A River I Could Skate Away On


“For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time he fled from Saul and went into the cave. To be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy!” Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by.”–Psalm 57:1


It’s been a day of fitful sleep. I am trying to heal even though after all these years I’m not sure this is something you can “try” at. In my waking I feel angst and a gnawing worry I can’t explain. I haven’t had these feelings for months. I know for sure they come with the sickness worming into my brain.

I feel sad about Danica and I missing her program last night. It seems another golden moment was lost in a sea of memories of being sick and in bed.

We are missing a Christmas party tonight. Dan and I need to see one another like this. We need to dress up. I need to shave my legs and put on lipstick. We need to flirt in the company of others and slip out early because we are wildly in love. We need a connection that is not me needing and him serving. I want him to see me for even a few hours as laughing and lovely. I want to lay so close to him we are one. Do you know how little kissing happens when you have Strep throat for years on end?

Delaney needed to go shopping today for a black skirt and a white shirt for her choir recital on Thursday. I couldn’t take her. Once again we searched online and prayed something we chose will fit. We payed extra for shipping to make sure it will arrive on time. No fun. No bonding and a Starbucks after. Instead we had a fight about picking the cheapest thing and about tights. I hated it. I hate how it feels to still be so unable to do “real” life for her.

I’ve ached to be back to corporate worship after my genuine encounter with community at my retreat. Tomorrow I will miss another Sunday. I’m beginning to think regular church attendance isn’t ever going to happen for me. Dan takes the girls, but they are floating in and out. I am not along to build the relationships, get us involved in groups or open our home for hospitality.

Monday I head to the hospital for a bone density scan. After five years of no estrogen these bones are as weak as my collagen. It’s a cascading betrayal of my body. Thursday I see my gynecologist. There’s a small lump. I’m thirty-nine. All the normal things are piled on top of my ever complicated health profile.

I am called to count it ALL joy. Even this. Sitting at the foot of the cross how can I demand what I think this season should look like. How can I demand anything?

I have Joni Mitchell singing in my head.

It’s coming on Christmas
They’re cutting down trees
They’re putting up reindeer
Singing songs of joy and peace.
I wish I had a river I could skate away on . . .

I believe God meets me here.
He knows my hurting heart.
He understands my physical pain and my mental anguish.
He gets how badly I want to run away.

. . . I wrote the above post on Saturday. Like much of what I write I wasn’t brave enough to publish it. I’ve been reminded by many since. This honesty is why you read here. I rescheduled my bone scan. I’m just not feeling better and even worse in some ways. I’m sad. I’m afraid. He is the same.

I read this morning from Paul David Tripp’s devotional book New Morning Mercies.

“If Christ is your life, you are free from the desperate quest to find life in situations, locations, and relationships . . . So instead of wasting time on that endless quest for life, (or the “trappings” of Christmas) you have been invited to enter into God’s rest for the rest of your life. Rest in your identity as His child. Rest in His eternal love. Rest in His powerful grace. Rest in His constant presence and faithful provision. Rest in His patience and forgiveness. Rest.”

I won’t run away. I’ll run under the shadow of His wings and find refuge there. I’ll rest.

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3 Comments on A River I Could Skate Away On

  1. Violet
    December 8, 2014 at 7:56 pm (9 years ago)

    I read that same devotional, wrote it into my journal, and sent it to another friend. I’m huddling under those same feathers, resting.

  2. David Rupert
    December 9, 2014 at 5:36 pm (9 years ago)

    Monica. It was a pleasure to meet you at Laity.
    The quote at the end about letting go of that “desperate quest to find life in situations, locations, and relationships ”

    It does become desperate when it’s taken away from you. And then instead of natural, it’s forced. I havent walked in your shoes and can only imagine. But the idea of striving isn’t foreign to me. So I join you today in asking for a little peace and comfort in life.

    • Monica
      December 10, 2014 at 8:56 am (9 years ago)

      Thank you David. I often call this trying to “orchestrate” my way in or out of places God has brought me. Someone at Laity suggested I use the word “ordained” instead of “orchestrate.” Several times since then I have been able to shift away from believing there is anything I can DO to bring about change and focusing back on a God who loves me and has already written my days when there were none of them. (Psalm 139) Today I am clinging to the Prince of Peace and the comfort of Christ.


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