broken just to rub it back in my dad’s face!
The hospital took X-rays and it was confirmed that I had broken my thumb. However, it was actually broken down at the bottom of my thumb right by my wrist area. I never realized your thumb went down that far. The hospital then gave me a splint to wear to help keep my thumb straight. We would have to wait until we got back home to get a cast. Ironically, it felt so good to know it was broken to prove my dad wrong. The whole time I knew something was wrong. I knew it was broken. I knew something had to be done, even though my dad thought everything was just fine.
I went on to play the rest of the tournament with a splint on my thumb, playing differently than I normally would, and having to adapt to my injury. It was definitely a crazy experience and one I will always remember and laugh about. Looking back, I still cannot believe my parents and coaches let me play.
Too often in our lives, we do not realize when something is broken. We try to act like everything is just fine and normal. We must realize that we are broken and need help. If we continue to act like something is not broken in our lives, it will never heal the way it is supposed to. God wants us to be looking at our lives and what needs to be examined. He wants us to come to Him with our brokenness so that He can heal us the way we need to be healed. Acknowledging the break is sometimes hard, or it is not easy to look for help. We often do not want to admit we are broken or that something in our lives is broken. To heal properly, the first step is to realize that something is broken. If you cannot accept that, then you can never truly heal or take the steps to recovery.
Examine your life today. What is broken and needs to be fixed? Do you accept that it is broken or do you choose to not believe it? How can you go to God with your brokenness?
Psalm 147:3 says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”