empty finger. . .

saturday’s are my days for long runs.  long, slow, thought-filled runs.  the pitter-patter of my feet against the trail as my closest companion.  and as one foot moves in front of the other, thoughts swirl.  not in even strides but in rushes.

february 14 was valentine’s day.  and this year, despite the promise of marriage and ring gently placed on my left hand, i was alone.

the trail that particular day was filled with many others.  couples hand in hand, taking advantage of the sunny and sixty degree weather.  all the while my heart still clouded with the falling of ice and snow just days before.

they walked, fingers intertwined, more than one diamond silently mocking me.

reminding me of my bare finger.

as stitches grew slowly in my sides, my anger towards my Daddy grew with each diamond passed.  looking down at my own bare finger wondering why.

why me?  why us?  why now?  why them?

why, Daddy?  why?

and His whisper filled the quiet of the trail. . .

baby girl, you are not defined by that empty finger.

i have spent the last almost year of my life allowing myself to be defined by my left ring finger. bare as a result of the choices of another.  believing that in order to be happy my left hand must sparkle again.

and that is a lie. straight from the pit of hell.

so often we all allow ourselves to be defined by the adjectives surrounding our lives. . .




insert job title here.

these words may describe but they do not define us. the names our Daddy has given define.  names that were bought at a steep price.  a price that cost His perfect life.



son or daughter.


who are we to define ourselves by empty fingers, full homes, or corner offices?

God has chosen to empty my left hand for this season.  and He had to break my finger to get that ring off. that breaking has been the most painful reality i have ever experienced.  but without that breaking i am not sure i would have ever known the beauty of my true name.

i may be living in the shadow of a broken engagement but it cannot overshadow me unless i allow it. unless i choose to believe the lie over Truth.  i must believe that while my left hand is bare for this moment, He knows best.  and the same is true for you. whatever your adjectives are. . .it is your choice whether they will describe or define.

let Him define. . .only there will you find freedom.  wherever you are in your journey.  be it broken down beside the road in pain or whether the wind is joyfully tousling your hair.

and every time i look down at my empty finger, it is a reminder. . .

. . .that what He calls me defines me.

i am beloved.

blessed be His name.


are you allowing the words that describe you define you?

~                    ~                    ~                    ~

lauren is a twenty-something living in the shadow of an unexpected broken engagement. her bones have been shattered and heart broken, but she is trusting the Lord to heal her broken places. . .and doing her best to rejoice in the meantime. she blogs about raw and ugly realities of her journey at beautifully broken.


Posted on March 31, 2011, in "Guest Post" March, Guest Post and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. I like tha names He paid a precious price for. Those of us who are single, alone find those names more precious because of our empty left finger. Thank you for the reminder of who I really am.

    • I don’t think the actual place of a ring, single or not, dictates who believes those names more precious… Being ‘broken’ comes from many things our Father allows us to combat; not just a failed engagement. They’re called trials…and through them, the names that He has sweetly called us, can be cherished by ALL who cling to our Lord. : )

      • samantha. . .that was actually the point i was trying to make with this post. mainly that we all have adjectives that we will allow to define us if we are not careful. my personal adjective is that of a broken engagement but you can truly replace that circumstance with whatever your personal struggle may be. what i gracefully hope i communicated here was that the names Jesus died to give are the adjectives that we should allow to define our lives as His beloved children. . .

    • i find that daily i have to speak the Truth of who i am with scripture to combat all of the enemies lies that fly at me so often. so glad you were encouraged. . .

  2. Great post, great honesty, great advice, great writing…

  3. Lauren,

    Your words evoked so many memories.

    The difference was that mine came from a broken marriage rather than a broken engagement.

    But, yes – Intense pain. Vacillating emotions. Uncontrollable ups and downs. Long walks on the mountain above our home at night (usually without using a flashlight, though I carried one). It was a full year before I began healing enough to be able to think of the other person’s needs, not just my own. And three years before I met the person who’s my wife today.

    Just after the separation, my pastor took me out to lunch and gave me this advice, which I’ll pass on to you as part of defining yourself : “Don’t think of yourself as any less worthwhile a person.” It was simple but on-target advice for me. I’ll admit it was several years before I could DO that, but I accepted it as good advice and held onto it mentally.

    And my new marriage? It’s within a few months of being 33 years now. And it’s mostly been as different from the first one as day from night!

    If you’d like to read a little more, click on my name, and go to chapters 3 and 4 of the book that’s there for now.

    Prayers that God will walk with you through all this and out the other side, into his sunshine again.

    • pete. . .i am so unbelievably sorry. those emotions you described i know very intimately. the pain is still very acute and crops up often unexpectedly. i look forward to reading more about your story and such great advice.

      thank you so much for your prayers. . .they are very much appreciated. . .

  4. I was one of those little boys who got picked on because I was ready to get married as a little boy. I wanted to show that love and devotion to someone. I am married now, but it was a long road to get there.

    My plan was to be married by 22 with at least two children by 25 with at least one on the way. I was close, too. I was engaged to a young lady and we had a date set for September of 2007 (even though I was going to be 23 at the time of the wedding). We were excited! We felt so ready! We even started sleeping together (but not living together!).

    In early 2007 I God began to get back through to me. I realized we were not following His will for how we live. At first I tried to fix that. Finally, in March, I knew what I had to do, and it was the second most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. I had to end the relationship.

    I gave God my dream of marriage. “Paul did say it is better to not be married,” I told myself. So I dedicated everything in my life to God, but it included the prayer “Lord, make me the man a woman would dream to be with if for no other reason than to be a better servant for you.”

    It was 7.5 months later that I met the woman I would marry less than 19 months later. We honestly believe it is because we both learned to look at who we are in Christ before any other label we might use.

    Thanks for this message! Brokenness feels so wrong and stupid, but it draws us to the One who can remake us into something glorious!

    • danklemitis. . .thank you so much for sharing your story. believe it or not, i never imagined i would be married by my early twenties. i used to be ‘miss independent’. while as a child i did dream of one day being married, i thought that day would be later rather than sooner. my relationship with my fiance was quite a surprise and was very beautiful until overnight he completely changed. it has been devastating.

      in the wake of that devastation, i realized my former career-woman dreams didn’t match the desires the Lord had grown in my heart to be a wife and mom. daily, i lay those desires in His hands, and quote psalm 37:4 and lay that desire on His altar.

      i believe there is true beauty in brokenness and pray that my broken pieces will not be scarred back together again until He has healed every broken place.

  5. Lauren this is such a beautiful post! It hit to the core of my being as I heard Jesus remind me of who+what truly defines me. Thank you for the oh so timely reminder!

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