McKinley Week 2 345

My own emotional pain is something I used to try my hardest to run away from.

And I mean run.

Yet, for some reason, when I see others who are in pain….I can openly express my heart to them and I find myself willingly wading in the deep with whatever they are going through. That has always been there for me. That “thing” that tells me to pick up my life jacket and jump on in with whomever it is that seems to be wading out to sea. I’m an emotional lifeguard for those around me, finding myself at such ease when it comes to digging deep and helping people find their strength. I do feel it is one of my deepest callings. And I cherish those who have allowed me to assist them on their journey’s.

But my own emotional pain is a different story. When I was in my 20’s and something drastic happened in my life, I would turn and run to every single person in my circle and beg them for advice. I was starving for validation in my choices. I would cry to my co-workers, my boyfriend, my roommates, my hairdresser and anyone else who would listen to me wallow. I was hungry for answers and I would seek out anyone around me to spoon feed me the truth.

I would run to everyone but the most important person of all:


Now when catastrophe’s strike, it’s like a switch goes off and I subconsciously sink into a space of safety. I no longer run like a scattered silly girl looking for everyone to tell me what I need to do.

I stop.

I breathe.

I ask God to give me peace.

I wait.

Grandpa's Land

Many people don’t know that 2013/2014 were the hardest years of my life for many more reason’s than Jon losing his job.

For instance, I barely told a soul about my cat dying.

Avery was my beloved kitty child who I cherished for 15 years. She was laid to rest the summer Jon lost his job, right after we moved to Wisconsin. The pain and sorrow I felt from that experience was quite beyond measure for me.

This animal was my first child. I bought her from a pet store on my lunch break from work in Uptown Minneapolis when I was 21 years old. She was my soul mate and best friend before the husband, the children and the business.

Miss Avery was a queen in my life and losing her was tragic on multiple levels for me and the timing of it all was like a hot poker in my heart. We just lost so much leaving the Twin Cities behind. And now I had to say goodbye to my best friend of 15 years. Whatever puffs of strength I had in my heart were blown away in a hurricane that day. It was awful.

So I cried, a lot. But only to God. And I used that time to really nurture myself because I knew no one outside of me could offer my sorrow the nourishment it needed the way I could. I taught myself how to self soothe because it was important for me to finally learn how to be kind to myself in times of heart ache.

When my step-father died in March of 2014, I was again confronted with the lesson of being still.

And this story is one I am not even fully ready to divulge.

The sharpness of the sorrow still stings too much for me to scrape below the surface.

God and I are still working this out.

Losing my step-father in just 9 days to an aggressive cancer was life shifting for me on faith filled levels that are still too fresh to fully grasp. Watching the most capable and strong man I’d known for 25 years vanish slowly before my eyes on a bed in my mother’s living room was pitiful and painful on deep ground shaking layers. And the tenderness of my heart with this subject is still to wounded to dig much deeper than I already have here.

Russ and Jon

During this time in our lives I was told by so many people to “Be Strong.”

For some reason, those sentiments did not sit right with me. It felt demanding and harsh. It made me feel like a failure if I couldn’t achieve it. The last thing I wanted to be was strong during this death experience. And I literally remember thinking to myself, “I can’t be strong! Can’t you see? I’m drowning here! Don’t demand this of me when I’m barely keeping myself above water.”

The lesson I learned was this:

Don’t be strong.

Be still.

When tragedy or fear strikes, sit down immediately, get quiet and sink into the space where your soul resides. Ask God to fill you with his grace and to guide you in the direction you are meant to go. Hush, hush, hush the ego’s chatter and learn to simply breathe and just BE. The answers you need are all right there, in that magical space we’ve always hid them. In your gut. Right inside you is where you will find your truth. It’s been waiting there all along.

I’ve never needed God to show me stillness more badly than in March 2014.

And he did.

I learned to be quiet.

I learned to sit still.

I learned to lean into that place of knowingness I’ve had my own life but allowed it to be drown out by the noise of the world.

I learned how the peace of God could wash over me in times of life and death and I was able to smile at my children during this. Really smile at them with gratitude and faith knowing we would be okay.

What I’ve taken with me from this past year was the absolute fact that God lives within me.

He is not sitting on some cloud incrusted throne up in the sky. He is a part of me. And I am a part of him.

He rests right in the belly of my very being.

And now, I’m learning to trust myself more than I ever have before….because I know that very intuition that has lead me this far, was God all along.




8 thoughts on “Be Still

  1. Carolyn

    Be Still…and know that I am God…my favorite of all bible verses. And that is what I thought when I read your title. And once again you touch my heart, and MY soul…with your words my friend. And your words…so wise, be still, not strong. People struggle so with what to say in times of loss, and sometimes they just don’t come out right, because they feel like they have to say something…help, make it better. And there you are, taking their words and wonderful loving intentions, and finding out where the real place of comfort is located. And sharing that sense of solace with us all. I love your blog..your heart…and you. Thanks for somehow always saying just what I am needing to hear, at just the right time. So perfect…I just posted something about synchronicity on my FaceBook Timeline today…xoxo my friend! <3


    1. chana Post author

      Oh Carolyn!
      You were such a gift to me during that very tragic time of loss. You have such a caring soul and I am so grateful for your loving supportive words! You always encourage and uplift me and I am so blessed to have you in my life.


  2. Amanda Roth

    Oh Chana! I just love and adore you so much. Thank you for your words, your vulnerability and your authenticity. You continue on this journey with optimism and hope even after all that has fallen in your path. Your postive approach to life is admirable and contagious. Thank you for reminding me to be still and for the strength I found for myself in your words. You’re right He is a part of you and I know He is so proud. Keep shining.


    1. chana Post author

      Amanda! You are such a gift and a blessing to me! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on this piece of my heart. I know that God put you in my life to help guide me as well! Thank you for being such a loving supportive friend:)


  3. Susan Davis

    It is an honor to call you my friend. Your words sooth my soul. Light and love sent your way, and until we meet again, sit right there in the palm of his hand.


    1. chana Post author

      Oh Susan! How can I ever thank you for being such a guiding light in my life???? You are a gift from heaven to me and I cherish every minute I’ve been blessed by your soul! Thank you!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *